Ho Chi Minh City food stops that make your trip even more exciting. Visiting Ho Chi Minh City was one of my best trips so far. I can’t recommend it enough if you haven’t tried it yet. I entered the city with no expectations and ready for any kind of surprise. It’s the largest city in Vietnam. It is full of cultural sites, beautiful streets, and delicious food. The only thing I knew about this city before arriving there was this- I had to try out the food they offered!
Ho Chi Minh City Food Stops#1: Quan An Ngon
I visited many different restaurants over my two weeks of staying there with my wife. I’ve decided to comment on three of them, the ones that to me represent Vietnamese food at its best. The first one’s called Quan An Ngon, which is a traditional, moderate restaurant in the center. The location is beautiful. Set in a garden of lined trees above the wooden desks. Complete with beautiful hand-carved chairs. It had a very warm vibe to it.
This Ho Chi Minh City Food Stop is actually a Vietnamese mansion, which has been remade. The interior has a lot of Chinese cultures embedded in everything. The desks, porcelain, lights, windows, a lot of bamboos and gorgeous balconies. There are many old pictures, displayed on the walls. I was happy to see the menus were in English as well, so it was easy to decide on my meal. The available dishes are from every corner of Vietnam. They offer you a full tour of their country on a culinary journey.
Our Food Choices
I ordered Oc Len Xao due, a Ho Chi Minh City food stop staple which is generally found in the south side of Vietnam. They are quite exotic- mud snails in coconut milk. I hesitated as I was waiting for my entre, but I have to admit the smell alone convinced me to try it and I was not sorry. The coconut adds a tender flavor to the dish, which melts in your mouth.
Next, I had goi Cuon, which are summer rolls, filled with shrimp, spring onion and basil. They were sweet and delicious, unlike any other rolls I’ve had at home. I also tried Hue and Hoi An style noodles, which hail from the central part of the country.
My wife ordered Pho Bo, which I tried and it was amazing. It’s a soup from the northern part of Vietnam, consisting of beef and noodles with some extra spices.
The kitchen tries to bring you a culinary experience of the country in a few dishes. They were open until 11 pm, so we had a real feast for less than thirty dollars. We swore we were coming back there again.
Ho Chi Minh City Food Stops#2: Camargue Saigon – Stop Two
Another favorite of ours was Camargue Saigon. This was my favorite Ho Chi Minh City food stop, in the entire city. located along one of the biggest streets in the city. It’s a French restaurant, accompanied by a beautiful courtyard and two floors. It’s a luxurious restaurant, which we noticed as we entered. High ceilings, intimate dim lighting, visible wooden beams, and tiles. We were happy about that atmosphere, it’s very romantic and perfect for couples. Another factor is the light music in the background, which is very relaxing.
Our Food Choices
Mickael Le Calvez is the restaurant chef, showing off his French roots with his specialties. He gives them a Vietnamese spin to create something unique. That’s why we couldn’t get to eat there until we reserved a table one day before. I had Seabass and Squid served with sweet chard. Laurel ordered Roast Lamb with polenta enriched with Phu Puoc pepper. We shared a chateaubriand with foie gras.
The meat was tender and of very good quality. The chef changes up the menu every week, so their dishes are always evolving, which is great. We ended our evening on the terrace of the establishment. We spent the time looking through the local wine selection. They have all the best French wines available. The prices are pretty high, so we decided on one small bottle. The dinner was also quite pricey. It’s worth mentioning that this is one of the more expensive places in Ho Chi Minh food stops that we made but worth every penny.
Ho Chi Minh City Food Stops #3: The Refinery
After one week of staying in the city, we found The Refinery Bar and Restaurant, located in District 1. It’s a very busy Ho Chi Minh City food stop, always filled with guests. They have a bistro type menu, which was fun to try for both of us. The restaurant also has a wide selection of exotic cocktails. They have a courtyard too, with beautiful lighting all over their vineyard. Don’t miss the great liquor selection by the bar. The bar got its name from the opium factory, which used to be active in the courtyard.
We headed over there for lunch and we realized it’s less than ten dollars for the two-course meal. No wonder they are always full. It’s quite affordable. Even more remarkable considering the food is very good.
Our Food Choices
I tried Steak Frites while Laurel chose Pasta with local spices. We had a European salad on the side, which is quite rare for the city to offer. They offer brunches as well, although we were full and we decided on a dessert. The choice was a Chocolate Fondue Fountain, which was a lot easier to finish than you can imagine. It was one of the best desserts we’ve ever had.
Another reason they are never empty is their happy hour. They have an extra three hours in the Refinery Bar. Every day from 4 pm to 7 pm, you can get a 30% discount on all the drinks. Mojito is their most popular order as a great refreshment in the summer.
We were very happy with our stay in Ho Chi Minh. It offers a true journey to a new place. Full of new textures, flavors and all sorts of fun experiences. The atmosphere of these Ho Chi Minh City food stops is so detailed that adds a lot to the whole experience. We’ve had a chance to go to other bars as well, but these three left a mark in our stomachs. They were special and unique, each of them having something worth coming back for.
As always we try to get the original recipe as we were able to do with the Goi Cuon in this article. We, of course, cannot usually do that and we have to come home and take the recipe we have tried that was the most like our local dish. Not the same but if you do wish to try them they are listed below and many of them are close fits to the food we enjoyed so much.
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