Cuch Gach Quan is unfortunately really popular so you will need to book, but there is a reason why it’s so busy. It’s found in a little colonial style wooden house in outer District 1. Its not always easy to find, but with its increasing popularity, taxi drivers are getting better at getting there! We order the cactus with garlic, and fish with passion fruit perpetually but you can’t really go wrong with their menu.
Tib Chai is a more local establishment and a stones throw from the previously mentioned place. Tib Chai is all vegetarian and alcohol free. Don’t let that put you off. I would eat steak three times a day if I could and I still crave and dream about this food! Its a little bit is out of the way, but such nice food and free of the tourist trap. Get the mustard leaf rolls, jackfruit salad, and grilled eggplant to die for. Some of the best Vietnamese I have eaten. 11 Tran Nhat Duat, District 1 HCMC. I don’t ever book, I just turn up.
Pho Hoa- 260C Pasteur Street | Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam +84-8-829-7943. This place is between the plastic chair on the street and a completely civilized restaurant. It’s also a little popular with tourists unfortunately, but the Pho soup is lovely and a real hit with the locals as well. The reason I am recommending this place is because they have an English menu but it still feels local enough to get a hit of the Pho’ goodness without feeling like you will get dysentery the moment you take your first slurp!
I will add to this post, if I think of anything else great over time.