Out of all the traditional Vietnamese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, which one do you choose? Between out of town guests and my reliable local go-to spot, I consistently find myself going back to Cuc Gach Quan.
Cuc Gach Quan, a family countryside Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Set on a quiet road and neighborhood away from the hustle of District 1, Cuc Gach Quan started as a way for a famous Vietnamese architect, Binh Tran, to build a reminder to locals and travelers about the traditional and basic fundamentals of Vietnamese food.
Split between two French villas, the restaurant features zenlike fish ponds, homey trinkets from traditional Vietnamese history spread throughout the grounds, and interior design that transports you back into older times.
Why We Like It
There are other restaurants featuring home cooked family style Vietnamese food, and they’re quite good. The most notable ones are Secret Garden, Mountain Retreat, and Ngoc Chau Garden.
But unlike the other three, Cuc Gach Quan’s design feels a bit more “homey.” After all, it’s set in two secluded French villas in a quiet neighborhood. Secret Garden and Mountain Retreat sit on top of centrally located rooftops, while Ngoc Chau Garden is on the ground floor of a main street only two-minutes walking from Bitexco Tower.
Tips for a Great Experience
The restaurant is split into two separate French villas. If you can, sit on the top floors of either building. Something about being elevated in the building makes the experience more charming. The top floors also feature rooms that are all designed differently in a kitschy, recycled way, so you’ll really feel like you’re in a Vietnamese home.
And if you can, make reservations as the restaurant can get crowded during prime time. And with that said, I would actually avoid the peak dinner time at Cuc Gach Quan. The service has been on the decline recently and going during the bustle may lead to some disappointment. I recommend coming here during the early or late evening, or for lunch.
If you’re looking for a slightly more intimate meal or for a set meal, head over its little sibling Cuc Gach Cafe.
Need to Know
Locations: 92 Thach Thi Thanh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hours: 08:00 – 23:00, daily
Best sellers: thit kho to (pork stewed in a clay pot) and ga kho gung (chicken stewed with ginger)
X-factor: There are two buildings opposite of one another. It’s the same restaurant, just two different atmospheres. Even each room is different!