Across the Saigon River from District 1—and only 15 minutes away from Ho Chi Minh City’s bustling business district—lies the up-and-coming District 2(D2 for short). Poised to be the next commercial hub of Vietnam, this district is a place where restaurants and cafés are sprouting everywhere like mushrooms. Expats and locals alike have certainly gravitated towards this part of Ho Chi Minh City, lured by the promise of being a showcase of innovative cuisines from around the world, as well as of sublime gastronomic creations bythe country’s most talented chefs.
Making District 2 your home base if you plan to stay in the country indefinitely is a good idea. Aside from the endless food choices, there are a number of hotels in District 2 (kháchsạnQuận 2) that are affordable and come with amenities you can’t get in cheap hostels and homestays.
Foodie travelers will especially love the array of dining options available in D2. Here, you can take a break from enjoyingVietnamese street food and experience some luxurious fine dining featuringa more internationalcuisine infused with authentic Vietnamese flavors. Take a look at some of these suggestions for places to try the next time you find yourself in Ho Chi Minh City’s D2 area.
Tucked away behind a football field and far from the main street is this gem of a restaurant, Mad House. They serve international dishesthat regularly garner rave reviews, but that’s not the only thing that makes customers go back and seek out this hidden restaurant. With its classy ambiance, tastefully decorated interiors, and impeccable service, it’s surprising that most of the dishes in their menu are quite affordable. All these make for a value-packed casual dining experience that every visitor would want.
Bia Craft Artisan Ales
Get a taste of artisanal beer brewed with ingredients that are distinctly Vietnamese in BiaCraft Artisan Ales. Along with their popular ĐừngChọc Tao Pale Ale, the pub also offers fruity ciders made from unusual selection of tropical fruits such as star apple, Buddha’s hand citron, dragon fruit, durian, and more. More than just a pub and brewery, they also serve delicious gastro pub fare that goes well with their signature drinks.
The Deck is where Vietnam’s high society and affluent travelers dine in style. Offering pan-Asian cuisine as well as the freshest seafood, guests will be spoiled for choice at this elegant, riverside restaurant. In fact, if you’re craving some foie gras or caviar, they have a selection of these for the pickiest connoisseurs. Set alongside the Saigon River, this restaurant truly is one of the most romantic spots in the city to dine in.
One of the oldest establishments in District 2 is the Mekong Merchant, a casual dining restaurant offering European cuisines. A favorite among expats, they boast a gourmet selection of tapas, pizzas, as well as French-inspired main courses. The restaurant also includes a bar where signature drinks are served from 4 PM to 7PM.
With cafés all around District 2, you can get your caffeine fix just about anywhere. That being said, not all coffee shops are created equal. One tried and tested place is Shin Coffee from District 1. Expanding their business to D2, the café brings with it the same brand of service, friendly ambiance, and great coffee that their old-time patrons have come to expect.
If coffee is not your thing, maybe an afternoon tea is in order? Villa Royale is an antique shop andcafé that specializes in afternoon tea, high tea, and tea parties. Tea connoisseurs will delight at their selection of gourmet TWG teas, as well as pastries, scones, sandwiches, and more. The culinary scene in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2 is still growing, with more and more dining destinations opening here every day. In every new café and restaurant, chefs and cooks have the chance to highlighttheir creativity, impressing foodies with their amazing culinary creations. All these new talents and businesses make District 2 a vibrant part of the future mega metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City.