Restaurants in Vietnam
Cuisine is just as much a part of the Vietnam experience as culture, history, and nature—and, as with everything else, the style of restaurants in Vietnam varies between regions. In the north, for example, you'll find dishes that feature black pepper over chilies and lots of freshwater fish, crabs and prawns, while in the south, a preference for sweeter flavors means you'll taste lots of coconut milk and sugar in savory dishes.
In cities like Hanoi and Saigon, you'll find plenty of street side cafes at which you can join locals for bowls of noodle soup, stir-fry and rice, as well as high-end restaurants serving French Colonial-inspired fare. At the Metropole Hanoi, you'll find locals and guests alike enjoying the refined French dishes at Le Beaulieu, the Italian-Mediterranean menu at Angelina, and the upscale Vietnamese fare at Spices Garden. One of the trendiest cities for cuisine is Hoi An, where you can sample a wide array of creatively-prepared street food specialties at Morning Glory, or splurge at one of celebrity chef Duc Tran's three eateries, including the riverside Mango Mango.
Fabulous buffet breakfasts at Opera are one of the biggest perks of a stay at the Park Hyatt. Don’t let the term “buffet” put you off: everything is impeccably fresh and well presented, and eggs, omelettes, waffles, and pancakes are all prepared to order.
Have a three-hour dinner at Hoang Vien (“royal garden”), opened in March 2010 by the painter and chef Boi Tran in a restored French-colonial house.
Known for its upscale Vietnamese cuisine, Nam Phan is housed in a renovated four-story villa surrounded by landscaped gardens. Inside, the candlelit dining rooms are decorated with polished wood furniture, carved stone walls, and marble floors topped with large flower vases.
Open 24 hours and usually packed for nearly all of them, Nhu Lan is one of the city’s most accomplished bakeries—but the real draw are the banh mi thit paté.
In the leafy enclave of Kim Long, lunch at this open-air canteen, which serves two dishes only: banh uot thit nuong and bun thit nuong. The former, dim sum–like ravioli stuffed with grilled pork, are terrific.
Just yards from Reunification Palace, this airy café makes an agreeable stop for breakfast, lunch, or a simple snack and coffee, especially on hot afternoons.
At this open-air barbecue-and-beer garden, patrons grill strips of tangy marinated beef—bo tung xeo—on tabletop braziers and share pitchers of foamy local beer. The kitchen also dishes up specialties like deep-fried scorpion, bonded chicken feet, and fried pig’s stomach.