Xin chao friends from around the world,
Welcome to Saigon, aka Ho Chi Minh City!
I have been living in Saigon for 15 years now and spending a big part of my time, and money on drinking, partying and eating out. I am thinking why not I compile a list of my top favourite places for you to experience this amazing city and fall in love with it as much as I do.
You will not find the low-chair great-food places here cause I don’t go to such places on weekend. Not because I don’t like it. But after 5 days working remotely from the city center (Dong Nai), I rewarded myself some treatment at place I can just relax and enjoy the atmosphere. (Just an excuse hehe)
To me, besides good food, view is the top criteria when comes to picking a restaurant. It could be the garden view, city view, Saigon river view, or neighborhood view. You can actually have any kind of view you want in this city. The charm of those places could win you heart and make you stay in this city forever, and ever, ever.
Now, let’s get into the list!
Capuccino + Food + Interior/Exterior Design + Services + View.Maggie’s Pick Formular
Weekend Cafe & Brunch:
These places will make you truly feel like you are in an international city. The crowd here has a good mix of international and local residents. The local crowd either spent time abroad or working in an MNC. The vibe is urban, outgoing, lots of chit-chat, sometime quite noisy. It is a high chance you will see you coworkers here since this community is not that big.
If you are a capuccino lover like me, you are in good hand. These places ensure a proper capuccino made for you.
The food menus will not surprise you much, to be honest, but it is well enough to keep you a happy morning with ranges of international breakfast choices, fresh fruit juice, salad…
Park View: Au Parc Restaurant 23 Han Thuyen, D1
They have the Notre Dam Cathedral & Park view from their balcony. But the view I enjoy most is on 1st floor, sitting opposite the big door where you can see full window of green trees & sun light. Magic moment on Sunday morning! I skip going to church but I try to be on time here at this table every Sunday morning to pray for a better week to come.
What I like about this place is it has different views from different angles. Sitting at the ground floor outdoor give you the lilveliness of Saigon in the morning, while moving upstair, you will enjoy the park view. Indoor or outdoor space, it fits your mood.
Au Parc Saigon and its next door sister Propaganda share the same location. While Au Parc menu features Western/Meditarian dishes, you can order Viet food from its sister’s menu. Bánh mì cá thác lác (Fish Cake Bánh Mì) here I believe the best in town! Hmm, you don’t want Phở or something like that here. Saigon has better places for Phở. But if you like the view, the vibe, the good cafe & breakfast, order Bánh mì cá thác lác.
City View: L’usine Cafe 19 Le Thanh Ton, D1
Modern vibe with nice lush garden decoration. You can get some nice Instagram post here for sure. I personally don’t like their seating arrangement – I rarely found a comfortable table on the ground floor. But given the view through its glass window looking out at the Little Japan corner, this is the place I choose for a 1 hour morning capuccino.
I like the tranquility vibe here and its surrounding. Located among one-way-streets, this corner filled with large trees, quiet road on Sunday morning, and Japanese strolling quietly along the road.
Even though this belongs to L’usine chain, I don’t usually take food here. Perhaps the way the design not dedicated for food occasion. But you still can find their menu breakfast and brunch here.
Old French Quarter View – L’usine 151 Đồng Khởi, D1
My most favorite among other L’usine. Properly because this was where my first boyfriend took me. Almost decade ago (haha). It basically one of the first place that open my entrance to the Western expat world in Saigon.
Located right in the heart of the city with Opera House view over the balcony. The dark art alley you walking in will transfer you to the ancient Saigon. Not easy to find but worth to visit.
I like to come here for brunch or late breafast. A good capuccino and a L’usine breakfast is enough after a heavy night out.
Garden View – Mad House 6/1/2 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, D2
Great outdoor garden! Chef is a Dennish. They have one of the best beef burger in town! A must try!
During good weather, this is the place I go for some fresh air. Could be hot during lunch time but if you are into the tropical vibe like me, you would love this place. Make sure you bring your shade and put on sunscreen.
Located in a small quiet alley in Thao Dien, you can hardly hear any noise of the city. Very resort style kind of place.
International Neighborhood: L’usine Cafe 24 Thao Dien, D2
What I like about L’usine is their style of each location match well to its surrounding. The one in Thao Dien is open air, light & industrial decor with a good range of items make me feel like a small weekend trip that I can eat, chit-chat & do a little window shopping.
During weekend, they serve “Brunch Board” which offering mini-size of popular brunch item like pancake, French toast, jam…
They also have amazing happy hour around 5PM – 7PM that off 50% all alcohol drinks. You can find Western young crowd here around this happy hour time. And you can sometime see mee too…
River view – The Deck Saigon, 38 Nguyen U Di, D2
Though I prefer to go here during sunset to get a glimpse of sunset over the city, brunch time also a good time to check out this place. Open air, tropical kind of Indochine style, seafood menu. I don’t really fancy their breakfast menu but if you like a fresh morning with water front view, this is the best!
Until next articles, I wish you having a great time in Saigon, my beloved city!
You can find some recommendation on my Youtube channel. (Maggie Maggie)