Vietnam has one of the most complex cuisines in Southeast Asia. In Ho Chi Minh City, a walk through any neighborhood will pleasure you with countless dishes spilling from street carts or open homes. In the city’s center, as District 1 has blossomed into the core of a globalized Vietnam, another layer has been added to the already rich food culture. Here are the best restaurants in District 1 that you can enjoy.
Hoa Tuc Saigon
Hoa Tuc Saigon offers a contemporary spin on traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Hidden down an alley in a pretty colonial-era building, it can be difficult to decide what’s better here, the ambiance or the food. The Parisian front garden offers one of Saigon’s finest alfresco dining experiences. The cuisine is splendid—classic Vietnamese ingredients transformed into something modern and exciting. Hoa Tuc also hosts some of the most interesting cooking classes in Saigon.
Address: Hai Bà Trưng 74, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Noir. Dining in the Dark
It’s said that sight is our most powerful sense. Remove that and everything else improves. That’s the belief at Noir. Dining in the Dark anyway. Perhaps Saigon’s most unique restaurant, Noir offers something most people have never experienced before—a meal with absolutely no light. You’ll be in good hands; the waiters here are blind and a bit more accustomed to the surroundings. The experience is as interesting as the food is tasty—an exquisite blend mix of Eastern and Western. In fact, it’s so good that the owners have opened a second restaurant named Blanc right next door. Just don’t try to say anything once inside; Blanc is sign language only.
Address: Hẻm 178 Hai Bà Trưng 180D, Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam
Pho Bo Vien Thap Cam
No list would be complete without the obligatory pho joint. Synonymous with Vietnam, this piping hot bowl of rich broth, oxtail, diced scallions, rice noodles, herbs, and spices is consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by the rich and poor alike, and Pho Bo Vien Thap Cam serves up an immaculate bowl. This may be the best bowl of pho in town.
Address: Phường Nguyễn Thái Bìn 20, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tandoor Indian Restaurant
Just off Nguyen Hue, Tandoor has been serving up the best Indian food in Saigon for nearly 20 years. Each dish is an expertly crafted medley of flavor and spice—a modern spin on authentic Indian. The chicken vindaloo is a fan favorite, sure to make you leave happy. Reasonably priced for such quality grub, Tandoor is a nice place to stop by while exploring Saigon.
Address: Ngô Đức Kế 39, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
El Goucho Argentinian Steakhouse
The best steak in Saigon. El Gaucho is a mouth-watering good time, serving up large portions of succulent beef. With four floors and an extensive menu, this steakhouse can be a bit overwhelming at first, yet the aromas alone will quickly put you at ease. Pepper, chimichurri, or blue cheese sauces are delightful additions to an expertly grilled 300-gram steak. While the price tag at the end of the night may shock you, that tender, marbled ribeye settling in your belly will remind you that it’s OK to splurge every once in a while. Located along Hai Ba Trung, El Goucho is consistently packed, so make sure to call ahead.
Address: Hai Bà Trưng 74/1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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