Going South of the Border in Saigon: Best Tacos in HCMC

Grill spicy chicken with Feta cheese in Rico Taco. Photo by Rico Taco

Anyone who is a fan of Mexican food, especially tacos, should try and decide for yourself the most fantastic place that serves distinct styles of tacos in Saigon, which includes authentic Mexican cuisine, Korean fusion style, Tex-Mexican tacos, and Vietnamese fusion ones.

Rico Taco

Authentic Mexican dishes in Rico Taco. Photo by Rico Taco‌‌
Grill spicy chicken with Feta cheese in Rico Taco. Photo by Rico Taco

Founded by Alejandro Torres Palacios, a native Mexican chef, Rico Tacos proudly serves authentic Mexican cuisine. The dishes are recipes that come from the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí instead.

The taco menu here is impressive not only for its various choices but for its local authenticity, sauces, the unique combination of ingredients, and its blend of Mexican special spices. The menu opens with a vegetarian option of tacos named Tacos O Torta De Alambre Vegetarian, in which grilled mushrooms, corn, chili with black bean purée, and peanut chipotle salsa are the main ingredients. The menu closes with the most premium tacos, Tacos O Torta De Barbacoa, which contains braised beef with black bean purée, avocado, sour cream & black salsa.

The vibrant and colorful dining area is inspired by Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta making for a memorable dining experience.

District Federal

Chicken Tinga Taco in District Federal. Photo by District Federal

This place is known for its famous self-made corn tortillas, which utilized the “nixtamalization” technique, a traditional way of making tortillas in Mexico. Most Mexican restaurants use the ready-made type, it takes a lot of time and effort for District Federal to make fresh corn tortillas.

In return, they deliver the authentic and freshest flavors of Mexican food. Guests come for the fresh daily tacos, corn chips & tostadas when coming here. Besides, the ten imported chilies from Mexico are key to authentic tastes and flavors. For those who love a touch of fusion, the “North of the Border” menu might be the go-to.

The space is divided into two distinct dining areas: one open-air area overlooking the open La Cocina kitchen section, and an indoor space equipped with a seven-meter bar serving crafted Mexican cocktails. The vibrant and cool space of District Federal will give you a true Mexican cultural experience in Saigon.

El Camino Taqueria

El Camino’s Shredded Beef Tacos. Photo by Saigon Outcas
El Camino’s Tacos set. Photo by El Camino Taqueria

This place doesn't just offer good Korean-inspired tacos, but also award-winning American Craft beers and a chill place filled with both old-school and electric hip hop soundtracks and cool vibe neighbors.

Coming here will be a refreshing experience for your taste buds as your expectation of tacos is now Asian-ized, very familiar, yet exotic flavor combinations. Spicy Korean Chicken Taco and Spicy Fried Chicken Taco are the dishes of choice if you want to try their signature Korean-style tacos.

But the food isn’t the only thing to revive you from a long working day, the drinks menu with the best craft beers brands such as Anderson Valley Brewing Co, Stone Brewing, and Deschutes Brewery, ready to release all your tension. The whole relaxing experience will be fulfilled by the urban, vibrant, and lively atmosphere of El Camino.

Anan Saigon

Chef Franklin Cuong and his team in Anan Saigon. Photo by Anan Saigon
Bo Kho Banh Xeo Tacos (Vietnamese style slow cook beef- Pancake Tacos) in Anan Saigon. Photo by Anan Saigon‌‌

At first, the impression about Anan Saigon is its dedication to elevating Vietnamese cuisine. It may then be surprised to find tacos in a famous Vietnamese restaurant. You will be even more surprised by the creativity the head chef puts into these special fusion tacos.

Anan Saigon was founded by the award-winning chef Peter Cuong Franklin, who has been dedicating his life to street food-inspired dishes, especially Vietnamese cuisine. The deep connection to local street cuisine led him to a one-of-a-kind dish, Banh Xeo Tacos, the marriage of Mexican and Vietnamese street food’s essence.

Banh Xeo (a traditional Vietnamese fried pancake) is a favorite dish of the Vietnamese. Many locals grow up enjoying Banh Xeo made from rice flour mixed with turmeric powder for the yellow color. Chef Franklin had the idea of using Banh Xeo as the shell while making the filling a meld of Mexican and Vietnamese cuisine.

Gringo Tacos Y Cantina

Baja fish tacos in Gringo Tacos. Photo by Gringo Tacos Y Catina‌‌

Doug Stratton, head chef of Gringo Tacos, was brought up in California long enough to have a strong understanding of Mexican food. He brought a love of the cuisine into Vietnam, serving quality authentic Mexican dishes in Binh Thanh District.

As a homemade Mexican restaurant, Gringo Tacos y Canina keeps the dishes simple but carefully selects high-quality ingredients, especially meat, for the best tasting experience. Notice the small details in the restaurant’s authentic Mexican dishes, such as the use of Mexican cream for Mexican dishes. These tacos are for those seeking the original flavors.

Besides tacos, they also serve burritos, tostadas, and quesadillas with authentic Mexican spirit.

La Fiesta

Chipotle Fri.ed Chicken Tacos in La Fiesta. Photo by La Fiesta
Chipotle Smoked Duck Breast in La Fiesta. Photo by La Fiesta 

‌‌La Fiesta serves Tex-Mexican cuisine from a U.S.-raised chef. With fresh, house-made sauces and tortillas from Saigon Tacos, the restaurant serves the food enjoyable to foreign and local people in Saigon. ‌‌

Appearing as a humble, family-like space, La Fiesta surprisingly provides services and foods that exceed expectations. The menu offers diverse choices of Tacos ranging from vegan/ vegetarian options to meat-based, with a clear and detailed description of ingredients and price. The dishes are well-pleased even to the local American or Mexican American, as the potion is huge (American serving size) and the flavor is authentic and well-rounded. Coming here, pickle chili pepper is a should-try side dish that accompanies well with any plate. (Notice that they are super spicy!) ‌‌‌‌‌‌

Each tacos place has its own food style and vibe, it’s now your time to go try them and decide the best one for yourself!‌‌