Restaurants in District 1
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.
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.
At this open-air barbecue-and-beer garden, patrons grill strips of tangy marinated beef—bo tung xeo—on tabletop braziers and share pitchers of foamy local beer. The kitchen also dishes up specialties like deep-fried scorpion, bonded chicken feet, and fried pig’s stomach.
Into an outsize wok the chef tosses a fistful of bean sprouts, pork, shrimp, and/or mushrooms, then pours in a slick of marigold-yellow batter, rich with coconut milk. The resulting crêpe is the size of a Monopoly board—so large it overwhelms the table, let alone the plate.
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.