Unique Dining Experiences in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Town, or Saigon because it’s referred to by way of the locals, is a mecca for foodies, with a large number of must-eat eating places. Many returning vacationers would possibly assume they’ve attempted the whole lot there’s to consume in Saigon on the other hand there are lots of memorable consuming reviews that even seasoned Vietnam vacationers and maximum locals don’t find out about. On this weblog publish, we’ve rounded up a number of the most unusual eating reviews in Ho Chi Minh Town, from Vietnamese superb eating institutions the place you’ll be able to’t see the meals in entrance of you to side road meals venues the place it’s a must to catch your personal dinner.

Please notice: we obtain no reimbursement from any of the eating venues we point out on this article.


(Please click on at the hyperlinks underneath to leap without delay to the segment you want to discover) 

  1. Dinner Cruises
  2. Rooftop Dining
  3. Fish for Your Own Dinner
  4. “Secret” Restaurants
  5. Distinctly Vietnamese Experiences
  6. Dining in the Dark
  7. Honorable Mentions
Bánh trắng nướng, one of the vital many scrumptious side road meals you’ll be able to in finding handiest in Vietnam. (Symbol: Shuttle Round Vietnam/Medium)

Dinner Cruises

Saigon is a town of lighting fixtures, and staring at all the ones shiny lighting fixtures shimmer and ripple at the water of the Saigon River is in point of fact a sight to behold. The one higher manner to soak up the sight rather then being at the riverside is to in fact get out at the water your self, in particular if there’s meals concerned! You’ll be able to do exactly that by way of becoming a member of one of the vital many dinner cruises presented in  Ho Chi Minh town.

The dinner cruises in Saigon are in most cases 2-3 hours lengthy and come with leisure. Visitors will generally wish to make their option to their selected boat’s departure level at a given time (frequently round 6:00 PM), despite the fact that some dinner cruises select the visitors up at their lodges. As soon as there, they’re going to be let on board and allowed to discover a desk the place they’re going to spend the night. Protip, get there a couple of mins early if you happen to e-book the sort of cruises. The cruise will very most likely promote out, and you don’t want to get caught at a desk subsequent to the kitchen — particularly for the reason that kitchens for those cruises have a tendency to be noisy because of house restrictions.

As soon as the boat is out at the river, dinner can be served. Some cruises, like Indochina Queen, have a collection menu with desk carrier. Others, like Bonsai cruise, have a buffet with a number of entree choices, generally seafood-based. In both case, vegetarian foods are just about at all times to be had on account of Saigon’s huge Buddhist presence. The meals presented on those Saigon dinner cruises is in most cases satisfactory however isn’t the principle reason why most of the people e-book a dinner cruise.

The principle appeal rather then the serene, beautiful view of town is the leisure. The river cruises placed on presentations with magicians, musicians enjoying conventional Vietnamese tools, and different forms of acts you received’t in finding again house.

Some fashionable Saigon dinner cruises come with:

  • Indochina Queen, $
  • Bonsai Cruise, $$
  • Saigon Princess Cruise Eating, $$$

Tickets for the cruises are on occasion to be had on the door, however we propose reserving on-line previously to make sure availability.

Dinner cruise Vietnam
Considered one of Saigon’s dinner cruise boats. (Symbol: planjour.com)


Rooftop Eating

Any other nice option to view the managed chaos that makes Saigon so uniquely stunning is by way of taking it in from above. And fortuitously, town has a large number of improbable rooftop eating places that mean you can glance over the bustling streets in taste. A breathtaking view is one of the best ways for guests to get a really feel for the geography of this contemporary Asian city. As an added bonus, the rooftop venues are generally a lot cooler since they’re actually above the cramped avenues and bike fumes.

The rooftop eating places accumulated within the desk underneath no longer handiest be offering a singular standpoint of Saigon however additionally they in most cases have in reality tasty meals.

Title Viewing House Notes
Breeze Skybar Marina, Monetary District Colonial art-deco design provides it a comfy old-world appeal. A perfect surroundings for lunch.
Rex Rooftop Lawn Marina, Nguyen Hue Prom Bar open 24 hours. Nice reside song and a family-friendly vibe all the way through the night. No longer as top as some rooftops.
Anan Native Marketplace, Bitexco Tower A big menu and a singular view of an outdated rainy marketplace and trendy skyscrapers
Shri Rooftop Front room Turtle Lake, Notre Dame Kitchen run by way of notable Spanish chef Javier Gomez. A thrilling surroundings for dinner.
Pandora Sky Front room Tao Dan and 23/9 Parks Reductions on meals from 7:30-9:00 PM
Cafe Eon All of Districts 1, 3, and four Very dear, however perfect eating place in Saigon (52nd ground)

Dining while overlooking Saigon
The meals is improbable, however the view is the principle appeal at those rooftop eating places. (Symbol: inspiringtravelcompany.co.united kingdom)

Rooftop bars are significantly dearer than side road meals joints and even commonplace desk carrier eating places in Saigon. Understand that the implausible perspectives at those puts are in top call for just about at all times. You should definitely name and reserve a desk prematurely, and request to be seated on the fringe of the roof.


Fish For Your Personal Dinner

Freshly stuck fish is just scrumptious. It’s even higher whilst you catch the fish your self. Mix that with the scrumptious herbs and spices that the cooks at those DIY fish eating places sprinkle at the meals earlier than grilling or steaming them, and also you’ve were given a mouth-watering meal you simply can’t get at house.

Those “recreational villages” are a long way from vacationer points of interest; they’re hotspots for native households and buddies to spend the day in combination. As such, the team of workers don’t generally discuss nice English, however you’ll be able to indubitably get by way of with Google Translate or if you happen to’re keen to gesticulate so as to get your that means throughout. They’re enjoyable, they’re unique, and they’re a good way for folks of every age to have a singular eating enjoy in combination. They’re additionally an excellent spot to head if you wish to have some a laugh actions to head together with your meals, since they’ve hammocks, swimming swimming pools, and on occasion even reside presentations with conventional song or magic.

Two of the simpler places for this distinctive enjoy are:

  • Nguyen Huu Tho side road, positioned at the westernmost fringe of town (technically, it is only outdoor the borders of Saigon right kind, within the suburban district of Nha Be). It’s kind of a 25-minute power from the middle of district 1 with out visitors. Two just right eating places for catching your personal dinner in the street are “Vuon Thu Gian” and “Thap Nga.
  • Binh Quoi, an leisure space constructed on a synthetic island in Binh Thanh district that may be a 20-minute power northeast of district 1. Search for the venues known as “Rach Dua,” “L. a. Vong Quan,” and “Lang Am Thuc Van Hoa Tay Nguyen.
Thap Nge Restaurant
Those eating places are in most cases constructed on huge stocked ponds. (Symbol: thapnga.com)

Without reference to which location you select to seek advice from, you’re going to pay a little greater than at a standard seafood eating place — perhaps $7-14 for an entire fish. The enjoy is distinctly Vietnamese, although, and it’s value paying a couple of further bucks (or Vietnamese dong, because the case is also) for reminiscences that may ultimate a life-time.


“Secret” Eating places

Maximum of Saigon’s absolute best eating places are a part of the pulse-pounding hustle and bustle that characterizes town, however there also are a couple of well-kept secrets and techniques that handiest locals or guests who in reality do their analysis find out about. Some are hidden down again alleys and others don’t have any signal promoting their presence to passersby.

Staying below the radar provides the venues an intimate really feel that makes you’re feeling like a member of a personal membership. It’s a sense you received’t in finding anyplace else all the way through a travel to Ho Chi Minh Town, since privateness and secrecy are two issues sorely missing in many of the town’s tradition.

Speakeasy restaurant
The chic dishes at those venues are as pleasant as the overall bars. (Symbol: thehungrysuitcase.com)

Lots of the “secret” eating places took their design inspiration from speakeasies. They opted to stay the alcohol and the ambience however upload an ideal meals menu and a contemporary twist. They might not be nice puts for children on account of that, however they do be offering a singular eating enjoy for adults.

Title Location Value What More or less Meal to Be expecting
Alley50 An alley within the marina district $$ Caviar-topped oysters and a cocktail
The Alley Cocktail Bar and Kitchen An alley close to Ben Thanh Marketplace $$$ Highly spiced fried rice with a wine pairing
City Basement Craft Beer and Kitchen The basement of a lodge, Independence Palace space $$$ A burger and a craft beer
El Camino Korean Tacos Clear of the road, a speakeasy taste front close to 30/4 Park $$ Tacos and a margarita


Distinctly Vietnamese Stories

There are some reviews that would possibly appear definitely pedestrian by way of Vietnamese requirements however which can be indubitably memorable for guests. A couple of of our favorites are:

Shellfish eating places on Vinh Khanh

District 4 is understood for recent shellfish (or “Oc,” because the locals will name them) and the marvelous Vinh Khanh Boulevard is the hub for consuming it streetside. Discovering a spot to consume shellfish whenever you arrive on the side road definitely received’t be tricky — there are dozens of shellfish puts packed into the busy side road — nevertheless it may well be a bit overwhelming in case you are new to Saigon. Shellfish may be a meals that may simply pass unhealthy if saved incorrectly, particularly when it’s saved at the sidewalk of a crowded side road. So until you’re assured on your personal side road meals appraisal abilities, we’d counsel both “Oc Oanh” or “Oc Mortgage.”

Prior to you even sit down down, the enjoy could have cemented itself as a memorable one. The sheer selection of folks crowded onto low plastic stools and tables is a sight to behold. There are singers, musicians, sword swallowers, fireplace breathers, and dancers appearing often at the streets in entrance of the eating places.

Shellfish restaurant Saigon
Some of the many “quan oc” retail outlets on Vinh Khanh, a veritable heaven for shellfish fanatics. (Symbol: Scootersaigontour.com)

When you do sit down, one of the vital waitstaff will dart deftly during the throngs of diners handy you a menu. It’ll more than likely be in Vietnamese, and translations received’t assist a lot for many of the pieces. Thankfully lots of the menus have footage and there are standbys like fried noodles with red meat, steamed shrimp, and sauteed scallops if you happen to don’t seem to be certain what to reserve, however many of the pieces can be unique shellfish (“ốc” or “sò”) that we nearly ensure you haven’t observed or heard of earlier than.

DIY Barbeque

Saigon has a large number of barbeque puts the place consumers select uncooked meat and greens from a buffet and convey it to their desk. The waiter or waitress then brings out a small moveable grill, puts it within the heart of the eating space. The shoppers then cook dinner the uncooked meals they picked out to the quantity of doneness they like. Shoppers can order rice, broth, or noodles to consume with their scrumptious barbeque. Those BBQ eating places are known as “quan lau nuong,” with “quan” that means “store,” “lau” that means “hotpot,” and “nuong” that means “barbeque.”

This type of outside DIY barbeque position isn’t observed in maximum western international locations, perhaps as a result of it’s in most cases towards well being rules to present consumers raw meat in an outside environment. So until you’re, once more, an skilled side road foodie, chances are you’ll wish to stick with “Quan Nuong 1/10” in district 4, “De Phat Tai” in district 8, or another “quan lau nuong” with a large number of folks consuming there.

Korean barbecue
Diners grill up their very own dinner. (Symbol: Trungdan.com)

Essentially the most handy option to discover uniquely Vietnamese side road meals venues like “quan oc” and “quan lau nuong” is to enroll in a night side road meals excursion like The XO Foodie Tour. This acclaimed and popular tour focuses on introducing diners to memorable street food dining experiences. XO Tours has been working with the same handpicked restaurants for nearly a decade, which means you will be eating at the coolest places without risking sickness.


Eating within the Darkish

Even if the eating at nighttime eating place thought isn’t precisely new, Noir was once the primary eating place in Vietnam providing this sort of eating enjoy. While you arrive at Noir you’re going to be steered to don a blindfold and whole a puzzle in which you are compatible 9 differently-shaped blocks into 9 corresponding holes. The puzzle is supposed to transition visitors from working principally on visible cues to as a substitute that specialize in tactile cues; it’ll assist them with the meal forward.

After the puzzle, every diner can be given 3 set menu choices to choose between; Western, Asian, and vegetarian. As soon as every visitors chooses which set menu they would like, they’re going to be led by way of a wait team of workers (who’re all blind) to their desk in a eating room this is totally darkish. When everyone seems to be seated, the waiter or waitress shall we the visitors know by way of guiding their fingers the place their consuming utensils and consuming glass are. When the meals is able, the team of workers will set down in entrance of them a 10-course meal starting with 3 starters, then 3 mains, and finishing with 4 cakes. Even if 10-courses would possibly sound like so much, the portion sizes are slightly small, so it’s no longer an enormous meal.

We suggest that everybody in a bunch orders the very same set, in order that every particular person can examine what they believe they’re consuming with their dinner partners, and on the finish of the meal, in finding out who was once essentially the most correct. You’ll in fact be proven pictures of your meal after you’re completed, however having a bit festival with the opposite individuals of your birthday party all the way through the meal is an effective way so as to add to what’s already certain to be a memorable night. Consuming at Noir will indisputably make you reevaluate the function of sight on your personal eating procedure.

Blindfolded puzzle
In a lighted room earlier than the eating room, visitors blindfold themselves and resolve a tactile puzzle. (Symbol: Klook.com).

Noir is without doubt one of the hottest eating places in Ho Chi Minh Town, so we propose making reservations prematurely.  The entire foods are expertly ready on par with the most productive superb eating eating places within the town. Those that were rave concerning the awesome high quality of the meals in addition to the original and thrilling eating surroundings. 


Honorable Mentions

  • Su Su Waterfall Hen — Su Su’s hen is first bathed in a thick steam infused with onions, garlic, and different spices, like a scrumptious steam room remedy. The hen is then run below “waterfalls” of boiling oil on a conveyor belt so as to cook dinner it. It’s the one position on the earth that prepares fried hen like this. Actually, the landlord designed the machines himself and had them specifically engineered. The method is a laugh to look at, and the scrumptious outcome indubitably justifies the hassle put into the preparation.
  • Com Nieu — This well-known “flying clay pot” eating place was once made well-known by way of Anthony Bordain, who reviewed it years in the past. The eating place’s rice is ready in clay pots, which permits it to soak up extra taste all the way through cooking. The actual a laugh starts when the rice is able to consume, although. The chef smashes the clay pot, extracts the sticky rice cake that has been cooking inside of, and actually throws it during the air to a waiter, who catches it on a plate and serves it to a diner. Where’s recognition has spurned at the opening of a couple of places. We almost ensure you received’t see rice ready like this anyplace else on the earth.


This information of probably the most most unusual eating reviews in Saigon will undoubtedly boost your travel to Vietnam — each actually and figuratively. After all, Saigon is simply as huge as it’s colourful and colourful, and we’re certain there are lots of different thrilling eateries we don’t but find out about. We inspire you to perform a little exploring by yourself along with visiting a few of our suggestions. And you should definitely tell us within the feedback segment underneath if you happen to in finding any distinctive eating reviews you need to percentage together with your fellow Ho Chi Minh Town vacationers!

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