The Best French Restaurants In Ho Chi Minh City

The Best French Restaurants in HCMC

There are lots of French restaurants dotted around Saigon (one of the many lasting legacies of an almost 70 year occupation). You’ve got proper, old-school establishments with torques and table clothes, but then also a younger generation bringing in the new-school cool. So, we rounded up the best French restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City just for you.

Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt

With a palate honed by its colonial past, the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City offer an array of outstanding French dining experiences that cater to the most discerning gourmands. 

How We Chose The Best French Restaurants In Ho Chi Minh City

There’s a real mix. For example, La Villa has celebrated 10 years (and counting) of serving elegant set menus in their Thao Dien villa. And its chef, Thierry Mounon, recently opened a bistro-style restaurant, called La Fontaine, in Thao Dien too. 

Then there’s Chef Hervé Rodriguez’ contemporary French restaurant Hervé Dining Room, where the chef turns fresh local ingredients into tantalizing tasting menus. Out front is MaSa, from the same team, and a new pastry kitchen by Robin Mouquet.

Then there’s the renowned Vietnamese chef, Peter Cuong Franklin, delving into the origins of Vietnam’s iconic dish, phở, and exploring its contentious French roots. Taking inspiration from Le Pot Au Phở, crafted by legendary Chef Paul Bocuse, at Peter’s noodle bar, situated above the MICHELIN-starred Anan Saigon, and called POT AU PHỞ By Anan, he serves his version of the dish, a mini banh mi, and lots more. 

The Best French Restaurants In Ho Chi Minh City

In this list, we’ve included all of the above, stretching the concept of the best French restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City to its limits. That’s because we’re as excited by a classic pâté en croûte as we are by a one-bite banh mi.

La Villa

Along a Thao Dien side street, La Villa (14 Ngo Quang Huy, Thao Dien) offers French fine dining with all the bells and whistles: draping, starched tablecloths, glistening gold chandeliers, silver wine coolers, a well-stocked cheese trolley, and Chef Thierry Mounon in his whites, occasionally stepping front-of-house to introduce a dish.

And La Villa continues to impress with its tasting menus over ten years since opening. 

Thierry Mounon at La Villa.

But these days, the MICHELIN-selected La Villa also offers an extravagant a la carte menu – with Brittany lobsters and pigeon D’anjou – and lunch service, beside its seasonal chefs tasting menu (VND 4,890,000).

Thus, La Villa is the premier destination for celebratory occasions or for those seeking a night under the captivating spell of Chef Thierry Mounon and his wife, Tina, who manages the front of the house. It’s also the place to be for those simply in pursuit of the exquisite cheese trolley experience.

French fine dining with all the bells and whistles at La Villa.

La Fontaine

Sticking with Chef Thierry, for the many fans of La Villa there is now La Fontaine (170 Nguyen Van Huong), which offers a bistro-style menu with the same dedication to delicious French food. 

At La Fontaine, Thierry shrugs off all that fine dining fussiness, offering French-style Wagyu cheese burgers & French fries (VND 390K) and Croque-Monsieur and Madames (VND 330K-350K) on the all-day menu that starts at 7:30AM. Too early for a Ricard?

There’s more classic bistro fare too, including Thierry’s Burgundy-style snails and seared scallops, duck breast in mushroom sauce and oven baked camembert, as well as sharing plates of lamb shoulder and whole roast chicken. And they’re all washed down with a bottle from their well-stocked all-French wine list, a signature cocktail, like their Punch Bún Bò Huế (VND 220K).

La Fontaine with its wall full of images of legendary French cult heroes.

If you get that feeling you’re being watched as you tuck in, that’s because you are. At one end of the room there’s a wall full of pictures of famous French people, including La Fontaine, the French writer Jean de La Fontaine, himself. But there’s a nice terrace, in case you want to eat in peace. 

Le Corto

Ever since leaving the loving arms of the Sofitel back in 2015, the Cambodian-born chef, Sakal Phoeung, has been serving up very fine French food at his restaurant Le Corto (5D Nguyen Sieu, District 1) in downtown Saigon a stone’s throw from the Park Hyatt, making it a popular place for business lunches as well as romantic dinners. 

The restaurant’s name, Le Corto, comes from the French comic, Corto Maltese, and its protagonist, Corto, a kindly, free-spirited sailor. 

You’ll receive this same warmth and generosity the character exudes at Sakal’s Le Corto – sometimes literally as restaurant manager Mickael Carval flambés beef filet in a rich pepper sauce beside the table.  

Sakal Pheuong’s Le Corto.

The wine list is understandably all-French with the occasional diversion into European natural wines, like the D.B.Schmitt Riesling from Germany. 

The food is so good – like the Paul Bocuse Truffle Soup (VND 395K) or the locally sourced, 7-day dry-aged Long An Barbary Duck (VND 495K) – that in his first year of opening, Sakal welcomed the French president, François Hollande, through the doors. And for every inquisitive businessman taking a lunch meeting here, there’s a devoted local, on another visit. 

Hervé Dining Room

Chef Hervé Rodriguez made his name at MaSa, in Paris, where he earned a MICHELIN-star in 2013 for his ingredient-driven ‘carte blanche’ menus, depending on his inspiration and the produce available on any given day. MaSa was the fitting nickname given to him as a ‘manipulateur de saveurs.’ 

Enchanted by the ingredients of Asia, he set up this fine dining restaurant, Hervé Dining Room (204/20 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien) upstairs in a villa in Thao Dien. Inside is an open kitchen and an all-round intimate atmosphere, and a tasting menu that changes every few weeks. 

Dry-aged pigeon from the ‘manipulateur de saveurs’ Chef Hervé Rodriguez.

In front, is his a la carte concept, MaSa French Eatery by Hervé, in a fun, open-sided wooden building, and behind that is Robin Mouquet’s new pastry kitchen.

The Brix

First came The Brix (26 Tran Ngoc Dien, Thao Dien), a kind of urban beach club with a swimming pool and a restaurant next to it serving a modern bistro-style menu. Then, from the same group, down the street (the same one as 3G Trois Gourmand) came Tinto, a Nikkei-cuisine spot, then the riverside rendezvous, Clay, and most recently Yunka, in District 1.

The Brix in Thao Dien
Great brunches, lunches, and languorous dinners at The Brix.

But for this list of the best French restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, we’ll focus on The Brix, a place for great brunches, lunches, and languorous dinners…and lots of photocalls. In truth, the menu is a pan-global affair with lots of Asian accents. Still, executive chef Benoit Leloup has imbued it with a very French soul – think homemade Toulouse sausages and cheese platters. 

Plus there’s New Zealand Lamb Chops (VND 420K), Five Pepper Grilled French Duck (VND 390K), and a four-person Surf & Turf with Tomahawk Steak and Nha Trang Lobster (VND 4,850,000). 

Bistro cuisine with a French soul at The Brix
Benoit Leloup’s The Brix menu has a very French soul.

P’Ti 

Also from Chef Sakal is P’Ti (52 Ngo Quang Huy, Thao Dien, District 2) in deepest District 2. It’s his ode to “the homeland of lavender in the south of France,” with fine wines, a terrace and a cigar lounge. 

Sakal's Thao Dien outpost, P'Ti
Sakal’s P’Ti in Thao Dien.

The menu is seafood-centric, with Provençal-tinged takes on Lobster Tagliatelle (VND 690K) and BBQ Calamari (VND 420K). But you’ll also find the likes of Stewed Wagyu Beef Cheek (VND 585K) and Beef Wellington (VND 720K) too to keep the carnivores happy.

P'Ti is seafood-centric and Provençal-tinged, with lots of meat dishes for the carnivores.
P’Ti is seafood-centric and Provençal-tinged, with lots of meat dishes for the carnivores.

POT AU PHO by ANAN

POT AU PHO by ANAN is perhaps the most out-there option, if you’re looking for the best classic French cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City, but it’s still a worthy contender. 

The space itself, in the same spot as Anan Saigon, in the tube building in the middle of downtown District 1’s last wet market, is the same dimensions as Nhau Nhau, Peter Cuong Franklin’s cocktail-focused compact counter-seating restaurant on the floor below. 

At POT AU PHO by ANAN (3F, 89 Ton That Dam, District 1), the chef has turned back the clock to create a space that recalls his first private kitchen in Hong Kong. 

Back then, his limited budget meant he had to fit the place out at IKEA, and he kept the phở broth warm in a coffee percolator. He’s far more refined these days, creating a la carte and set menus with molecular phở (VND 195K) and an elevated homage to his mom’s Mi Quang (VND 230K). 

The spirit of Paul Bocuse is alive at POT AU PHO by ANAN.
The spirit of Paul Bocuse is alive at POT AU PHO by ANAN.

But the French bit comes with the mini banh mi and the eponymous Pot-Au-Phở (VND 325K), served in an immaculate French-style pot with a pastry top. Inside is Wagyu beef and noodles in a French consommé with truffle. And they’re all also included in his 11-course Le Chef Tasting Menu (VND 2,100,000).

And Peter Cuong Franklin will often be behind the counter at the intimate Pot-Au-Phở, dispensing wisdom on the providence of the dishes he’s reimagined, or just telling you how you should eat your noodles.

Lüne

Heading up things at Lüne (17/14 Le Thanh Ton, District 1) is the Lyon-born Adrien Guenzi. He already has an impressive career cheffing across many countries having worked at L’Arc En Ciel, at the two-star La Rotonde and at Flocon Village in France, at Le Floris, the one-star Swiss restaurant, and Babylon At The Roofgardens and Sketch, in England. 

Adrien Guenzi's playful take on classic French cooking at Lüne.
Adrien Guenzi plating up his playful take on classic French cooking at Lüne.

But it’s here in Saigon, at the recently(ish) opened Lüne (17/14 Đ. Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé), where he’s now plating up his playful take on classic French cooking. There’s a two-person sharing plate of Duck Pithivier (VND 1,500,000) and Canadian Lobster Ravioli (VND 600K), or a 3-course and 4-course set (VND 700K-850K) menu, to let Adrien Guenzi do all the hard work of choosing for you.

You’ll find him in the kitchen, working on new dishes, or deep in creative collaborations with guest chefs. It’s a welcome, and refined addition to this part of town, on the edge of Japan Town, with its izakayas and craft beer tap houses. As a hat tip to the neighborhood, there’s a Japanese A5 Wagyu Striploin (VND 1,500,000) alongside the Australian cuts of wagyu, all served with a choice of pepper, truffle, mushroom or Lüne “café de Paris” butter sauces.

Cjef Adrien Guenzi
Adrien Guenzi at Lüne.

3G Trois Gourmand

3G Trois Gourmand (39 Tran Ngoc Dien, Thao Dien) is another Thao Dien old timer still going strong.

As the street around it has changed beyond recognition – there’s a Baozi across the street, the poolside The Brix (more on that later) further on, and a whole Bloq of places to eat and drink, and things to do a few doors down, time, reliably, stands still at 3G Trois Gourmand.

3G Trois Gourmand
Another classic still going strong: 3G Trois Gourmand.

Welcoming yet formal, the lavish interior boasts stained-glass windows, ornate chandeliers and as MICHELIN described it, the service is ‘suitably starched”. 

The original three gourmands may no longer be around, but the restaurant sticks to their vision, with create-your-own dégustation menus of five-, six- and seven-courses (VND 1,990,000-2,790,000) that feature their signature truffle scrambled eggs and housemade cheeses. 

Maison des Rêves

True to the name, Chef Thao Na’s Atelier des Reves was decadent and dreamy. 

The restaurant, in a nondescript alley in District 3, served up elevated French bistro cuisine, at an accessible price-point, in a warm and welcoming space. 

When it closed, Thao Na appeared at pop-ups and places all over town, like Thao Dien’s Lavelle Library. 

Thao Na home, Maison des Reves.
Thao Na is home at Maison des Reves.

But now, she’s back where she belongs – the same space which once was Atelier des Reves – only with its new name that suggests this really is a homecoming, Maison des Reves (20/5 Ky Dong, District 3, HCMC).

Thao Na calls the cuisine she serves at lunch or dinner here “bistronomy” – casual French fine dining with some Vietnamese touches, like her Grilled Duck Breast that comes with kumquat honey (VND 495K) or her Angus Beef Fillet ‘Rossini’ with truffles and an artichoke sauce (VND 655K). 

There are set menus too, for lunch (VND 550K-650K), or dinner, the grandest of which is the Dégustation Menu (VND 1,950,000) with fish of the day and an Angus beef filet with truffle sauce. 

Le Resto

‘Cuisine Française Au Prix Local’ promises Le Resto (357-359 Hoang Sa, District 3), perhaps because this is a distinctly local location. Le Resto is on Hoang Sa Street as it meanders through District 3 hand-in-hand with the canal.

The area, famous for its nhau joints, is gradually gentrifying. There’s the atmospheric rooftop cocktail bar, The Hammond, Chilango Tacos, and the newly MICHELIN-selected Pho Phuong, and a host of homespun coffeeshops.

Le Resto promises 'Cuisine Française Au Prix Local.'
An outlier along the canal, Le Resto promises ‘Cuisine Française Au Prix Local.’

And proving this is a Vietnamese take on French food is the exhaustive menu. There are 13 kinds of salads, from their Tuna Salad with Egg (VND 114K) to their Duck Breast and Bacon Salad (VND 129K) and even more appetizers. And there are entire menus dedicated to beef, like their Stewed Beef Tongue in Tomato Sauce (VND 199K), premium beef, like their Australian Angus Tournedos (VND 399K) and order-a-day-in-advance MB5+ Angus Tomahawks (VND 2,260,000), chicken and fish – like their Grilled Red Snapper in a Lemon Butter and Chardonnay Sauce (VND 435K) Grilled Chicken Leg in Red Wine (VND 136K). An entire page is dedicated to duck and ostrich too. And a glass of Cognac, Armagnac or house wine by the glass are all less than 100K.

Inside is farmhouse style, with a high-ceiling, exposed brickwork, checkered tablecloths, and staff who seem genuinely pleased you’ve found the place.

Le Jardin 

Le Jardin (31 Thai Van Lung, District 1), tucked conspicuously behind the French Institute, IDECAF, is a bit of an institution itself. Its amiable garden is packed every night with regulars tucking into their favorite no-frills French bistro cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City. 

The prices are affordable, and the food is reassuringly homely – melon and prosciutto, a beef tartare, and crème brûlée to finish with dishes rarely exceeding (VND 200K). 

Sitting in this lovely, leafy garden restaurant, at the sleepy end of Thai Van Lung Street, and sipping on a Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir whilst nibbling on steak haché, frites and sauce au choix, you could, for a moment, imagine yourself being in the backstreets of the French capital.

The Refinery

The Refinery (74 Hai Ba Trung, District 1) is tucked away in the famous downtown courtyard that used to be the old opium factory. In a nod to its historic past, at The Refinery, there are black and white photographs of old Saigon lining the walls, alongside a blackboard listing out this week’s specials. 

Lunch at this French brasserie and wine bar is almost always busy (the pull of a very decently priced set menu) – with some of the best salads in the city like their Nicoise Salad with Grilled Swordfish & Quail Eggs (VND 225K) – and you’ll find a sufficiently French crowd in attendance (VND 340K for their 3-course lunch with a glass of wine). 

The Refinery is in the old opium refinery courtyard, in Saigon's District 1.
The Refinery is in the old opium refinery courtyard, in Saigon’s District 1.

But The Refinery is a popular downtown dinner spot too, with its covered terrace out front. There are Kir Royals (VND 190K) and their renowned Passion Fruit Martini (VND 160K) to get things going, and lots of French and European classics to follow them up. Dishes like their signature slow-cooked beef cheek Beef Bourguignon (VND 360K), their Brandade Fish & Potato ‘Pie’ (VND 380K), lots of pastas and risottos, and fish and meat from the grill – Phan Thiet Swordfish (VND 360K) and Traditional Steak Frites (VND 510K).

Cocotte

There are three Cocotte restaurants here in the city, each offering the same farmhouse-style, affordable French fare.

There are hearty salads, like their Salade Au Saumon Fumé (VND 145K), a signature Rosbif De Boeuf (195K) and only an anarchist would avoid rounding things off with their classic creme brulee (VND 75K). 

Cocotte in Dakao serving up a salad.
Farmhouse-style, affordable French fare at Cocotte.

Plus, their house wine is only 65K per glass or 250K for a carafe, meaning you might stick around for a while after the dessert is done. 

La Cuisine

This little restaurant on Le Thanh Ton street seats an intimate 25 diners. Whilst the wine menu is extensive, Chef Erwann Serene’s lunch (3-courses for VND 350K) and dinner menus are succinct, but with brevity comes quality. 

You’ll find clever French and Mediterranean cooking with the likes of his pillow-soft Gnocchi with a Pancetta and Mushroom Cream Sauce, home-made foie gras and braised beef cheeks. And the big window is like a downtown TV screen, streaming the chaotic District 1 traffic on loop.

What Should You Look For In The Best French Restaurants In Ho Chi Minh City?

So, we’ve introduced the crème de la crème of French eateries in Ho Chi Minh City where authenticity mingles with local charm and a dash of modernity to produce a culinary ballet worthy of both tradition and innovation. 

Which is the best French restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City for you depends on your mood…and your money. French restaurants go from the affordable, like Le Jardin, to the fine dining, like Thierry’s La Villa or Hervé’s Dining Room.  

Add in the occasion as another important factor. Have a group of friends coming from out of town? Perhaps The Brix fits best. Organizing a business dinner after a day of downtown meetings? Then Le Corto is a cultured choice. Time for a romantic date or a wedding anniversary? Try La Villa. Or have a foodie friend to impress? Then give POT AU PHO by ANAN a go.

Location is worth considering too. Most of the restaurants listed are in District 1 or District 2’s Thao Dien. They’re only around half-an-hour apart, depending on traffic, making it easy to traverse between the two. But mostly, people living and staying in either of the areas will stick to their neighborhood, especially at night as there’s lots to do without the trip across town.


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