Restaurants in District 1
With a prime position above Le Thanh Ton, one of Saigon’s premier shopping streets, this irrepressibly cute tearoom with grandmother’s-parlor décor and tasty cakes and cappuccinos is a huge hit, especially with Japanese tourists.
For 13 years, Monday through Saturday, the Lunch Lady has set up shop on a patch of pavement on Hoang Sa Street near the zoo—working from 11 a.m. until she runs out of food, which happens quickly.
The concept behind this attractive, open-air restaurant is brilliant: the owner recruited several dozen of the city’s most popular street-food vendors to ply their trade under one roof.
A spin-off of the trendy Xu restaurant down the block, this upmarket fast-food joint specializes in bun bo Hue, the spicy noodle soup customarily found at humble sidewalk stalls across Vietnam.
Pho, Vietnam’s national dish—a rich beef consommé spiked with clove, star anise, and ginger and laced with noodles and fresh basil and cilantro—gets the fast-food treatment at this popular chain, with surprisingly inspired results. Follow the Vietnamese and go for breakfast.
Run by Bien Nguyen, a 30-year-old Australian Viet Kieu, this high-priced upstart is both a see-and-be-seen nightspot (serving well-made cocktails at the street-level bar) and a high-end restaurant with ambitious, mostly assured nouvelle Vietnamese cooking.
Fabulous buffet breakfasts at Opera are one of the biggest perks of a stay at the Park Hyatt. Don’t let the term “buffet” put you off: everything is impeccably fresh and well presented, and eggs, omelettes, waffles, and pancakes are all prepared to order.
In Vietnam, restaurants with incandescent lighting generally serve dull food, while fluorescent-lit joints with toilet-paper dispensers for napkins turn out the tastiest cooking.
Open 24 hours and usually packed for nearly all of them, Nhu Lan is one of the city’s most accomplished bakeries—but the real draw are the banh mi thit paté.
This rough-and-tumble joint with metal tables and plastic chairs serves the very best crab in town.
Just yards from Reunification Palace, this airy café makes an agreeable stop for breakfast, lunch, or a simple snack and coffee, especially on hot afternoons.
This cool Mexican bar-restaurant—owned by several members of the design collective from Gaya, just up the block—has quickly become an expat favorite for its mean margaritas, micheladas, and tacos al pastor.
Seemingly beamed in from Sydney or Los Angeles, this sleek eatery is one in a new breed of Saigon restaurants.
In a city where hotel restaurants are decidedly lackluster, this (along with the Park Hyatt’s other great dining room, Opera) is a remarkable exception: for its confident service; its striking but not distracting interior design featuring latticework screens, dramatically lit displays of fresh pr
Conveniently located on Lam Son Square near the Caravelle Hotel, in a secluded courtyard beside a German-style brewhouse, this casual coffeehouse (still referred to as the ç) serves the best lattes in town.