Renowned for its non-stop bustle and streetside hustle, Saigon is a multifarious assault on all the senses. Thrilling as the city can be, if the heat, dust and incessant honking are driving you bonkers, seek refuge in one of these culinary sanctuaries.
The Fish Sauce
Gorgeous glass-and-wood interiors compete with stellar skyline views at this intimate greenhouse perched atop the OCB Building in District 1. Repping regional Vietnamese flavours, dishes are prepared using organic, seasonal ingredients and the sauces and pickles are all made inhouse, with nary a sprinkle of MSG. Truly one-of-a-kind among its more buttoned-up neighbours.
41 Le Duan St, District 1, +84 28 3822 3922. @TheFishSauce
Hum Lounge & Restaurant
With its winning combination of a tranquil, art-festooned interior and sophisticated meat-free menu, Hum is the fashionable face of Saigon’s dining scene. Even the most ardent carnivores will be tempted by the delicately balanced, aromatic vegetarian delights such as steamed mushroom in coconut and braised figs in curry leaf sauce, while vegans will rejoice at the bounty on offer. If you like what you find, try their casual cafe in District 3 or the uber-chic restaurant and garden in Thao Dien.
2 Thi Sach, P Ben Nghe, District 1, +84 28 3823 8920. humvietnam.vn
If you’re craving street food, but welcome a break from the streets, take the five-floor climb up to this breezy flora-spangled terrace, home to a laidback, rural vibe and traditional, home-cooked Viet fare. Don’t be put off by the back-alley entrance; step inside and you’ll be positively charmed.
Top Floor, 158 Pasteur St, District 1. @secretgarden158pasteur
Hit this stylish, out-of-town riverside hang for lunch or a glass of rosé in (almost) fresh air. Beloved by expats, and a fair few tourists, this District 3 stalwart is the go-to for tasty Pan-Asian bites and sundowners amid light, woody-chic surrounds. Better still, pre-book the restaurant’s boat to take you there. Ahoy captain!
38 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, District 2, +84 28 3744 6632. thedecksaigon.com
Read More: An Insider’s Guide to HCMC
Villa Royale’s gimlet eyed co-owner David Campbell scours the globe for pieces to add to the impressive stash of antiques and collectibles crammed into this sumptuous French-colonial villa. A gorgeous, old-worldy sanctuary of retail and refreshment, pick out your next purchase while enjoying TWG tea and porcelain-plated dainties. Divine.
25 Ho Tung Mau, District 1, +84 28 374 44897. villaroyaletreasures.com
Granted, it’s listed in all the tourist guides, but this former opium refinery still hits the high notes with its Art Nouveau decor, contemporary Vietnamese cuisine and top-notch wine list – just be sure to reserve a coveted spot on the terrace in advance. Keen to sharpen your kitchen skills? Book into one of their excellent cooking classes.
74/7 Hai Ba Trung, District 1, +84 28 3825 1676. hoatuc.com
Discover more of HCMC’s incredible food offering with the LUXE Ho Chi Minh City guide…