Pacharán is a meeting place for Spanish people in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). This restaurant and wine bar is at its peak on Wednesday, when it has concerts. The first floor fills up with expats (many of them Spanish) who want to drink and dance. Drinks are cheaper on Wednesdays. too. On Sunday afternoon it's time for the most Spanish moment, Pacharán. Domino games keep going one after the other, while the pacharán flows. Try some good wines and great cocktails, and the sangria in Pacharán is pretty good too. The restaurant offers many Spanish dishes. Pacharán is managed by Andrew, a Hispanic-Brazilian Barcelona fan.
This French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant is set in a large two-floor colonial building with a really amazing entryway. The food is prepared fresh in front of you and there are mist jets to help beat the Ho Chi Minh City heat. I ordered the Bun Cha, a rice noodle dish with grilled pork, veggies, and spices. Some dishes are complicated, so it is a good idea to ask the staff for their advice. They’ll usually be happy to help you. The food is a bit “soft” for what I had expected of Vietnamese cuisine, but it’s popular among Vietnamese families ve come with friends to celebrate special occasions.
Over the past 10 years, this restaurant in Old Saigon has become synonymous with good food and good taste. It’s easy to miss this nostalgic restaurant since the narrow entry way is illuminated by a single bulb.
As soon as you enter, the French heritage is palpable and you feel like you've stepped into a Graham Greene novel. It’s a place of mysteries, intrigues, and of course, tasty food.
The menu is mainly Vietnamese food there’s a French and Chinese influence. The dishes are presented beautifully and are very, very good. It’s a mixture of tradition and innovation and one of the most romantic restaurants in Old Saigon.
If you want 100% authentic Vietnamese food, then Quan Phu is the place to go! It's a local restaurant, where the staff don't speak English, though they do have an English menu available. The clients are mostly Vietnamese, coming here to enjoy some beer in the evenings. It's a lively place where you'll find nonstop singing, and the customers are very welcoming and friendly. In terms of food, you can order different types or rice, noodles, etc. The fish, and especially the shellfish, are delicious. The prawns are a signature dish, but if you want something really out there, snake is also on offer - and you can witness the whole procedure from taking the animal from its tank to killing and serving it.
Paloma Cafe is a bar-restaurant that seems a bit like a cafeteria or ice cream parlor. Paloma Cafe is one of the places with a more modern design in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), and seemingly for an older, over 30 crowd. There´s live jazz music every night. The ice creams are really good and there is a variety of cocktails and Western food choices.
Eating at a Kenyucky Fried Chicken is not something to be recommended. However, this KFC is strategically located opposite the main entrance to the Binh Tay Market in Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). You can see the activity surrounding the market from the first floor of the KFC. See without being seen. It is very cheap, and you can have a meal there for less than 2 €.
As delicious as Vietnamese cuisine is, after spending a few months in the country, sometimes you need something a bit more international! Gon Cafe is among the hotels and hostels of Ho Chi Minh City. They sell themselves as serving Vietnamese and Italian food, although in truth it has a bit of everything - chicken and chips, and that sort of thing. It's not top quality, but it's perfectly serviceable, and has normal Vietnamese prices. I went several times, mostly to enjoy the free wifi over a coffee.
It is centrally located, just around the corner from the Caravelle Hotel, next to the Opera house. It's a great Italian restaurant, and the prices are fairly reasonable, althought they are expensive for Vietnam, but not for European pockets. The pasta was great, as was the lasagna, and the beer, at last ... cold, of the few places where I managed to get a cold beer.
Lemon Grass has several restaurants in the former Saigon. We tried this one at the bottom of a street, in the center, yet far enough away to be quiet. The Vietnamese consider it to be somewhat expensive. However, for Westerners unaccustomed to Vietnamese cuisine, it is a good choice, serving traditional cuisine but less spicy, so it is interesting to start with the pho ga, pho bo, and some other dishes that are a little more elaborate than those served in the Pho 24 chain. We went there a couple of times, and that situation was ideal. The service was excellent.
We were walking when I saw this chain located on a corner of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. It was very hot but since we hadn´t eaten, we walked to eat at Mon Hue (a highly recommended Vietnamese food chain) and then, when we passed Paris Baguette, we had to stop there too. It is self-service so you grab a tray and choose the savory brioches that you´d like. They are accompanied by an explanation in English of what it is. Prices are very reasonable (16,000 dong / $ 0.7 tartlet or brioche). We took a donut, two cakes and a coffee truffle. After eating, we were thirsty so we decided to get a coconut and a mango flake. The mango flake left me speechless and the rich coconut milk was perfect was the hot temperature. The place has two floors and terrace and it´s open until 10 at night. I think it´s a great place to have a drink or a sweet treat!
Viet Huong Vietnamese Aroma restaurant is tucked away in a small alley near Humg Dao Tran, in the center of Ho Chi Minh City (District 1). The staff are great, and will welcome you with a smile. The menu offers a wide range of Vietnamese dishes at normal prices. The rolls are very good, as well as the omelette, pork, and shrimp. They offer free high-speed wifi, and a selection of Mexican dishes, too (although we didn't try them).
The price is around $10 per person and you probably won’t understand anything on the menu (and that’s including the English translation!), so your best strategy is to look what the other tables are ordering. Everything is eaten with your hands or chop sticks. It’s just delicious!
I’d never tried a rice burger before and the truth is that it’s totally different from burgers served with white or wheat bread. The size isn't all that large and you can choose a filling of vegetables, meat, or breaded seafood. They also have traditional burgers and hot dogs.