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Jun 26, 2013 01:51 PM

Looking for Vietnam recommendations: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hoi An


Planning a trip to Vietnam later this year and was hoping someone might be able to give me the lowdown on good restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hoi An.

We're planning on doing a fair bit of street food eating, of course, but I'd also like to check out a few restaurants, either doing good local dishes or something a bit more innovative based on traditional foods/ingredients. Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Last night in Hanoi I was taken to Nha Hang Ngon which was very good.

    I was with seven local colleagues who ordered so I benefited from inside knowledge and their desire to show off the food. Looking around the clientele seemed to be 95% local - which is hopefully a good sign. It takes up two old French villas with three or four floors of very high ceilinged rooms and lots of space.

    Traditional street style food - I think the ground floor has some cooking stations, and the non-locals seemed to be there. I suspect the better spaces are higher up - we were on the top floor. It's clean, well run and probably a good option of you want something relaxing and still authentic.

    1. I cannot say much about Saigon - so I will let others advise. Banh Mi can be superb - just see which stall attracts locals.

      Hoi An has great food - it can be pricey, with places such as Mango Mango, but you can also try stunning food at a superb price such as Miss Ly Cafe and Restaurant 19. Although it was a bit more than what we would usually allow; we had a superb dinner at Morning Glory (stunning restaurant and atmosphere) - they also offer cooking classes. Take a look at our dining guide to Hoi An:
      Hanoi has I.M.H.O the best street food in Vietnam. From Nem Nuong, Banh Goi, Banh Bao Thit, Bun Cha to the best Pho Bo in Vietnam - you will never go hungry. I totally overate in Hanoi and I am still glad that I did (my figure isn't so sure!). Take a look for addresses and pictures:
      Any questions, feel free to ask :)

      4 Replies
      1. re: eatingseasia

        Love your blog and the beautiful pictures :-)
        eatingseasia has got the street food part covered, so I'll recommend a couple of must-not-miss restaurants:

        For Hanoi, try Green Tangerine:

        For Ho Chi Minh City - try Cuc Gach Quan:

        1. re: klyeoh

          Thanks, all, for the suggestions!

          1. re: klyeoh

            Hey Kleoh...
            I know you from postings in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.

            Do you have any knowledge or recommendations on French Restaurants in Saigon? I am looking for one high end place with refined food... and another bistro type place.


            1. re: chrisdds

              For French fine dining, Le Manoir De Khai comes to mind. But it's terribly touristy & I'd not been back there for ages to see how it is today

              Other options include La Camargue (I'd not been to its new location since 2012) and Le Bouchon:

              For casual French-Mediterranean (not really traditional bistro fare), the go-to spot is La Cuisine:

        2. Just got back - we had some very good food, our highlights:


          Luong Son (Bo Tung Xeo) - street foodish (ie cheap with 98% locals) in a covered restaurant setting (not expensive at all). Best - grilled at your table beef and ostrich (diy). Also has crazy stuff on the menu (for us anyhow) eg Goat breast and penis, scorpion etc. But plenty of more normal choices as well. Service is really friendly, good cheap beer too.


          Bit Tet Chim Quay at corner of Hang Buom and Hang Guay - same type as above (essentially street food, but you're in a covered somewhat organized seating area). Highlights - spare ribs with lemon grass (small pieces, easy to eat), beef with noodles, chicken fried rice type concoction (sorry, did not remember the exact names) - but this place is awesome, again it's also dirt cheap

          We're very careful about what we eat (ie, no ice, ever, no fresh veg - unless at a 4-5 star hotel/resort) - we do eat fresh herbs in pho etc. The four of us did not get sick once during our 3 week trip - we did eat lots of street food, we were just picky/careful.

          Also in Hanoi - must try the egg coffee! (google it)

          As well - get your hepatitis vaccines and anything others that your travel medicine clinic recommends

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