Gluten Free Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: The Complete Guide

I am very excited to bring you my gluten free Ho Chi Minh City guide. I have celiac disease and spent two months exploring Vietnam, including two full weeks in Ho Chi Minh City.

In this article, I’m sharing everything I learned so YOUR trip can be easier (this includes an amazing gluten free street food tour!).

NOTE | I have celiac disease and avoid cross contact. Saying that, staff, practices, menus, and hours can all change. I encourage you to always do your own research and ask questions before you dine.

tapioca dumplings in ho chi minh vietnam
Gluten free tapioca dumplings that we made during our cooking class in Ho Chi Minh – more details below!

Gluten Free Ho Chi Minh City: What You Need to Know

Ho Chi Minh City is a huge city in southern Vietnam and, in my opinion, the most gluten free-friendly city in all of Vietnam.

In general, there is less gluten used in the cuisine in southern Vietnam. Saying that, it wasn’t as easy to eat gluten free in Ho Chi Minh (and Vietnam in general) as I expected. The tips below should help keep you safe.

My top 5 tips for gluten free travelers in Vietnam:

  1. Use this gluten free Vietnamese translation card.
  2. Book accommodation with a kitchen as back up.
  3. Always double check if a dish has Knorr – a seasoning powder often used in broths and street food which contains gluten.
  4. Know the other hidden gluten sources in Vietnamese cuisine.
  5. Fish sauce is almost always gluten free!

Below I’m sharing my favorite celiac-friendly restaurants, cafes, street food tour, cooking class, coffee workshop, and more in Ho Chi Minh City, to make your own trip easier.

gluten free pho
Pho is an extremely popular dish in Vietnam. You have to be careful that the broth does not contain Knorr or other gluten sauces/powders. I found a few gluten free phos in Ho Chi Minh!
gluten free fish sauce
Fish sauce is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine so thank goodness it is naturally gluten free!

My Recommended Vietnamese Gluten Free Translation Card

I recommend buying this Vietnamese gluten free translation card before you travel to Ho Chi Minh City.

I used that exact same card every day of my two months in Vietnam! It saved me so many times, and I can confirm that the Vietnamese restaurant staff really understood it.

This card is different (AKA better) than others for a few reasons. First, it is professionally translated and written by a celiac who lived in Vietnam.

Second, to my knowledge it is the ONLY translation card that is personalized to Vietnamese cuisine. Honestly, it’s a must have!

Buy your Vietnamese GF card here.

Gluten Free Ho Chi Minh City Map

To help you navigate your way around the massive Ho Chi Minh City, I created this map of gluten free options. You can download it to your phone and use it yourself!

Gluten free Ho Chi Minh City map key:

  • Dark blue: Dedicated gluten free bakeries and restaurants.
  • Light blue: Non-dedicated with gluten free option.
  • Yellow: Grocery stores.
  • Maroon house icon: My top recommended places to stay for celiacs.
  • Green: Things to see and do.

Gluten Free Street Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City

Before I get into the gluten free restaurants, I have to share the #1 thing that people asked me about after my trip to Vietnam: our gluten free street food tour in Ho Chi Minh City!

I was desperate to take a street food tour while in Saigon. Street food is a HUGE part of the culture here and I really felt I’d miss out on the classic “Saigon experience” if I didn’t take one. I struggled to find a reasonably priced street food tour that took my gluten free needs seriously… until my friend Matt recommended Street Food Man!

Sarah, Dan, Tanya and Lisa during street food man gluten free street food tour of Vietnam
Dan and I with our amazing guides, Tanya and Lisa!

I did a LOT of messaging with Street Food Man ahead of time about my celiac needs – in particular that I couldn’t eat anything containing Knorr. Thank goodness Street Food Man was up for the challenge and they were so careful about finding me safe food!

Dan and I had an incredible night zipping around Ho Chi Minh City on the back of the motorbikes of our guides, Lisa and Tanya. I was able to eat most of the dishes and was stuffed by the end of the night. Check out my Instagram reel about the tour, or just go ahead and book it here.

Book Street Food Man tour here.

riding motorbike through an alley in Ho Chi Minh on street food tour
Riding on the back of a motorbike around Ho Chi Minh was such a cool experience. I was quite nervous for it but I ended up feeling really secure!
Sarah eating shrimp at street food stall in Ho Chi Minh on gluten free street food tour
Absolutely loving life at our seafood stop on our street food tour!
Beef soup dish in ho chi minh
Another one of our street food tour stops – to a historic restaurant serving beef soup.
Sarah and Dan on street food man gluten free street food tour of Vietnam
Dan and I learning how to eat banh xeo – a gluten free rice flour pancake – on one of our street food tour stops!

Dedicated Gluten Free Ho Chi Minh City Restaurants

I have amazing news for you. There are TWO dedicated gluten free restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City!!

In reality, there are probably more than that if you count all of the naturally gluten free street food stalls, but when it comes to restaurants that are actually aware of what gluten and celiac disease are, these are the two that you have to know.


In’Joy is a dedicated gluten free cafe located in district 3. We stayed in an Airbnb walking distance away, and I recommend you do, too, for easy access to the best gluten free food!

Notably, this was the ONLY place in Vietnam that I was able to find gluten free banh mi!! It’s worth a visit for that alone (get the chicken and avocado). I also enjoyed the chicken nuggets, baked goods, and creative drinks.

I can’t even count how many times I ate here during my two weeks in Ho Chi Minh City. It was a highlight for me as a celiac and I definitely recommend it.

Location: In’Joy Google maps link

gluten free banh mi
In’Joy serves the only gluten free banh mi in all of Vietnam, to my knowledge!
gluten free banh mi in ho chi minh city
Gluten free banh mi!!
gluten free pastry
A gluten free pastry from In’Joy.
gluten free chicken nuggets
Gluten free chicken nuggets at In’Joy.
The outside entrance of In'Joy a gluten free cafe in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
In’Joy – a lifeline for me in Ho Chi Minh as a celiac traveler!

Gluten Free Gourmet

Gluten Free Gourmet is another dedicated gluten free cafe, located in Thao Dien (also known as the “expat district”). Since it’s a bit further out, I recommend taking a Grab here if you visit. Their food is also available for Grab delivery, which was a HUGE savior for me in Ho Chi Minh!

It’s hard to pick a favorite thing I ate here. The lemon poppyseed muffin with cream cheese frosting was a standout. So was the pain au chocolate and the bagel.

gluten free lemon poppyseed muffin
The gluten free lemon poppyseed muffin with creamcheese frosting – I think I ate about 10 during my time in Vietnam, LOL.
gluten free bagel in ho chi minh
Gluten free bagel and cream cheese – yum!

For dinners (ordered via Grab to my air conditioned Airbnb, so I didn’t have to battle with the Saigon traffic every night!) I recommend their pizza, garlic bread, and cheese burger. Both are shockingly good (and big!). It was honestly incredible to have this option via Grab.

I will say that Gluten Free Gourmet has a second location in Hanoi, in northern Vietnam, but it isn’t half as good as the Saigon location (check out my Hanoi gluten free guide here). So enjoy it while you can in Ho Chi Minh City!

Location: Gluten Free Gourmet Google maps link

gluten free gourmet cafe in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
We visited the Gluten Free Gourmet cafe in person once, but ordered Grab delivery MANY times!
Sarah eating gluten free pain au chocolat in ho chi minh vietnam
The gluten free pain au chocolat was a favorite for me!!

Celiac Safe Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Guta Cafe

Guta Cafe is an open air cafeteria-type restaurant with a few locations in Ho Chi Minh City. I had a really good experience at their location in district 3 – I highly recommend it.

I showed my Vietnamese gluten free translation card to the kitchen staff, and they were extremely thorough and helpful. They double checked about all ingredients and sauces – confirming that the stir fried noodles was not safe due to oyster sauce (to me, this was a green flag that they’d understood the card!).

Notably, the pho here is gluten free. At the time of my visit, they did not add any soy sauce, Knorr, or Maggi to the broth. As long as you avoid the hoisin sauce dip, you’ll be okay!

It was only 59,000 VND (~$2.39 USD) for a massive bowl of pho and a refreshing lime drink!

Location: Guta Cafe Google maps link

gluten free pho at guta cafe in ho chi minh city
The pho at Guta Cafe was gluten free and the staff set my mind at ease!
gluten free pho in ho chi minh vietnam
Delicious and celiac safe pho at Guta Cafe!

Pho Viet Nam

Pho Viet Nam is a seemingly basic pho restaurant in district 1 with a clientele that’s a combination of locals and tourists. It is actually in the Michelin guide, which we didn’t even know when we visited!

The staff here looked at my gluten free card and confirmed they don’t use Knorr in the broth, and just to avoid the hoisin dipping sauce.

I found the pho to be fine, but the beef was very fatty. This is where we learned that you get charged for using the provided napkins in Vietnam, so just be aware!

Location: Pho Viet Nam Google map link

Pho Viet Nam in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
This is what the entrance to Pho Viet Nam looks like!
beef pho at Pho Viet Nam in ho chi minh city
Gluten free, celiac safe pho! It wasn’t my favorite that I ate in Vietnam but I guess the Michelin Guide disagrees with me!

Den Long

Den Long is a very pretty Vietnamese restaurant which, shockingly, actually has a gluten free menu!!

Dan and I ate here for our first dinner in Ho Chi Minh City (we’d strategically booked our accommodation walking distance from it!). When I told them I had celiac disease, they knew what that meant and brought me a gluten free menu. Be sure that you clarify when you order, because they do adjust some of the dishes on that menu to be celiac safe.

For two people they recommended one starter, two mains, and a rice, which ended up being quite a big dinner for us. We ordered spring rolls, shaking beef, mushroom beef, a peach tea and a virgin mojito.

At about $25 USD that’s quite expensive compared to street food but… totally worth it for a safe gluten free meal! It was all delicious and I had no ill effects.

Location: Den Long Google map link

gluten free menu at den long ho chi minh
The full gluten free menu at Den Long.
den long restaurant table in ho chi minh
The interior was also very cute! It’s quite a popular restaurant.
gluten free spring rolls
We got gluten free spring rolls for our starter. Thanks to the rice paper and noodles, they are naturally GF.
shaking beef
Shaking beef – this one was quite spicy!
beef with mushroom in ho chi minh
Beef with mushroom – this was my favorite dish at Den Long!

O Tinh House

I LOVED O Tinh House and it was such a special discovery for us. Dan actually found it on Google Maps and thought it looked promising – we ended up going back twice!

The owner, Van, is Vietnamese American (from California, but lives in Ho Chi Minh City now) so he is obviously fluent in English. He didn’t know much about gluten but we educated him and from there he was able to check which dishes would be safe for me.

Quite a few dishes here can be done gluten free, but notably NOT the spring rolls because they have a small amount of wheat in the rice paper. I felt safe here and would recommend it.

Location: O Tinh House Google map link

Sarah sitting on balcony of O Tinh House restaurant in Ho Chi Minh, overlooking traffic with neon sign that says Saigon
The second floor balcony at O Tinh House was my favorite part! We ate here on one of our visits and I definitely recommend it for people/traffic watching.
Gluten free noodle dish in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
Bone marrow soup with thick rice noodles, GF and delicious!
BBH chicken wings at O Tinh House.
Their “BBH chicken wings” – naturally gluten free with a sweet and sour sauce and lemongrass.
Cơm hến
Cơm hến, a clam and peanut dish I ordered one night that was naturally gluten free!
O Tinh House
I loved the interior design at O Tinh House. Very Saigon!
banh beo
Banh beo, a steamed rice cake dish, at O Tinh House. Yum.

Gluten Free Cooking Class in Ho Chi Minh City

Our cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City was a highlight of my entire time in Vietnam – it was delicious, authentic, and since it was private we were able to choose a fully gluten free menu. You can see my Instagram reel about it here.

I HIGHLY recommend booking a private class with Kim Anh of Away Studio. Kim’s a food stylist, photographer, chef, street cat rescuer, and all around interesting person.

Sarah and Dan holding plate of tapioca dumplings during gluten free cooking class in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam.
Dan and I during our cooking class – feeling very proud of our creations!
Possibly the world’s most photogenic dish? These are the gluten free tapioca dumplings (filled with shrimp).

Confirm your dietary requirements before booking, but Kim should already be quite aware of gluten free needs due to my own cooking class (and we’ve kept in touch since then via Instagram!). Tell her Sarah from Endless Distances says hi if you book!

For our menu, we chose tapioca dumplings and spring rolls. I still remember how shocked Kim was that Dan and I devoured all our spring rolls in one sitting, LOL.

gluten free cooking class in ho chi minh vietnam
Our main dish! Gluten free nem (fried spring rolls) mixed with picked vegetables, fresh herbs, rice noodles, and fish sauce.
Dan making spring rolls
Dan, the spring roll master.
gluten free fried spring rolls ho chi minh
Our mountain of gluten free fried spring rolls… yes we ate all of them… yes this was my favorite food we ate anywhere in Ho Chi Minh!

Gluten Free Coffee Workshop in Ho Chi Minh City

Coffee is an enormous part of Vietnamese culture, and I recommend taking a coffee workshop during your trip to Vietnam.

Dan and I took this coffee workshop in Ho Chi Minh, booked through Airbnb Experiences. It was phenomenal (albeit, I definitely had the caffeine jitters afterwards) and I especially enjoyed that it was in the famous Cafe Apartments building in district 1.

During the class, we made (and drank):

  • Vietnamese condensed milk coffee with phin
  • Salt coffee
  • Egg coffee
  • Coconut coffee.

As for the gluten free situation, all of the coffee was naturally gluten free – yay! The class also included a banh mi (to soak up the caffeine, I’m sure). While I obviously couldn’t eat that, I did notify our teacher Quynh of my needs ahead of time and he made sure to give me a big plate of fruit instead!

egg coffee at coffee class in ho chi minh
Making egg coffee during our workshop.
Sarah drinking coffee at coffee class in ho chi minh
Coffee in Vietnam made me sooo happy!
fruit plate
My fruit plate! It was a bit sad compared to the other guests’ banh mi, but definitely better than nothing and I appreciated that they made this for me!

Gluten Free Grocery Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

If you are looking for gluten free specialty products in Ho Chi Minh City then go to Annam Gourmet. This was recommended to me by my friend Jodi, a celiac who lived in Saigon (also, the creator of my recommended gluten free translation cards!).

I was able to find Schar products including cookies and crackers, as well as gluten free soy sauce, gluten free pasta, and more. One thing I did NOT find is gluten free bread, but you could order that from Gluten Free Gourmet.

There are 4-5 locations of Annam Gourmet in Ho Chi Minh City, but I went to the one in district 1.

Annam gourmet market in ho chi minh
Annam Gourmet Market – the best place to get specialty gluten free groceries in Ho Chi Minh.
Schar pastas on shelves in store in ho chi minh
There were so many Schar products!
Schar gluten free spaghetti
I definitely recommend stocking up on some gluten free products for the rest of your travels in Vietnam, where gluten free options are a bit more sparse.

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City if You’re Gluten Free

Ho Chi Minh is a MASSIVE city that is divided up into various districts. Your experience will be vastly different based on which district you choose. I always choose my accommodation strategically, to be close to gluten free options. For gluten free travelers, I recommend staying in either district 1 or 3.

Accommodation in District 3

District 3 is known as a less touristy but still centrally located area. It has beautiful colonial architecture, Tao Dan park, and the War Remnants Museum. Importantly for celiacs you’ll also find the 100% gluten free restaurant In’Joy.

We stayed in this Airbnb in district 3, which has a kitchen, for our two weeks in Ho Chi Minh City. It was an amazing deal and good location, and I’d definitely stay there again.

Other accommodation options in district 3:

  • Hoang Lan Hotel: A spacious and modern hotel that has a perfect location only a block away from 100% gluten free In’Joy.
  • A25 Hotel 06: A lovely hotel from a popular chain that’s right across the street from In’Joy.
  • Emerald Apartments: Air conditioned apartments including private kitchens, just two blocks away from In’Joy.

Accommodation in District 1

District 1 is the most touristy area of Saigon, but that’s quite useful when it comes to sightseeing, transport, upscale hotels, and gluten free restaurants. Personally, I preferred the more offbeat nature of district 3, but I think most people would love district 1.

Accommodation options in district 1:

  • The Like Hostel & Cafe: A boutique hostel for budget travelers who still appreciate style, just a few steps from Den Long restaurant.
  • Sheraton Saigon Grand Opera Hotel: A more luxury end hotel (but still at a reasonable price) featuring a pool, gym, and spa. The location is as central as it gets.
  • HoLo Alex House Serviced Homestay: A stunning apartment complex on the edge of the park, perfectly situated between gluten free dinner options Den Long and O Tinh House.
street market in Ho Chi Minh
So many street food markets everywhere in Ho Chi Minh! It was a foodie heaven.
Gluten free fried spring rolls ho chi minh
The fried spring rolls from our cooking class – sooo good and as I discovered, quite hard to find gluten free at most restaurants in Vietnam.

Gluten Free Ho Chi Minh City: Final Thoughts

I really fell in love with Ho Chi Minh City during my two weeks there. Yes, it’s sweltering hot and crossing the motorcycle-rammed streets is an art form. However, my memories of slurping delicious gluten free noodle bowls while squatting on tiny plastic chairs, an exhilarating street food tour via motorbike, and endless Vietnamese coffees more than made up for that.

I hope you enjoy your time eating gluten free in Ho Chi Minh City, and if you have any questions for me please just leave me a comment below!

Check out my other Vietnam posts…

Hanoi Gluten Free Guide

Hoi An Gluten Free Guide

Gluten Free Vietnam: The Ultimate Guide (Coming Soon!)

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Gluten free and visiting Vietnam? heck out this gluten free Ho Chi Minh City guide written by a celiac. It includes restaurants, a gluten free street food tour, and more.
Gluten free and visiting Vietnam? Check out this gluten free Ho Chi Minh City guide for restaurants, a gluten free street food tour, gluten free cooking class, and more.

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