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Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards 2020: Meet The Nominees And The Grand Jury

The restaurants and bars that made our list managed to flourish against all odds thanks to their innovative business models and exemplary operational standards.

Nominees Featured

Images by: Wing Chan of Bite Studio.

Returning just in time to wrap up the year, Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards aims to honor the tremendous efforts of Vietnam’s restaurateurs, chefs, managers and staff members during what was one of the most challenging years for the F&B industry.

The restaurants and bars that made our list managed to flourish against all odds thanks to their innovative business models and exemplary operational standards. Similar to the inaugural event two years ago, the winners in the Restaurant of the Year and Bar of the Year categories will be decided by the Grand Jury (see the full list below) and the public (you), resulting in two Grand Jury’s Choice awards and two People’s Choice awards. 

The remaining six categories focus on specific facets of the F&B business, with Vietcetera’s editorial team shortlisting five nominees and passing the final vote. 

The winners in all categories will be announced on 5 November at Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards 2020 event hosted by Mai House Saigon.

Source Vietcetera

Here is the full list of award categories and nominees:

Social Responsibility Award presented by WeWork


If your bar or restaurant was behind communication campaigns, programs and initiatives that helped make the world a kinder, smarter, healthier and more sustainable place, this award will look to recognize the work that you and your partners have put in to bring about change for the better. This is an award dedicated to those whose business scope extends beyond simply turning a profit. 

  • Anan Restaurant and Rooftop Bar
  • Blanc. Restaurant Saigon
  • NOIR. Dining in the Dark Saigon
  • Pizza 4P’s
  • Sông Cái Distillery  

Brand To Watch Award presented by Les Celliers d’Asie

Nominees 12

You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great, especially in a field as competitive as F&B. One of the most gratifying things to witness in this trade is to see the growth in identity, design and service quality from fledging businesses. This category seeks to honor Vietnam’s young bright things who have strived hard to make a name for themselves and advance the values they stand for. 

  • Godmother Bake & Brunch
  • Kiba Saigon
  • The Monkey Gallery Dining
  • NOMU Izakaya
  • The Vintage Emporium Cafe

Neighborhood Hangout of The Year Award presented by SpeedPOS

nominees 16

What’s good in the hood? The restaurants and bars on this list, of course! From the bustling street fronts of Thao Dien to the esoteric concepts hidden away in the alleyways of Ben Thanh, this award honors those who successfully combine affordability and approachability, without forsaking style and quality.

  • East West Brewing Co.
  • Kin Đee Thai Gastropub 
  • Laairai
  • L’Herbanyste
  • Yugen Bar

Design of The Year Award presented by Mai House

nominee 18

Essential to every successful F&B business in this day and age is the founders’ commitment to a well articulated and unique design philosophy. From the eclectic to the recherché, this award is dedicated to those who set about reinventing the face of the industry by, first and foremost, reinventing themselves. 

  • BAKES Saigon
  • The Bloom Store Thi Sách
  • Mama Sens
  • Okkio Caffe Thảo Điền
  • Yugen Bar

Bartender of The Year Award presented by Lighthouse Group Indochina

nominee 19

The heart and soul of every bar is, without doubt, the men and women who labor so diligently behind the sticks. This award was established to recognize the skills and craft behind every cocktail mixed and pint poured, plus whatever else emerges from the speed rack throughout the course of a busy shift.

  • Đạt Nguyễn - Yugen Bar
  • Đinh Thép - Layla / Summer Experiment
  • Nguyễn Hữu Phú - Irusu
  • Lê Nguyên Phúc - Inthe MOOD
  • Trung Vang - Layla / Summer Experiment 

Chef of The Year Award presented by Interporc Spain

nominees 20

While patrons are out having a good time and soaking up the ambiance of the dining room, it falls to the chefs working tirelessly in a cutthroat environment to deliver quality dining experience. Beyond recognizing the creativity and the hard work behind every meal served, this award will also credit chefs for their social media savvy, along with their efforts to creatively adapt to the emerging trends in digital marketing. 

  • Francis Thuan Tran - Esta
  • Julien Perraudin - Quince
  • Pedro Goizueta - Kiba
  • Peter Cuong Franklin - Anan
  • Việt Hồng - The Monkey Gallery

2020 Restaurant of The Year Jury’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards presented by La Vie

nominees 123

A vote was held to determine the nominees and the winners in October 2020. All prizes will be announced on 5 November. Below is the shortlist.

  • Anan Restaurant and Rooftop Bar
  • Esta Eatery
  • The Monkey Gallery
  • Octo Tapas Restobar
  • Quince
  • Sol Kitchen
  • Stoker Woodfired Grill & Bar
  • Pizza 4P’s

You can vote for Restaurant of 2020 here.

2020 Bar of The Year Jury’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards presented by Johnnie Walker

nomineed 21

A vote was held to determine the nominees and the winners in October 2020. All prizes will be announced on 5 November. Below is the shortlist.

  • Bam Bam
  • Dram 
  • Drinking & Healing - Cocktail Bar
  • Firkin Bar
  • The First Bar
  • Layla - Eatery & Bar
  • MAD Wine Bar
  • Rabbit Hole

You can vote for Bar of 2020 here.

Meet the Grand Jury 

We asked F&B industry professionals, frequent diners, foodies from all walks of life and a couple of in-house contributors from Vietcetera to vote for their favorite spots in town (save for the ones they are professionally affiliated with). Meet the Grand Jury:

  • Ha Nguyen Thu An - Founder of People with Ideas; Digital Consultant, Ogilvy & Mather
  • Lam Duc Anh (Leo) - Brand Ambassador of Diageo Vietnam
  • Nguyen Tran Hoang Anh - Head of Strategy of The Purpose Group
  • Chau Dang - Founder of SoChaud
  • Cheri The Glutton - Food Blogger
  • Chi-An De Leo - Co-founder and Creative Director of Rice Creative
  • Clara Gia Bich Trieu - Marketing Director of Alchemy Asia
  • Elia Marchetti - Brand Ambassador of Lighthouse Group Indochina
  • Foodholic Vietnam - Food Blogger
  • Ivy Trang Ngo - Strategic Communication Consultant and Content Creator
  • Joshua Breidenbach - Co-founder and Creative Director of Rice Creative
  • Linh Thai - Investor and Businessperson
  • Lisa Le Long - Founder of Saigon LifeStyle Guide
  • Mary Tarnowka - Executive Director of AmCham Vietnam
  • Ta Thuy Minh - Head of Content of Vietcetera, VJ/MC
  • Olivier Depas - Foodservice Business Unit Director of Annam Professional
  • Quynh Tran - Founder of Cooper & Co.
  • Will Frith - Founder and Director of

Nomination and voting timeline

5 - 10 October 2020 – each committee member votes, anonymously, for ten favorites from best restaurants, bars, brands, and more across eight categories, in no particular order. Five venues with the most votes in each category make it on the shortlist.

 28 October 2020 – the Grand Jury meets for the second round of voting. Best restaurant and best bar votes are cast. 

28 October 2020 – Vietcetera editors vote in the Social Responsibility category, Brand to Watch, Neighborhood Hangout of the Year, Design of the Year, Bartender of the Year and Chef of the Year categories.

30 October 2020 – the shortlist of venues is revealed and public poll goes live.

4 November 2020 – public poll closes.

5 November 2020 – ‘People’s Choice’, ‘Grand Jury’ and ‘Editors’ Pick’ winners are announced at the awards ceremony at Mai House Saigon.

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 October 1st, 2019 are eligible for awards. 

For ‘Chef 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.