Oct 20 2011
As I stood at the bar of one of several popular backpacker venues in Hanoi on Sunday afternoon I overheard some customers discussing how they missed cheese and red wine, so I thought a blog about where to buy those goodies from home that you miss while travelling was in order.
Of course, wine is readily available at tourist bars and restaurants and even some local restaurants, but it’s pricier than beer and hence usually off the radar of budget travellers. But anything, from cheap Vang Dalat to 6 million dong bottles of whatever, is within arms’ — or a taxi’s — reach.
But what about the other goodies — the everyday products that become treats once you’ve been travelling for while? Nowadays, most products are available somewhere around town, but don’t expect bargains — prices are on a par with, or usually more expensive than, the equivalent back where they came from.
A few of the small “marts” in Old Quarter stock chocolate — M&Ms and Snickers’ bars are the most common and will set you back about 30,000 VND — and biscuits are also available, but usually limited to Oreo cookies or the local equivalent. They’re a cheap option though if you just need a chocolate hit.
For cheese, you need to head slightly further afield. L’s Place on Ly Thuong Kiet and Western Canned Goods at the top end of Le Duan both stock blocks of pre-packaged cheese and crackers/bread — perfect for a lakeside or on-the-bed picnic (if you can find a knife).
They both also stock a wide range of other Western goods, including a wider selection of chocolate than M&Ms and Snickers, crisps (chips), jams and breakfast cereal. If you have cooking facilities then the options are endless.
More specialised stores include Au Delice (deli), a few blocks south of the Opera House, which has a good range of cheese and hams. It’s also possible to eat in, so you don’t need to worry about finding a knife and getting crumbs in the bed.
Or if you’re in the West Lake area there are plenty of options: try Vine Cellar Door or Red Apron for wine, L’s Place (second branch) for groceries, The Oasis for deli goods and Saint Honore for great bread and cakes.
L’s Place (Ly Thuong Kiet)
63 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Western Canned Goods
Cua Nam, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi (in the basement of the Vietin Bank Building)
T: (04) 3822 9217
Au Delice & Le Restaurant d’Arthur
No 2B Ngo Thi Nham, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
T: (04) 3944 9288
Vine Cellar Door
7 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi
T: (04) 3719 2922
28 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi
T: 04 37198337
24 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi
T: (04) 3719 1196
L’s Place (Xuan Dieu)
1 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi
5 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi
T: (04) 3933 2355
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