A wealth of eating, drinking and café options are now at the disposal of residents of Phu My Hung. Matt Cowan checks out what’s available.

BREAKFAST

Coffee Time Cafe has a safe play area for kids


Coffee Time Café

 

One-of-a-kind café in District 7. Spacious, light, new and cool, Coffee Time is for catching up with friends, work or a loved one. Has a large playground outside for children — something rare in this district — while parents can chill inside with a coffee or breakfast in a smoke-free environment. On Sundays, kids are entertained by live exotic birds (macaws), a clown and other activities. Coffee is 100% organic from Dalat. A ca phe sua da costs VND30,000.

 

Coffee Time Café is located at 307C Le Van Luong, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 6.30am to 10.30pm. For info go to facebook.com/Coffeetime1501

Opposite Tan My Market, Pho Bo - Ga is great value for money


Pho Bo — Ga

 

There’s no name written on the shopfront awning, just whatever’s served here, hence pho bo — ga. Opposite Tan My market’s main gate, get all your Vietnamese morning favourites, including pho bo, pho ga, bun bo Hue and banh canh cua. There’s no skimping on herbs, limes and chilli, all kept refrigerated until needed. VND40,000 will get you a big bowl of pho tai.

 

Pho Bo – Ga is at 42 Tan My, Q7, HCMC (opposite Tan My Market). Open daily from 6am

 

Eden Coffee House

 

On expat radars for a while, Eden does a very good eggs benedict (VND100,000) and other Western breakfast favourites. A flat white coffee costs VND70,000. Seating is inside and out, but limited. Saturday mornings are very popular.

 

Eden Coffee House is at 23 Noi Khu, Hung Phuoc 1, Q7, HCMC. Open from 8am to 9pm. Closed Tuesdays. For more info, go to facebook.com/edenQ7

 

Gourmet Thuc Pham

 

A locally run affair and mainstay among Westerners, mostly because they bake decent bread and have good breakfast and lunch options at great prices. A banh mi op la and ca phe sua da will set you back VND75,000.

 

Gourmet Thuc Pham is at 005 My Khanh 1 on Nguyen Duc Canh, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 7am to 9.30pm

Pitchers Bar & Grill has both air-conditioned and open air spaces


Pitchers Bar & Grill

 

The king of sports bars in the area. If it’s not shown here, chances are it ain’t sport. You could do breakfast, lunch and dinner at Pitchers, but their big brekky (VND230,000) is a ripper and well worth starting the day with.

 

Pitchers is located at C0.01 Riverside Residence, Nguyen Luong Bang, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 10am till late. For info go to facebook.com/PitchersPMH

 

Huong Bac

 

Hidden out back between Skygarden 2 and 3 apartment complexes, Hung Bac attracts a busy, mostly wealthy, crowd weekday mornings and is packed at weekends. Their pho bo is good, but the com tam (VND60,000) is what most people come for.

 

Houng Bac is at 36/19 Pham Van Nghi Bac, Q7, HCMC. Open all day, every day

Hung Bo food cart has some of the best wonton noodles around


Hung Bo

 

Very good pho bo but what you really should come here for is the mi hoanh thanh xa xiu (VND40,000). The noodles are handmade and the wonton are wrapped just before they’re dropped into the simmering pot. The wheat, pork and xa xiu flavours in this dish will have you coming back for more.

 

Hung Bo is located at E002 Street 6, Hung Vuong 1, Q7, HCMC (opposite the site of the old Wonderland amusement park). Open all day, every day

 


LUNCH

 

Hien Lanh

 

Sometimes you just want some good old Hanoi-style pho ga or bun cha. Situated on what has become an unof_cial Hanoi food strip, this thriving eatery has seating inside and out. VND50,000 will get you sorted for lunch.

 

Hien Lanh is located at S14-1, Hung Vuong 2, Q7, HCMC. Open all day, every day

 

An Ky

 

A little-known joint off Nguyen Van Linh. It’s a modest eatery that serves up Singaporean and Malaysian food, and is popular with expats from those countries. Has all the regular favourites starting from VND50,000 up to VND200,000 and is best for lunch.

 

An Ky is located at D002 Nguyen Binh, My Phuoc, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 8.30am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm (last order 8.30pm). Closed 1st and 2nd Monday of the month

 

Thuy Dung Hu Tieu Nam Vang

 

Challenges Hung Bo for its mi hoanh thanh (VND50,000), although also known for its hu tieu nam vang. This small, well-shaded eatery is opposite Domino’s Pizza. Very popular with the local breakfast and lunchtime crowds. Servings are generous and fresh with friendly service.

 

Thuy Dung is located at H19-2B Parkview, Dang Duc Thuat, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 5am to 3pm

MAD House caters for Asian and Western tastes


MAD House

 

A stylish family-friendly restaurant that is equally good for business meetings as for a romantic rendezvous and a friendly catch-up. MADHouse offers Asian (VND145,000) and Western (VND225,000) lunch sets done with Danish flair. An excellent escape away from the noise and glare of District 7.

 

MADHouse is located at No.2 Street C, Tan Phu, Q7, HCMC on the 2nd floor of Capri by Fraser serviced apartments. Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm

 

Son Anh Com Ga Xoi Mo

 

Near the traffic lights on Le Van Luong and Nguyen Thi Thap streets, Son Anh looks about ready to fall over. Still, for VND30,000 you get a beautifully fried piece of chicken on a large plate of rice.

 

Son Anh is located at 387 Le Van Luong, Q7, HCMC. Open all day, everyday

 


DINNER

 

Bangkok Kitchen

 

With just a handful of places offering Thai cuisine in District 7, Bangkok Kitchen is a welcome addition. The owners have renovated what was once a gym into an upmarket two-floor restaurant with private rooms for business lunches and functions. The prices reflect the décor. Chefs are all from Thailand.

 

Bangkok Kitchen is located at R16-2 Hung Vuong 3, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 7am to 11pm. For more info, go to facebook.com/Bangkokkitchen.vn

 

VIII RE (Eighth King)

 

Now etched into the frontal lobes of Italian wood-fired pizza lovers this side of District 4, VIII RE’s pizza bases are light but wholesome, with toppings packed with flavour. The only downside is no delivery.

 

VIII RE is located at R4. 27-28-29, Hung Phuoc 1, Q7, HCMC. Open daily for dinner. For more info, go to facebook.com/VIIIRE

 

Jane’s Bistro

 

Has quietly built a reputation for excellent home-made pasta and Western cuisine, although most people can’t tell you where it is let alone that it exists. A tiny place down a narrow street near Skygarden apartments that only serves 20 customers per day, yes, per day. Reservations are a must.

 

Jane’s Bistro is located at 19 Hung Gia 4, Q7, HCMC. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 8.30pm. Closed Mondays. For more info, go to facebook.com/janebistro

Plan K is popular among scores of Korean BBQ joints in Phu My Hung


Plan K Korean BBQ

 

Among the scores of Korean BBQ joints in Phu My Hung, Plan K keeps popping up in conversations as one of the best places to go. Mostly indoors, Plan K has booth seating with your own hotplate and ubiquitous exhaust vents dangling from the ceiling. Next door to Saigon Craft.

 

Plan K is at 66 Ly Long Tuong, My Phuc, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 6pm

 

The Greenhouse Restaurant

 

This unassuming resto — open for more than seven years — specialises in Italian cuisine, including homemade pasta and a large selection of pizzas. The tagliatelli carbonara (VND155,000) is a good choice. A dish like this can easily become stodgy without the right care, but this one is light, thanks to the pasta tasting like it’s fresh from under the rolling pin. The Greenhouse also does burgers (VND185,000) and steak (VND385,000). Perfect for a no-fuss lunch or dinner.

 

The Greenhouse Restaurant is located at SF10-1 Canh Vien 1, Pho Tien Nam, Q7. Open daily from 10.30am to 10pm. For more info and deliveries call 028 5417 1701

 


COFFEE & BEER

 

The Lighthouse's mezzanine is huge


The Lighthouse Food & Coffee

 

A new spacious café that looms over every other business on the street. Just one street over from Vivo City Mall, Lighthouse looks like a gardening store from the outside, and a craft beer joint on the inside. The mezzanine level has communal spaces with sofas and benches. Offers live music. A ca phe sua da is VND38,000.

 

The Lighthouse Food & Coffee is located at 472-474 Le Van Luong, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 6.30am to 10.30pm. For more info, go to facebook.com/lighthouse472lvl 

The Weekend is a cozy cafe with a kawaii


The Weekend

 

Started by a young Vietnamese professional who has put a thriving media career on hold to set up this kitsch, albeit tiny, ‘Japanesy’ café. The Weekend does breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s also a small shop upstairs selling clothes and kawaiimono (cute things).

 

The Weekend is at B-011 Hung Vuong 1, Nguyen Van Linh, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 8am. For more info, go to facebook.com/theweekendsg

 

Awesome Coffee

 

Mr Son, the brains behind this this Korean- owned gem, takes coffee seriously, importing and exporting it from all the major coffee- producing countries around the world. In case you’re feeling rich, splurge on a VND500,000 coffee shot. A double-shot latte will set you back around VND90,000. Has a quiet upstairs space to escape the rat race.

 

Awesome Coffee is at 994 Nguyen Van Linh, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 8.30am

 

Zip Coffee

 

Another café owned by a Korean mad about coffee. Established for more than five years, Zip has expanded to District 4. The owner roasts his own beans and is a licensed barista trainer. Especially popular with the Korean ladies set, Zip attracts all types. VND40,000 for a hot latte.

 

Zip Coffee is located at S31-2 Skygarden 3, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 8am. For more info, go to facebook.com/zipcoffee01 

Almacen Cafe adds some Latin flair to Phu My Hung


 

Almacen Café

 

Started by James, a Korean who has spent a large part of his *life* in Spain and has brought to Vietnam his love of coffee, music and Latin dance, Almacen is spacious and breezy with a vibe unlike any other in Phu My Hung. Has a view of the river, and its Latin inspired décor gives it a cantina-like feel. The tables can be cleared out quickly to transform it into a Latin dancehall. An Americano is VND40,000.

 

Almacen Café is located at SA-12 Garden Plaza 1, Ton Dat Tien, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 7am to 10.30pm 

Speakeasy offers something much different from sports bars and Korean BBQs in Phu My Hung


 

Speakeasy

 

One of Phu My Hung’s newest bars that bucks the trend of showing televised sport. If you love your whisky and enjoy downing it in an unpretentious, laid back and friendly atmosphere, then this is the joint. Don’t ask for YouTube EDM numbers here, Jazz and Blues rule the roost. Down an Old Fashioned (VND120,000) over a few racks of pool.

 

Speakeasy is at S35-1 Le Van Thiem, Hung Vuong 2, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 3.30pm. For more info, go to facebook.com/speakeasyHCMC

The crew at Coolabah Bistro


 

Coolabah Bistro

 

The newest kid on the block situated in the Happy Valley apartment complex on Nguyen Van Linh, Coolabah has a spacious outdoor deck making it a great vantage point to catch those fiery red sunsets in the evening over a frosty Tiger draught (VND50,000). Has a breezy, relaxed family- friendly atmosphere with perhaps the best fish and chips in Saigon. The spaghetti carbonara is a winner, too.

 

Coolabah Bistro is located at R15, (off) Nguyen Van Linh, Q7, HCMC. Closed Mondays. Open from 3.30pm Tuesday to Sunday. For more info, go to facebook.com/coolabahsaigon

 

Ruby Soho

 

Now an institution, Ruby is adorned with movie posters, cartoons and portraits of Tinseltown legends. Busy every night of the week with punters from all over, film classics are projected onto a big screen and tracks play from a songlist like no other in the area.

 

Ruby Soho is located at S52-1 Pham Van Nghi, Skygarden 2, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 3.30pm

Saigon Craft has all of Vietnam's craft beers under the one roof


 

Saigon Craft

 

Recently-opened taproom opposite the river with about 20 locally brewed craft beers on tap. There’s no other venue like it in District 7 where you can sample all of Vietnam’s craft beer under one roof. Offers food, a mixed crowd and plenty of beer.

 

Saigon Craft is next to Pho Hung on the corner of Nguyen Duc Canh and Ly Long Tuong, Q7. Open daily from 4pm

 

LAC Brewing Co. Tap Room

 

This beautiful taproom is the home of one of Vietnam’s best craft beers. LAC’s Devil’s Lake IPA (VND95,000) is worth the visit to District 7 alone. Stylishly finished in beautiful timbers, LAC is an excellent place to start your evening with the water traffic rumbling along the river across the way.

 

LAC Brewing Co. Tap Room is located at 169/7 Nguyen Duc Canh, Q7, HCMC. Open daily from 3pm. For more info, go to facebook.com/lacbrewing


 

Photos by Olga Rozenbajgier

Matt Cowan

Managing Editor of Word Vietnam. Destined to be a dairy farmer until he accepted a spur of the moment job offer in Japan in 1998. After making it big in Japan, he now finds himself wrangling stories in Vietnam instead of cows in Australia. Matt has been living in Saigon since 2010.

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