Phu Nhuan district may not be well known to many travelers to Ho Chi Minh City, but it is a popular expat area due to cheap rent prices. Over the years many restaurants have popped up on the Phan Xich Long street, catering to the different tastes of those living in the area. Here are our favorites.
Restaurant, Vietnamese, Coffee, $$$
4221 is a café restaurant, that serves some of the most delicious home-cooked dishes in the area. If you’re curious to see how Vietnamese people eat – “family-style” where you share a bunch of dishes and don’t order one just for yourself, then this is where to head. Make sure to go with a bunch of friends and not alone, so you are able to order at least 7+ dishes. This is also a good opportunity to master the chopsticks. If you drop by at the weekend, there is live acoustic music to serenade you as you dine.
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Tam Cam restaurant offers you a wide range of local dishes from all regions of Vietnam. You can find specialties of the north, the south and the central region of the country. With a menu of over 200 dishes, including those with primarily seafood, pork, beef, chicken or vegetables, this venue can suit any taste and is extremely vegetarian friendly. All decorations and furniture are made of bamboo, creating a Vietnamese countryside ambiance as you dine. Big groups are more than welcome and there is plenty of seating.
Finding vegetarian food in Ho Chi Minh City is not a hard task. But among the many, Here & Now Vegetarian stands out. If there are any famous Vietnamese dishes like pho that you would like to try but can’t because they typically involve meat, then head over here and you will find the veggie alternative. The food served is absolutely fresh and delicious and you will find dishes made of a variety of vegetables, herbs, roots, seaweed, and tofu. The décor is also lovely, truly tranquil and perfectly complements the Buddhist pagoda sitting right opposite the venue.
How about trying some Vietnamese-influenced Western dishes? Bo Sinh Doi, meaning twin cows, serves international favorites such as beef steak, however with tiny adjustments in order to adapt to local Vietnamese tastes. The restaurant is rather spacious, with both indoor and outdoor seating and the outside breeze will be especially welcome when you are enjoying a nice warm hotpot. Go crazy with your ingredients and sauce – it’s all delicious and cheap!
Ho Chi Minh City has one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world, which occupies parts of three districts of the city—5, 6 and 11. You don’t however have to go that far to enjoy Chinese food if you live in Phu Nhuan. Head over to San Fu Lou for some authentic Chinese delicacies such as Beijing duck or dim sum (Chinese dumplings). The restaurant is a three-storey establishment so you do not have to worry about getting a seat.
The Vietnamese absolutely love Singaporean food. You will come across many Singaporean restaurants or street stalls serving porridge and other rice and noodle dishes that the Singaporeans typically enjoy. Com Nieu Jiabao (Singaporean claypot rice) offers you a wide range of dishes, however their specialty is of course, claypot rice. Over here, there’s no point telling your friends to keep their mouth closed as they chew, as the rice is so crunchy, you’re gonna hear it anyway.
Not many people know about the deliciousness that is Mongolian cuisine and where best to try it than at Ba Con Cuu? Literally translated as The Three Sheep, Ba Con Cuu’s specialty is sheep hotpot. If the taste of the sheep meat is too strong, you can opt for other meat dishes, such as beef, pork, goat and of course, there are vegetarian options too. Plop in some noodles, herbs, veggies, meats and sauce into the hotpot, let it stew around for a bit and then give your taste buds a wild ride. This restaurant is great for a fun and interactive family meal.
As you can see from this list, Phu Nhuan has many restaurants specializing in international cuisine. Tasaki BBQ is where you need to go for all your Japanese barbecue needs. The restaurant is designed in a way that will make you feel as if you have temporarily left Vietnam and are now dining in Japan. If it’s not the design, then it’s the polite and courteous service that will make you feel that way. You will also be using the Japanese charcoal grilling method to cook up your meats and veggies. Everything here is well seasoned, not too fatty, and absolutely delicious. Try their Wagyu beef.
For seafood lovers, this restaurant will be heaven. The venue is deceptively large, and even has function rooms tucked away for bigger groups or business dinners. The ground floor has a lovely river view and upstairs you can sit on the balcony outdoors or sit inside and let the live music drown out the sound of you cracking and breaking various shellfish. Try their signature dishes such as the baked scallops, jellyfish salad, and prawns dipped in coconut. This is a great family restaurant as there is even a kids corner with a babysitter.
We have to include a pizza restaurant for this list to be complete. Al Fresco’s hands down has the best pizza in Phu Nhuan district and not only that, they serve a diverse menu of Italian, Australian and Tex-Mex cuisine. They have different promotions daily which are updated on their website, so check it in advance before you head over. They even deliver home if you just want to pig out on their pizzas, pastas, ribs, steaks, fries, and salads in your comfortable pajamas without anyone else watching. We at Culture Trip do not judge.