Restaurants in District 1
Should you tire of Vietnamese food and crave a heart-stopping infusion of butter, cheese, and cholesterol—in the form of escargots, Brie du Meaux, and saucisson sec—this tiny, charming bistro is for you.
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.
Owned by architect Tran Binh and his French-Vietnamese wife, Thai Tu-Tho, Binh acquired a derelict colonial mansion and reimagined it as an indoor-outdoor fantasia, blending historic details (antique armoires; a wall map of 1960’s Saigon) with contemporary touches (gorgeous lighting; a floating s
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Ho Chi Minh City institution, Quan An Ngon employs ex-street vendors, who prepare a selection of traditional, regional fare.
Americans have gone crazy for this ingenious French-Vietnamese sandwich, but you haven’t really tasted banh mi until you’ve tracked down the venerated Gai Banh Mi cart in Ho Chi Minh City’s First District.
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.
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.