At noon, time is a valuable commodity, but your stomach doesn’t care about that and yearns to be filled. What to do and where to find the best lunch deals in Ho Chi Minh City?
Visreal has sent our resident gourmet around District 1 to search out the best set lunches for under 250,000 VND. The venues have been surveyed not only for food quality and quantity, but also for parking opportunities, distance to Ho Chi MInh City’s center, included coffee and drinks, as well as how suitable they are for business meetings.
10. Relish & Sons
44 Đông Du, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, Fb: Relish & Sons
Good combo from 170,000VND net for your lunch: a burger with chips onion rings or hash brown plus a drink.
When I asked him what he thought of Relish & Sons, our resident lunch break gourmet simply replied in 3 words:
Great, fantastic burger!
That is exactly what Relish & Sons specialises in: Awesome, traditional American hamburgers of perfect size that fill you up without overloading the stomach. The fries are thick and tasty, the service is really friendly, the decoration and setup of the small burger joint comes with a very special kind of humor.
The open kitchen is a bit noisy however and not optimal for business meetings. But if you are into hamburgers, definitely check it out! The lunch combo includes a soft drink or a delicious draft “Platinum”.
Parking the motorbike is free, car parking is available on the streetside.
After calculating the pros and cons, the hamburger restaurant managed to gather 66 points.
20 Ngô Văn Năm, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, Fb: Kacyo
5 different options for lunch sets starting at 220,000 VND + VAT + Service Charge
Lunch deals are quite popular with Japanese restaurants, and Kacyo doesn’t stand back at all. Our specialist picked the sushi lunch option that was served with eight sushis, a hand roll, soup, side dishes and a smile. Tea, be it hot or iced, was included in the meal and the food was presented in an appetizing way.
One slight downside is that the dining room is too cold and could do with some windows, but nonetheless Kacyo managed to reach 70,5 points on our special luncheon-munch scale.
8. La Fiesta
33 Đặng Thị Nhu, Nguyễn Thái Bình, District 1, Fb: La Fiesta
Set lunch for 150,000 – 170,000 VND + VAT + Service Charge, which includes your choice of salad, one main plate (Tacos, Enchiladas or Burritos) served with rice and refried black beans with a brownie dessert to cap it off.
Well, those among our readers who know me, also know that I am a great fan of La Fiesta, and I consider the restaurant as the best Tex-Mex place I know.
But how will Scott and Duc’s set lunch options fare on our undercover gourmet’s sensitive palates? Not bad at all!
The meal consisted of a starter, main and dessert with La Fiesta’s usual free tortilla chips and homemade salsa as amuse-gueule.
Parking the motorbike as well as the car is free, but the space is limited.
It is a great venue to have a tasty meal with your family, but the room is quite noisy, so it’s not an ideal location for business meetings.
La Fiesta managed to gather 72.5 lunch-points on our scale.
7. East West Brewing Co.
181 – 185 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Thành, District 1, Fb: East West Brewing Co.
Wide wariety of set lunch options for 125,000 VND + VAT including your choice of salad or soup of the day + main entree + craft beer taster.
One of the latest additions to the craft beer scene in Saigon, East West Brewing Co. serves delicious food along with their brews (have we mentioned that they have a beautifully designed 60-square-metre tasting room that has a custom designed multi-level brewing system). They take on traditional Western and Vietnamese comfort food by applying an elevated and sophisticated twist on it. A great option for great food and great craft beer.
A downside? If you eat large portions, you might have to double up your order since their lunch sets are more on the healthy side. For the non-beer drinkers, it’s also a bummer since they are all about the brews!
They scored a 73,5 points in our test.
39A – 39B Ngô Đức Kế, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, CPG: Tandoor
Set lunch for 145,000 VND + VAT
Since Tandoor moved to the new location in Ngô Đức Kế street, the entire interior got refurbished. The people I had the pleasure to talk to who visited the venue recently, all told me that it is the most stylish and beautiful Indian restaurant in Vietnam at the moment. Well, that might be true, but we are interested in their lunch deals, called thali in India, so let’s talk about that.
The price is nice and what you get for it is even nicer: A good starter and an excellent main dish that fills you up. As it is pretty common in many Indian restaurants, you have several choices which also contain a vegetarian option. The thali includes free flow drinking water and a soft drink.
Motorbike parking is available in front of the building, cars can be parked on the streetside. One more thing that is worth mentioning about Tandoor is that even if most of their clientele are native Indians, the taste of the food has been adapted to South Vietnamese palates. The food is good, but contrary to other venues serving delicious curries from the subcontinent, it is not spicy. That may be a positive or negative point, depending on your personal taste.
On our top secret scale of gourmetology, Tandoor reached 75 points.
51 Hai Bà Trưng, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1
Set lunch for 190,000 VND
If you are really hungry and after Italian style cuisine, then go to Saffron. The quantity is almost too much for lunch and the food has a delightful, mediterranean taste. The comment of our undercover “gourm-agent” was “Best value for money.” I like that.
The bread and free, homemade side dishes are absolutely delicious and filling. While parking your motorbike is free of charge, car owners will have to find their own solution since the restaurant does not offer a parking lot for four-wheeled vehicles. While the food and pricing is outstanding, Saffron is not the best location for a business lunch, since the tables and chairs are tiny and the room is quite dark.
Saffron gathered 77.5 points on City Pass’s lunch-scale.
4. Gem Lounge
8 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm, Đa Kao Ward, District 1, CPG: Gem Lounge
Set lunch starting at 160,000 VND + VAT + Service Charge
Gem Lounge is a great location for your business lunch. The warm furniture and elaborate, modern design fills up an empty white space and creates a great atmosphere. Also the food is close to high-end and you will surely surprise your business partners with this presentable venue and the great service.
The lighting of the place is outstanding and there is parking available for motorbikes and cars alike. The only downside to Gem Lounge is the relatively long distance to the city center. Accompanying your lunch, which is composed of two dishes, you have a choice of free coffee, tea or other drinks. Our incognito lunchologist pointed out one specific strength of Gem Lounge: “Dessert pastries to die for.”
With their remarkable lunch deal, Gem Lounge obtained 79.5 points.
33 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1 and 74/7 Hai Bà Trưng, District 1, Fb: Jaspas
Serving a 3-course Asian set lunch for 245,000 VND + VAT.
Jaspas is not only old and well-known for consistent quality, but also centrally located, which makes the restaurant a safe bet for business meetings. The wide windows in French colonial style let the light flood the dining room, intensified by the white paper drapers on the tables. Though Jaspas is generally a bit pricy, its delicious mixed western cuisine and the great English of its staff members make the occasional visit worthwhile.
The set meal consisted of tasty dishes and free water, as well as Lavazza coffee. There is free parking for your motorbike available, but not for cars.
With their outstanding consistency, Jaspas managed to achieve 80.5 points.
2. Qui Cuisine Mixology
22 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, CPG: Qui Cuisine Mixology
Their 3Q (Qui-Quality-Quick) Luncheons starting at 118,000 VND + VAT from Monday to Friday.
Qui Cuisine Mixology is a superb venue in the heart of District 1’s Japanese area. The ambience is high class yet welcoming and warm. In the evenings this is a trendy place full of Saigon’s bright young professionals. They serve wonderful a la carte food and sensational cocktails. Fortunately, at lunchtime you get to enjoy the same quality of food and drink.
Whilst it does not strictly have a set lunch menu, Qui is well worthy of inclusion, as the mains on their truly top rate lunch menu are well within most people’s budget. Dishes include delicious items like Qui Healthy Fit; a beautifully arranged assortment of fruits, vegetables and salad leaves, coupled with poached egg and assorted nuts served with herbal chicken soup and bread, just for VND199,000.
1. May Restaurant
19 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, Fb: May Restaurant
Set lunch for 215,000 VND + VAT + Service Charge from Monday to Friday.
Even before I evaluated the ratings, our top secret food agent told me straight out:
“May will win. I don’t know how they do it, but they are just awesome!”
A bold statement, now isn’t it?
Perhaps we should start with the fact that the set lunch menu at May Restaurant changes every week. The food itself is western with a French influence and a touch of Vietnamese, and you create your own lunch deal of one starter, one main and one dessert from this mix of cuisines.
The food quantity is just right, the service is great and the dishes taste quite delicious. They even include free water and coffee or tea.
May Restaurant offers a warm, welcoming lounge feeling that makes the venue perfect for leisure as well as business meetings.
There is no car parking available however, and the drinks are a bit too expensive. That being said, let me reveal that May Restaurant collected a whopping 86 points on our lunch-munch-scale, which makes this venue the best option for set lunches on our list.
Once again we could prove that an office in or near the city center has its benefits. This time in the form of great lunch options under 250,000 VND, which is awesome value for money.
If you are interested in a greater variety and a list of restaurants in different price categories, check out our recently updated post “Set Lunches in Ho Chi MInh City”, or pick one of the many venues that are listed in “Where to Eat in Ho Chi MInh City”.
Enjoy your meal!