Best Japanese Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City That Are Affordable & Delicious

by Jackie
Best Japanese Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City: Morico for Dessert

Wondering what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam? Try Japanese food! One of the positive things about living in Ho Chi Minh City is that we eat a lot of Japanese food – almost every other day. From fresh sushi, spicy curry to mouthwatering grilled eel (unagi), we can’t get enough of the cuisine.

Considering that Ho Chi Minh City is a melting pot of various cultures and gastronomy, it’s no surprise to see a large number of Japanese restaurants available here. From the main Japantown in District 1 off of Le Thanh Ton to the up and coming Japantowns in Binh Thanh District and District 2’s An Phu area, the opportunities are endless and easy to find.

Check out our favorite and best Japanese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City that are affordable and delicious. You won’t see the super high end and $$$$ type restaurants (ie: Ichiba Sushi, even though it’s very good!) on this list since we’re about eating food with good value and good taste. As frequent diners, we’ve been to these recommended places many times and paid for our meals, so we’re not getting sponsored for our reviews. 

In addition, this isn’t a comprehensive must-try list as there are almost 800 listings of Japanese restaurants listed on Foody.vn (an equivalent version of Yelp in the U.S.)  We’ll try as many of these restaurants as possible during our stay here.

With each of the restaurants that we listed, we’re listing whether there are vegetarian options, if the restaurant is non-smoking, and the payments accepted. Many of the Japanese restaurants allow smoking inside, so if you’re sensitive to the smoke, please avoid the restaurants.

Get ready for some tasty meals coming your way.

Read More: Take a Cooking Class in Asia


Best Japanese Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City

Ebisu Restaurant

Ebisu is our special date night type of restaurant yet still at a reasonable price. The menu has over 300 items so it can be overwhelming. This place is well known for their homemade udon as there are over 20+ options to try. Order a few bowls for everyone at your table to enjoy. We’ve had the kitsune (tofu puffs), beef gristle curry, natto (fermented soybeans), and more.

If you’re a sushi lover, try the 10 piece sushi nigiri moriawase at 298,000 VND ($13 USD). It’s our favorite dish as it comes with salmon, tuna, fish eggs, tamago, other delicious nigiri, and freshly grated wasabi. You can’t beat the quality of fish – so fresh that it melts in your mouth like butter. Each slice of fish is the right size and not too thick. No need to go to Tsujiki Fish Market in Tokyo when this place is just as good.

Fresh sushi at Ebisu, one of the Japanese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Multiple Locations Available:

35 Bis, Đường Mạc Đỉnh Chi, District 1

66 Song Hành, Khu đô thị An Phú An Khánh, District 2

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, try the seaweed salad, vegetarian maki sushi, vegetable topped udon, tofu, natto, etc. 

Smoking in restaurant allowed: Yes

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Website / Facebook 


Sushi Nhi

Sushi Nhi is where we go to satisfy our sushi craving at affordable prices. While the fish quality doesn’t compare to Ebisu, it has pretty good sushi and sashimi. When you’re seated, you get a small dish of kimchi as an appetizer.

The menu has a variety of foods besides sushi, such as curry, grilled meats, and more. Our favorites include the salmon belly sashimi (order 1-2 servings during your initial order as they often sell out early), seared salmon and tuna nigiri, vegetable tempura (ask for tempura sauce or you’ll get a sriracha mayo type sauce), and dragon roll. All of this for around 350,000 VND ($15 USD) for two and a full belly.

Tip: The restaurant gets crowded during dinner time. Either make a reservation, come early, be flexible with sitting at the bar, or wait over 30 minutes for a table.

Fresh salmon belly sashimi at Sushi Nhi, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City

You can’t go wrong with ordering fatty salmon belly.

Multiple Locations Available:

  • 21 Nguyễn Công Trứ, Phường 19, Bình Thạnh District
  • 210 Đường Trần Não, P. Bình An, District 2

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, the menu has an icon for vegetarian options. Try the vegetable or avocado rolls and maki and salads. 

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Facebook


Curry Shika

Curry Shika is a small, local restaurant down a hidden alleyway that serves tasty curry. The curry sauce tastes “homey” and is more peppery than other places that we’ve been to which gives it a unique flavor.

Try the curry with hamburg (Japanese beef patty) or the vegetable curry. You can even try the natto if that’s to your liking. The meal comes with a small side salad and pickles. During lunchtime, the meal has a complimentary lemon iced tea or coffee. The price for the curry is between 100,000 VND – 180,000 VND ($4.30 – $7.80 USD) depending on what you order.

The desserts are also good at Curry Shika. The mizu shingen mochi looks like a giant water drop and oh so pretty. While you’re waiting for your meal, check out their impressive manga library.

Vegetarian curry at Curry Shika in Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamMizu Shingen Mochi at Curry Shika, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Address: 1/4 Nguyễn Văn Tráng, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, District 1

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, try the vegetable or natto curry.

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash only

For more information: Website (in Vietnamese and Japanese only) / Facebook


Coco Ichibanya

Established in 1978, this famous Japanese curry chain restaurant has fans worldwide. Located in Landmark 81, the tallest building in Vietnam, this is the first Coco Ichibanya to open in Vietnam. If we don’t want to head to District 1 to Curry Shika, this place provides our curry fix.

Choose your curry type, rice amount, spiciness level (spicy level 2 and 3 is enough spice for us to sweat), and toppings (if desired). Unfortunately, this place doesn’t serve hamburg even though it’s listed on a sign in the restaurant. We’ve been to Coco Ichibanya in Seoul, South Korea, and the flavors are consistent with the Vietnam store. Prices for the curry is between 100,000 VND – 150,000 VND ($4.30 – $6.50 USD) depending on what you order. 

Curry with omelet and fried chicken at Coco Ichibanya, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Address: Landmark 81, Second Floor, 208 Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Vinhomes Tân Cảng, Bình Thạnh District Credit cards accepted.

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, try various vegetable curries and/or natto curry. The menu has a full page dedicated to veggie options.

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Website / Facebook


Mutsumian (Yuugatei)

During my layover in Narita, I thought I had delicious grilled eel (unagi) until I went to Mutsumian (also called Yuugatei). This Japanese restaurant has the best unagi ever!

The simplest and must-have item on the menu is the unaju (unagi over rice and in a box) where you can choose a large (500,000 VND) or small size (250,000 VND). The charbroiled eel isn’t too fatty and has the perfect amount of unagi sauce when placed over the rice. We always eat every grain of rice soaked in the magical drippings of the fresh grilled unagi.

The meal comes with the daily special side appetizers such. No two consecutive days are the same. Also included are fried eel bones, edamame, pickles, and eel soup. The menu has expanded to include sashimi and tempura.

If this place is crowded, you may wait over 30 minutes for the unagi. However, it’s well worth the wait.

Delicious unagi (grilled eel) at Matsumian, one of the est Japanese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

Droolworthy unagi. This is a large size.

Address: Hẻm 15A Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, District 1

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, but very limited. You’ll have mostly appetizer type dishes and salad.

Smoking in restaurant allowed: Yes

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted


Tsukemen Daigo

Love tsukemen, aka dipping ramen?! You have to visit Tsukemen Daigo. It’s a no frills type of place with minimal decorations. The menu has three main options – tonkotsu (pork and fish), ebi shio (shrimp and salt), kara (spicy), and soba noodles. Choose your preferred noodle type of flat or round noodle and the quantity of noodles from 100g to 300g. The menu is in Japanese so you can verbally say what you want to the waiter. 

We’ve had the tonkotsu and the ebi shio soups many times. The noodles are hearty and cooked al dente so there is a good chew with the noodles. All you need to do is dip your noodles into the soup, slurp loudly, and enjoy.

Prices for the tsukemen starts at 150,000 VND ($6.50 USD).

Tonkotsu tsukemen at Tsukemen Daigo - Best Japanese Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

Tonkotsu tsukemen

Ebi shio tsusekemen at Tsukemen Daigo at Ho Chi Minh City - one of the best Japanese restaurants

Ebi shio tsukemen

Address: 8A/E19 Thái Văn Lung, Bến Nghé, District 1

Vegetarian-friendly: No

Smoking in restaurant allowed: Yes

Payment: Cash only

For more information: Facebook


Ateya

To be honest, we’re not beer drinkers. Why would we recommend an izakaya restaurant which is known to serve alcohol and izakaya-style snack foods? Because the food is amazing here!

Located off of a quiet street in the Binh Thanh district, Ateya serves a variety of food from delicious udon to sashimi. One of the steller items on the menu is the Nagasaki champon. The deeply flavored noodle soup comes with vegetables, pork, seafood, and ramen. If you don’t want soup, they also have a fried noodles version that is just as good. 

Another of our favorites is the (Hiroshima style) okonomiyaki with layers of cabbage, seafood, noodles, and crispy rice. The okonomiyaki has meat in it but we request it without meat. The flavors are complex with each layer of ingredients and topped with okonomiyaki sauce. It’s one of the best okonomiyaki that we’ve eaten. 

You’ll get some privacy when dining as each table has a partitioned area.

Prices for dishes range starts at 130,000 VND ($5.60 USD).

Nagasaki Champon at Ateya in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Address: 50, Mê Linh, Phường 19, Bình Thạnh District

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, but limited. You can have natto omelet and wakame soba (seaweed soba noodles) or request no meat in the dishes.

Smoking in restaurant allowed: Yes

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted


Hareya

Hareya is another izakaya restaurant which is perfect to enjoy at the end of the day. The English translated menu doesn’t quite accurately translate the Japanese menu but if you say what you’re looking for in Japanese, this place may serve it.

Some of the recommended items are spicy noodles (vegetarian), grilled half chicken, and bento style meals. Otherwise, there are lots of izakaya-style foods that you can share, such as edamame, grilled fish and skewers, and more.

Each of the dining areas has partitioned walls so you can have some privacy with your group. To gain the attention of your waitress, ring the bell on the table. Prices for a meal combo below is around 150,000 VND ($6.50 USD).

Hareya's meal set with saba (mackeral), salad, miso soup, and rice at in Ho Chi Minh City:

Address: 2A Chu Mạnh Trinh, Bến Nghé, District 1

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, but limited. You can have spicy noodles and rice dishes or request no meat in the dishes.

Smoking in restaurant allowed: Yes

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Facebook


Gyumaru

If you’re a relapsing carnivore, come to Gyumaru. You’ll get your fix of wagyu steak and hamburg on a sizzling platter. Choose your size of hamburg size and your sides. The LL size combo pictured below has a 250g Wagyu ribeye and a 270g hamburg.

If you’re on a budget, some of the cheaper options include going with American beef instead of Wagyu, burgers, and curries starting at 110,000 VND ($4.75 USD).

Vegetarians and vegans should avoid this place as there aren’t options. The vegetable curry has beef chunks in the curry sauce.

Hamburg and steak at Gyumaru - Best Japanese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

Address: 8/3 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, District 1

Vegetarian-friendly: No, unless you want the corn puff pastry soup in the appetizer section. 

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Facebook


Miyama Cafe

Located in Saigon Center, Miyama Cafe provides a contemporary twist to the Japanese cuisine. The open seating and natural sunlight provide a calm and relaxing ambiance during lunchtime. Try the lunch menu which has beautifully presented sets (similar to kaiseki style.) We recommend sets with kobe beef or sea bass which is around 300,000 VND ($13 USD). 

The main stars of this place are the desserts and drinks. Even though the dessert menu changes often, the popular dessert is the matcha millecrepe. With over 30 crepe layers with matcha cream in between, it’s a piece of heaven. Each slice is 118,000 VND ($5 USD) which is a bit pricier, yet worth it! Miyama usually runs out of the millecrepe after 7:30pm so you must get there early to enjoy this dessert.

Top off your meal or dessert with colorful fruit drinks such as purple dragon fruit, mango juice, or the Serbia cherry (one of our favorites!)

Lunchtime menu set with kobe beef, salad, and soup at Miyama Cafe, Ho Chi Minh City

Matcha millicrepe at Miyama Cafe, one of Ho Chi Minh City's best Japanese restaurants

Our favorite dessert – matcha millicrepe!

Address: Saigon Center, L3-01, 65 Lê Lợi, Bến Nghé, District 1

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, check out the menu for veggie options. 

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Website / Facebook 


Morico Modern Japanese Restaurant

We’re in matcha dessert heaven. Morico has plenty of tasty Japanese desserts, especially if you love matcha. From mochi, matcha chocolate lava cake to matcha shaved ice, you’ll want to try everything on the menu. There are other non-matcha desserts and seasonal desserts as well. The matcha or hojicha (roasted green tea) lattes and juices are also good too. Desserts start at 80,000 VND ($3.45 USD). 

If you don’t fancy dessert, meal options are available such as sushi.

Matcha mochi with matcha ice cream dessert at Morico, one of the best Japanese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

Multiple Locations Available:

  • 30 Lê Lợi, Bến Nghé, District 1
  • Vincom Center, 72 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, District 1
  • Somerset, 11 Mac Dinh Chi St., District 1
  • MPlaza,  39 Lê Duẩn, Bến Nghé, District 1
  • Saigon Pearl, 92 Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Phường 22, Bình Thạnh District
  • Crescent Mall, 101 Tôn Dật Tiên, Tân Phú, District 7
  • SC VivoCity, 1058, Nguyễn Văn Linh, Phường Tân Phong, District 7

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, desserts are vegetarian-friendly. 

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Facebook 


Pizza 4Ps

Japanese food meets Italian food. With 10 locations in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Danang, Pizza 4Ps is one of the top pizza joints in Vietnam. Established in 2011, their mission is to “Delivering Wow, Sharing Happiness” and exceeds it with their warm hospitality. One of the unique things about the history of Pizza 4Ps is that the Japanese owners couldn’t find fresh mozzarella cheese in Vietnam so they decided to make their own to use in their restaurants. Now they have a cheese-making studio at Don Duong, which is one hour from Dalat. We can say that the cheese brings together the flavors of the pizza.

Delve into the unique pizza toppings such as salmon sashimi, smoked cheese spicy seafood, and chả cá Hanoi (fried fish famous in Hanoi). The toppings may sound weird, but they’re heavenly. If you want to try the burrata cheese, try it ham or anchovies.

Vegetarian pizzas are available. The vegetarian Four Flowers pizza is our favorite and a must try with the tonkin flowers and other edible flowers toppings. It’s only available in Ho Chi Minh City.

If you don’t want to commit to one choice for the whole pizza, we recommend the half and half combo. Pick two choices and each will come in half of the pizza. You can try more pizza flavors this way.

Tip: It’s recommended to have a reservation if you’re dining at popular times and/or have a large group.

Half eggplant margherita and half four flowers pizza at Pizza 4Ps - Best Japanese-Italian restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

Vegetarian pizzas are delicious at Pizza 4Ps. This is the half eggplant margherita and half four flowers pizza.

Half seafood pizza and half anchovies with burrata cheese at Pizza 4Ps, best Japanese-Italian restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City

Half seafood and half anchovies with small burrata cheese

Multiple locations available:

  • 608 Vo Van Kiet, Cau Kho Ward, District 1608 Vo Van Kiet, Cau Kho Ward, District 1
  • Saigon Centre, 01-02 Level 6, Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 8/15 Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 8 Thu Khoa Huan, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Lot MD2, Nguyen Van Linh Boulevard, Tan Phu Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 151B Hai Ba Trung, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes, plenty of vegetarian pizzas available. 

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Website / Facebook


Basement Level of Takashimaya/Saigon Centre Shopping Mall

Technically, this is not a restaurant. Yet the basement level of the Takashimaya/Saigon Centre shopping mall has numerous kiosks and small stores that sell Japanese food and snacks. Our favorites include:

  • Azabu Sabo: One of the best places to enjoy iced matcha floats on a hot afternoon. Or, try the two-scoop ice cream on a square cone. Choose from the seasonal flavors or the popular matcha and black sesame.
  • Yamazaki Bakery: Thank goodness we don’t live nearby here or we’ll stop by this bakery every day. You’ll find fresh baked goods (sweet and savory) that are replenished consistently throughout the day. We love the red bean filled baked bun.

Address: Basement Level, 65 Lê Lợi, Bến Nghé, District 1

Vegetarian-friendly: Yes

Smoking in restaurant allowed: No

Payment: Cash and credit cards accepted

For more information: Website


You’re probably drooling over this post. We don’t blame you. As Japanese food lovers, we hope you enjoy eating Japanese food in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City.

Besides eating, check out some recommended sightseeing activities in Ho Chi Minh City:

If you’ve eaten Japanese food in Ho Chi Minh City, which restaurants should we try next? Which place do you want to try? Share in the comments below. 

Love this Japanese food post? Save this to your foodie board on Pinterest.

Affordable and delicious Japanese food including sushi in Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamMatcha mochi and matcha ice cream Japanese dessert at Morico, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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6 comments

Vinita March 19, 2019 - 5:16 pm

Yummy Japanese food. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Jackie March 23, 2019 - 12:43 pm

Thank you Vinita. Hope you can try some of these Japanese restaurants on a future visit to Ho Chi Minh City.

Reply
Katja August 20, 2019 - 10:34 pm

This was a very interesting post! We ate at Ebisu and were really delighted.

We are staying just for 3 days and I like your website. And we stay in Vinhomes Central Park, so we totally agree with the quietness instead of District 1.

Reply
Jackie August 21, 2019 - 1:40 pm

Enjoy your short time in Ho Chi Minh City Katja. We’re thrilled that you tried Ebisu restaurant! What did you have there?

Reply
Justin January 5, 2020 - 11:09 pm

4P’s is one of the best restaurants in Saigon, no doubt!

Have you tried Kasen? It’s an Omakase sushi restaurant here in the city. What you don’t get in ambiance, you get in delicious food! There’s a fusion thing going on there – I definitely recommend trying out their beef “tacos”. Additionally, our favorites are the salmon nigiri, the miso eggplant dish, and the fatty tuna just melts in your mouth. Give it a visit! 🙂

Reply
Jackie January 7, 2020 - 2:35 pm

Hi Justin. Thanks for sharing your recommendation on Kasen! We haven’t been here yet so we’ll try it soon. The miso eggplant sounds delicious.

Reply

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