A throng of motorcyclists stream past us with reckless abandon as we attempt to cross the chaotic street, with all logic and road rules tossed out the window. Somehow and someway, we make it out alive and perhaps just a bit deaf from all the honking. Good morning Vietnam, indeed!
Coming to the conclusion of my visit to Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh city to most folks. That said, I prefer the name Saigon as it does seem a bit more exotic or romantic, and shall stick to that for the remainder of this post. Hopefully I’m a bit more wiser, but definitely a tad chunkier and more prosperous after a few Phos and pork chops too many.
Vietnamese food is certainly up there in the pantheon of global cuisines, and very much my comfort food during my uni days back in Aussie. It is some higher being’s will, or so I’d like to believe, that I should share these food recommendations with the masses. Certainly had my fill for the past 5 days, and many thanks to my local mates who had the patience to show me around.
Please enjoy my Food Itinerary.
Below are some of my personal favourites. Best way to get there is by using Uber or Grab Taxi, and just popping in the addresses given below.
Pho & Noodles
1. Quán Phở Hương Bình
- Simple, well balance, and very comforting broth with this Phở. Both chicken and beef options are really good.
- Address: 148 Võ Thị Sáu, 8, 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.
2. Quán Bún Mộc Thanh Mai
- Bún Mộc is another variant of vermicelli noodle soup, laden with pork balls and pork ribs, which is surprisingly wholesome and quite delicious. Definitely one of the local favourites, and shall soon be yours too!
- Address: 52 Nguyễn An Ninh, Bến Thành, 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Walking distance from Bến Thành market).
Pork Chop with Broken Rice
1. Quán cơm tấm Nguyễn Văn Cừ
- If you’re starving after a long day of exploring, this place will certainly do the trick. A very well done pork chop with broken rice, and they aren’t shy with the portions. Very satisfying meal.
- Address: 74 Nguyễn Văn Cừ, Nguyễn Cư Trinh, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.
2. Cơm tấm Ba Ghiền
- A tad off the beaten path, but serves a very good pork chop with broken rice. Definitely worth a visit if you have time to spare.
- Address: 84 Đặng Văn Ngữ, phường 10, Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
- Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa
- Ridiculously good Bánh Mì in District 1, which is laden with a plethora of homemade ham and pate. A definite must do whenever you’re in Saigon.
- Address: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.
- Martini Bar – Park Hyatt
- There are a whole raft of rooftop bars across Saigon, but I reckon this place takes the cake of being effortlessly classy and elegant, serving arguably the best Martinis I’ve ever had. Went for both the Saigontini and Lycheetini, which were both well balanced and absolutely perfect.
- Address: 2 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Website.
- Pasteur Street Brewing Company
- One of the few local microbreweries around in Saigon which makes very respectable American craft beers with a South East Asian twist. My favourites include the Cyclo Imperial Chocolate stout, as well as the Coconut porter.
- Address: 144 Pasteur, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam. Website.
- Cafe Vy
- Great little cafe serving a range of coffees with varying intensities. Good place to chill albeit it gets a bit crowded with locals and tourists alike, hoping to catch a buzz.
- Address: 277 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Thành, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.
- Nhà hàng Ngon
- Worth visiting to get a flavour for all sorts of Vietnamese dishes. Good ambience and food is tasty, although nothing really to write home about. Good as an introduction to Vietnamese food 101.
- Secret Garden
- Located at the alley adjacent to Nhà hàng Ngon, hidden in a rather dilapidated looking building. You’ll need to climb up the building to get there, but totally worth the hike up as the rooftop restaurant is pretty. Food is also quite decent albeit portions are a tad tiny.
- Address: Top Floor, 158 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.