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Dong Hoi

Eat and meet

Dong Hoi

Dong Hoi is a bit lacklustre on the food front. Numerous interchangeable restaurants serve up com, which literally means rice, but implies a meal of meat, soup and vegetables centred around a big bowl of the white fluffy stuff.

Here more than elsewhere, a foreigner ordering 'chicken and rice' may find themselves surrounded by more bowls of food than they can possibly eat and then being charged a hefty sum, so be wary.

Locals point us to one place that stands out from the pack in terms of price and quality: Binh Van, on Highway 1. It's about a kilometre south of Cua Dai (Long Bridge) but worth seeking out. It's run by a couple and their children: the wife, Van, is the head chef, she's always full of smiles, and her husband, Binh, is the resident host, and he's usually…well, full of rice wine. The meals here were absolutely soul-satisfying. Little English is spoken, so bring a phrase book.

Pickings are slim on the western food front as well. Right near the Quang Binh gate is Cafe QB (which stands for Quang Binh, of course) and across the street is another incarnation, QB Teen. It's run by a friendly staff of young gals, and serves a small but eclectic selection of freshly made dishes of foreign origin: hotdogs, pizza, roasted and fried chicken, along with (for some reason) excellent Korean kim chi. Sushi is also sometimes available.

If you head to the market, there are several cafes that have vendors out front selling sandwiches made from Chinese-style roast pork and cucumber--cheap and delicious.

Binh Van Restaurant: Highway 1, 1 km South of Cau Dai, Dong Hoi. T: (052) 825 596, (0915) 017 559; F: (052) 825 596.
Cafe QB and QB Teen: 03 Le Loi, Dong Hoi. T: (052) 824 694. Hours: 07:00 to 22:30.

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