Ho Chi Minh City Restaurants

The restaurant scene in Saigon used to be surprisingly stable, but in recent years there have been signs that things are changing. On one visit in 2007, I was surprised to see that the 60-plus years old Brodard Cafe had been transformed into a Gloria Jeans coffee shop. There are dozens of good restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, covering international, Vietnamese and other cuisines. As elsewhere in Vietnam, Saigon is very much a "cafe society" with many small coffee shops spread all over the city. Most of them also offer free wireless internet. The list below covers just those we've visited most recently.

Cafe Terrace
International Cafe - Modern style coffee house with an eclectic menu ranging from traditional Vietnamese dishes to hamburgers. There's an emphasis on pasta dishes, which cost around 50,000 Dong (-50,000.00 USD). Other foods range from 60,000 to 80,000 Dong (-80,000.00 USD). Western styled coffees are also available for 25,000 to 30,000 Dong (-30,000.00 USD). Free wireless internet ('wi-fi') is also available. Located in Saigon Centre (ground floor) and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  (September 2007)
Ciao Cafe
International Cafe - This international style coffee shop has four branches in Ho Chi Minh City as well as one in Hanoi. There are two branches in the Dong Khoi - Nguyen Hue area. Open 7:00 to 22:00. Breakfast around 50,000 Dong (-50,000.00 USD). Free wireless internet ('wi-fi').  (May 2006)
Ice Cream - Located in a pleasant old commercial building on Ton That Thiep Street just of Pasteur Street, this ice cream parlor makes a great place to cool off on a hot afternoon of sight-seeing. Fanny makes its own ice cream in sometimes exotic flavors, such as ginger, young rice or litchi. Coffee and other drinks are also available. Fanny also has branches in Hanoi and Haiphong. Saigon tel. 08 8 211 633.  (May 2006)
Gallery Deli
International Cafe - This small restaurant is also an art gallery as well as Internet cafe. The menu itself displays some prints of the same art that hangs on the walls. Sandwiches run from 40,000 to 60,000 Dong (-60,000.00 USD). Cocktails are available around 62,000 Dong (-62,000.00 USD). Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also has some nice looking cakes and pastries. Address: 83 Dong Khoi Street. Tel. 84 8 822 2312  (May 2006)
Hoavener Brewhouse
Microbrewery - Large rambling beer garden, reportedly started by a former Czech ambassador. Beers run from 14,000 to 24,000 Dong (-24,000.00 USD), depending on size and style. I'm not much of a beer drinker, but I make an exception for fresh brews. The dark ale was definitely good, and complemented the pork knuckle, sausages and other foods well. Most dishes were around 52,000 Dong (-52,000.00 USD). The menu includes some Vietnamese dishes as well. Address: 28 Mac Dinh Chi Street. Tel. 84 8 829 0585.  (May 2006)
International - Opened in early 2006, this cool contemporary cafe is part of the Sheraton Hotel although it has a separate entrance from the hotel. The cafe sits right on Dong Khoi street, and has a low balcony that makes a good people watching spot. The menu is international eclectic, with local dishes, lots of pizza and some Mexican offerings. As part of the hotel, prices are higher than other restaurants along Dong Khoi. Most entrees are around 80,000 to 95,000 Dong, with some dishes going up to 145,000 Dong (-145,000.00 USD). Tel. (84 8) 827 2828.  (May 2006)
Paris Deli
International Cafe - Light and airy cafe, located in the ground floor of Saigon Centre. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast sells for less than 30,000 Dong (-30,000.00 USD) while lunch or dinner will cost a bit more than that.  (May 2006)
X-Cream Cafe
Ice Cream / Cafe - Newly opened large cafe on Ton That Dam Street down near the river. Sells New Zealand ice cream as well as a full menu of food, costing from 50,000 to 80,000 Dong (-80,000.00 USD). Covers two floors. The upper floor has a very modern clubby fell, with a faux fireplace thrown in for good measure.  (May 2006)