Breakfast, so they say, is the most important meal of the day. But I disagree: it’s definitely brunch. Luckily for me, Ho Chi Minh City is packed with excellent places to stuff your face. This isn’t the list for you if traditional Vietnamese food is what you’re after, but IMO you just can’t beat a western-style brunch when you’ve got the late morning rumblies.
1) The Elbow Room
Funnily enough, a friend told me about the amazing pancakes here long before I decided to teach in Vietnam, and with good reason. They are incredible: thicker than Kim K and fluffier than a cloud. If you feel like you could eat a horse, order the lumberjack breakfast: two pancakes, two slices of toast, bacon, fries and toast. You won’t need to eat for the rest of the day!
Head to: 52 Pasteur Street, Bến Nghé, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
2) Vintage Emporium
An absolute MUST if you’re wanting to get some cool snaps for your Insta. Nestled away down a quiet street in the trendy Da Kao ward of District 1, Vintage is a naturally light, charming space covered in mosaic tiles. Brunch was invented for places like Vintage! It’s never empty but there’s a very chilled-out vibe; it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours reading, writing or catching up with friends and taking a breather from the city’s madness. The apple rose compote pancakes are to die for!
Head to: 95 Nguyễn Văn Thủ, Đa Kao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Oh, L’Usine. Your charm is absolutely unparalleled. More than just a café, it’s also a boutique, lifestyle brand and favourite among Saigon’s creatives, who seem to flock here in droves. It currently boasts three branches, my favourite being located on Đồng Khởi street. Tucked away inside an old apartment building, there’s something about its unique urban rusticity that captures the spirit of Saigon perfectly; but more importantly, it offers a bloomin’ great brunch. Again the pancakes are excellent, as are the smoked salmon scrambled eggs. NOM. If you return post-brunch between 4-8pm, there’s also a pretty good happy hour situation.
Head to: 151 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
4) Diner V
Diner V is a new kid on the block when it comes to Saigon brunches, but its incredible milkshakes will soon be bringin’ all the boys to the yard. PURE. HEAVEN. It’s an American-style diner with an extensive (and delicious) menu that means choosing just one dish to order is always a dilemma. The staff are ridiculously friendly and really can’t do enough for you, and they play a lot of Bon Jovi, which I love.
Head to: 27A Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Đa Kao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Where are your favourite brunch spots?