Oct 07 2011
Many hotels in Hanoi will include breakfast in the room rate, be this an egg in a bread roll – most common in the cheaper places – or a full breakfast buffet. But what if your hotel doesn’t or you’re just not up early enough? The cheapest option is to eat with the locals and tuck into a hearty bowl of pho, some banh cuonor a banh my (bread roll) filled with trung (egg) or pate. But that’s not to everyone’s taste and won’t always hit the spot.
So if what you’re after is a good old fry-up (whether that be English, Canadian or … er, Mexican?) a couple of places are worth trying.
Café 129 gets a big thumbs up for its comfort food. Try the breakfast burrito, the English fry-up – ask for an extra egg as it only comes with one – or the omelette. Add fries on the side if you’re really hungry and wash it all down with a vitamin-packed juice. Mains are under 100,000VND. It’s not a salubrious place, they don’t speak English – although the menu is in English — and it’s really slow, but the food makes up for it.
Unfortunately it’s a bit of a way from Old Quarter, being within a stone’s throw of Vincom Towers, but it’s just a short bus ride and sets you up for a post-brunch wander around Cho Hom (market) and through Hai Ba Trung district.
Closer in, Puku does an unusual take on a big breakfast: their Kiwi breakfast comprises poached eggs, bacon, mashed potato, mushrooms and morning glory. Or stick to the more conventional eggs benedict.
The more traditional fry up breakfast at Le Pub isn’t bad either, or if it’s a late brunch, you might be tempted by the sausage and mash, served with a rather tasty sauce.
If you’re looking for something a bit fancier then try the relatively newly opened Southgate. On food street, just down the road from Puku, it has a weekend brunch menu featuring dishes such the mouthwatering brioche French toast with caramel bananas, bacon and pork sausage and steak and eggs. Amazing. A main dish with a coffee or juice will set you back upward of 200,000VND, more if you fancy a Bloody Mary.
Finally, if you’re really after a treat, try brunch at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. I’m yet to venture in – saving it for a special occasion – but by all accounts it’s amazing. Feast on oysters, wagyu beef and lobster, topped off with freeflow(ish) champagne. It comes at a price of course — $70++ without any booze and $135++ with champagne — but that’s way less that you’d be paying in the Western world for the equivalent. Other top hotels offer fabulous brunch buffets as well – try the Movenpick, the Hilton and the Melia.
129 Mai Hac De, Hai Bà Trưng District
16/18 Tong Duy Tan Street, Hoàn Kiếm District
T: (04) 3938 1745
28 Tong Duy Tan, Hoàn Kiếm District
T: (04) 3938 1979
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoàn Kiếm District
T: (04) 3826 6919
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