I realized it’s been a while since I wrote My Top 10 Places to Dine in Saigon. Some in the list are still my favorite but will give it an update since it has been 4 years and the fact that some friends are visiting and am jogging my brain where to bring them. Actually, I haven’t been going around much with most of my foodie friends having moved to different countries. But hey, these are still my favorite places I’d bring visiting friends.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, Hum is one of the best places here in Saigon. But hey, even if you’re not a fan of vegetables, give this restaurant a try. My mom who never eats vegetables enjoyed this place too. Now every time she visits, I bring her here so she can load up on fiber.
There are 2 locations for Hum. One is at 32 Vo Van Tan St., District 3 (+84 8 3930 3819) which is housed in a 2 storey home turned restaurant while the other one is a proper restaurant which can accommodate big groups at 2 Thi Sac St., District 1.
I super duper love this Hanoian dish. Cha Ca La Vong is a fish dish cooked in fish oil with dill. Really good to be paired with rice noodles, peanuts, and crunchy rice or shrimp crackers.
Cha Ca La Vong restaurant in Vietnam usually serves just this one dish so don’t expect anything else. I recommend Cha Ca La Vong at 36 Ton That Thiep, District 1 or at Nguyen Van Linh corner Pham Van Nghi St., District 7.
However, when in Hanoi, Cha Ca Thang Long is the best place to try this dish!
For traditional Vietnamese cuisine, Co Ba Vung Tau is a terrific place to try ’em all. I enjoy their banh khot, banh xeo, spring rolls, goi cuon, and their salads. Affordable too! 🙂
For a fine dining Vietnamese cuisine experience, I’d recommend Hoa Tuc. And if you’re keen on trying your hand in cooking Vietnamese dishes, their Saigon Cooking Class is a great way to start.
It’s a bit expensive though but the food and ambiance will not disappoint.
If you’re like me and easily get swayed by what famous people try in Vietnam, then you have got to visit the Lunch Lady. Actually “lunch lady” is the term given to all those selling strictly lunch dishes around Vietnam. There’s one at the corner of my office building who only serves one dish alone, 5 days a week for 68 cents.
So anyway, the claim to fame of lunch lady, Nguyen Thi Thanh is being featured by Anthony Bourdain in his show No Reservations. Thanh serves only one Vietnamese dish a day.
For me, Cuc Gac Quan still tops my list of the perfect restaurant to enjoy Vietnamese cuisine. The ambiance partnered with the oh-so-good food is worth every dong.
Hoang Yen has lots of restaurants but I still go to the one in Zen Plaza. But, must try is their Premium Buffet in Bitexco — a bit pricier but the addition of seafood to their standard menu is worth it.
So if you’re not sure what food your visitors like, Hoang Yen buffet is your best bet.