Vietnamese food is more than just baguette, pho and spring roll as I’ve discovered on this trip. Generally, food is reasonably priced, although go slow on the wine. I saw a Danish couple gawk and re-checked their bill several times. In Ho Chi Minh, there’re a number of good French restaurants too. I have a weak stomache, so I don’t take the street food, although my mom tried with success. Best beef pho is found on the streetwalks, she claims.
Ho Chi Minh has a vibrant café culture, and its quite common to see coffee places packed with people. I find Vietnamese coffee, the famous civet cat coffee beans, and the Vietnamese drip coffee too strong for me. Otherwise, you find the local Highland Coffee, Trung Nguyen and various Indie joints plus international brands such as Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Starbucks. And Japanese bakeries such as Tous Le Jours and MOF.
My personal Favourite restaurants
(1) Quan An NGON RESTAURANT 160 Pasteur Ben Nghe District 1 -this place serves Vietnamese street food from the three regions. Ala Carte USD3-15 per pax
(2) Hoi An Restaurant 11 Le Thanh Ton Street District 1 -serves Central Vietnamese food. Includes traditional musical performance. USD 15 onwards per pax. Ala carte & set menu available
(3) An Vien, 178A Hai Ba Trung St, District 1. My favourite Vietnamese restaurant. Interesting Hoi An food such as the fried tempura pumpkin flower.
(4) Trois Gourmand in District 2. Dinner Set at around US$50, amazing cheese spread. Very good food. Be sure to book. Cheeky/witty head waitress.
(5) Augustin (French cuisine), 10D Nguyen Thiep, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam(08)3829-2941 & (08)3823-1626. Excellent French home-cooking such as French onion soup and Duck in orange sauce.
(6) The Refinery ( French cuisine) 74 Hai Ba Trung Street District 1. Ala carte & set menu. USD 15 onwards per pax. There’s a Saigon Cooking Centre right beside, and some Lebanese, Japanese restaurants beside it. Cozy ambience, food passable.
(7) Nguyen Trai Street in District 1 serves lots of Chinese Vietnamese food. Just tell the taxi and they will let the passengers alight at the beginning of the street.. so they can walk down the stretch to select food
Cha ca la vong (serves the well-known Vietnamese dish) 36 Ton That Thiep District 1. Only ONE DISH served. USD 10 per pax