Sep 2008

Apocalypse Now – Ho Chi Minh City


While I’m pretty familiar with Saigon’s dining scene—street and luxe—when it comes to nightlife, I haven’t the foggiest. In fact, I can count the number of times I frequented a club or bar during my year in Vietnam on one hand. Okay, maybe two. Even though I only go out once every blue moon, I always seem to end up at the same shady, yet strangely fun joint—Apocalypse Now. Unlike the wannabe hipster scenes at clubs Lush and Bounce, Apocalypse Now is refreshingly unpretentious. The crowd here is diverse—we’re talking dirty old men accompanied by transvestites (I told you it was wiener time), ladies of the night and regular folks having a good time. While I wouldn’t say the music selection is rockin’, I would say that the wieners are!

The wiener stand, which is located in the courtyard near the back of the club, is almost always busy because the griller takes his sweet sweet time making sure the skin on each dog is nice and crispy and the buns are perfectly toasted. On a Saturday night, expect to wait upwards of 20 minutes for a wiener. To pass the time, I highly recommend people watching.


Hawkins is muy excited for wiener time to arrive. Truly, who wouldn’t be?

The wieners are served with ketchup and mustard inside a classic Vietnamese banh mi, which is worlds superior to ordinary hot dog buns. While I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for one of these babies, there’s definitely a time and a place for wieners. Say, after midnight when you’ve had one Tiger too many? This greasy, salty and satisfying creation will soak up the booze nicely. R. Kelly was right, “after the party IS the after party.”

Apocalypse Now
2D Thi Sach Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

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13 thoughts on “Apocalypse Now – Ho Chi Minh City

  1. Enough with the Viet eats.

    Have you been to any good Mexican restaurants since you’ve been back to San Diego?

  2. Are these banh mi buns normally “hot-dog” sized in Saigon, or are these particular buns specially made for hot dogs?

  3. I thought the music at Apocalypse was totally rockin.

    And yes, the weiners are large. More like bratwurst-style.

  4. Tom – The old man/pretty local girl coupling is a bit disturbing at Apocalyse, but the scene in Bangkok is the worse I’ve seen.

    Phil – Glad you asked! My cousin Phil took me to this delicious Mexican seafood restaurant in Chula Vista. Muy sabrosa! I’ll have to blog about it soonish 😉

    Nate – Like The Astronomer said, they’re more like bratwurst so a regular sized banh mi is perfect for ’em.

    nhbilly – Mega-sized wiener.

    Astronomer – I’ll admit the music was rockin’ the night when the cover band played Green Day!!

  5. I reckon some of those trannies can more than hold their own against the sports coat brigade. But I guess some of them can’t, and that’s one the areas in which it all starts getting ugly. Anyway, my apologies for focusing on it on your lovely food blog. 😉 Tom.

  6. Did u guys try the ribs? Cuz we were there in August, and my bf claims that the ribs there are in his top 5!!!!! We actually came back to the club the 2nd time just so he can eat them.

  7. Tom – no appologies necessary. Food and trannies are two of my favorite topics. No joke 😉

    foodhoe – I assure you that the casing was nice and snappy! The grill man knows what he’s doing.

    Tram – No ribz! We had no idea they served real food (other than the weiners, of course). Will make a mental note and try the ribz the next time we’re in Saigon, and have had one too many.

  8. Now that you are back in the US and specifically in San Deigo. I’m looking forward to when you compare the vietnamese food available here(in US) to Saigon’s. You are only two hours away from Little Saigon in Orange County. =D

  9. The price are pretty good . I like the music , a lot of music that was popular in the USA 1970/1980 .It is a nice place to append a couple of hours when you are in HoChiMinh City, the waiter staff is very good and the club is in a convenient location was is number of popular hotels

  10. Love the staff and security here.Paticularly the food (sausage and pork ribs) .Wish Apo will not discriminate again local by charging cover the music is great and atmosphere is fun (Sean Chen).

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