The Best Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh
Honestly, I can’t choose just 1 best restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city… So I got help from my Vietnamese friend, who is a local in Ho Chi Minh city! I remember Thuy taking me around on her motorbike to explore the tiniest streets just to check out the hole-in-the-wall, authentic Vietnamese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city!
To me and all the foodies out there, Ho Chi Minh city is another word for “paradise”. It’s really, REALLY difficult to walk down a street without trying some of the street foods that are freshly made in front of you. I haven’t been spending enough time to try all the goodies in Ho Chi Minh city so I got all these recommendations from Thuy! This is Thuy’s take on the 7 best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city (and one of them is the best Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city in my opinion)!!
1. Bánh xèo
Address: 46A Đinh Công Tráng, Tân Định, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Bánh xèo literally translates into “sizzling pancake”. It’s named for the loud sizzling sound that it makes when the rice batter kisses the lightly oiled, hot skillet. Bánh xèo is normally enjoyed with a refreshing, slightly tard dipping sauce. It is a perfect combination that you would say some blessings to the union.
This particular restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city. It has won many awards. It is well-known among the locals and tourists alike. Even though it has been heavily featured in major food blogs and magazines, the restaurant has not lost its standard of cooking due to the sheer amount of customer. English menu is available, which helps A LOT.
Although the restaurant is known for its Bánh xèo, you can also try Gỏi Cuốn which is fresh spring rolls and they are served with refreshing dipping sauce. Get ready to try the best banh xeo in Ho Chi Minh city!
2. Lẩu Cá Kèo Bà Huyện
Address: 87 Bà Huyện Thanh Quan, Phường 7, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone number: 028 3930 7687
Cá Kèo is a specific kind of fish that is found abundantly, almost endemic, in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. It is long and silver. If cooked properly, the flesh is silky and soft. Because of large surface area of the skin, it’s best enjoy fried or grilled.
This restaurant specialises in making Cá Kèo dishes and the most loved way of serving is in in a hot pot. The restaurant also serves Cá Kèo fried or grilled should that be your preference. I would say this is the best Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city in my opinion – just because I love fish!
Should you need any help, this is the translated version while “Cá Kèo” means Kèo fish (the type of fish that I just explained).
- Cá kèo chiên – fried cá kèo
- Cá kèo nướng – grilled cá kèo
- Lẩu cá kèo – cá kèo hotpot
3. Quán Ốc Như
Address: 650/4/29D Điện Biên Phủ, Phường 11, Quận 10, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone number: 090 833 73 60
When you are in Vietnam, besides those famous traditional dishes like banh mi, pho, beef noodle and Vietnamese crepe, should also try a special dish – snails. In HCMC, no matter where you live, you can always find a snail stand. There are a variety of snail dishes and tens of kinds of molluscs that can easily choose from you are at a snail stand – snails, blood cockles, mussels, oyster, fingernail snail, winkle, rice snail, mud creeper, sweet snails. There are many ways to cook it and my Vietnamese friend has kindly translated some of the dishes that we have ordered in this amazing restaurant.
- Ốc len xào dừa – mud creeper stirred in coconut milk
- Nghêu hấp sả – clam cooked with lemongrass and chilli
- Sò huyết xào me – blood cockle stirred in tamarind sauce
- Hàu nướng phô mai – oyster grilled with cheese
- Ốc móng tay xào tỏi – finger snail stirred with garlic
- Ốc hương nướng – grilled sweet snail
- Ốc gạo xào sả ớt – rice snail stirred with lemongrass and chilli
4. Phở Hai Thiền
Address: 14 Bùi Viện, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone number: 090 878 79 80
If you like Phở cuốn (Vietnamese fresh spring rolls with rice vermicelli), you are going to love this restaurant. Phở Hai Thiền creatively utilises the natural colouring of some fruits and vegetables and apply it onto the rice wrapping of the spring rolls. Not only it adds a vibrant colour to the rice paper, it has a tiny tinge of additional floral flavour to the Phở Cuốnas well. With the hoisin sauce, it’s heaven. Also, it’s pretty healthy. That’s what I like about Vietnamese food – you can just keep eating.
There are different kinds of Phở cuốn. If my memory didn’t fail me, there is an English menu upon request.
- Phở cuốn chay – vegetarian
- Phở cuốn thịt heo – pork
- phở cuốn nem nướng – grilled noodle
5. Bánh Ướt Ban Mê
Address: 14/7 Kỳ Đồng, Phường 9, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone number: 093 555 82 26
Not only this is one of the best restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city, it is a way to have a deeper insight of Vietnamese gastronomy that non-Vietnamese know little about.
Eating at Bánh Ướt Ban Mê is not just for the food – the whole process is an authentic Vietnamese experience. At this restaurant, they serve stuffed pancake. However, you are in charge of what you want to be in the pancake.
You will be provided with a wrap made of rice and some aromatics. You then have a myriad of sauces, meat, veggies and other condiments to choose from. Gather everything together. Take a peek at other tables to see how they wrap them up and on nom nom nom nom…
6. Gỏi Cá Mai Trâm
Address: Trương Định, Phường 9, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone number: 093 304 67 21
I wouldn’t say that this is a restaurant – it’s more like a local food stall with only a few tables on the pavement. However, I thought that it was too good to not miss it to be on this list of the best restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city. Below are some of the dishes that I ordered and truly enjoyed!
- Cá ngừ đại dương cuộn rong biển – sea bass tuna roll
- Trứng cá thu chiên – fried cod eggs (which is super good)
- Gỏi cá mai – like Vietnamese ceviche with apricot fish (if you don’t eat raw, don’t order this)
- Gan cá đuối chứng tiêu – stingray liver (yes, I know. A little bit adventurous there…)
7. Nhà Hàng Hoàng Ty
Address: 1 Nguyễn Hữu Cầu, Tân Định, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Phone number: 1900 0091
Speaking of the best restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city, you cannot miss out Nhà Hàng Hoàng Ty! It is one of the more authentic Vietnamese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city.
If you are less adventurous, perhaps this is one of the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city to start with! I can’t remember if there’s any English menu but if you go on the official website, there are picture menu and you can just order what you want! In fact, this was the way I ordered! I loved the boiled pork with sour condiments wrapped in paper rolls! If you are adventurous, get hold of the pork ears and be amazed by how amazing the texture is!
Thanks to my friend, Thuy!!! These are her takes on her best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city! Hopefully you will have a lot of fun eating around Ho Chi Minh city!
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Born and raised in Malaysia, Aaron is a medical student who desperately preaches about “Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive” – well, he has a full-on blog about it. When he is free, he checks for the cheapest airfare that would get him out of Australia. Aaron indulges in local cuisine so much that he has to lose some weight before and after he goes travelling. Read more about him here!
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