I asked my friends where to go to in Vietnam, Ho chi minh according to my friends:
Friend 1: nicer and more modern than Hanoi
Friend 2: stay here for a couple of days and eat
Friend 3: there’s a big music festival the first 2 weeks of jan.
- Lunch lady Saigon – real good street food (also recommended by 2 foodie friends)
- Ngon restaurant: loved the snails stuffed with beef and pork- you wrap them in salad leaves and dip in spicy sauce. Also, the shrimp egg(?) tarts were nice – also wrap and dip. Had the banh xeo here too and it was legit. Edgar had turmeric noodles – gooood – and the fish pie fa tong style, nice taste with filler. Their dessert card is crazy – def go here and skip Propaganda restaurant.
- MUST GO: Guc Cach/Quan Cuc (her mom would make this food – Jacq, lived in Saigon). Brangelina (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) went there too – nicer to sit down vs Lunch Lady. Super good- take the deep-fried tofu with chilli and lemongrass. Loved the fried brown rice with garlic too. Had rice noodles with spring rolls too – nice but not a must-have.
- Quan ca phe aloha – really nice coffee place around the corner of guc cach – super retro interior and good music and little coffee card menu with essentials. Could’ve been in Berlin
- Banh xeo at Banhxeo46a, it’s in lonely planet. Decent banh xeo – it’s like a Dutch loempia wrapped in lettuce. Street food. Quite greasy but overall good taste.
- Pizza 4P: Pizza in Vietnam. YEP. YEP DOUBLE YEP. Make their own burrata ands needs reservation. It’s REALLY GOOD (recommended by a Singaporean foodie, and my 2 Vietnamese friends). They received a design award as well). Go to the 4P Hai Ba Trung location – their 4 cheese pizza is really good. Definitely order the burrata. I liked the anchovies burrata pizza better than Parma ham burrata (while I normally will chose for the latter one). Pastas were good too but not necessary. We over ordered, but overordering is fine.
- Sap 1014 for their noodles. I had the hu tieu bo vien- beef ball noodle soup – took the yellow flat rice noodles instead, really good. Edgar had the Hu Tieu Nam Yang, also really nice, bit sweet soup. The banh beo – rice flour dumplings – also heaven for my Asian taste buds (texture is my thing). They also have a green coconut juice, make it off some kind of leaves – tastes healthy, order it without sugar.
- Banh Mi Huynh How for legit Banh Mi’s – recommended by my ABT foodie friend
- Qui – good “upscale” Vietnamese fusion food for really affordable prices. During Christmas, they had a tasting dinner, also a free flow cocktail, beer and wine buffet. They also had an oyster buffet for 300k a person – and the oysters came with legit sauces. We came at 7:30 pm, it got busy around 9/10. Go here for your fancier nights (we went for Christmas).
- Banh mi 37 – is good, not sure about the hype. Hoi an’s Banh Mi’s were better. They also use barbecued the meat here – I like Da Nang’s Banh Mi’s better. Opens at 4pm onwards and people will queue up.
- Propaganda bistro – very touristy, nice decor if you don’t mind the loud American tourists. Fancy and elaborate menu. Food is ok, they serve Maggi sauce with everything. Kind of a letdown. Food can be better at other places and the service is ok.
- Phin and Bean roastery just around the corner of Propaganda next to Post museum. Rustic modern roastery – good service and high-quality coffee. Location wasn’t on google maps yet at the time of writing.
- Didn’t go but wanted to:
- Nhau nhau – black truffel pho and door gras bang mi affordable prices
- 61 Ham Nghi really good pho and street food, opens from 7 pm onwards (recommended by friend who lives there)
- Padma de fleur- restaurant in a flower shop, pictures look good. Have lunch menus with fresh items from market everyday. Needs reservation.
- Pho pho vuong (David, best Pho he had in HCM)
- Pho cao can (David, northern style pho)
- Ben Thanh street food market: worth a visit
- L’usine Heritage – go thru some souvenir painting market, then go up dark stairs, super hidden, super cool
- Dam sen water park
- Festival first 2 weeks of January
More recommendations from my local friend: