There was more meals than we planned during our travel to Ho Chi Minh City. And in all honesty, I find that is the case more often than not when traveling. This is a very exciting time because you never really know where you’ll end up and what you’ll be eating. So here are three of those happy surprises!
Garden Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City
First is a nice garden-style restaurant we just happen to pass by going back to the hotel one night. Décor is beautiful and we are cooled down by mist machines of some sort.
We ordered a nice plate of beef to grill on our own. Pretty good food here but what’s really memorable is the ambiance.
The price is a bit high as compared to other restaurants. I think the main target market is foreigners.
Another great find is Pho 25 right outside Lunch Lady’s place. It is a simple restaurant offering Pho and some other dishes. Since we just ate at Lunch Lady, we were a bit full but this was in a list of best noodle soup places so we had to try. Me and Mei split a bowl.
Delectably refreshing is one of the first thoughts I got when trying the broth. But the star of the bowl is the meat. Deliciously soft and very meaty.
And like most restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, we were served a plate of green vegetables to place in our soup to enhance the flavor to our liking. This is actually one of the highlights for me just because they add that extra “umph” factor to dishes and they are usually very fresh.
Now I’m not sure about this but I think there is a hidden meaning behind the name of Pho 25. You see, there’s a chain of restaurants that also serve noodle soup around Ho Chi Minh City (whole Vietnam maybe) called Pho 24. It is a fast-food style place that serves a hearty serving of noodles. It’s corporate. My theory is that Pho 25 is saying we are better through their name. Or I’m just thinking too much about it. On to the next food find!
Another television food host I like is Adam Richman. He is the host of shows like Man vs Food and Man Finds Food which are great shows in their own right. In the latter show, he goes from city to city going to “hidden” restaurants. While in Ho Chi Minh City, he featured Soul Burger, an American-owned burger place in the city that you can get to by entering a barbershop (I think) into a narrow hallway and up an unassuming flight of stairs.
I distinctly remember how it looked to get to the burger shop from the TV show and the main landmark is a sign that says “Worst Burgers in Vietnam”. Great way to advertise their product, right?
Well, while shopping for Mei’s Northface backpack in Ben Thahn Market, we happen to cross a road that somehow looked familiar. I saw a store that kind of resonated with me and I told Mei to slow down. Suddenly, a sign (literally).
I was shocked that we stumbled upon Soul Burger! I said that we just had to try it. So we go up and it was just like how I watched it on Adam’s show. We were fortunate enough that they just opened and we were the only people there. We ordered a nice cheeseburger to share since we just had breakfast.
All I can say is, if this is the worst burger in the country, Vietnam should be a burger fanatic’s paradise. Juicy, meaty goodness.
Burgers aren’t really popular in the country but if you do get a burger craving in Ho Chi Minh City, forget about McDonald’s. Go to Soul Burger. It’s a bit more expensive but it is well worth it. And hey, you’ll most probably be going to Ben Thahn Market anyway so it’s a good idea to go here as well.