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Eat and meet

Street food

  • Street food: Xoi
    4 stars

    A rice twist

    Although referred to as sticky rice, the main type of xoi you will come across in Hanoi is less sticky and lighter than the version you will find served up with in Laos or Thailand and is commonly eaten for breakfast. ... read more

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    Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
    4 stars

    Great for pho

    10 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District

    The advantage here is that the pho is just as good or better than what you might just happen across elsewhere, and the hygienic standards are decidedly better. You'll pass by the kitchen and get a look for yourself on your way to the tables, which are solid wooden numbers with standard sized ... read more

  • Pho Cuon Hung Ben
    4 stars

    No problem getting a seat here

    26 Nguyen Khac Hieu, Ba Dinh District
    T: (04) 3829 2040

    One of numerous pho cuon joints around the junction of Nguyen Khac Hieu and Ngu Xa, on Truc Bach island, Pho Cuon Hung Ben seems to continually expand. This means there's usually no problem getting a seat. Seating at number 26 is on small stools, whereas 20 metres away you'll find some higher ... read more

  • Dong Thinh Nha Hang Mien Luon
    4 stars

    Fried eel

    87 Hang Dieu, Hoan Kiem District
    T: (04) 3836 7943

    Don't let the thought of fried eels put you off trying this delicious local dish. The eel in mien luon is cut into thin strips and deep fried in a light batter -- it could really be almost anything. Mien is a type of noodle made from arrowroot or canna root and is quite distinctive from pho, bun ... read more

  • Bun Bo Nam Bo
    4 stars

    Rub shoulders with the locals

    67 Hang Dieu, Hoan Kiem

    Bun Bo Nam Bo on Hang Dieu (number 67) was my first real eating-with-the-locals experience in Hanoi. It’s not just that the main dish served here of bun bo nam bo is quintessentially street food, but the environment and atmosphere of the restaurant are typical of a local lunch-time venue: it’s ... read more

  • 47 Ma May
    4 stars

    Don't wear white

    47 Ma May, Hoan Kiem District

    Bo nuong — barbecue beef. Just the name of it makes my mouth water. Imagine this: slivers of tender beef griddled in a pan in front of your eyes, then dipped in a tasty sauce and eaten with bread, chips or both. With veggies or greens on the side, of course. ... read more

  • Xoi Yen
    3.5 stars

    Give it a go

    35 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem District
    T: (043) 825 1755

    Xoi is a kind of Vietnamese sticky rice, topped traditionally with shavings of lotus root and roasted garlic. Nowadays though, they'll put anything you like on top: chicken, pork ribs, fish, eggs and so on. It's a quick, warm, belly-filling meal. The specific place we're steering you to, Xoi ... read more

  • Bun Cha
    3.5 stars


    47c Mai Hac De, Hai Ba Trung District

    Mai Hac De, south of Hoan Kiem and near Vincom Towers, is lined with eateries, and a few of them offer bun cha. Although not as central as the more famous bun cha place on Hanh Manh, 47 Mai Hac De serves up delicious bowls of dipping sauce and pork and the nem (fried spring rolls) are a truly ... read more

  • Banh Cuon Pho Ly
    3.5 stars

    Simple but moreish

    39 Dao Duy Tu, Hoan Kiem District

    Banh cuon are rice flour rolls usually stuffed with ground pork, prawns and mushroom. The pho ly version served at this eatery, on an oft missed alley between Ma May and Luong Ngoc Quyen, differs from that, in that it is simply wide strips of flat noodle topped with slices of grilled pork and ... read more


  • Street food: Bun rieu
    4 stars

    Crabby noodle soup

    Bun rieu — the r is pronounced ‘z’ — is a crab and tomato based noodle soup, with some versions so full of goodies you’ll never get bored. It’s currently vying for top spot in our list of noodle soup dishes in Hanoi. ... read more

  • Net Hue
    4 stars

    A taste of Hue in Hanoi

    204b Hang Bong Street
    T: (04) 3938 1795

    A wide range of tempting dishes from Hue are available at this wonderful place on the edge of food street. The bun bo Hue is delicious, and a meal in itself, but you'll struggle not to order up a selection of the other delights, which include banh nam and bun thit nuong (noodles with grilled beef). ... read more

  • Quan An Ngon
    3.5 stars

    Popular traditional Vietnamese food

    34 Phan Dinh Phung, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
    T: (04) 3734 9777

    Quan An Ngon restaurant, on Phan Boi Chau Street, has long been a favourite of visitors to Hanoi. It provides a clean and reasonably comfortable setting in which to sample a range of Vietnamese street food dishes, but it’s often overflowing with customers, necessitating a wait for a table and a ... read more

  • New Day
    3.5 stars

    A wonderful combination of beauties

    72 Ma May, Hoan Kiem District
    T: (04) 3828 0315;(04) 926 2436

    New Day is one of those places that seems to attract a mix of local Vietnamese and visitors throughout the day. Its appeal is aided by the roadside tables but it's the consistently good authentic Vietnamese food that keeps people coming back. Cheaper food can be found at street stalls but if ... read more

  • Highway 4
    3.5 stars

    Bush food without going bush

    3 Hang Tre St, Hoan Kiem District
    T: (04) 3926 0639

    Highway 4 now operates out of five locations in Hanoi, with this one on Hang Tre being next to the original restaurant, which was knocked down in 2010. The menu is the same at each -- best described as Asian fusion, with an emphasis on the eclectic, and you'll find a wide range of dishes to suit ... read more

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    3 stars

    Cheap and good

    57 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem District
    T: (04) 3926 1863

    This place seems to have become busier since our last write-up and was heaving with groups of diners on our last visit. It's a cosy place, with traditional paintings and carvings lining the walls, and a small terrace awaits the lucky few. The menu includes a good selection of Vietnamese food ... read more

  • Cha Ca La Vong
    3 stars

    Traditional but not cheap

    14 Cha Ca Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
    T: (04) 3825 3929

    Restaurant Cha Ca La Vong recently featured in the New York Times in an article that talked about how variants of the same-named dish — a mixture of fish, turmeric, dill, shrimp paste, fish sauce, chillies, noodles and other herbs — are appearing on menus in the United States. Author Florence ... read more

Other Asian

  • Namaste
    4.5 stars

    Rave reviews

    47 Lo Su
    T: (04) 3935 2400

    The newest addition to Indian dining in Hanoi, Namaste gets consistently great reviews. The food is authentic and top notch, the restaurant's elegant and modern -- though a bit too bright to be cosy -- and the owner, Gopi, is usually on hand to help you get the most out of your dining experience ... read more

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    Izakaya Yancha
    4 stars


    121 Trieu Viet Vuong
    T: (04) 3974 8437

    If you're after Japanese then head to the area just north of Vincom Towers, where you'll find a few quality options. Izakaya Yancha is a particularly excellent choice, serving fantastic food in a warm and inviting environment. The downstairs is bar-style, where you can sit and watch the ... read more


  • La Badiane
    4.5 stars

    Simply amazing

    10 Nam Ngu
    T: (04) 3942 4509

    Under the direction of French chef Benjamin Rascalou, La Badiane (French for star anise) serves up fantastic continental cuisine. For a real meat feast, try the carpaccio followed by the sublime Australian tenderloin. Many would agree that this is the best steak in Hanoi -- if not the world -- ... read more

  • Commune
    4 stars

    Great food and a view to die for

    20A Duong Ven Ho, Tay Ho, Hanoi
    T: (04) 6684 7903

    Located on the narrow but often busy Duong Ven Ho, which runs along the southern edge of West Lake, Commune has an enviable position overlooking the lake, and, while not the most convenient location, has a lot else going for it besides: good food, WiFi and a relaxed ambiance. ... read more

  • The Cart
    4 stars

    Tasty sandwiches

    18 Au Trieu (enter through the alley just behind Au Trieu St)
    T: (04) 3928 7715

    At the Cart, try the succulent meatloaf with spicy black bean sauce or the crumbed chicken breast with lemon mayonnaise. Once you've put that away, wash it down with one of the many healthy fruit juice concoctions on offer. The carrot-cucumber-pineapple-celery mix is a great pick-me-up. Espresso ... read more

  • Cafe 129
    4 stars

    Appearances are deceptive

    129 Mai Hac De, Hai Ba Trung District

    From the outside Cafe 129 looks like your average coffee shop Take one glance at the menu though and it tells you it's not: omelettes, international fry-ups, nachos and vitamin-packed juices line the pages. It's all good and although the prices are higher than you might expect, the dishes ... read more

  • Saint Honore
    3.5 stars

    Cake and breakfast heaven

    5 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
    T: (04) 3933 2355

    Saint Honore is a bakery, deli and restaurant in Hanoi’s West Lake area which offers the best cakes in Hanoi and is an excellent choice for a delicious breakfast, a bistro-style lunch or dinner, or an indulgent afternoon tea. ... read more

  • DC Bistro
    3.5 stars

    French fusion easy on the wallet

    15A Ngo Van So, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
    T: (04) 3944 0288

    Fine dining restaurant La Verticale has been dishing up French and Vietnamese fusion cuisine from its 1930s villa since 2007. But for those whose wallets don’t stretch that far, founder and award-winning chef, Didieu Corlou, has opened a new venture a few doors away: DC Bistro. ... read more

  • Puku Cafe
    3.5 stars

    All night chillout

    16-18 Tong Duy Tan
    T: (04) 3938 1745

    With its comfortable sofas, relaxing tunes, tasty smoothies and comfort food, Puku is a great place to kick back and relax This is the case particularly if you're looking for somewhere to update your travel blog, or just check your email. The terrace at the front offer a few tables, sought ... read more

  • Provecho
    3.5 stars

    Wide variety

    18 Hang Be
    T: (0912) 223 966

    The owners of the now shuttered My Burger My opened this new restaurant in 2011. As with the previous establishment, it continues to deliver solid Western fare, with some Vietnamese thrown in -- not surprising since the owners are an American-Vietnamese couple. Owner cum chef Daniel Hoyer has ... read more

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    La Place
    3.5 stars

    A charming, peaceful spot

    4 Au Trieu, Hoan Kien District
    T: (04) 3928 5859

    Head upstairs to the small roof terrace or the light and airy first floor of La Place. Upstairs is scattered with brightly coloured throws, propaganda posters and crayons provided so that children and the young at heart can draw on the brown paper table cloths. Unfortunately the food's nothing ... read more

  • KOTO
    3.5 stars

    A great cause

    59 Van Mieu
    T: (04) 3747 0337

    KOTO was established in to provide training and jobs in hospitality for underpriveledged street kids in Hanoi. Its current restaurant incarnation is set near the Temple of Literature, and is a convenient spot to drop by for a snack -- their cakes are well worth blowing the diet for -- or a full ... read more

  • Joma
    3.5 stars

    Tasty bakery fare

    22 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District
    T: (04) 3718 6071

    Despite a lack of motorbike parking, the Old Quarter branch of Joma has survived, and so it should. Bagels are chunky and squidgy, and one of their tasty sandwiches, accompanied by a side salad or soup, makes a filling lunch or light dinner. Drinks are good too -- the mint lemon freeze is ... read more

  • Au Lac do Brazil II
    3.5 stars

    All-you-can eat barbecue buffet

    6A Cao Ba Quat, Ba Dinh
    T: (04) 3845 5224

    For a meat feast served up with professionalism and decent wine, head to Au Lac Do Brazil. There are better places in town if you're after a simple decent steak, but for a fixed price here you'll get as much beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish and sides as you can squeeze in -- and the beef is still ... read more

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    La Salsa Tapas Bar and Restaurant
    3 stars

    A fine choice

    25 Nha Tho
    T: (04) 3828 9052

    The menu here is a bit of a mix: while tapas dishes dominate, they also have a pasta menu and throw in a small selection of appetizers, salads and meat mains. It's a decent option for a change of cuisine or a group meal -- try for upstairs seating for a better atmosphere -- but opinion on the food ... read more

  • Gecko
    3 stars

    Right in the heart of things

    22 Luong Ngoc Quyen
    T: (04) 3926 2382

    Gecko's not the top value option it once was but the food's consistently decent. Add to this the pleasant atmosphere, good lighting, comfortable seating, decent drinks prices and relaxing music and you've got a solid choice for this part of town. The menu is extensive, with a selection of ... read more


  • Cong Caphe
    3.5 stars

    For coffee aficionados

    152D Trieu Viet Vuong

    Known unofficially as Hanoi's coffee street, you'll find a slew of cafes where Hanoi's youth while away the hours sipping strong cups of java. Order a classic caphe sua da (iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk), settle in and watch Hanoi street life passing you by. A great place to sample the ... read more

  • Anh Hoa Bakery
    3.5 stars

    Sesame topped loaves

    38 Phung Hung, Hoan Kiem District
    T: (04) 3928 6689

    Although plenty of bakeries are to be found in the centre of the Old Quarter, seek out Anh Hoa Bakery, on the corner of Phoung Hung and Tran Phu. This tiny place is worth the walk for the sesame topped loaves alone. But the deliciously beautiful cakes are enticing too and the staff is efficient and ... read more


  • Hanoi Rock City
    4.5 stars

    THE music venue in Hanoi

    27/52, Tô Ng?c Vân, Tây H?, Hà N?i
    T: +84(0) 1887 487 426

    ... read more

  • Blah Blah
    4 stars

    Intimate, friendly and well-priced

    59b Hang Be, Hoan Kiem
    T: (0972) 887 252

    Narrow Blah Blah, on Hanoi‘s Hang Be Street, may be difficult to spot, but you’ll be glad you did: it’s intimate, friendly and well-priced. My first experience of Blah Blah bar was on Lunar New Years’ Eve (Tet) earlier this year and afterwards I had two memories of the bar: one, it was ... read more

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    Minh's Jazz Club
    4 stars

    Go, man, go!

    3rd Floor, Hot Life Café, 65 Quan Su
    T: (04) 3942 0400

    If you're a jazz aficionado, you're in for a hefty dose of Trane and Bird with a side of Miles at Minh's Jazz Club. There's no cover, but the drinks are double what you pay elsewhere, so just nurse your beer and shout, 'Go, man, go!' Highly recommended. The band starts at 21:00 sharp and plays ... read more

  • Mao's Red Lounge
    4 stars

    Decked out in red

    7 Ta Hien
    T: (04) 3926 3104

    Popular with expats, Mao's is a tiny, two-storey bar at the northern end of Ta Hien, run by the likeable Mr Mao. Drinks are cheap, the music's a good mix and there's usually quite a crowd holed up there -- particularly after official closing time. Downstairs is home to the bar and can get mighty ... read more

  • Irish Wolfhound
    4 stars

    Perfect on a warm day

    4 Luong Ngoc Quyen
    T: (04) 2212 6821

    With streetside seating and an open plan that makes the inside feel like it's outside, the Wolfhound is a good alternative to nearby bia hoi corner. When you want a choice of beverage, more comfortable seating, music -- albeit sometimes bad music -- and a decent toilet, this is a good option. ... read more

  • Bar Betta
    4 stars

    Great roof terrace

    34C Cao Ba Quat
    T: (04) 3734 9134

    Not far from the Fine Arts Museum, Bar Betta is a quirky cafe bar hidden away up a narrow flight of stairs. The inside area is like Aladdin's Cave, full of retro treasures, and the roof terrace is a great spot for watching the stars -- when the smog clears -- or just chilling with friends and ... read more

  • Hanoi House
    3.5 stars

    There are a few neatly tucked away cafes and bars around Hanoi, and Hanoi House is one that is worth seeking out. Its inauspicious entrance is enough to put off the faint-hearted: it’s down a rather dingy alley, up a narrow flight of stairs and past their grotty toilet — don’t come here with ... read more

  • Roadside Drinking
    3.5 stars

    In many countries it’s illegal, but when you’re just talking iced tea and sugar cane juice, drinking on the pavement or in the park is the thing to do. Throughout Hanoi the streets — and parks — are alive with food and drink stalls, waiting for those seeking quick refreshment or those ... read more

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    Polite Pub
    3.5 stars


    5 Bao Khanh
    T: (04) 3825 0959

    Bao Khanh used to be more of a traveller ghetto, and perhaps the worse for it, but that crowd seems to have shifted towards the Ma May area. The road's still full of bars and restaurants though, and Polite Pub is worth the trip. It's got a real pub feel to it, with beer -- Tiger and Carlsberg -- ... read more

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    Half Man Half Noodle
    3.5 stars

    For the rockers

    62 Dao Duy Tu
    T: (04) 3926 1943

    The refurbishment since our last update has brought with it additional space upstairs. Although downstairs retains the same slightly grunge-y look -- and aroma -- it's always had. But that's part of Half Man Half Noodle's appeal, as is the rock music, which makes a refreshing change from dance ... read more

  • Hair of the Dog
    3.5 stars


    32 Ma May

    The move from its original location on Hang Giay has been a positive step. The new location has more space overall and a comfy area upstairs, if you want to escape the dance floor and bustle of downstairs. This is a good place to head if you want to meet other travellers, particularly between ... read more

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    Phuc Tan Bar
    3 stars

    Late hours

    51 To Gian Alley, Phuc Tan

    Phuc Tan bar, formerly The Lighthouse, is a big nightclub with a huge area for dancing, along with a patio out back with views of the river and Chuong Duong bridge. It's crowded, dirty and the toilets are rated as the worst in Hanoi but it's a popular spot for late night drinks and a dance, ... read more

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    3 stars

    Shisha water pipes

    15 Hang Buom

    Once the party place to be for backpackers and young expats, Dragonfly seems to have lost out a bit to new competition. But don't rule it out: there's a pool table, a small, crowded dance floor, and the option of some quieter seating upstairs where you can kick back and smoke a shisha water pipe. ... read more

  • Bia Hoi Corner
    3 stars

    Popular and cheap

    Intersection of Luong Ngoc Quyen and Ta Hien streets

    Bia hoi: fresh and cheap and sometimes half decent, sometimes well… just fresh and cheap. Served straight from the metal kegs into distinct bia hoi glasses, it’s an iconic Vietnamese drink. ... read more

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