Saigon is known for its abundance of street food, and generations of vendors have charmed local and foreign visitors alike. As Vietnam’s economic development continues apace and general standards of living improve, the food scene has become more diverse and international. While humble noodle and rice stalls remain well-loved, a growing number of establishments serving cuisines from countries around the world has sprung up. With the help of food media influencer Uyen Dang, we’ve compiled a Saigon food guide for every budget. When everything opens up again post-Covid, you know where to go!
Uyen Dang is the photographer behind Bubufoodshow, a popular Instagram page that documents everything from wholesome homecooked meal to sophisticated tasting menus. Besides her day job in the banking industry, Dang also works as a marketing and branding advisor for many F&B companies.
Photos courtesy of Uyen Dang
Huế Beef Noodle Soup (Bún Bò Huế)
If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast (that is not phở), try Huế beef noodle soup. Like the majority of eateries in Saigon, this shop on Nguyễn Công Hoan Street doesn’t have a name, but still well-known among locals. The broth’s flavor is deep but not too pungent. Each bowl has a generous serving of beef and chả (Vietnamese sausage)
Cost: VND 35,000 (C$ 1.90)
Address: 15 Nguyễn Công Hoan Street, Ward 7, Bình Thạnh District
Photo: A bowl of Huế beef noodle soup (bún bò Huế)
Crispy Pork Bánh Mì
Bánh mì is a beloved breakfast for people from all walks of life in Vietnam. The typical filling consists of cold cuts, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrot, and herbs. If you’re in the mood for a change, go for crispy pork bánh mì at Bánh Mì Tuyền Ký on Vạn Kiếp Street – this stretch is full of other dining options, too. Expect perfectly crispy skin and tender meat, doused in a well-balanced sauce.
Cost: VND 15,000 – VND 20,000 (C$ 0.80 – C$ 1.10)
Address: 97 Vạn Kiếp Street, Ward 3, Bình Thạnh District
Photo: Crispy pork bánh mì (bánh mì heo quay)
Assorted Noodle Soups
Hủ tiếu (rice noodle) is paired with a variety of broths, such as pork bone, herbal duck, or seafood. Dang’s go-to is hủ tiếu thập cẩm (mixed rice noodle soup). The broth is light and mildly sweet, and the toppings include prawns, liver, heart, quail eggs and crispy lard.
Cost: VND 40,000 – VND 60,000 (C$ 2.20 – C$ 3.30)
Address: 49/2, Trần Kế Xương Street, Ward 7, Phú Nhuận District
Photo: A bowl of mixed rice noodle soup (hủ tiếu thập cẩm)
Another spot that has been around for almost 100 years is in Tôn Thất Đạm Market, District 1. The two ladies running the store manage to retain its nostalgic charm through each piece of serving ware, pot and pan. The noodles here are handmade, and the quality is unrivalled.
Cost: VND 40,000 – VND 45,000 (C$ 2.20 – C$ 2.50)
Address: 69 Tôn Thất Đạm Street, District 1
Photo: A bowl of dry mixed noodle
This 60-year-old coffee shop is known for its sock coffee (or net-filter coffee), a special filter method that imparts a distinct aroma and flavor into the drink, while offering a skillful theatrical feast for the eye. There’s always a long line, but it’s worth waiting for. If you’re looking for strong coffee, this is the one for you.
Cost: VND 15,000 (C$ 0.80)
Address: 330 Phan Đình Phùng Street, Ward 1, Phú Nhuận District
This is a little quiet space with refreshing greenery to calm the mind. Besides coffee, you can find juices, smoothies and other healthy snacks, such as yogurt bowl and protein cookies. All are vegan.
Cost: Drinks start from VND 35,000 (C$ 1.90),
food from VND 55,000 (C$ 3.00)
Address: 50 Nguyễn Cừ Street, Thảo Điền Ward, District 2
Photo: Coffee at Zeroism Vegan Café
Huế’s Assorted Dumplings
Huế is known for its dainty dumplings that can be a substantial snack or a light meal. You can find bánh bèo (fern cake), bánh bột lọc (tapioca clear dumpling), bánh ít trần (stuffed glutinous rice dumpling). The usual accoutrements are dried shrimp, Vietnamese sausage and tangy fish sauce. What sets this shop apart from others is the use of cilantro, which adds a nice aromatic touch.
Cost: VND 20,000 – VND 30,000 (C$ 1.10 – C$ 1.70)
Address: Bến Thành Market, 164 Lê Thánh Tôn Street, Bến Thành Ward, District 1
If you’re looking for a typical Vietnamese meal, with rice and dishes to share, try Bụi. Even though the menu spans across 100 items (including many regional signatures), the quality is not compromised. The restaurant has a nice cooling space, a respite from the hectic humid Saigon.
Cost: Starting from VND 80,000 (C$ 4.40)
Address: Multiple locations, listed on its website.
Photo: A meal at Bụi
To those who want to experience Saigon’s metropolitan taste, visit Anh Tukk, which offers a modern take on Thai cuisine. The restaurant is located in a bustling hẻm (alley) with other eateries. The ingredients are both imported from Thailand and sourced directly from Đà Lạt to ensure they meet organic standards.
Cost: Starting from VND 65,000 (C$ 3.60)
Address: 1st Floor, 74/7 Hai Bà Trưng Street, District 1
Photo: A plate of pad thai from Anh Tukk
If you want the bistro experience, try Mad House Saigon. The menu includes a wide selection of Western dishes (pasta, burger, sourdough toast etc), as well as common Vietnamese favorite (bún thịt nướng – grilled pork vermicelli bowl). Come here for the chilling vibe and green space.
Cost: starting from VND 70,000 (C$ 3.90)
Address: 6/1/2 Nguyễn Ư Dĩ, Thảo Điền Ward, District 2
Another spot for Western cuisine is Eddie’s New York Deli & Diner. As the name suggest, it is an American diner with the usual suspects: milkshake, burger, and pancake. The restaurant will transport you to the typical scene in many US movies, where teenagers and families hang out after work or school. Dang thinks the milkshake here is the best in Saigon.
Cost: starting from VND 99,000 (C$ 5.40)
Address: 71 Thảo Điền, District 2
Photo: A typical fare at Eddie’s
Grilled Rice Paper (Bánh Tráng Nướng)
Also coined as Vietnamese pizza, bánh tráng nướng (grilled rice paper) is a crowd pleaser. Vendors sell them all over Saigon’s streets. If you want to bask in the youthful and upbeat vibe, get one in the Nguyễn Huệ’s walking promenade and enjoy your snack there.
$: VND 10,000 – VND 20,000 (C$ 0.60 – C$ 1.10)
Address: Nguyễn Huệ Walking Street, District 1
Photo: Grilled rice paper
Deep-fried Glutinous Rice Cake (Xôi chiên)
The common breakfast xôi (steamed glutinous rice) is transformed into a chewy, crispy rice cake after being deep-fried. Even better, each piece is slit open into a pocket that contains a variety of fillings: prawn, minced pork, pate, you name it.
Cost: VND 6,000 (C$ 0.30)
Address: 101TG Trần Văn Đang, Ward 9, District 3
Photo: Fried glutinous rice cake with different toppings
Vietnamese Donuts (Bánh Tiêu)
Similar to Western donuts, the Vietnamese version is a type of deep-fried dough with toasted sesame seeds on top. However, it is relatively less sweet, and its interior is airier, making it a perfect vessel to hold bánh bò (honeycomb cake). You can find bánh tiêu sold by pushcart vendors across the city, but Uncle Dũng stall is a famous one among locals. He has been in business for more than 30 years.
Cost: VND 6,000 (C$ 0.33)
Address: 123Bis, Cống Quỳnh, Nguyễn Cư Trinh, District 1
Photo: Bánh tiêu being fried
Fried Rice-Flour Cake (Bột chiên)
This is also a typical Saigon snack that everyone should try. After the rice cake is steamed, it’s cut into rectangular bite-size pieces and pan-fried with eggs, accompanied by sweet and sour soy dipping sauce and pickled papaya.
Cost: starting from VND 25,000 (C$ 1.40)
Address: 100 Bình Thới, Ward 14, District 11
Photo: A pan of bột chiên
Quince Saigon is a modern European restaurant with an open kitchen concept and seasonal menu. Chef Julien Perraudin won Viet Cetera’s title “Chef of the Year” two years in a row. The wood-fired oven here is definitely a sight to see. The open kitchen concept allows diners to interact with the chefs so they can have a better understanding of the food.
Cost: VND 1,000,000 – VND 3,000,000 (C$ 55.00 – C$ 165.00)
Address: 37 Ký Con Street, Nguyễn Thái Bình Ward, District 1
Anan, at the helm of Chef Peter Cuong Franklin, is a familiar name among gourmets in Saigon. Ranked 39 in Asia’s top 50 restaurant, it has attracted many international diners who travel to Saigon for the experience. Anan offers two special dishes that you may not find anywhere else: $100 phở and $100 bánh mì.
Cost: Starting from VND 425,000 (C$ 22.40)
Address: 89 Tôn Thất Đạm, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Positioned in between a fine dining and casual establishment, Esta offers Asian dishes with bold modern flavors, a result of Francis Thuận’s fearless and creative experiments in the kitchen. One of its most ordered items is the smoked eel pate, a perfect harmony between Japanese and Western cuisines.
Cost: Starting at VND 80,000 (C$ 4.20)
Address: 27 Trần Quý Khoách Street, Tân Định Ward, District 1
This is a relatively new ốc (snail) restaurant in Saigon’s downtown core, competing with other better-known names, such as Ốc Oanh, Óc Đào, Ốc Như. It has a diverse menu with a lot of fresh seafood at reasonable prices. You can also come here for the chill vibe.
Cost: Starting from VND 20,000 (C$ 1.05)
Address: 74/7 Hai Bà Trưng Street, District 1
Photo: A seafood fare
This restaurant offers a contemporary and refined approach to your typical Vietnamese seafood eatery experience. It was included in the Essence of Asia 2020 list, compiled by the people behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. During non-lockdown times, diners come for the oyster buffet on Thursday nights. The seafood is always fresh at an affordable price.
Cost: starting from VND 45,000 (C$ 2.36)
Address: 8 Nguyễn Siêu Street, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Following the success of Tung Dining Hanoi, chef Hoàng Tùng opened Å by TUNG in Saigon. The restaurant is a tribute to his time exploring Northern European cuisine. The Nordic design here is delicate and sophisticated. The tasting menu changes every three months to reflect seasonality and each menu has over 10 items. This is an intriguing Nordic experience in the middle of Saigon’s tropical and hectic vibe.
Cost: starting from VND 2,000,000 (C$ 110.00)
Address: 31-33 Đặng Dung Street, Ward 1
Fume is an upscale Japanese restaurant that offers both an Omakase experience and other à-la-carte dishes, all made from high-quality ingredients imported from Japan.
Cost: VND 1,000,000 – VND 3,000,000 (C$ 55.00 – C$165.00)
Address: 74/7L Hai Bà Trưng, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Renkon offers a modern take on the Japanese quintessential izakaya. Its name is the Japanese word for lotus, which reflects the restaurant’s roots in the country. It’s easy to find something that everyone will love here. Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed by the choices, as the friendly staff can guide you through the selection and suggest a personalized menu for each table.
Cost: Starting from VND 500,000 (C$ 27.50)
Address: 74/10A Hai Bà Trưng Street, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Yazawa offers premium Japanese wagyu beef and is a must-visit spot for BBQ lovers. There’s also a wide selection of wine and sake to indulge in.
Cost: VND 1,000,000 – VND 3,000,000 (C$ 55.00 – C$165.00)
Address: 219 Điện Biên Phủ Street, Ward 6, District 3
After a good dinner, it’s time to head to the bar for some good music and bask in the city’s youthful vibe.
Cost: Starting at VND 95,000 a glass (C$ 5.20)
Address: 3A1 Ngô Văn Nam, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Cost: VND 100,000 – VND 300,000 (C$ 5.50 – C$ 16.50)
Address: 77-79 Lý Tự Trọng Street, Bến Thành Ward, District 1
Cost: Beers starting from VND 80,000 (C$ 4.40);
cocktail from VND 180,000 (C$ 9.90)
Address: CENTEC Tower, 72-74 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Street, Ward 6, District 3
Cost: Cocktail starting from VND 260,000 (C$ 14.30)
Address: 20 Mạc Thị Bưởi, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Cost: Wine by the glass starting from VND 320,000 (C$ 17.60)
Address: 14th Floor, 87A Hàm Nghi Street, Nguyễn Thái Bình Ward, District 1
Cost: VND 100,000 – VND 300,000 (C$ 5.50 – C$ 16.50)
Address: 14 Nguyễn Thiệp Street, District 1
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