The plentiful food and restaurant choices make choosing where to eat in Vietnam a defining question during your travels in the country. Adventurous eaters in search of great tastes and better value-for-money will revel in the abundant street food options, from steaming hot rice dishes to the ubiquitous pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) – there are cheap and delicious meals available on every street corner, most for as little as one or two US Dollars.

This is not to say that those with more sophisticated palates will be disappointed by the selection of fine dining in Vietnam. In the cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi there are numerous gastronomic experiences to satisfy even the most demanding gourmands. Most 5-star hotels have excellent all day buffet restaurants popular with leisure and business travelers for lunch and breakfast especially.

Those expecting their choice of what to eat in Vietnam to be limited to Vietnamese dishes will be pleasantly surprised on their arrival. Western and international food abounds here now, cooked by a growing influx of Western-trained chefs, eager to make a name for themselves in a city where appetites for creative and quality food are growing with each passing day.

Whether you want to share a well-cooked steak in a romantic French bistro or wolf down a slice of pizza with your buddies, there’s a restaurant in Vietnam for you.

Of course, we shouldn’t overlook the fantastic café culture in Vietnam – with literally hundreds of places to stop for drinking a cup of “ca phé sua da” (iced coffee with condensed milk). Many of these are getting onto the western bandwagon for combining coffee with pastries and cakes, some even go as far as setting up their own in-house bakery.

North Vietnamese cuisine tends to be less spicy than anywhere else in the country – this is because historically the cool climate made it tricky to grow anything with a real kick to it. That being said, there are still plenty of delicious flavours to be found in food here. The ‘bun cha’ (vermicelli noodles and barbecued meat, accompanied with mounds of fresh green leaves) is quite delicious.

Food in the South of Vietnam, around Saigon and the Mekong Delta, tends to be spicier than in the far north, but the people there also have a real sweet tooth – this means plenty of sugar and coconut milk is used in the food. Eaters be warned, South Vietnamese have even been known to add sugar to mayonnaise. The warm weather and fertile soil in southern Vietnam make for ideal growing condition for all sorts of fruits, vegetables and animals. Luckily for hungry travellers, this means dishes in southern Vietnam are defined by the enthusiastic use of garlic, shallots and fresh herbs.

Craving for pizza? Check out our article about the best pizza in Ho Chi Minh City, with tons of mouthwatering pictures!

The abundant spices grown in central Vietnam means the cuisine is rich in fiery flavours. Expect colourful, beautifully-presented dishes in Hué and in Hoi An some of the best “banh xeo” (flat pan-fried cake with turmeric, fatty pork and onions) anywhere in Vietnam.

If you want to learn more about Vietnamese food and restaurants, you can also read one of our blog articles:

Top 4 Late Night Street Foods in Saigon

Top 5 Must Eat Dishes in Saigon

Top 5 Dishes to Try in Nha Trang

Where to eat in Vietnam

Makoto Restaurant

Makoto Restaurant

Centrally located and only a 3 minute walk away from the Opera House, this Japanese restaurant offers traditional char-grilled delicacies like Wagyu beef, as well as fresh sushi & sashimi, directly imported from Japan.

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Chill Dining

Chill Dining

This restaurant is perched high on the 27th floor of the AB Tower in the heart of District 1. Affording dinners incredible views of the city 100 meters below, this well appointed restaurant serves Asian fusion food to discerning customers. The emphasis of the restaurant is on sharing, Asian style. This creates a warm friendly vibe with high-end cuisine. A ...

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EON51 Fine Dining

EON51 Fine Dining

EON51 Fine Dining in Ho Chi Minh City raises the bar for high end, high up restaurants. This superb venue high above the streets of downtown Ho Chi Minh City is situated fifty-one storeys up in the Bitexco Financial Tower. Chef Cuong serves superb European food with an Asian twist. The restaurant design is clever; realising that the star of ...

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Bamboo Chic at Le Meridien

Bamboo Chic at Le Meridien

Wondering where to eat something different and exciting in Saigon? Le Meridien’s Bamboo Chic restaurant combines an inspiring view of the Saigon River, an inventive Japanese and Chinese fusion food menu, and a rock-solid cocktail list to create a classy and modern dining experience. To clarify, Bamboo Chic is the hotel brand’s exclusive restaurant for Le Meridien hotels around the ...

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Song Ngu Restaurant

Song Ngu Restaurant

Seafood runs deep in Vietnam’s roots. It’s everywhere and in every form, notably in coastal cities like Nha Trang and down south in the Delta. Ho Chi Minh City gets more than its fair share from both ends. While street joints fill with all manners of fried and skewered sea life, distinguished Vietnamese restaurants specializing in crustaceans and fish fare ...

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Sorae: Sushi & Sake Lounge

Sorae: Sushi & Sake Lounge

Three female chefs carefully cut skins off pieces of salmon for later frying, patting down sticky rice and throwing an occasional soft comment to one another. Behind them, glass shelves hold a collection of Japanese sakes stretching to the ceiling, where large mesh clouds float immovably. The city outside is a vast expanse of dots and high-rises. The black-and-red accented ...

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San Fu Lou

San Fu Lou

There’s an unspoken itinerary at AB Tower: you eat dinner at Sorae, party at Chill Skybar and come to San Fu Lou – semi-attached to the Tower’s ground floor – to satisfy some late night cravings. But tipsy munchies sessions at 1 a.m. somewhat diminish the Cantonese hotspot’s finer features. At least, if it’s your first time eating there. If ...

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The Sushi Bar

The Sushi Bar

Enter any of the six HCMC Sushi Bar locations and you'll feel as though you have been transported to Japan. The sushi is made with fresh fish, flown in daily, as well as local ingredients and there is a dizzying selection to choose from. The house special Sushi Bar roll is a treat, with nine ingredients. Pair your sushi with ...

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Madam Yen Restaurant

Madam Yen Restaurant

Opened at the end of 2013, Madam Yen Restaurant is the latest endeavor of the Maison D’Hanoi group, a noted name in Hanoian hospitality. Quality and attentiveness can be seen in every aspect of our business, from the comfortable and thoughtful interior design to the courteous service of our knowledgeable staff. Madam Yen is run by Chef Hoang Van Duong, ...

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Mercure Terrace Café

Mercure Terrace Café

Previously know as Brasserie le Pavillon Restaurant, Mercure Terrace Café has one of the best corners in Mercure Hanoi La Gare. Near the main railway station, this cafe offers various views of Hanoi: The dynamic metropolis and the classic capital. Relish its local and international cuisine prepared with fresh, authentic ingredients, or enjoy assorted choices from the seasonal drinks menu.

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Lebon Steakhouse

Lebon Steakhouse

Located in the heart of Hanoi near the Vietnamese History Museum, Lebon Steakhouse makes for a perfect oasis to escape the busy streets outside. Lebon has an inviting garden area with bamboo chairs creating a cozy and natural atmosphere. In the evening, Lebon offers excellent Asian and European cuisine. If you visit Lebon at the  weekend, enjoy a variety of ...

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La Badiane Restaurant

La Badiane Restaurant

La Badiane Restaurant is a chic Hanoi restaurant dedicated to the fusion of French cuisine with the herbs and spices of the Orient. La Badiane's exchange of cultures, people and flavors results in inventive cuisine such as Australian beef tenderloin (some say it’s the most tender steak they’ve ever tried), pan-fried scallops with seafood lasagna, crab remoulade, and banana spring ...

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Green Tangerine

Green Tangerine

Located in a lovingly restored colonial house in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the Green Tangerine offers a menu of ingenious creative cuisine inspired by French recipes & Vietnamese flavors. All paired with a vast selection of new and old world wines.

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Hemispheres Steak and Seafood Grill

Hemispheres Steak and Seafood Grill

With the best steaks in town and amazing views of lush gardens and the West Lake, cue Hemispheres. Choose from the black angus, US prime sirloin, rib eye, rump or tenderloin - each grilled to perfection.

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Da Paolo West Lake

Da Paolo West Lake

Have an authentic Italian meal at one of Hanoi's most beautiful and popular locations, West Lake. Da Paolo West Lake is popular with locals and travellers alike. Sample their home-made pastas, traditional appetizers or pizzas baked in a classic wood-fired oven. Or try something less commonly available around Hanoi; for example, sautéed baby calamari with garlic, olive oil and chilli in ...

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Luna d'Autunno

Luna d'Autunno

For the finest of Italy in Vietnam, hit  An Bang Beach and visit Luna d’Autunno Hoi An (the name means Autumn Moon). With homemade pasta, wood fired pizza and Italian wines, the Mediterranean is never far away. The sun kissed shore and soothing breeze round out the meal, offering a pleasant escape from the bustle of the Old Town. Luna d'Autunno ...

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Surf‘n’Fries

Surf‘n’Fries

With the simple concept of great fries served in unique packaging, this centrally located eatery has gained quite some popularity since its opening. Surf’n’Fries serves some of the best fries and burgers in the area, along with a selection of special dipping sauces. A children’s playground area is available.

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Don's - A Chef's Bistro

Don's - A Chef's Bistro

By famed Montreal-born Chef Don Berger, Don's - A Chef's Bistro's impressive menu ranges from authentic international specialties and an oyster bar to sophisticated fusion dishes all mastered to perfection. Pair your meal with wine from the in-house wine cellar and end it with a premium cigar. Dine indoors or out, chic or casual, smoking or non-smoking. Don's - A ...

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La Villa French Restaurant

La Villa French Restaurant

We break down why La Villa is one of the best French restaurants in Saigon Chef Thierry, 37, first entered the Michelin-star arena in 2003, when he was hired by famed chef Christian Etienne, at a restaurant of the same name in Avignon, a commune in Southern France. The next destination was a Michelin restaurant in London. And then back ...

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La Maison Wine Grill Bar

La Maison Wine Grill Bar

Tucked away in a small alley, this French villa is surrounded by water, tress and fresh air. The beautiful encalve has indoor and al fresco dinning, and offers fine quality French cuisine. The pumpkin soup, smoked salmon, duck leg confit and Australian beef are noteworthy, and there is a wine for every possible dish or occasion.

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MAD House

MAD House

Quietly residing in an offshoot from Nguyen U Di, the Nordic-influenced MAD House presents international cuisine focused on detail and taste in a lush, cozy villa environment. Two nimble Danish chefs devise daily specials centering around Vietnamese cuisine with a Scandinavian twist, serving favorites such as Da Nang scallops with herb butter and hand-cut beef tartar with fresh herbs.

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Bier Garden

Bier Garden

On Dong Khoi street, near the Saigon Opera House and in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City you find Bier Garden, a Hoi An style restaurant where the friendly staff serves a variety of international and Vietnamese dishes with a special twist. The restaurant opened in 2010 and has earned a good reputation over the years. The speciality of ...

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Khoai Restaurant

Khoai Restaurant

Khoái is the product of dreams and thoughts of people who love enjoying good food, especially authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Inspired by the beautiful beaches and distinctive food culture of Nha Trang, we decided to introduce authentic Nha Trang food to those Vietnamese and tourists who would enjoy discovering the traditional taste of food from central Vietnam. Khoái is aiming to ...

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Tram's Cookery Restaurant

Tram's Cookery Restaurant

Only 20 minutes by speedboat, Tram's Cookery restaurant in An Lam Private Residences offers stunning views of Saigon River and exquisite cuisine. Guests are greeted with a menu that blends the very finest of Vietnamese and European dishes. Intimate or business dining options include a dining room overlooking the Saigon River or a personal barbecue service where their master chef grills a ...

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Sushi Tei

Sushi Tei

Sushi Tei’s new flagship outlet is located by Ben Thanh Market in the heart of the city. Its 300-plus dishes delight the palates of all customers. From the bright open areas to the private dining rooms it creates the perfect ambience in which to enhance your gastronomic experience.

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Kobe Teppanyaki

Kobe Teppanyaki

A garden-covered alcove on Tu Xuong street, Kobe Teppanyaki is Ho Chi Minh City's first fine teppanyaki restaurant, established in 2011. The owner, Minh Le, has an inherent passion of Japanese restaurants, and has spent much time in Japan's finest teppanyaki restaurants, sampling high grade Kobe beef and other premium foods. Along with an understanding of true Japanese quality, he ...

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Sushi Hokkaido Sachi

Sushi Hokkaido Sachi

With beautifully crafted Japanese dishes, fresh seafood and imported ingredients, Sushi Hokkaido Sachi introduces guests to a world of authentic Japanese cuisine, complete with traditional décor.

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Tasaki BBQ Japanese Restaurant

Tasaki BBQ Japanese Restaurant

Tasaki BBQ luxurious restaurant serves authentic Japanese grilled cuisine. With 100 dishes to choose from, whether it is family or business partners to impress, there is plenty of choice for everyone. Their Wagyu beef is well recommended.

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Dynasty Chinese Restaurant

Dynasty Chinese Restaurant

Excellent staff and authentic Chinese cuisine make Dynasty a choice dining experience at the heart of District 1 Located on the first floor of the New World Saigon Hotel, Dynasty overlooking the hotel’s grandiose lobby where guests can often hear live singers chiming local and international classics alongside soft piano melodies in the lobby lounge. Arranged using fengshui, the décor ...

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Shang Palace Chinese Restaurant

Shang Palace Chinese Restaurant

Renowned as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the city, Shang Palace boasts authentic mouth-watering Cantonese and Hong Kong cuisine in a spacious and luxuriously appointed dining space. Exuding understated elegance and style, the Shang Palace Restaurant is an ideal location for intimate dinners, parties, family gatherings and business events - the stylish surroundings are befitting those seeking a ...

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Kabin Restaurant

Kabin Restaurant

One of the best Chinese restaurants in HCMC, Kabin specializes in Dim Sum and Cantonese cuisine. An elegant restaurant with luxurious private rooms, contemporary atmosphere, superb river views, Innovative cuisine and attentive service.

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Parkview Restaurant

Parkview Restaurant

Beautifully situated on the ground floor of New World Saigon Hotel’s lavish lobby, this spacious high-ceiling setting faces the 23/9 Park with pristine floor-to-ceiling windows. Hosting one of Saigon’s most popular seafood buffets featuring local lobsters, slipper lobsters, crabs, shrimps, oysters, and snails to name few, Parkview also offers a whole day a la carte menu with an array of ...

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Tandoor Indian Restaurant

Tandoor Indian Restaurant

Satisfy your authentic Indian food craving with Tandoor Restaurant on 39A - 39B Ngo Duc Ke. There are few Indian restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City that are as determined to bring a traditional Indian cuisine to the city’s crowd as much as Tandoor. The second oldest Indian restaurant in the city, Tandoor has been in operation for the past ...

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Casa Italia Restaurant

Casa Italia Restaurant

Casa Italia Restaurant is located on the popular Le Loi tourist strip in the same block as the famous Ben Thanh market. Serving coffees from 9:00 am and pizzas and dining from 10:00 am until late, Casa caters to those seeking contemporary western and Italian cuisine prepared by international chefs and served by English speaking staff. In the smoke free environment ...

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