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

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San Fu Lou

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The Sushi Bar

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Madam Yen Restaurant

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Green Tangerine

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Hemispheres Steak and Seafood Grill

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Da Paolo West Lake

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Luna d'Autunno

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Surf‘n’Fries

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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 ...

La Villa French Restaurant

We break down why La Villa is one of the best French restaurants in Saigon Chef Thierry, 37, first entered ...

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 ...

MAD House

Quietly residing in an offshoot from Nguyen U Di, the Nordic-influenced MAD House presents international cuisine focused on detail and ...

Bier Garden

On Dong Khoi street, near the Saigon Opera House and in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City you find ...

Khoai Restaurant

Khoái is the product of dreams and thoughts of people who love enjoying good food, especially authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Inspired ...

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. ...

Sushi Tei

Sushi Tei’s new flagship outlet is located by Ben Thanh Market in the heart of the city. Its 300-plus dishes ...

Kobe Teppanyaki

A garden-covered alcove on Tu Xuong street, Kobe Teppanyaki is Ho Chi Minh City's first fine teppanyaki restaurant, established in ...

Sushi Hokkaido Sachi

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

Tasaki BBQ Japanese Restaurant

Tasaki BBQ luxurious restaurant serves authentic Japanese grilled cuisine. With 100 dishes to choose from, whether it is family or ...

Dynasty Chinese Restaurant

Excellent staff and authentic Chinese cuisine make Dynasty a choice dining experience at the heart of District 1 Located on ...

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 ...

Kabin Restaurant

One of the best Chinese restaurants in HCMC, Kabin specializes in Dim Sum and Cantonese cuisine. An elegant restaurant with luxurious ...

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 ...

Tandoor Indian Restaurant

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Casa Italia Restaurant

Casa Italia Restaurant is located on the popular Le Loi tourist strip in the same block as the famous Ben Thanh ...

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