Ho Chi Minh City is like a giant open-air market with eateries everywhere, serving all kinds of food, from local Vietnamese and regional Asian to international cuisine, such as Mediterranean, American, and European. Here are the top 10 French restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City.
La Villa French Restaurant
Restaurant, French, $$$
La Villa French Restaurant is a modern establishment where diners can indulge in authentic and delicious French fare, either inside on luxurious furniture or outside in the garden by the pool. The menu is divine and there is also a cheese trolley here (yes, you read that right), as well as an extensive imported French wine list. Just when you think it can’t get any better, you’ll discover their post-feast Cuban cigars. Everything in this restaurant may not be from France, but who’s complaining? At the end of each meal, the expert and friendly chef comes out of his kitchen to get to know diners and make sure they’re satisfied. Now that’s French hospitality.
A favorite among locals in downtown Ho Chi Minh City is 48 Bistro, a good example of a success story in an area where eateries are constantly closing. 48 Bistro has not only served high-quality French and Viet cuisine for over seven years, but they’ve also expanded, opening a new location at 52 Le Thi Rieng. The Vietnamese owner and entrepreneur, Tu Ly, a former chef at the New World Hotel, is both cordial and professional. Over glasses of delicious red wine, you can enjoy his culinary experiments, which are surprisingly cheap for gourmet food. Inside, the restaurant is tranquil, with soft lighting, vintage posters, and nostalgic street-side photos, all creating a peaceful environment for you to enjoy your meal.
Le Padam – Cheese Bar is Ho Chi Minh City’s first and only cheese bar, whisking diners away on a culinary journey to a quaint Parisian bistro that serves various cheese dishes. Le Padam’s menu features cheese, cold cuts (Serrano ham), and a small selection of salads and sandwiches. They offer about 13 varieties of cheese on a daily basis, and you can order The Cheese Board that features either three or five different types. Each board is served with a freshly baked baguette and homemade jam. This place is a shrine to everything fromage, providing a welcome dose of dairy therapy and bringing a smile to anyone who says “cheese.”
Le Jardin is a casual and inexpensive French restaurant that’s hidden away in a small garden space, offering a break from the honks and horns of the daily Ho Chi Minh City traffic. With an excellent choice of mama-style homemade French dishes and a superb wine list in a serene garden setting, what more you could want? The French accents servers have add to the authenticity of this experience. Try to fit in and order the snails in French.
Cocotte, a classic French bistro, is a gem tucked away in a hem (“alleyway”) that’s close to Ben Thanh Market. It opened in 2017 and quickly became one of Ho Chi Minh City’s favorites. This restaurant’s simplicity makes it far more charming than many other restaurants. You can order from the menu, but if your French is better than average, try ordering from the blackboard on the wall that lists the daily specials. We recommend the onion soup, duck confit, saucisses in lentil sauce, and the crème brûlée. You can get away with a full belly and some wine for about 20 USD for two.
La Cuisine is a relaxed restaurant that oozes with French glamour and sophistication, boasts an extensive wine list, and presents a gastronomic retreat in the midst of the city center’s chaos. There are multiple dishes that deserve recognition here, including the homemade bread, the salty butter, the slow-cooked pork belly, and the fresh, tender, and delicious scallops. These options, topped off with the the lime and chocolate pie for dessert, complete the perfect French meal.While eating, you can watch the chefs do what they do best. Although the interior design creates an air of affluence and suggests a high price tag, the whole experience won’t put a big dent in your wallet. Make reservations in advance!
The Refinery takes its name from the original use of its premises as an opium refinery during the colonial period. It has since been remodeled in a traditional French bistro style, creating a peaceful, elegant, and intimate ambiance. The restaurant, which is located in a quiet courtyard right in the heart of the city, has an indoor dining area and an outside terrace that’s surrounded by plants. The service is good, the food is great, and the wine is fantastic, leaving you wanting nothing more than good company for the rest of the night.
Le Bordeaux is a Ho Chi Minh City survivor, serving quality French cuisine in a formal European-style space for about 20 years. It has become a favorite among the city dwellers and a go-to French restaurant. Top dishes include the duck breast and pan-fried duckling with raspberry vinegar, and the roasted rack of lamb with garlic cream. Sample the lengthy wine list too, with options from around the globe. Le Bordeaux is fantastic, but it’s not easy on the wallet. You’ll likely drop at least 50 USD per person, if you have three courses.
Dishing up hearty, comfort food that’s cooked to quality standards, La Plancha is a clear favorite French restaurant for the expat crowd, who seem to descend here daily en masse. Browse La Plancha’s enormous food and drink menu and don’t forget to check the blackboard for daily specials. You’ll leave more full than you ever thought possible.
Another venue that has been open for a while, 3G Trois Gourmands has been impressing affluent locals and expats since its opening in 2004. A 14-year history is impressive in a city like Ho Chi Minh, where eateries close left and right. 3G Trois Gourmands occupies a two-story colonial villa in District 2, with indoor and outdoor dining sections that have plenty of tables overlooking the garden and swimming pool. The minimalist interior and secluded location make this restaurant ideal for a date. The menu features a range of French dishes, such as lamb fillet, lobster with butter sauce, and duck breast with orange sauce, so make sure to spoil your significant other. If choosing is too hard, opt for the degustation menus that cost between 35–45 USD each. They include amuse-bouche, appetizers, a main, homemade cheese, and a dessert. That should impress your date.