Michelin presents the very first restaurant selection of the MICHELIN Guide Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City. Among the 103 recommended restaurants (48 in Hanoi and 55 in Ho Chi Minh City), 4 are recognised with one MICHELIN Star for their high-quality cooking (3 in Hanoi and 1 in Ho Chi Minh City), and 29 establishments – the inspectors’ best value-for-money – receive a Bib Gourmand for offering good food at moderate prices.
“We’re very proud to finally present the first restaurant selection in Vietnam, with a total of 103 restaurants in the Guide, highlighting 4 restaurants awarded with one MICHELIN Star.” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guide. “The first selection in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City highlights the differences and variety in what these two cities have to offer. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, offers a very laid back and relax vibe with small shops and restaurants found mostly in the old quarter. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine with Northern flavour is prevalent in this city, with a clear presentation of natural flavour, enhanced with different types of spices and herbs for complexity. Ho Chi Minh City on the other hand, is a bustling and rapid-growing city that offers a unique energy to all travelers and has a diverse variety of cuisine. Both modern and traditional cooking techniques are well seen, and there is also a great mix of talents and young local chefs eager to present their ideas and creations on the plate. This is just the beginning of the MICHELIN Guide’s journey in Vietnam, and our inspectors have been more than pleased to have discovered many gastronomic spots in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and I am sure, many more in the coming years.”
4 Restaurants Awarded One MICHELIN Star
Amongst the 103 restaurants in the selection, one MICHELIN Star is awarded to 3 restaurants in Hanoi, and 1 restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, for offering high quality cooking and outstanding culinary experience that is worth a stop when travelling to Vietnam.
- Anăn Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), a Vietnamese contemporary restaurant, whose Chef Peter Cuong Franklin applies modern cooking techniques to street food recipes to create enticing flavours, earned the one MICHELIN Star recognition. Whether you order the fresh tuna tartare, a roasted duck-mozzarella-herb mini pizza, shrimp and pork tacos, or bone marrow wagyu beef phở, every dish is a masterclass of well-balanced flavours and textures.
- Gia (Hanoi) is a Vietnamese contemporary restaurant, run by Chef Sam Tran, receiving one MICHELIN Star recognition for its menu that changes with the seasons and is inspired by Vietnamese culinary heritage. Deceptively complex, the beautifully crafted dishes showcase well-judged combinations of subtle flavours, with acidity and texture playing prominent roles.
- Hibana by Koki (Hanoi) presents a theatrical experience at a 14-seat counter in the basement of Capella Hotel, with Chef Hiroshi Yamaguchi skillfully and precisely cooked teppanyaki dishes rich in complex flavour. The menu features a distinctly decadent edge, epitomized by the premium ingredients flown in twice a week from Japan, such as abalone, spiny lobster, sea urchin, Yaeyama Kyori beef and Hokkaido hairy crab.
- Tầm Vị (Hanoi) a vintage tea house that feels distinctly northern Vietnamese with its nostalgic collection of Chinese furniture and hand-written signs. They serve northern Vietnamese dishes with some central and southern options. The Vietnamese ham with periwinkle Chả Ốc (snails) comes with fresh herbs, vegetables and rice vermicelli with fish sauce. The crab soup with Canh Cua Mừng Tơi (malabar spinach) has a subtle crab flavour in a clear broth.
29 Establishments Awarded a Bib Gourmand (Inspectors’ Favourites for Quality Cooking at Moderate Prices)
The Bib Gourmand distinction highlights the restaurants within the MICHELIN Guide restaurant selection that stand out for value-for-money offers. Often considered as the “top tips” from the MICHELIN Guide Inspectors, the Bib Gourmand restaurants are much followed and highly appreciated by users of the Guide seeking affordable establishments, without compromising on the quality of the cuisine and the products offered.
This year, a total of 29 restaurants and food establishments are awarded a Bib Gourmand distinction, with 13 based in Hanoi and 16 in Ho Chi Minh City. Out of the 29 Bib Gourmand establishments, more than half are Vietnamese cuisine or street food, strongly reflecting the high popularity of street food being rooted in the local culture.
13 Bib Gourmand Establishments in Hanoi
- 1946 Cua Bac – a Vietnamese restaurant, whose signature dish is the fried crab and rice porridge hotpot. Served in small bowls at the table, the crab, pigeon, beef balls and vegetables combine in a naturally sweet medley of flavours.
- Bun Cha Ta (Nguyen Huu Huan Street) offers various bún chả and fried spring rolls. The classic bún chả features tender, smoky grilled pork, well-seasoned meat patties and smooth rice noodles with a balanced soup base. Among the crispy spring rolls, the seafood crab version delivers a consummate umami flavour, while the chicken is rich and meaty. They also offer rice noodles with fried tofu and tomato sauce and fried spring rolls for vegetarians.
- Chả Cá Thăng Long – not to be confused with two other outlets with the same name in the same street run by the same family, make a beeline for number 6B; a century-old, pale yellow painted townhouse reached through a small courtyard. The highlight is chả cá, grilled catfish with turmeric, cooked at the table in a sizzling saucepan with spring onions and dill, and deliciously paired with vermicelli noodles, coriander, shrimp paste and peanuts for an intriguing combination of textures.
- Chào Bạn which means “hello friend” in Vietnamese, it is the epitome of friendly and easygoing. In the kitchen, Chef Madame Hang gives traditional Vietnamese recipes a new spin with modern techniques and much aplomb. Her nem rán cua, or crab spring rolls, deliver balanced flavours and contrasting textures. The menu’s Dac Biet section is a treasure trove of her creative signature dishes.
- Don Duck Old Quarter is a bliss for duck lovers. This eatery in the bustling Old Quarter conjures up almost every conceivable form of your favourite poultry. For an authentic local taste, try the duck phở noodle soup. For a variation of the Chinese classic, order the grilled à la Peking duck or enjoy duck in hot pots, spring rolls, or even deep-fried and tossed in a sweet and sour sauce.
- Habakuk – a restaurant tucked away in a narrow side street, Habakuk doesn’t stand out, so keep a lookout for the blue back-lit signs. By day, it’s a specialty coffeeshop serving single-origin coffee and a small brunch menu. In the evening, it morphs into a modern bistro. The concise dinner menu is modern European with distinct Mediterranean accents. The cooking is confident, neatly presented and steeped in well-judged flavours.
- Phở 10 Lý Quốc Sư – One of three branches in Hanoi, this small pho eatery enjoys a fine reputation, but beware of imitations in the city. The menu offers 10 impressive pho options, including tái and chin (brisket), nạm (flank beef) and bắp trần (beef fillet). The pho itself is hearty and supremely refreshing with tender pieces of beef that melt in the mouth.
- Phở Bò Ấu Triệu is a shop which lacks any signage, but boasts a single distinctive feature: phở bò, to the exclusion of anything else on the menu. Served in an intense beef bone stock, cooked for 10 hours, it comes with tender beef flank and tendon.
- Phở Gà Nguyệt serves chicken noodle dishes with a variety of chicken parts but the tender thigh is a standout – perfect for both soup and dry noodle dishes. Mix and match from thigh and wings or wings and back with condiments to your taste.
- Phở Gia Truyền a street food establishment that offers numerous hearty options including phở tái nạm (slices of flank steak), phở tái (round steak) and phở chín (brisket). Add the crispy fritters to perfect your dish like the local does. For the complete and satisfying meal, splash out a little extra for a trứng gà (golden egg yolk).
- The East stands out from the crowd with its excellent northern Vietnamese cuisine. Start with the crab spring rolls wrapped in a fine, crispy skin packed with savoury filling, followed by bún chả (grilled pork and rice vermicelli), which is the signature dish here and a street food staple in the capital.
- Tuyết Bún Chả 34 is famous for its bún chả, or rice noodles with fresh herbs and pork, chargrilled to order. Dip the noodles in the flavoursome broth and feel free to order an extra spring roll for added crunchiness.
- Xới Cơm presents authentic Northern Vietnamese home cooking in its cosy restaurant with retro decor reminiscent of Hanoi houses in the 1980s and 1990s. The menu options vary from day to day and week to week, with simple yet delicious dishes like stir-fried water spinach with garlic and deep-fried tofu with green onion.
16 Bib Gourmand Establishments in Ho Chi Minh City
- Bếp Mẹ ỉn (Le Thanh Ton) is a hidden gem near Ben Thanh Market. With its pleasant buzz, the restaurant offers a welcoming atmosphere. Perch on one of the wooden stools, as the regulars do, and sample the signature Vietnamese pancake with shrimp and pork, served in a shallow bamboo basket. The fried rice with shrimp and egg, served in a coconut shell, is also worth trying. The service is friendly, portions are perfect for sharing and MSG is banished.
- Chay Garden – located at the end of a quiet pedestrian street in the busy city centre, this vegetarian restaurant crafts delicious, affordable Vietnamese nosh, such as braised eggplant with banana and green beans. The old colonial-style house sports a charming tree-lined patio, which provides the perfect foil to this fine dining experience.
- Cơm Tấm Ba Ghiền – The Saigonese have always held food in great respect, so broken rice grains never go to waste. Since the 1990s, this unassuming stall has been serving what many locals consider to be the best cơm tấm or broken rice dish in town. Their most popular version is steamed broken rice topped with pork chop marinated in a secret sauce and perfectly grilled over charcoal, along with pickled radish and sweet and sour fish sauce.
- Cuc Gach Quan sports two dining rooms facing each other on the same street, flanked by a supremely relaxing koi pond and leafy garden. The menu is mostly traditional Vietnamese, such as đậu hũ chiên sả ớt (deep-fried tofu with finely chopped lemongrass), and the signature canh chua cá hú fish soup, rich in tangy sweetness. Make sure you save room for desserts like deep-fried banana or the sương sâm jelly with an intense herbal flavour.
- Dim Tu Tac (Dong Du) Out of the four restaurants in the city, the Dong Du branch seats over a hundred and is always busy, particularly at lunchtime. They serve traditional Cantonese cuisine in a comfortable, modern setting, including a large selection of dim sum, BBQ dishes, soups, seafood and much more.
- Hồng Phát (District 3) – Hủ tiếu hồng phát noodles symbolise the culinary marriage of Choazhu and Khmer culture that was introduced to Saigon in the 1970s. Friendly service is de rigueur at this simple shop, which offers all-day dining but where locals particularly flock for breakfast. The soft rice noodle soup comes with minced meat, liver, fresh tiger shrimps or braised blood curd accompanied by an assortment of herbs and bean sprouts. The chả giò tôm cua (shrimp and crab spring rolls) make a great appetiser.
- Hum Garden is an attractive house with a pleasant courtyard, patio and quaint furnishings outside the city centre, nestled on a quiet street in a residential area. The Vietnamese-inspired vegetarian cuisine, rich in modern twists, uses mostly organic, fresh ingredients, sourced direct from farmers. The deep-fried mushroom rolls are simply out of this world.
- Phở Chào should be on everyone’s bucket list. Mama Dung started out in the northern city of Nam Dinh in 1986, armed with her grandmother’s recipe for a light, clean, pure broth. Now, in her Ho Chi Minh City shop, diners choose between a three-day beef-bone stock or chicken broth; stand-out dishes include the phở bắp hoa, featuring crunchy medium-rare beef, and Mama Dung’s gà tôm mắm sốt (crispy fried chicken). There is also phở tine – a creative Western-style take on phở, served with golden French fries, beef noodle soup and cheese.
- Phở Hoà Pasteur is a popular restaurant has been serving delicious phở to the locals since it opened in 1968. The interior and service may not be glamorous, but the food is appropriately affordable and their delicious hallmark broth is a masterclass of balanced flavours. The menu offers a wide range of quality toppings including beef brisket, flank, tendon and tripe, as well as meatballs. Small Vietnamese side dishes are also available.
- Phở Hoàng – This phở shop has been around since 2008 and the owner Mr Hoang is justly proud of his clear beef broth that takes over 12 hours to make. Feel free to customise your beef noodle soup by ordering tendon, flank, minced beef or even a raw egg on the side. Every bowl comes with garnishes like coriander, basil, lime wedges, onions and bean sprouts. For drinks, try their monk fruit herbal tea made with over 10 different herbs.
- Phở Hương Bình is a simple stall that has been proudly serving Vietnam’s national rice noodle soup dish, phở, since 1958. There are only two items on the menu – phở gà (chicken noodle soup) and phở bò (beef noodle soup). Feel free to order additional toppings such as chicken skin, egg yolk, beef brisket and tendon. The broth is clear and light, rich in full-bodied flavours and a savoury sweetness.
- Phở Lệ (District 5) – Vietnam’s national noodle soup dish has taken the culinary world by storm, and Pho Le, one of the leading restaurants in town, insists on making it exactly the same way they have been doing for over 70 years. Come here for authentic southern Vietnamese style pho – in rich broth with a robust meaty flavour and a hint of sweetness from vegetables.
- Phở Miến Gà Kỳ Đồng is a true gem in the bustling city. The chicken phở here is nothing short of amazing. The essence of its deliciousness lies in the rich, aromatic chicken broth made by slow-cooking chicken bones for 3-4 hours. The tender chicken slices and rice vermicelli are also cooked to perfection.
- Phở Minh – Despite its hard-to-find location down a narrow alley, Phở Minh has been attracting hungry Saigonese with its traditional beef noodle soup since 1945. Choose between beef tenderloin, brisket and a mix of different cuts available on the day. Their freshly baked pâté chaud is a must: the puff pastry is flaky and the meat filling piping hot.
- Phở Phượng – Like most phở shops, you can order the house special to sample different beef cuts with the ubiquitous noodle soup. But the most popular ingredient here is oxtail – braised for 40 hours until the meat is tender and the skin gelatinous.
- Xôi Bát – Xôi (steamed sticky rice) is a Vietnamese staple popularly eaten as a quick breakfast or lunch. Determined to shatter the stereotype of xôi as a frugal fast food, in 2021 a young team opened Xôi Bát, a charming little eatery with a contemporary design and great attention paid to detail. They put their recipe for a relatively soft sticky rice into dishes such as xôi phá lấu trứng non, which includes quail eggs, pig ears and fried shallots, and is served with soup and kimchi as a simple, appetising meal.
70 Other Establishments Recommended in the MICHELIN Guide
A total of 70 other establishments (32 in Hanoi and 38 in Ho Chi Minh City) also joins the MICHELIN Guide Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City 2023 selection, known as the MICHELIN Selected restaurants.
If street food and local cuisine are here again widely represented in this selection, the traffic of international travelers to Vietnam allows the blossom of various cuisine types. A good mix of French, European, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Latin American or Mediterranean restaurants are for example featured.
Some examples are La Badiane (Hanoi), a charming French restaurant with fusion cuisine; Truffle (Ho Chi Minh City), a French contemporary restaurant; T.U.N.G dining (Hanoi), The Monkey Gallery Dining (Ho Chi Minh City) both with European contemporary cuisine; Akira Back (Hanoi) serving Japanese cuisine, and Octo (Ho Chi Minh City) serving Spanish cuisine.
Three MICHELIN Special Awards
In addition to recommending quality restaurants, the MICHELIN Guide also aims to highlight talented individuals who contribute to enhancing the gastronomic dining experience. By doing so, it also acknowledges the diversity of jobs and know-hows involved in the restaurant industry.
For the inaugural edition of the MICHELIN Guide Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City, the inspectors have found three worthy recipients.
MICHELIN Service Award
The MICHELIN Service Award aims to highlight and encourage skilled and talented front-of-house professional who dramatically adds to the customer experience. This award goes to Thi Nu Nguyen from MICHELIN Selected restaurant Vietnam House in Ho Chi Minh City. Ms Nguyen is very pleasant, she has good knowledge about food, wine and tea, with good recommendations for guests. With good understanding of the menu and the restaurant, she is happy to offer information during engagement with guest with a bright smile and the right service pace.
MICHELIN Sommelier Award
The MICHELIN Sommelier Award recognises the skills, knowledge, and passion of talented sommelier of the industry, and is given to Yu Yamamoto from MICHELIN Selected restaurant Lửa in Ho Chi Minh City.
Coming from Japan with great passion in wine, Mr Yamamoto is well equipped with excellent wine knowledge. Managing around 70-100 labels with regular updates on the wine list, he is always fascinated to share quality wine as a daily special with diners. Not only that he will make sake on his own way, but also a will to promote wine culture in Vietnam.
MICHELIN Young Chef Award
The MICHELIN Young Chef Award recognises a young chef working in a restaurant of the selection and whose exceptional talent and great potential have impressed the inspectors. This year’s award is given to Sam Tran from one MICHELIN Starred restaurant Gia in Hanoi.
Ms Tran is a talented chef, as a Vietnamese chef at the age of 33, possessing smart cooking where Vietnamese culture is well incorporated into Western cooking. Her cuisine is impressive and filled with personality with precise preparation and accurate execution.
The MICHELIN Guide Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City 2023 at a glance:
TOTAL ESTABLISHMENTS 103
– Total one MICHELIN Star 4
– Total Bib Gourmand 29
– Total MICHELIN Selected 70
– One MICHELIN Star 3
– Bib Gourmand 13
– MICHELIN Selected 32
HO CHI MINH CITY 55
– One MICHELIN Star 1
– Bib Gourmand 16
– MICHELIN Selected 38
The full selection of the MICHELIN Guide Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City 2023 is attached to this press release. It is also available on the MICHELIN Guide’s official website and the MICHELIN Guide mobile app (available on iOS and Android). The restaurants join the MICHELIN Guide selection of hotels, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay locally and throughout the world, alongside a full booking service.
Source: MICHELIN Guide