Ho Chi Minh City’s incredible food has never been short of admirers. Even so, it felt like a watershed moment when Anan—helmed by Vietnamese-­American chef Peter Cuong Franklin—became the first venue in the country’s southern hub to earn a berth in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Franklin’s inspired take on classics like pho and banh nhung is indicative of the culinary creativity at play in the city. Notable recent additions to the local dining scene include Monkey Gallery, where chef Viet Hong merges Vietnamese, French and Japanese techniques and flavors, and Esta, a self-described “modern Asian eatery” with an ever changing, expansive menu that runs the gamut from smoked-eel pâté to veal sweetbreads. Both inspiring and delicious is Ivoire, a bakery that specializes in picture-perfect Vietnamese interpretations of classic French pastries, including small cakes and macarons. —Duncan Forgan

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