Aug 06 2012
Every now and again on your travels, even as you mostly chow down on the local street foods, you may begin to miss some of your favourite comfort foods. My turn-to food of choice is the hamburger and luckily a few places around Saigon make a good one. If you’re in the mood for a burger, here are a few of the better options on offer.
One of the better-kept burger secrets in Saigon is found at small restaurant on Pasteur. Although from the outside Mogambo may not look like much, and inside may feel a bit cramped, you’re in for a surprise with a quick glance at their menu. You may, like I was, be instantly drawn to the name of their 200,000 VND flagship burger, the Coronary Bypass. A little pricey for a single burger compared to other burgers throughout town, you do get what you pay for when you order the Bypass: two New Zealand beef patties, an egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. Made with quality ingredients, the Bypass is both tender and juicy. Plus at Mogambo your burger also comes with fries, instead of having to be ordered separately, which is a bonus considering how tasty the burger is.
If you’re really hungry, there is no bigger burger in town than what you’ll find at Black Cat on Phan Van Dat in District 1. Their menu has several burgers to choose from but their prize jewel is the Big Cheese. The Big Cheese consists of a 500 gram patty of beef, which is then stacked with copious amounts of toppings: four slices of cheese, six pieces of bacon, a head of lettuce, an onion, three tomatoes and a pickle. Basically this is four burgers piled under one giant bun; its total weight rings in around 1.5 kilograms. Things are piled high and can be difficult to eat without a fork. The bun, which is practically a loaf of bread, is surprisingly tasty. Considering that it could easily feed four, and I would strongly advise sharing, the 333,000 VND price tag isn’t too bad. If you’re up to the challenge, legends are whispered through the restaurant of single patrons successfully finishing in one sitting.
Known for being home to one of Saigon’s biggest cocktails, Bernie’s is also highly regarded for its burgers. Unlike some of the other spots in town, Bernie’s doesn’t throw a huge selection of burgers at you — they have it boiled down to just one: the 125,000 VND Bernie Burger. A thick, moist patty tucked under lettuce, a fried egg, one of the best buns you’ll find in HCMC and most interestingly a slice of beetroot [ed: Bernie is clearly Australian], makes this one of the tastier and more unique burgers in town. This is also one of the only restaurants in town that offers sweet-potato wedges instead of fries.
Vietnam is one of the largest countries in the world, by population, without a McDonalds. Nevertheless, the American fast-food burger chains are creeping in and leading the way is Carl’s Jr. With two locations, one in the Vincom Centre and the other in District 7, Carl’s Jr. is the only place to go if you’re in desperate need for chain-style burger and fries, which also happen to be quite a bit better than what you would find under the golden arches. Will you be getting a burger as good as Mogabo’s? No, but at 75,000 VND, a Famous Star with cheese will cost considerably less. They are also one of the only restaurants in town that offer free refills on soft drinks.
50 Pasteur, District 1
T: (08) 3825 1311
13 Phan Van Dat, District 1
T: (08) 3829 2055
Bernie’s Bar and Grill
19 Thai Van Lung, District 1
T: (08 )3822 1720
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