Ever Wondered How The Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards Winners Are Decided? Here’s How | Vietcetera
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Ever Wondered How The Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards Winners Are Decided? Here’s How

Ever Wondered How The Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards Winners Are Decided? Here’s How


With restaurants, chefs, trends changing daily in Vietnam, keeping track of all that’s new and noteworthy can sometimes feel like a losing battle. Undaunted, our 20-strong awards committee has taken on the Herculean task of curating a list of nominees for this year’s Vietnam Restaurant & Bar awards’ marquee categories: ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Bar of the Year’. Supporting them with insights gleaned from interviews with industry leaders and by analyzing historical data and trends are our best eyes and ears on the ground – Vietcetera’s editors.

Who’s making the list?

 So who are they, the committee members? Our judges are industry professionals, opinion leaders and foodie personalities – all influential in their respective fields and deeply rooted in the local food scene. Despite tightly packed calendars, they have generously volunteered their time and expertise. Like us, they take pride in Vietnam’s rising profile as Asia’s foodie mecca and want to see our culinary heroes and rising stars celebrated.

See full list of judges here. 

Before they get to work, there are field notes to pore over, promising upstarts to be put to test and former favorite haunts to be revisited – all in the name of good food and drink.

Where some of us might retreat in defeat when faced with a dish perhaps a bit too daring or a trend too out-there, our experts won’t throw in a kitchen towel quite so hastily. To the contrary: they relish the opportunity to sink their teeth into the weird-and-wonderful.

Traditionalists needn’t worry. Amid all the novelty, the quiet attraction of a well-executed martini, a balanced pho or an expertly browned steak is not lost on our judges either. Regardless of the venue’s persuasion, if it has been on everybody’s lips, rest assured, it’s on the committee’s radar.   

Nomination and voting timeline

As advised by the authorities, in order to mitigate the risks of the Wuhan coronavirus infection, we are postponing Vietnam Food & Beverage conference and Vietnam Restaurant & Bar awards from 27 February 2020 until Q2 2020.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates and confirm the new date as soon as large public events are deemed safe again.


This year, we added ‘coffee brand’ and ‘craft beer’ categories as a nod to Vietnam’s culinary idiosyncrasies that never fail to impress visiting coffeeholics and beer aficionados.

We will be celebrating our social responsibility champions too, with a dedicated award rating businesses on their environmental, economic and social sustainability efforts.

And then, of course, there’s the décor and the sense of occasion it creates. Or fails to. For a well-rounded dining experience, you can’t separate what’s on the plate from how the place makes you feel, and we have an award just for that.

Restaurant of the Year presented by Mai House Saigon

(People’s Choice & Grand Jury awards)

The number of restaurants helping to shape Vietnam’s continued rise as a foodie destination continues to pile up. Now it’s time to celebrate the most notable of the year. This year, we put together a shortlist of restaurants that not only deliver brilliant food, but also come with a full package of outstanding service, decor, food and drinks.

Bar of the Year presented by Speed POS

(People’s Choice & Grand Jury awards)

You don’t really know Saigon if you haven’t experienced its lively and incredible nightlife. From speakeasies to amazing sky bars, we’re on our way to find out the bars picked by the Grand Jury and People’s Choice.

Social Responsibility Award presented by WeWork

(People’s Choice & Vietcetera Editor Pick awards)

We all love a business that gives back to the community. This year, we’re highlighting businesses dedicated to making the world a smarter, safer, healthier and more sustainable place.

Design of the Year

(People’s Choice & Vietcetera Editor Pick awards)

A good interior design can do as much for a venue as good food, drinks and service can. We prepared this list of establishments to show you some of the venue designs that raised the standard this year.

Brand to Watch presented by Cellairs d’Asie

(People’s Choice & Vietcetera Editor Pick awards)

Small businesses are what makes Vietnam’s food and beverage so vibrant and diverse. We love to watch restaurants and bars capture the heart of locals and thrive to become a brand. This is an award that celebrates businesses that are on the way to becoming a bigger name.

Chef of the Year presented by Interporc Vietnam

(People’s Choice & Vietcetera Editor Pick awards)

Behind the amazing dishes that all of us get to enjoy at a restaurant, is the long hard working hours in often uncomfortable workplaces. This award recognizes the essence of every restaurant’s success and the passion that every chef puts on their menu.

Bartender of the Year presented by Johnnie Walker

(People’s Choice & Vietcetera Editor Pick awards)

As the cocktail renaissance of the 21st Century reaches Vietnam, the drinking culture was once confined to serving beer, rice wine and shots, sometimes matched with a modern touch of Daiquiri or Mojito, we’re now seeing greater excitement and talent more than ever. This award celebrates the most talented bartenders currently active in Vietnam.

Coffee Brand of the Year

(People’s Choice & Vietcetera Editor Pick awards)

It wouldn’t be difficult to walk down the streets of Vietnam to find a coffee shop from one corner to another, from national chains to single-store retailers. Besides, at any large grocery store, the coffee aisle is packed with new and exciting local brands. This award honors the most outstanding coffee brand.

Craft Beer Brew of the Year

(People’s Choice & Vietcetera Editor Pick awards)

We all see the bloom of the craft beer scene in Vietnam, with dozens of micro-breweries opening in the last two years. The craft beer wave has changed the Vietnamese drinking culture from Bia Hoi to a cold pint of IPA. This award celebrates the most outstanding craft beer brew in 2019.

Our values

As our judges visit restaurants and bars throughout the year, they do so as regular paying customers and receive no special treatment. As they cast their votes, first for the shortlist and later for the winners, they base their decision solely on their personal experiences and are not influenced in any way by Vietcetera advertisers, partners or friends.

Though their tastes differ, our judges are united in their passion for quality dining and seek out outstanding experiences and locally-grown talent. Comprising both established industry professionals and up-and-coming foodie personalities, the committee is as diverse as Vietnam’s food and beverage landscape itself.


Nominees nation-wide in Vietnam that opened before June 1st, 2019 are eligible for awards. 

For ‘Chef of the Year’, ‘Barista of the Year’ and ‘Bartender of the Year’ categories, the contender must have been employed by the current venue, in any capacity, for at least six months.

How to attend

Although the Vietnam Restaurant & Bar awards are invitation-only, tickets to the first edition of the Vietnam Food & Beverage Conference 2020 include an invitation to the awards ceremony at Mai House Saigon. Conference attendees can expect panel discussions, fireside chats, and immersive brand experiences that will explore topics like emerging food technology, investment, and sustainability. Tickets can be purchased online.

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