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.
Located across the river in Thao Dien, this English-owned café-cum-furniture shop is a huge hit among Saigon’s expats, who gather in the pleasant courtyard for simple dishes like barbecued phu quoc squid, grilled prawns, and crab salad.
Order the muc nuong (grilled squid) and ngheu hap (clams with ginger, lemongrass, and fresh mint).
Frequented by Parisian ex-pats, this tiny bistro serves simple, authentic French fare in the Dong Khoi district. The restaurant is divided into two levels, each with only a handful of mosaic tables. On the bottom floor, additional seating spills out onto the sidewalk.
A spin-off of the trendy Xu restaurant down the block, this upmarket fast-food joint specializes in bun bo Hue, the spicy noodle soup customarily found at humble sidewalk stalls across Vietnam.
The concept behind this attractive, open-air restaurant is brilliant: the owner recruited several dozen of the city’s most popular street-food vendors to ply their trade under one roof.