Ho Chi Minh city is an amalgamation of different cultures where east meets west. As such if you so happen to be in HCMC for a visit, here are a few recommendations of some of the fabulous restaurants and eating outlets that I have had the privilege of visiting.
Huong Lai Vietnamese Restaurant
First of is Huong Lai Vietnamese Restaurant. Located just off the shopping street of Dong Khoi, take the stairs up to the first level. The food is very authentic Vietnamese home cooking and some of the kitchen staff are former street children from poor families.
Mien Tay Riverside Restaurant
For the more adventurous, take a Mekong River cruise at My Tho City and choose the option that includes lunch at a local river-side restaurant. The seafood does not disappoint and savour some of the local delicacies.
Be sure to try the stick rice ball.
Nha Hang Ngon
For dinner, the restaurant of choice among the locals is Nha Hang Ngon. Located in the District 1 tourist centre, the restaurant serves a whole array of international cuisines. My advice is to stick with the Vietnamese menu. If you are looking for good ambiance, prompt service and good local food, then Nha Hang Ngon is definitely your best choice.
Royal Saigon Restaurant
A favourite among the tourists is the Royal Saigon Restaurant along the Bui Vien Walking Street.
Notable dishes include the Royal Platter, the Royal Saigon Ban Cha rice noodles and the Vietnamese Pho (pronounced "for").