Where to eat in Vietnam? One of the things we enjoy most about traveling is discovering and tasting the local cuisine and specialties of the place. When in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, we tried dining at many Asian restaurants, and two among the best recommended ones are Quan An Ngon 138 and Saigon Steak 123. It’s a shame that I could only name a couple, and this is largely because we realize we’re not huge fans of Vietnamese cuisine. In any case, you can’t go wrong with these mainstays if you want tasty, comforting fare with a pleasing mix of traditional and modern at cheap prices. 🙂

Top 2 Restaurants We Recommend When in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Quan An Ngon Restaurant

Opposite the entrance to the Reunification Palace, Quan An Ngon 138 is a large restaurant located on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street where we enjoyed a very good authentic Vietnamese meal. It was our tourist guide who directed us at this place and he’s right when he said it’s a good option for those seeking a bite to eat before or after visiting the palace. We were seated in the open-air format, with solid wooden tables, interesting handmade decors, and nice outdoor plants.

Stepping inside the restaurant, we saw that Quan An Ngon Restaurant looks like one of those 18th century Vietnamese houses, one for the elites, no less. Walls are adorned with paintings and decorations.  Different stations prepare different kinds of food on the spot, and guests can observe them while cooking and preparing. The food selection is extensive and the quality is not bad. For those who like to taste local Vietnamese food in a wonderful and relaxing ambiance, this is the place! 🙂

Quan An Ngon 138 is where the holy grail of pho awaits. This no-nonsense Vietnamese joint really does cater to a lot of pho fans. We gulped down satisfying noodle soups with rich and flavorful broth and fresh and appealing vegetables. With springy noodles and fresh bright herbs, the Chicken Noodle Soup and Beef Noodle Soup were aromatic and full-bodied. They’re the perfect food for chasing away the doldrums of winter, except there’s no winter in Vietnam. Temperature was just the same as in Manila.

The Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls were heavenly. Filled with thinly sliced savory pork, cabbage, glass noodles, and carrots, these crispy deep-fried spring rolls were far more complex in flavor and texture than the usual Shanghai spring rolls I know. The food presentation also won my heart. 🙂

Address: 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street | District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam
Phone: +84 8 3825 7179

Saigon Steak 123 – European Steakhouse

On our way to Ben Thanh Market, we thought of stopping by at a local restaurant for some refreshments as we were tired of touring around the famous landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon Steak 123 – European Steakhouse caught our attention since its menu showed specialties of European and Vietnamese food. The menu emphasizes on wagyu steaks, hamburgers, and pasta, but we only tried local items.

The atmosphere was romantic and cozy. This place is worth the splurge when you want to impress someone on a date out. Service was superb and the staffs spoke English relatively well (better than most locals we met on the streets).

For dinner, we ordered the Fresh Spring Rolls which consisted of pork, prawn, vegetables, rice vermicelli, and other ingredients wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper and served with dipping sauce. The veggies along with herbs were crisp and they were neatly packaged in a deliciously chewy-soft wrapping that we snatched up and ate with our hands. The pieces were refreshingly cool and just great for a light meal.

For something out of the ordinary, we ordered the Vietnamese Pancake and thought it’s good but quite oily. It was served with coconut milk-flavored crepe made out of rice and topped with shrimps with shelves on and slivers of fatty pork. A lot like a crêpe, the Vietnamese pancake was thin and slightly crispy with airy and translucent texture. I enjoyed it very much. Yum! 🙂

Address: 123 le Loi, District 1 Hcmc | 123 le Loi, District 1 Hcmc, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Phone: 8 3914 0747

Click here to read about the top 10 tourist attractions we visited in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

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35 Responses

  1. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer

    Vietnam has been on my list FOREVERRRRR! I wanted to go there after I did Thailand and Cambodia back in 2012 but I never made it. I hope that I can make it back over there in the next couple of years! 😀

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Ahh! 🙂 If there’s one thing you should know about Vietnamese cuisine, it’s that it’s one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Rice, noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs all play big roles.

      Reply
  2. Kita

    Love them both but the first one has the type of food I have had before when I went to New York. I love that they are true to their culture and the places look so nice!

    Reply
  3. Jojo Vito

    whoah, i love Vietnamese cuisine… The place looked great and with your recommendations I might check this place in my future trips 🙂

    Reply
  4. Vera Sweeney

    These look like fun restaurants! I love the open layout of the restaurants and how they are set up! The food also looks amazing, would love to see the culture in Vietnam.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Vietnam is a chance to escape from the rest of the world and learn about rich history of the country for days on end. Aside from outstanding background, stories, and views, good food will keep you company. 🙂

      Reply
  5. phyliciamarie

    That Vietnamese pancake initially looked like Vigan empanada to me. 🙂 Anyhoo, I hope I get to visit these restos when we go to Vietnam next year!

    Reply
  6. PJ Zafra

    Wow! The food looks amazing. I’m getting hungry and seriously craving Pho. Lol One of my favorite soups! The restaurants look amazing. I’ve never been to Vietnam. I’ll definitely keep tabs on this post for when I do visit. Thank you. Keep it up!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh, good to know. District 1 is the central urban district of Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. There must be plenty of restaurants that served great authentic Vietnamese food.

      Reply
  7. Fred

    Vietnamese food is ok, especially their staples pho and spring rolls. I don’t even recall the restos we ate in when we were in Ho Chi Minh before.

    Reply
  8. Sunshine Kelly

    I have tried the Quan An Ngon 138 for a few times and i like it there as we can get a varieties of good vietnamese food. However the Saigon Steak 123 I have not try yet. Maybe will visit on my next trip.

    Reply
  9. Kai

    i always have a hard time eating at restos because i have to make sure that the food is 100% halal. or else, well, id rather stick to salads i make. 🙁

    Reply
  10. Elizabeth O.

    That’s really awesome. I’m curious about the Quan An Ngon Restaurant. I love that it’s open air and the Pho looks really delightful. I hope I can go there someday and try it for myself!

    Reply
  11. John

    I am salivating while reading your post. Everything is delectable. I certainly won’t forget these two resto if I visit Ho Chi Minh.

    Reply
  12. Franc Ramon

    You were better at picking restaurants in Ho Chih Minh. When I was there a few months ago, we ate at Jollibee. It must have been great trying out Authentic Vietnamese dish.

    Reply
  13. Maerose JS

    Nice review of the two restaurants! I am a fan of ethnic or wooden furniture, and it’s nice that both restos have that kind of ambiance, basing on the photos. The food looks delish as well, especially the beef noodle soup! I’m not into Vietnamese spring rolls to be honest. 😛 Anyway, it’s nice that you enjoyed your food trip in Vietnam!

    Reply
  14. R U S S

    Appreciate all the recos! I took down notes for my upcoming trip to HCMC. I love Vietnamese Food and well, I would definitely want to try authentic Vietnamese dishes.

    Reply
  15. Bhushavali

    The food looks yummm in both the places. But I like the first one. It looks more authentic & traditional in the look!!! Thanks for the reviews.

    Reply

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