There is something for everyone in the Vietnamese capital. If you want to eat as the locals do this isn’t a problem as many restaurants specialise in Vietnamese cuisine. District 5 (Cholon) is where the best Chinese restaurants are situated, while if you want something other than spicy food with rice there are lots of international restaurants to choose from too.
Prices in most restaurants are quite reasonable, although if you are on a tight budget stick to the stalls where you will get some noodles or soup for next to nothing.
Predictably, the best and widest range of restaurants can be found in the Saigon district. This is also the busiest place when it comes to nightlife so be prepared to weave your way past other tourists and locals to get to the eateries.
Like all South-East Asian food, rice is pivotal in many meals, as are noodles, soup and prawns. If you wish to try out some of the local specialities, these include Cha which is pork paste boiled over hot coals, Ech tam bot ran which is frog meat in batter fried in oil, and Bo bay mon which are sugar-beef dishes.
138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
The word 'ngon' means delicious in Vietnamese. Thankfully, this restaurant lives up to his name as the food here is just that – delicious! This restaurant is regarded as one of the most popular in town and is always full with both locals and tourists alike. It has a distinct feeling of being in a market as the kitchen is actually in the restaurant rather than behind closed doors.
4 Nguyen Thiep St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Lemongrass restaurant is one of Saigon's most authentic Vietnamese restaurants and specialises in native gastronomy. Spread out over three floors, it is known for its duck dishes, while the clay pot fish is also very popular.
86 D Le Thanh Ton, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Miss Saigon specialises in seafood and serves it Vietnamese style. You have the option of eating either indoors or out and is decorated in a nice fashion to give you the sense of being away from home.
185/30 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
This vegetarian restaurant is very, very cheap but makes its meals very, very tasty. Some meals on the menu cost as little as US$0.50 but they are still bound to fill you. The small lane it is situated in is a great place to watch Saigon life go by and staff always are keen to greet new customers.
10 Nguyen Thiep, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
If you're taste buds are crying out for something other than Asian food then this small restaurant is the place for you. Specialising in French cuisine, you can expect a warm welcome here and the menu consists of beef, seafood and other dishes.