Finding good quality bread that doesn’t taste like it’s fated for a banh mi sandwich can be a real chore in Saigon. We wholeheartedly agree that fluffy and crispy banh mi loaves are great as a filling snack with jambon, pate and op la but what if your cravings lean more towards a dense rye loaf, hand rolled bagel or crispy butter croissant?
City Pass Guide has compiled a definitive list of excellent bakeries that are bound to brighten up a somewhat reluctant morning. Read on if, like us, you are all about the comfort inducing qualities of gluten.
17 Trần Ngọc Diện, Thảo Điền Ward, District 2
The Vista Building Xa lô Hà Nội, An Phú Thảo Điền, D.2
Opening Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily
St Honore is a local French-owned authentic French boulangerie and patisserie that currently has more than ten locations in central Hanoi and two in Ho Chi Minh City. You’ll find more than 25 types of bread made daily including St Honore’s signature crispy pointed blondinette baguettes, healthy chia bread as well as gluten-free breads alongside a wide selection of sweet and savoury pastries, cakes and classic French sweet treats such as chocolate eclairs and tarts.
City Pass Guide’s favourites here are their chocolate-filled madeleine and the impressively sized pain de campagne, or French-style sourdough bread made using a combination of white and whole wheat flours. Apart from baked goods, St Honore also makes in-house deli produce such as pate, hummus and olive tapenade.
Address: L2-21 Saigon Centre, 65 Lê Lợi, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. on Monday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday
Ubiquitous in over 27 countries, PAUL is a 130 year old bakery and cafe chain that hails from France and is revered for bringing authentic French boulangerie culture to Asia, including numerous mega-cities such as Bangkok, Tokyo and Singapore.
Conveniently located in Saigon Centre, exciting offerings from PAUL Bakery’s include their signature viennoiseries such as croissant, brioche and flaky palmiers as well as a heap of healthier options including olive fougasse and flax seed bread, which are baked three times a day so customers are always sure to get a fresh option. Apart from bread, PAUL Bakery is also popular for their fleur de lys, a French-style dark chocolate mousse cake and their luscious earl grey mille-feuille, known as the Napoleon to most English speakers, made with alternating layers of puff pastry and custard.
Some impressive trivia: PAUL’s signature line of flûte Paul, flûte sesame and flûte graine breads may look indistinguishable from typical baguettes but fret not, PAUL Bakery is committed to traditional recipes and details. A French-style flûte is 200g while a standard baguette is exactly 250g!
Une Journée à Paris
Address: 234 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Thành Ward, District 1
Opening Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
A stone’s throw away from Saigon’s infamously celebrated Ben Thanh Market, Une Journée à Paris is a great place for tourists to escape Ho Chi Minh City’s somewhat intense heat. Celebrated for their affordable French bread and pastries, Une Journée à Paris is particularly popular with dine-in customers for their wide range of croissant and baguette sandwiches including their signature croissant sandwich filled with emmental cheese and French ham and “le classic” baguette sandwich featuring camembert cheese, ham, tomato and balsamic dressing.
Our team enjoyed the sweet and savoury raisin croissant…a perfect pairing with various types of tea. Other uncommon French specialties here include the Viennois lardons fromage, a rich viennoiserie-style snack bread stuffed with cheese and fatty bacon, as well as Une Journée à Paris’ feuilleté amande, an almond twist made of puff pastry dough. Perfect for the kids!
Address: 37 Thảo Điền, Thảo Điền Ward, District 2
Opening Hours: 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. Daily
Located conveniently for many expats in central Thảo Điền, Voelker Bakery does serious justice to a slogan printed on their walls:
“All sorrows are less with bread.” - Miguel de Cervantes.
Highly popular for their reasonably priced and authentic croissants, pain au chocolat, crusty French style baguettes and French pastries, Voelker Bakery is a tested and proven French-style bakery that produces high quality baked goods that won’t break the bank. Apart from typical French offerings, Voelker also offers an expanding series of healthier choices including a peculiarly rare Nordlander bread, European dark rye and multi-cereal bread filled with pine nuts.
Voelker Bakery’s bread is also available fresh daily at AuChan Supermarket in Crescent Mall, District 7.
Possibly one of the only places to acquire chewy artisanal New York style bagels in Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon Bagel is a relatively new yet solid addition to the bread scene here. At Saigon Bagel, bagels are hand-rolled on a daily basis and left to rest overnight before boiling and baking. This results in authentic chewy, dense and old fashioned bagels one might have found in an authentic Jewish-American bakery in the 1950s.
Apart from takeaways of their delicious plain and flavoured bagels, be sure to dine in to enjoy their bagel sandwiches. Our favourites include homemade salmon gravlax served with cream cheese, tomatoes and capers as well as Saigon Bagel’s most popular menu item, a decadent breakfast bagel sandwich filled with scrambled eggs, butter, bacon and cheese. Apart from bagels, Saigon Bagel also bakes authentic Italian cannolis—deep fried tubes of pastry dough stuffed with sweetened ricotta cheese—a perfect pairing with their equally amazing espresso and coffee drinks made from 100 percent Dak Lak arabica beans. Saigon Bagel also serves craft beer and plans to expand into a full-fledged deli in the near future.
Address: 23 Hàn Thuyên, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Opening Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Daily
One of the oldest Mediterranean restaurants in downtown Saigon, City Pass Guide is aware that Au Parc’s appearance in our list may surprise oldtimers. But it is worth noting that the owners of Au Parc have a dedicated baking workshop that produces fresh bread on a daily basis, which is also supplied to their two other highly revered restaurants: Propaganda Bistro and The Refinery.
Au Parc’s French Breakfast set includes toast, sourdough rye, brioche, whole wheat baguette and standard French baguette served alongside homemade jams and (surprise!) homemade Nutella with chunky bits of hazelnut. Au Parc’s Mediterranean lavash flat bread and breadsticks are also splendid. Enjoy them with their homemade hummus, dips and kebabs.
Although Au Parc’s bread and wheat-based products are mostly produced for dine-in customers, they’re more than happy to take customers orders. So call in advance if you need Au Parc’s fabulous baked treats in the comfort of your own home.
Location 1: 23C Tôn Đức Thắng, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Opening Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. every day
Location 2: B1-K1, Vincom Mega Mall Thảo Điền, 159-161 Xa Lộ Hà Nội, Thảo Điền Ward, District 2
Opening Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Hailing from Fukuoka City, Ryoyu Bakery brings the essence of quality Japanese-style baking to Vietnam.
Helmed by veteran baker Mr Tokushi Mochinaga and his team of motivated Japanese-trained bakers, the wide range of buns, baguettes, sandwich loaves and various pastries offered here are made with imported Japanese flour and share the same recipe as products found at the headquarters in Fukuoka.
Creativity and adaptability are common traits found in Japanese cooking and Ryoyu Bakery’s breads are not exempt from this phenomenon. Mr Mochinaga’s “Paris Morning” is a croissant-like viennoiserie made with soft baguette dough. It is both light and enjoyable while sporting a slightly chewy consistency. Trying it might test your impression of what makes a typical croissant delicious. Other unique breads here include deep-fried Japanese donuts filled with coconut curry, mini croissants and chocolate custard stick bread. The perfects snacks for kids and adults alike.
Location 1: 49 Đường số 14, KDC Ven Sông, P. Tân Phong, District 7
Opening Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. every day
For orders go to their Facebook page
Haubis is a new and unique experience for bread lovers in Ho Chi Minh City. An Austrian bakery with more than 100 years of experience and family tradition, Haubis brings authentic and fresh baked treats to Southeast Asia with the help of state-of-the-art flash freezing techniques that retains texture and nutrition. Flash-freezing means the bread tastes perfectly fresh right out of the oven. Enjoying authentic European bread in the comfort of home and your kitchen has never been easier.
Haubis’ range of bread is all-encompassing; there’s bound to be something for everyone. Ranging from favourites such as the organic multigrain baguette to a wide range of wheat and rye loaves that feature ingredients such as sunflower seeds, flax seed, sesame and other wholesome additions. Staying true to their family roots, Haubis’ organic Kaiser rolls are a testimony to centuries of Austrian gourmet traditions. Tasty and naturally sweet crown-shaped rolls made with both wheat and malt, Kaiser rolls, meaning emperor rolls in the Austrian and German languages, were named in honor of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
People struggling with gluten intolerance have also not been forgotten—Haubis’ impressive range of gluten-free bread is made in wheat-free production facilties to prevent cross-contamination.
Ms Tram, who manages Haubis in Ho Chi Minh city also vows to share her love of Austrian and German classic cuisine with both locals and expats. Be sure to savour her homemade currywurst, Austrian weinerschnitzel and herb butter. This is true enjoyment when paired with Haubis’ famous pretzels!
While the following list did not make it to our Best Bread in Saigon top selections, it may be useful to know where it is possible to buy decent bread all over the city.
Pate’ a Chou
Tous les Jours
More than six Tous les Jours locations around the city but the only one we recommend is the branch on Hai Ba Trung, which offers more selections, more seating as well as a small menu of made-to-order breakfast items.
Address: 180 Hai Bà Trưng, Đa Kao, District 1
Opening Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. every day
Address: More than 13 BreadTalk locations around the city.
Opening Hours: Opening hours depend on the location but most locations close at 10 p.m.
Image source: Mervin Lee