Ho Chi Minh City, often referred to as Saigon by locals, has a diverse food scene. This list of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city highlights those that serve delicious food with quality ingredients and overall memorable dining experience. These are the places we often return to, as well as bring visiting families and friends for dinners. We also include some of the best vegetarian restaurants in town for those with specific dietary preferences.
Being Vietnamese natives with experience in developing Vietnamese recipes on our food blog for several years, we put together this list of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. These establishments utilize quality ingredients, showcase skillful culinary techniques, and maintain good hygiene standards. It’s worth mentioning that this list excludes small eateries that specialize in a limited range of dishes, even though we appreciate the convenience of a quick, hearty bowl of pho or a delectable banh mi at those places.
We will provide a brief overview and review of each place as well as our favorite dishes. These restaurants are listed in no particular order, meaning the ones listed first may not necessarily be better than the latter ones.
📍: 89 Ton That Dam, District 1
Located next to a long-standing wet market in District 1, Anan Saigon is known for its modern reinterpretation of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. It draws inspiration from Vietnam’s street food culture, elevating its dishes with better quality ingredients and presentations.
Some of our most favorite dishes at Anan are no longer on the menu sadly. Here are our favorites that are still on the menu: truffle pho, wagyu banh mi, duck banh mi, and wagyu fried rice. We aren’t really fans of their creative fusion dishes such as banh xeo tacos or Da Lat pizzas.
There are several things that we don’t like here. The restaurant is quite small, so the dining tables are tiny, making it uncomfortable to eat sometimes. The service is also spotty, so in general, don’t expect a fine dining experience.
In our opinion, Anan is a little overpriced for what is offered. However, the innovative approach to Vietnamese cuisine places it in a category of its own in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), which is why we think it’s worth checking out.
📍: 93-95-97 Dong Khoi, District 1
Located on one of the most beautiful streets in the center of HCMC, Vietnam House offers a modern take on traditional Vietnamese dishes. The restaurant is housed in a beautifully restored French colonial building. However, it can get quite noisy sometimes because of the excessive use of glass decoration and hard surface.
The foods are elevated mainly through the use of more premium ingredients, rather than trying to be super creative or innovative. Overall, we think they have a moderate balance of tradition and creativity.
Again, some of our favorite dishes are no longer on the menu sadly. They used to make some lesser-known Vietnamese dishes (well-known to locals, but lesser-known to foreigners, actually), such as eel noodle soup (miến lươn). Our other favorites that are still on the menu are salmon vermicelli noodle soup and tamarind pineapple shrimp soup.
Cuc Gach Quan
📍: 10 Dang Tat, District 1
🌐: Google Maps
Located in a charming house, Cuc Gach Quan has a rustic design with vintage furniture that reminds us of life in Vietnam many decades ago. The menu is filled with dishes that mirror traditional meals of Vietnamese families. If you want to taste authentic home-style Vietnamese cuisine, this is one of the best places to try.
The extensive menu of Cuc Gach Quan can be a bit overwhelming, especially for international visitors, as it lacks pictures. Our favorite dishes here are lemongrass chili tofu, fried soft-shelled crabs, and beef soup with Vietnamese coriander. Overall, everything we have tried is solid.
Another thing we like about Cuc Gach is we can tell the server we prefer Northern-style cooking which is less sweet and less salty than Southern-style, and the restaurant can adjust seasonings perfectly to our likings.
Man Moi (also known as Spice Bistro)
With a deep appreciation for regional Vietnamese cuisines, Man Moi builds its menu with inspiration from traditional meals and regional dishes. The offerings range from eye pleasing appetizers to filling main dishes, followed by soothing soups to cleanse the palate, and delightful desserts to end the meal on a sweet note.
We often go to the location in District 2 which has traditional designs and an open-air playground. They recently opened a second location in District 3. District 3 location has tables with air-conditioning while District 2 does not.
Our favorite dishes at Man Moi are banh mi, sticky rice, pho rolls with grilled pork, and snakehead rice noodle soup (bánh canh cá). We’ve enjoyed almost every dish we’ve had here. The one dish we don’t recommend is com tam Saigon (broken rice with grilled pork).
East By Ngo Thanh Hoa
📍: 73 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, District 3
East Restaurant is a fusion restaurant with contemporary Vietnamese flavors in HCMC. You will not find traditional Vietnamese dishes at this establishment. Instead, Chef Ngo Thanh Hoa creatively incorporates Vietnamese herbs and seasonings to bring completely new ideas to diners. He is also very hands-on with both the kitchen and front-of-house operations. Guests sitting at the bar can even interact and get food recommendations directly from him.
We really like the fragrant fried rice with white basil leaves (lá é). It pairs perfectly with various main dishes, such as chicken thighs with mắc khén (a distinctive spice from the Northwestern mountainous area of Vietnam) and roasted fish in banana leaves with curry sauce.
Some of the dishes on menu may use ingredients from other Asian cuisines, such as Japanese miso or Korean rice cakes. Overall, everything we’ve tried ranges from decent to very good.
Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro
📍: 21 Han Thuyen, District 1
Propaganda is located right next to the Independence Palace and the Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon. The quirky interior designs feature wall murals inspired by Vietnamese propaganda art. The menu offers a combination of traditional Vietnamese flavors and contemporary flair.
We like their selections of banh mi and fresh spring rolls. Their beef pho and bun bo Hue (Hue beef rice noodle soup) are also decent. The salad with homemade citrus-soy tofu, edamame and black rice is also our favorite.
Laang is a modern Vietnamese restaurant with two locations in Saigon. It focuses on providing delicious and healthy food in a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The extensive menu features many Vietnamese classics as well as some modern options. Their kitchen can also adjust the seasonings if we tell them we prefer Northern-style taste.
Our favorite dishes here are bun bo Hue and red rice noodle soup with crab and shrimp (bánh đa cua). The latter dish may not be well-known outside of Vietnam, but it is a signature of my hometown, Hai Phong, a seaside city in Northern Vietnam. We also like their mustard green soup with fish (a very traditional family dish), and squid with salted egg sauce.
📍: multiple locations in HCMC, including District 1, Binh Thanh District & District 2
Quan Bui restaurants serve traditional Vietnamese meals in a warm and rustic setting. The interior decor combines traditional Vietnamese elements with French colonial style. They are in the same restaurant group with Laang mentioned above, but the setting is more casual.
This group of Quan Bui restaurants aims to provide cozy and comforting traditional family meals that make guests feel at home. Our favorites here include crab rice noodle soup (bun rieu), opo squash with prawn soup, sour soup with pork ribs, fried rice and braised pork in fermented sauce.
📍: Rooftop 91 Pasteur, District 1
This restaurant is quite different from the ones we recommend above. It is in a category of restaurants called “quán nhậu” in Vietnamese. Quán nhậu can be described as casual dining spots where friends and colleagues gather to enjoy food and drinks in a lively and noisy atmosphere. At this kind of venues, food usually serves as a medium for social connection. There is no equivalent English translation, and the closest one is probably “beer garden”.
We find that Saigon Grill is a nicer quán nhậu in HCMC with pretty good food (surprisingly good for this kind of places). Just don’t expect refined food or premium ingredients you might find in more upscale establishments such as some of the restaurants above. Some of the dishes we like here are glass noodle stir-fry with seafood, La Vong grilled fish, and Saigon grilled pork ribs.
Located on a rooftop in the heart of the city, Saigon Grill offers open-air setting with views of Bitexco tower. Please note that all seats are open-air and there is no AC dining room at this rooftop restaurant.
It may not be an ideal choice for couples seeking a romantic dinner or families with small children, as the noisy atmosphere can be a bit overwhelming. However, it’s an excellent spot for a casual hangout or a group gathering. Some Vietnamese families also have gathering with kids here. If you want to experience the casual, sociable dining culture of Saigon, we think this restaurant is among the best options.
Hum is regarded as one of the best upscale Vietnamese vegetarian restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city. The place has a tranquil atmosphere that lets diners temporarily escape from hectic city life.
At Hum, vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, and whole grains take center stage, transformed into a variety of delicious and satisfying dishes through meticulous preparation. Hum also provides a range of healthy drinks, such as herbal teas and fresh fruit juices.
Our favorite dishes at Hum are braised tofu and eggs in spiced sauce, mushroom fried spring rolls, Hum fried rice, and salt-roasted butternut squash salad. Their sweet and sour soup is also very flavorful, but it is pretty spicy. We think even those who are not vegetarian will enjoy the food at Hum.
Pi Vegetarian Saigon
📍: 187/15 Dien Bien Phu, District 1
Pi is another Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant worth checking out in HCMC. This place serves vegetarian versions of some classic dishes as well as new ideas. All the dishes we have tried here are colorful, nutritionally balanced, and flavorful.
The menu is quite extensive, but the staff will be happy to give you recommendations. We particularly like their avocado and silken tofu with lemongrass ginger sauce, and fried spring rolls with tempeh and seaweed.
Saigon’s vibrant dining scene offers different culinary experiences that cater to a range of palates and preferences. Each place we’ve highlighted in this list of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city provides a unique interpretation of the cuisine. We hope this guide from a local’s perspective will lead you to some unforgettable meals in the city.
If you need help on where to stay in HCMC, check out my guide about the best districts and hotels for tourists and short-term visitors in Saigon.