Budget Sushi in Saigon, Vietnam

Saigon’s Budget Sushi Scene

Last updated April 2019 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

INTRODUCTION | GUIDE | MAP | RELATED POSTS

Eating good sushi in Saigon needn’t burn a hole in your pocket. The last few of years has seen an explosion of good-quality yet reasonably-priced sushi joints all over town. In many cases, the standard and freshness of food is on a par with the city’s more established (and pricey) sushi restaurants. Décor is often (but not always) cheap and cheerful, ambience is informal and fun, and customers are young and convivial: welcome to Saigon’s budget sushi scene.

Budget Sushi in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Excellent quality and affordable prices: this is Saigon’s Budget Sushi Scene

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BUDGET SUSHI IN SAIGON


5 of My Favourite Places for Raw Fish at Rock-bottom Prices

These days, there are dozens of places for budget sushi in Saigon, catering to a generation of young, urban, outward-looking Vietnamese, who want a taste of Japan without having to pay Japanese prices. Not all budget sushi joints are as superb as the ones I’ve outlined here, but the following five make an excellent start to your journey into the budget sushi scene in Saigon. Although I can’t claim to know about sushi, or to have had as much experience of sushi as I have of Vietnamese cuisine, I do know what I like, and I know when it’s good quality and good value:

Click a name below to read more about it:

      1. SUSHI NHÍ: Binh Thanh & District 2

      2. SUSHI KO: District 1, 2 & 4

      3. SUSHI HƯNG: District 1

      4. SUSHI HARU: District 1 & 10

      5. BAMBOO SUSHI: Phu Nhuan


MAP:

5 Great Budget Sushi Restaurants in Saigon


View in a LARGER MAP

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1: SUSHI NHÍ

Address (2 locations): 21 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Binh Thanh District [MAP| 210 Tran Nao Street, District 2 [MAP| Open: 11am-2pm & 5pm-10.30pm | Price: 25,000-150,000vnđ ($1-$7)

Opened in 2014, Sushi Nhí is fabulous. Recently relocated (for the second time: both times just a couple of doors up from its original location) and completed redecorated,  Sushi Nhí makes a mockery of expensive, formal sushi restaurants. Not only that, but Sushi Nhi has now expanded; opening a new restaurant on Tran Nao Street, in District 2. The original location, on Nguyen Cong Tru Street, is right in the middle of a classic local neighbourhood, on a great food street. The quality, variety and presentation at Sushi Nhi is excellent. Even since its makeover (now boasting indoor seating on comfortable, modern furniture on three levels), the ambience is pleasantly low-key. The staff and chefs are young, gracious and polite – there’s the sense that they’re proud of the work they do. Prices are very reasonable and ingredients are crisp, fresh, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Over the last couple years – since business has been booming – they’ve added many comforts and extras, such as air-con, a sushi bar, ink-and-water paintings on the walls, Tiger Beer on tap, and excellent carafes of Japanese-style plumb wine (unfortunately, they’ve also added sugary pop music). Hân, a chirpy, attractive, and highly organised woman in her late twenties, runs the show on the ground. Sushi Nhí is popular with Saigon’s youth, middle-class families, and, increasingly, foreign expats. It’s ridiculously good.

Sashimi at Sushi Nhí, Saigon, Vietnam

Sushi Nhí is superb quality and value: a plate of sashimi like this one costs a few bucks

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2: SUSHI KO

Address (3 locations): 122/37/15 Vinh Khanh Street, District 4 [MAP| 26/1 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1 [MAP| 94 Xuan Thuy Street, District 2 [MAP| Open: 11am-10pm (times vary with location) | Price: 35,000-175,000vnđ ($1.50-$7.50)

Now with at at least three different locations across Saigon, Sushi Ko is an amazing success. The original restaurant, on the lively, trendy, street food mecca of Vinh Khanh Street in District 4, is a prime location. Surrounded on all sides by well-established Vietnamese seafood restaurants, Sushi Ko’s Japanese menu has been pulling in crowds of young Vietnamese and expats for several years now. It has all the buzz and atmosphere you’d expect from a Vinh Khanh establishment: the echo of blaring street-karaoke; clouds of cooking smoke drifting from roadside barbecues; and the raucous cacophony of passing traffic and excited diners. The menu is extensive but prices are higher here than other places in this list. There’s plenty of outside and inside seating available. As a result of its expansion, Sushi Ko is now much bigger than most budget sushi joints in Saigon: in fact, it’s newer locations are pretty fancy places. Compared to other sushi joints in town, the fish is richer, the soy sauce saltier, and the wasabi wickedly hot at Sushi Ko. However, you should try to get here early, because by 8pm the quality tends to drop slightly: the seaweed loses its crispness and becomes rubbery, and the fish loses its shine.

Salmon sushi at Sushi Ko, Saigon, Vietnam

Sushi Ko is thriving on one of the city’s trendiest streets for street food

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3: SUSHI HƯNG

Address: 15B/14 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1 [MAP| Open: 5.30pm-11pm | Price: 500,000-1,000,000vnđ ($25-$50)

Relocated a couple of years ago to the first floor above the Blues Bar, Sushi Hưng is a cubicle of calm amid the narrow alleyways of Saigon’s ‘Japan Town’. Inside, it’s clinical, clean and minimally furnished. Behind the wooden counter, Chef Hưng slices, carves, prepares and presents all the dishes with great care and attention. A gentle but determined young man in his late twenties, Hưng learned his technique from working in numerous Japanese restaurants (he also speaks Japanese). Sadly, Sushi Hưng is no longer in the budget sushi price-range. After relocating, the prices have soared and things have changed. Previously, customers could drop in and choose from an à la carte menu, including delicious plates of tuna and salmon sashimi for a few dollars. Now, however, customers must call to make a reservation at least two days in advance (096 276 0489: English, Japanese and Vietnamese is spoken), and choose a price-range from 500,000-1,000,000vnd per person (subject to VAT and service charge), which includes a set menu multi-course meal of sushi, sashimi, tempura, soup and many other wonderful dishes. The quality is excellent, and prices are still quite low for this kind of service and standard. There’s an air of seriousness and intensity at Sushi Hưng that you won’t find at the other sushi restaurants on this list: here, the craft of sushi is earnestly pursued. Most of the customers are Japanese expats, which is quite an achievement for a young Vietnamese sushi chef. But I can’t pretend that I don’t miss the days when prices were lower, and I can’t pretend that I enjoy the sushi here any more than I do at, for example, Sushi Nhí, where prices are at least half of what they are here.

Sushi Hưng, District 1, Saigon, Vietnam

Craftsman: Chef Hưng rolls a delicious maki for one of dishes in his daily set menu

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4: SUSHI HARU

Address (2 locations): 398 Phan Xich Long Street, Phu Nhuan District [MAP| 371 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, District 10 [MAP| Open: 10am-2pm & 4pm-10pm | Price: 25,000-150,000vnđ ($1-$6.50)

Sushi Haru has two locations in Saigon, both of which are on booming ‘food streets’: Phan Xich Long Street and Nguyen Tri Phuong Street. Like Sushi Nhí, Haru has an extensive menu (ranging from sashimi to maki to combos to soups), smart and attractive but informal and comfortable décor, good quality, fresh ingredients, and a young crowd of chattering Saigonese. Presentation is nice, prices are very reasonably, portions are fine (perhaps a bit smaller than Sushi Nhí and Sushi Ko), and the flavour is good. Sushi Haru is a great place to meet a friend and catch up over some tasty but inexpensive sushi in a convivial atmosphere. Perhaps it won’t win any awards, but it ticks all the boxes for a good Saigon budget sushi joint and leaves you feeling very sated and satisfied. 

Haru Sushi, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Sushi Haru attracts are young & friendly crowd: prices are great, quality is good, ambiance is relaxed

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5: BAMBOO SUSHI

Address: 104 Cu Lao Street, Phu Nhuan District [MAP| Open: 10am-10pm | Price: 35,000-175,000vnđ ($1.50-$7.50)

Housed in a modern, four-storey villa in an affluent part of Phu Nhuan District, Bamboo Sushi offers pleasant décor, an extensive menu, and very good quality sushi at reasonable prices. The chef, Mr Đức, has over 25 years of experience under his belt, including time working in restaurants in Japan. Sitting on the wooden tables under a shower of white lanterns, the first thing I noticed at Bamboo Sushi was the wasabi: it’s different, better, fresher, more lethal here than any other place in this list. The food is nicely presented and the freshness and flavour are excellent. There are a lot of dishes to choose from, so take your time and explore the menu. I have a slight issue with pop music being played in the background, but that’s a minor annoyance when you’re feasting on beautiful plates of raw fish and delicately crafted parcels of rice and fish eggs.

Bamboo Sushi, Phu Nhuan District, Saigon, Vietnam

Bamboo Sushi: an extensive menu, fresh and tasty food, and extremely fiery wasabi


Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free and independent. I’ve written this guide because I want to: I like these sushi bars and I want my readers to know about them. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements here

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18 Comments
  1. Sergejs Usakovs says:
    June 29, 2020 at 5:11 PM

    As I often stay in D1 at Thai Van Lung str., then, naturally, I often patronize the Japanese City, and surrounding. And yes, Sushi Ko 3 is one of my 2 top choices there for a bento lunch with 5 kinds of sashimi on rice, miso soup, and few few more ietms that I am uanble to articulate properly, only for 128k during the lunch)

    1. Tom says:
      June 30, 2020 at 2:28 AM

      Hi Sergejs,

      Good to hear you enjoy the Japanese food there.

      Tom

  2. tijl says:
    March 12, 2018 at 7:08 AM

    Just went to Bamboo Sushi yesterday,
    till 15th of march they have 15% off and 100k voucher if booked in advance
    (https://www.facebook.com/BambooSushiVN)
    was 530k for edamame, deluxe sashimi, mushroom/vegetable udon, japanese tea, scoop of macha ice cream, service a bit slow but sashimi quality was excellent (reservation was for 830pm).

    Thx for the great info Tom!

    1. Tom says:
      March 12, 2018 at 7:34 AM

      Hi Tijl,

      Great, thanks for the heads up about the discounts. Sounds like you had quite a feast there! 🙂

      Tom

  3. Patricia says:
    August 17, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Hey Tom,
    I managed to get to 3 of the Restaurants on your lust- Sushi Nhi, Bamboo Sushi, and Sushi Ko.

    My fave was Sushi Nhi, amazing quality and very cool decor! Bamboo Sushi was also very good, but a bit pricy.
    I did not like Sushi Ko as much. I got there at 5, but the quality did not compare to the other two. The BBQ place next door seemed really cool, and popular (it was packed, whereas Sushi Ko only had 3 tables occupied).

    Thanks again for you awesome recommendations!
    Patricia

    1. Tom says:
      August 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM

      Hi Patricia,

      Great! Yes, I agree with you – my favourite is Sushi Nhi too, and I also think that the quality is up and down at Sushi Ko 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed it.

      Tom

      1. Long says:
        August 22, 2017 at 1:44 PM

        Thanks to your suggestion, I’ve been a regular of Sushi Nhi for the last two years. They have moved locations as of August 21 – just 2-doors down. The new place is bigger and the decor is very nice. There’s a sushi bar now and the seats and tables are full size. The best part is the prices haven’t changed.

        1. Tom says:
          August 22, 2017 at 2:56 PM

          Hi Long,

          Thanks a lot for the update. A friend of mine also told me about the location & decor change a couple of days ago, but she was worried that the prices might change too – so it’s great to hear that they haven’t.

          I will be going there tomorrow – looking forward to it.

          Thanks again,

          Tom

  4. Khan says:
    October 16, 2016 at 4:21 AM

    Holy shit dude! You’re coverage of Saigon is comprehensive. And I love your wit! Thanks SO much for this. If I was in a position to do so, I’d donate to make sure you keep on at it!

    1. Tom says:
      October 17, 2016 at 1:47 AM

      Thanks, Khan. I’m glad you like it!

      Tom

  5. Tim says:
    May 12, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    Hi Tom!
    I have just been to Sushi Nhi and it was great! Funny when I arrived and saw the lady in the front, asking her ´So you must bee Han?´. I was right and she was surprised of course. I mentioned your name and she recognized it immediately.
    It was very nice and fresh sushi. Quick service and just 200k for 2 persons including 3 beers. That´s much better than tokyo deli!

    1. Tom says:
      May 13, 2016 at 1:26 AM

      Hi Tim,

      Great to hear you enjoyed Sushi Nhi! Yes, I totally agree – it’s much better than Tokyo Deli 🙂

      This is making me hungry – I think I shall have to go back to Sushi Nhi tonight!

      Tom

  6. Phuong Khuu says:
    January 19, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for this wonderful post. I’m a huge fan of sushi and sashimi. I have monthly sushi meals in which I usually go to the Sushi Bar Thien Que (Zen plaza one, I love the atmosphere there and the quality is satisfactory with affordable price) I’ve tried Tokyo Deli once but it was such a disappointment and Nhan sushi which was way too expensive (it charged me twice as much as Thien Que did) compared to its actual quality. I’ll definitely try all of these budget places in my upcoming sushi meals.

    1. Tom says:
      January 19, 2016 at 3:30 PM

      Hi Phương,

      Thanks. Try Sushi Nhí – I think you’ll like it. It’s a relaxed ambience and the sushi is great quality and reasonably priced. The owners used to work at the Sushi Bar so the taste and variety is very similar to that. It’s actually right opposite the house I used to live in on Nguyen Cong Tru Street 🙂

      Tom

  7. Richard says:
    January 9, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    Tom,

    Your reviews were just in time. We’ll be heading back to Viet Nam next month and will definitely be hitting Sushi Nhi. We have tried a couple sushi joints up in Nha Trang but only mediocre. Regards,

    Richard

    1. Tom says:
      January 10, 2016 at 7:09 AM

      Hi Richard,

      Great. I hope you like Sushi Nhí. I don’t think I’ve ever had sushi in Nha Trang before 🙂

      Tom

  8. H. says:
    January 4, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    Maybe we went on an off night for Sushi Nhi but tonight (Monday) we went in at 6p and, a few minutes after placing our orders, were told that half of our orders couldn’t be completed because they have no Tuna, at all. 🙁

    I was all excited because Sushi Nhi is around the corner from where we live. The rolls that we ordered were also really light on fish, as in the fish is only on half of the roll.

    So disappointed 🙁

    1. Tom says:
      January 4, 2016 at 3:16 PM

      Hi H,

      Oh dear, such a shame to hear that. My guess is that it has something to do with fish supplies being low on a Monday after the weekend, but that is only a guess. I would still recommend trying it one more time, especially as you live nearby (I also used to live literally across the street :-))

      I hope you have a more positive experience next time: let me know.

      Thanks for your comment,

      Tom