Not a lot of good Vietnamese food in the centre of HCMC, you need to get out into the suburbs. Ignore anyone who recommends Quan An Ngon, it's shockingly overrated & strictly for tourists. Barbecue Garden is a fun place near the market if you don't want to head out of town, but otherwise try heading up Le Van Sy where Phu Nhuan meets Tan Binh district - loads of good open air places there.
For good seafood, try Hong Hai on Pasteur St.
I am partial to the Chinese restaurant across the street from the New World Hotel.
Other than that, the OP's post is impossible to answer.
Why wouldn't you eat Chinese in Vietnam? There's a considerable Chinese influence here. And why shouldn't you eat whatever the hell you like when you're on holiday? HCMC has some great French, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Italian restaurants. Or are we not allowed to eat there? Do you only eat American food in the US?
Their vit diem happens to be something I can only get in Vietnam, never in Denmark. Vietnamese food I can get all the time. My wife is a great cook.
Sorry to have offended you, kesa-WA.
Try the buffet currently on offer at the Van Canh restaurant opposite Ben Thanh market, right of the bus station on the corner. From my previous visit I can tell you it gets packed out and you'll probably be the only foreigner(s) in a sea of about 300 (maybe more) Vietnamese sat down for dinner.
As already mentioned, what someone calls good, another will call poor. The problem being to get a real taste of Vietnamese cooking (define what is authentic and the best) you don't go to places that cater for lots of foreigners. Best I've eaten was up a side street with lots of metal tables and plastic chairs to sit on. Authentic Vietnamese cooking without a doubt. I'd tend to agree with C&G comment re: Quan An Ngon. Yes, nice setting, food I'll say no more on.
I love Quan An Ngon! I've eaten there many times and while it is popular with foreigners it is equally as popular with the locals in my observation.
I would hate this thread to put others off giving it a go - such a gorgeous setting with lovely food.
Can not go past Huong Vy at 177 Pham Ngu Lao. A favored hang out for ex-pats. Steak dinners for under 80,000 dong.
Dont get your knickers in a knot C&G it aint worth it. For myself and family when in the country you are in eat what they do. You would be in trouble coming to my town cos you would have to eat just what we have and NIX else. But surely you would not do what I have seen a million times a crowd of foreigners eating everything but Vietnamese. Me I go there for the food and their experience of their culture and their food. Sorry to dissapoint - maybe I am a strange foreigner!!! I like to go to the country of my choice and see them and their food!!!