In the pulsating heart of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City has cooked up a storm, claiming its coveted spot on the global gastronomic radar. With a fresh roster of 2023 Michelin Selected dining establishments, the city seamlessly blends the intricate art of fine dining with its rich, street-food heritage. As the aromas of time-honored phở stalls intertwine with the sophisticated scents of modern gourmet kitchens, Saigon invites the world to a grand feast of flavors, traditions, and profound culinary innovation.
Here are our picks for the top 5 must experience restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City.
1. NORIBOI, 35 Ngô Quang Huy, Phường Thảo Điền, Quận 2
Noriboi stands as a testament to the art of Omakase, reimagined through the lens of their modernist approach to Japanese cuisine, and their usage of molecular gastronomy techniques to ignite and enthrall diners’ senses. Each dish, from the impeccably sourced Japanese imported fish to the melt-in-your-mouth A5 grade Wagyu beef, is transformed into a culinary masterpiece, blending traditional flavors with avant-garde methodology. This is NOT your typical sushi bar experience — it is an artfully crafted presentation of taste, texture, and the highest culinary innovation.
2. Ănăn Saigon, GF, 89 Ton That Dam, Quận 1
Anointed with a coveted Michelin Star in 2023 and listed as #40 of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2023, Ănăn Saigon is considered by culinary enthusiasts to be one of Ho Chi Minh City’s top-tier dining destinations. Brainchild of Chef-owner Peter Cuong Franklin, he elevates traditional Vietnamese street food and beloved national dishes, with the application of French cooking techniques, to execute simply sublime plates which highlight the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Currently offering both a-la-carte, and two exquisite tasting menus, a dinner at Ănăn Saigon cannot be missed during your travels to the city; if you can snag a reservation that is.
3. Nén Light Restaurant, 122/2 Tran Dinh Xu, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward
2023 Michelin Selected Nén Light Restaurant‘s philosophy is to present highly creative, storytelling tasting menus with focus on hyper-local Vietnamese ingredients discovered during foraging trips throughout Central Vietnam. Founder/Chef Summer Nen just debuted her latest culinary exploration last Thursday, Sto:ry Menu #5: Days of 22, which notably took a full year to develop, telling the tale of her university years in Japan. With conversation and music pairings, along with premiere wine and sake pairings to complement the meal, each beautifully executed dish is a testament to creativity, innovation, artistry, and an unbridled passion for singular Vietnamese flavors.
4. SOKO Cake Bake & Brunch, 24 Hồ Tùng Mậu, Quận 1 & 27A Nguyễn Trung Trực, Quận 1
With two locations in Saigon’s District 1, SOKO Cake Bake & Brunch has firmly positioned itself as the city’s crown jewel of daytime dining, offering a symphony of flavors, and a bountiful menu, which resonates from morning ’till late afternoon. Their house-made pastries, each a testament to artful baking, perfectly complement an array of imaginative coffee creations which push the boundaries of traditional brews. From first bite to the last sip, SOKO isn’t just setting the brunch standard — it’s a culinary institution in its own right that well deserves a place on this carefully curated Top 5 Best of list.
5. TRE Dining, 35 Xuân Thủy, Thảo Điền, Quận 2
2023 Michelin Selected TRE Dining, a luminary in Thao Dien’s already luminous culinary tapestry, elegantly melds tradition with innovation through its contemporary Vietnamese-inspired creations. Each dish, and meticulously crafted cocktail, narrates a story, inviting diners into the rich depths of Vietnam’s gastronomic heritage. Whether opting for a curated set menu, or exploring their a-la-carte treasures, guests at TRE are guaranteed a culinary voyage like no other, making it a definitive must-try in the city’s elegant gourmet diary.