Best Burgers in Saigon
Hamburgers are the quintessential American staple food. Despite popular belief, Americans don’t sit around eating them every day. But, truth be told, most people would be hard-pressed to think of a more American food than hamburgers. Although there is a bit of controversy regarding the actual origin of the sandwich (as well as if it should even be regarded as a “sandwich” or not).
That phrase people throw around that goes, “It’s as American as apple pie” needs to be reinvented because burgers are actually the one truly American food that’s enjoyed worldwide. Seriously, if this article were called “Best Places to Eat Apple Pie in Saigon”, you wouldn’t even have read this far!
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The Best Burgers in Saigon - Any Way You Like ‘Em
Foodies in Saigon are fortunate in that the city has a variety of burger options with a range of prices, qualities and overall dining experiences. You can enjoy an old-school, greasy spoon burger from what Americans would lovingly refer to as a “hole in the wall” or enjoy a delectable, fine dining style burger that will make you wanna hold it with extended pinkies. There is also a range of options between these two extremes, right here in Saigon, Vietnam’s largest city.
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CLASSIC AMERICAN BURGERS IN SAIGON
Address: 71 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, District 1
Opening Hours: 10 am - 10 pm
Price: VND90,000 for a standard burger
Chucks has one of the most friendly, low-fi yet comfortable atmospheres you’ll find in all of Saigon. As soon as you walk in, it’s impossible not to notice the walls lined with signatures from customers all raving about the food and wishing Chuck well with his establishment. This evidence of happy customers from times past provide a unique sense of community, comfort, and warmth.
Chuck’s burgers and the dining experience at the restaurant are known to give customers the best bang for their buck. Chuck’s doesn’t mess around with a bunch of bells and whistles, add-ons or elaborate signature hamburgers. Chuck comes from an American restaurant background having worked at a successful franchise restaurant. He prides himself on his establishment’s personalised service, comfortable atmosphere, and the fact that his burgers are straight-up and satisfying.
At the Pasteur location, the grill is set up in the front of the restaurant so you can watch the cooks making the burgers through the storefront window. It’s a kind of comforting transparency that often brings passersby in off of the street and turns them into long-time customers.
As for the burgers, they’re simple and delicious. The menu isn’t bogged down with signature burgers dreamed up by an overly ambitious chef. Conversely, it has a very do-it-yourself aesthetic. Customers make their choices of burgers and toppings utilising a user-friendly menu and dry-erase marker.
There are a wide selection of free toppings as well as a number of speciality ones. The ingredients are fresh and if you make special requests the chefs are flexible enough to please the most particular of tastes.
Image source: facebook.com/chucksburgerps
Favourite Dish: Your best bet at Chuck’s is to use the old-school KISS method, which means “Keep It Simple, Stupid”, and enjoy Chuck’s classic hamburgers done right.
Reviews: Google reviews 4.4 stars; Tripadvisor 4.5 stars
Kid Friendly: Yes, but the restaurant is small. Kids may have to perch on high stools, which is not the best for the under-five set.
Large Groups: No. But there is always the option to do take-away!
Address: 136 Nguyễn Thái Học, Phạm Ngũ Lão, District 1
Opening Hours: 11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Price: VND125,000 for a Cheese Burger
Just a few blocks from Pham Ngu Lao, you can find Burger Joint. It’s small, cosy and its atmosphere is friendly and informal. It has an eating area that faces the street for those looking to enjoy a meal whilst people-watching. (It can get a little smoky in the upstairs seating area when all of the grills are burning during peak hours so at these times the street -level seating is recommended.)
Because of its central location and proximity to the backpacker district, you’ll often find a lot of visitors to Saigon in the restaurant but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s just for tourists who aren’t ‘in the know.’ The Burger Joint’s offerings are legit.
The establishment doesn’t go off the deep end with an assortment of signature burgers so their offerings are simple and tasty. Saunter towards the grills of the eatery and you can find a huge assortment of ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauces and other condiments from which to choose to modify your selections to your taste.
Image source: facebook.com/BurgerJointSaigon
Favourite Dish: The Saigon Burger is the Burger Joint’s most popular signature dish. It’s simply a bacon burger made with the restaurant’s signature sauce, which along with fresh ingredients is something that the Burger Joint prides itself on.
Reviews: Google reviews 4.6 stars; Tripadvisor 4.5 stars
Kid Friendly: Sit downstairs if you’re with little ones so that they aren’t breathing in the smoke upstairs.
Large Groups: The key word here is cosy but large groups are possible if you don’t mind sitting at several tables.
CREATIVE TAKES ON BURGERS IN SAIGON
Marcel Gourmet Burger
Address: 132 Calmette, District 1
Opening Hours: 12 am - 10 pm
Price: VND160,000 for Le Classic Burger
On the flip side (pun intended) of the burger spectrum in Saigon, you’ll find Marcel Gourmet Burger. Now for those of you wanting a Cliff’s notes review: It’s a GOURMET FRENCH HAMBURGER.
Now if you’re still reading, we’ll explain. Marcel takes an attentive, French gourmet approach to this classic culinary delight. Burgers are generally not hot-sellers amongst Vietnamese folks so the original concept sought to draw in locals who are discriminating about foreign cuisine, knowing that if locals liked them, the expats would follow suit.
Image source: facebook.com/marcelburgersaigon
Marcel’s limits their deliveries to Districts 1 and 7 as a means of exercising quality control; they don’t want the freshness of their cuisine compromised by extended delivery times. Also, to get the best of their menu, it’s advised that you show up early and beat the lunchtime rush because the daily specials sell out quickly and once they’re gone, they’re gone!
The French are well-known for their baking expertise. (France’s former presence in Vietnam can still be experienced in Vietnam with every bite of a banh mi.) Marcel’s utilizes this prowess, providing freshly-baked brioche buns on the daily.
Many of the sauces are created especially for the establishment’s signature burgers and the chips are also made fresh every day. The chefs pay close attention to the delicate balance between saltiness and sweetness. The signature burgers are ambitious, while still maintaining subtlety and the portions are also decidedly modest so you won’t find yourself in a food coma after the meal!
Image source: marcelburger.vn
Favourite Dish: We recommend trying something off the restaurant’s rotating menu. Some special items make their way onto this list (like truffle mayonnaise) so adventurous eaters will never be bored by Marcel’s selections.
Reviews: Google reviews 4.7 stars; Tripadvisor 5 stars
Kid Friendly: Definitely. Start your kids off young appreciating things like bleu cheese on burgers and artisanal ketchup.
Large Groups: A group of six can just fit but you will need to reserve in advance.
Address: 4 Phan Bội Châu, Bến Thành, District 1
Opening Hours: 11:30 am - 10 pm
Price: VND210,000 to VND375,000 for one of their Big Show burgers
Nestled up a flight of stairs in an almost hidden alley across from the iconic Ben Thanh Market in D1, you’ll find Soul Burger. Of all of the hamburger joints in Saigon, Soul Burger has the strongest theme and the most ambitious burgers.
Walking into the restaurant is like entering a time capsule that’s solely dedicated to preserving the memories of some of Rhythm and Blues and Soul music’s most prolific artists. Portraits of American legends like Little Richard, Ray Charles and James “The Godfather of Soul” Brown line the walls and are even represented in the menu, which contains a decent-sized selection of signature burgers. Bring a hearty appetite, because some of them are MASSIVE.
Soul Burger does its own butchering, making char-grilled burgers from cuts of USDA beef that they pride themselves on containing what they claim to be the perfect ratios of meat and fat. Each signature burger is cleverly-named, paying homage to some of history’s great Soul Music artists.
Image source: facebook.com/soulburgersaigon
Favourite Dishes: Some standout examples are the “Little Richard”, which is made with caramelised onion, cheddar cheese, bacon and egg or the appropriately dubbed “Al Green”, which has avocado, salsa verde, and cilantro. (See what they did there? Everything on it is ALL GREEN.) The “Soul Burger” is a larger version of the “Little Richard” made with not one but TWO 200g patties. Even the heartiest of eaters will have to bring their A-games.
Reviews: Google reviews 4.2 stars; Tripadvisor 4.5 stars
Kid Friendly: Even the pickiest of eaters will find something to love on Soul Burgers menu, just don’t expect them to finish these massive burgers alone!
Large Groups: With their small terrace and easily moveable tables, we think it’s possible to have a group gathering here if you give a good amount of notice to Soul Burger before.
Jake’s American Barbecue
Address: 50 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, District 1
Opening Hours: 10:30 am - 10 pm
Price: VND170,000 for a starter burger - VND270,000 for the Juicy Lucy
Jake’s American Barbecue looks like it was built by a homesick American expat who decided that rather than return home once a year, he would recreate a middle American bar/eatery right in the heart of Saigon.
Located in the heart of the city on Pasteur St in D1, Jake’s looks and feels like a small museum dedicated to mid-western Americana. Sports jerseys, rock memorabilia and all sorts of mementoes line the walls of the restaurant, which contains a full bar as well as multiple flat-screen TVs usually tuned to sports. If there were a “Best Places to Watch a Hockey Game in Saigon” list, Jake’s would make that list as well.
Jake’s culinary tribute to Americana comes in the form of a special kind of burger, the likes of which most people in the world have never had the fortune to sample. New customers at Jake’s might look at the menu and wonder “What in the WORLD is a ‘Juicy Lucy?’ By the time they leave they say “Where has this BEEN all my life? How has cheese INSIDE A BURGER not been a thing until just now???” Well, it’s been a thing in Minnesota for over five decades, originating in a Minneapolis speakeasy, according to Jake, the restaurant’s owner and founder.
A Juicy Lucy is created by placing cheese inside of the hamburger patty while the burger is cooking, resulting in a delicious and hearty cheeseburger that doesn’t have its bun fused to its beef.
Image source: Jake’s American Barbecue
Favourite Dishes: Jake’s is well-known in Saigon as being one of the premier eateries for lovers of all things barbecue, but the Juicy Lucy, in particular, is something that has to be sampled and savoured for anyone on the hunt for amazing burgers.
Reviews: Google reviews 4.6 stars; Tripadvisor 4.5 stars
Kid Friendly: Of course, what could possibly be more kid-friendly than throwing on a bib and getting down and dirty with some BBQ sauce?
Large Groups: Jakes American BBQ is by far the best choice on this list for a group gathering. Call in advance and they can arrange the room to fit your whole amateur rugby team.
Relish and Sons
For the past three years, Relish and Sons has been a Saigon mainstay for people hankering for hamburgers. Along with Chuck’s, they were one of the first speciality, burger restaurants in town. They’re in the Ben Nghe ward of District 1, which is a haven for foodies but is also one of the city’s most expensive areas to own a restaurant.
The fact that they’ve been around for so long says something. Relish and Sons’ Australian chef has been in the burger business for over 20 years and is rightfully proud of the quality of their gourmet selection.
Relish and Sons has a steady selection of 15 burgers made from 100 percent Australian grass-fed beef and has something new and innovative on the grill on a monthly basis. Some of the speciality hamburgers that were brought around for these occasions have gone on to occupy permanent spots on the menu.
Ambitious offerings like the com tam burger and even the pho burger have stuck around and become favourites, especially for local folks who love hamburgers with a taste of Vietnamese authenticity. Relish and Sons also offers salads and appetizers but strives to keep the balance between expanding the menu to bring in a variety of customers and staying true to their concept, a place that offers damn good gourmet hamburgers.
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Favourite Dishes: The Blue Vein - Probably the worst name for one of the best burgers with bleu cheese you’re going to ever get to eat. The combination of high-quality beef, bleu cheese and rocket make this one a standout favourite. Bring a healthy appetite because the portions are substantial.
Reviews: Google reviews 4.3 stars; Tripadvisor 4.5 stars
Kid Friendly: Relish and Sons has a Kids Combo for 100 VND, which consists of one mini slider, chips, onion rings or hash browns and a soda. Finish things off with a milkshake and you’ll be your kids’ hero.
Large Groups: Possible for eight people or so.
Moto or Car Parking: Free for scooters. No car parking.
FURTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR BURGERS IN SAIGON
Con Bo Map
Address: 178/4b Pasteur, Bến Nghé, District 1
Opening Hours: 8 am - 10 pm
Price: VND120,000 - 210,000
Con Bo Map, otherwise known as The Fat Cow in English, is a bit hard to find if you aren’t looking carefully. Down a small hem off of Pasteur street you’ll find small restaurant with some casual picnic tables set up on a terrace. The restaurant keeps things simple but when it comes to burgers that means simply delicious. The menu ranges from a classic juicy cheeseburger to an Aussie burger, which will either delight you or terrify you with its combo of beetroot, bacon, grilled pineapple and fried egg atop a thick beef patty.
Image source: facebook.com/conbomaphcmc
Quan Ut Ut
With a name roughly translating to the 'Oink Oink Eatery', Quan Ut Ut celebrates everything porcine with an American-style BBQ spin. Known for their huge streetside grills, great ribs, spicy sausages and pork belly, not everyone know that their burgers are also a hit.
Fancy a classic American-style cheeseburger but you’re too much of a foody to accept anything less than wagyu beef? Quan Ut Ut has you covered with their 250g wagyu beef patties available on the classic, black and blue, and bacon bacon burgers.
Image source: facebook.com/quanutut
Pullman Saigon Centre Pop-Up Burger Bar
Address: 148 Trần Hưng Đạo Street, District 1
Opening Hours: 11 am - Onwards
Price: VND200,000 - 250,000
The Pullman Saigon Centre has come up with a novel way to keep abreast of evolving food trends in Vietnam—a pop-up style burger bar which serves up top-quality burgers at reasonable prices. The concept came about in recognition of the need for high-end hotels to move on from “the old historical cliche” of offering just club sandwiches and afternoon tea.
Hurry before this pop-up moves on to the next foody sensation!
Image source: pullman-saigon-centre.com
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