When you’re in the Mekong Delta, you’ll want to try some delicious southern specialties. But we understand if, after the constant street food and noodle soups, you’re craving something from home. We’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants in Can Tho city where you’ll find the best of both worlds.
Phuong Nam Restaurant
Restaurant, Vietnamese, Asian, Coffee
Phuong Nam restaurant is located on Hai Ba trung street, wedged between ancient houses, right opposite the statue of Uncle Ho on the Ninh Kieu Wharf. It may be a hole in the wall, but over the years since inception, this restaurant has gotten a good name among locals and tourists alike. Phuong Nam serves a menu full of southern Vietnamese dishes, served in large portions for extremely cheap prices. Try their specialty—snake with satay, and other dishes such as clay pot pork, crocodile steak and fresh spring rolls. Due to the crowd, it may take a short while for your food to get served, but you will forget all that once you dig in. Arriving between meal times is a good idea if you want fast service and a seat.
Sao Hom is a great place to dine and often the first name mentioned by locals if you ask for a recommendation. The restaurant overlooks the local market on one side and the river on the other side. While you sit on the waterfront with the slight breeze, your experience is only enhanced further by the English speaking, friendly and attentive staff. Set menus are available for larger groups and the dishes in the menu are diverse, from deep fried pumpkin flowers, cooked banana, shrimp in mango sauce, to hotpot, and more exotic meals like frog and snake. Try the coconut ice cream for dessert—it comes smothered in alcohol. There are also bottles of Vietnamese wine for only VND$240,000 which is only about USD$11.00. You have other French and Argentinian wine choices as well.
L’Escale is a rooftop restaurant located on the top of the Nam Bo Hotel. This mellow-lit venue offers tantalizing river views, creating a romantic atmosphere as you dine. Order a bottle of wine and enjoy any of their beautifully presented dishes from the menu. It may be a little pricey but everything here is worth it. Head over around sunset for the best views or if you want to add some mystery to your date, choose to dine in the wine cellar, surrounded by hundreds of bottles of delicious wine from countries like Italy, South Africa, Peru and Australia.
Mekong 1965 is a family-run establishment serving delicious home-cooked southern Vietnamese specialties. This little restaurant is about as authentic as they come and while not at all fancy, it is definitely one of the best restaurants in Can Tho. It has been running since 1965, with recipes handed down through the generations so expect some truly local fare being served. The service is also extremely friendly and you’ll be well-taken care of during your visit. Riverside seating is available. So, Mekong Delta + river views + friendly service + yummy mummy-style food + big portions…what else could you want? Oh yes, cheap prices!
Sushi Sakura opened in 2015 and is where you need to go for your sushi fix. There is a diverse variety of sushi served and the menu is full of enticing pictures making it really hard to choose what you want. So opt for a bit of all such as sashimi, sushi, maki, chinmi, udon, yaki, tempura and how about some snake wine? The interior isn’t very spacious, but the venue is intimate with modern décor inspired by Japanese traditional architecture. Head upstairs, take your shoes off and sit on the pillows on the floor. You’ll feel as if you have left Vietnam momentarily.
At Nam Do it’s likely that you’ll have one of the best dinners you will ever have in Vietnam. This joint is very famous among the locals, so you can expect authentic, Vietnamese fare that isn’t tailored to international tastes. In addition to Mekong specialties, the restaurant also focuses on Chinese food. The restaurant is large, looks a little colonial, and is situated almost at the waterfront. On every table is a set of condiments you can add to your dish as you like but beware, the chilies are very spicy. Stop at one piece. There is also hot sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce and lime juice you can drizzle on. Nam Do is so cheap, you can have two mains, some rice and tea for just USD$4.00.
Another extremely authentic joint for local fare, located next to a canal away from the traffic. The owners are an ever-smiling husband and wife duo putting in all their effort just so you can enjoy your meal. Favorites here include the pad thai, red curry chicken, hot pot, and the ginger beef fried rice. Order several dishes just like locals do, family-style, and the table will look so good, you’ll be torn between wanting to take a picture of everything first or digging right in. Make sure to get the self-made yogurt for dessert!
Café English is where you need to go if you’re tired of the local street food and want something from home. This café is run by Russell and Ann from Australia, who are wonderful hosts and will make you feel extremely comfortable during your meal. The menu shares its pages between Western items and some local, mostly pub type of grub. There are even glasses of white wine available for only VND$40,000 (USD$2.00). You’ll find sports on the TV, and live music on certain evenings.
GONY Spa & Cafe Lounge is a mix between a spa, lounge, café and restaurant. It is beautifully decorated, with comfortable seats and even bean bag chairs for you to laze about in. The menu is full of Vietnamese delicacies and also Western items such as pizza, spaghetti, and beef steak. Everything comes at affordable prices. There are indoor and outdoor seats that offer views over the beautiful Ninh Kieu Pier, and there are even private rooms that are great for large groups of diners. After dining, you can enjoy a lovely massage to help you digest or plop yourself down on a bean bag chair and smoke some shisha. Open 24 hours.
Ngoi Do restaurant is a great option for group meals. The extensive menu has options for everyone, and you can order a bunch of dishes, spread them out over the table family-style and enjoy trying a little of everything. There is a fantastic selection of draft beer to go with, some brewed onsite. Colorful Hoi An-style lanterns are hung from the ceiling adding a nice touch to the brick and wooden decor of the restaurant. The place gets extremely crowded during lunch and dinner time so you know you’ll be getting served some top quality meals. Best to visit between meal times or come a little early.