Guidebook Some of the best of the rest

Best eating in town

Some of the best of the rest

Can Go: “With a fantastic location by Hoan Kiem Lake and some of the best-prepared Vietnamese food in the Old Quarter, this stylish venue is onto a winner … there are no bells and whistles or attempts at fusion, but down-home creations such as pork steamed in coconut, fried tofu with lemongrass, and shrimp in chili sauce are right on the money.” (AFAR)

Quan Kien (Ant Restaurant): “The ‘insect menu’ primarily comprises ant-based dishes, such as ant egg with sticky rice and ant egg salad, although the snack menu also includes locusts and silkworm larvae if you fancy a change … for those not up for the insects, a second menu has a good selection of meat, fish and vegetable dishes, including Thai ethnic minority dishes and that good old cold weather favourite: hot pot.” (Travelfish)

Old Hanoi: “This sophisticated eatery in a restored French-colonial villa with a pleasant casual courtyard outside and starched white tablecloths inside was once host to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay … it serves traditional Hanoian and Vietnamese specialities with aplomb; you'll enjoy the selection and find the best value for money if you dine in a group.” (Lonely Planet)  

Pho Thin: “Classic pho has four ingredients: clear stock, quickly boiled beef, rice noodles and herbs or green onions … while every shop has its own secret recipe, few tinker with the rest of the preparation … Thin, however, decided to stir-fry the meat with garlic before adding it to the soup … this seemingly minor change completely transforms the flavour.” (The Guardian)  

Porte D’Annam: “Housed in a colonial-era villa near the famed St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Porte D’Annam serves Corlou’s known brand of Franco-Vietnamese fare -- think a quartet of spring rolls themed after the four seasons of the year, a sesame-laced seabass carpaccio, and sweet and saucy pork ribs -- that’s also earned him acclaim at his nearby Madame Hien and La Verticale.” (Saveur)  

Pots ‘n Pans: “Offers Vietnamese cuisine infused with an international flair … the menu reveals a commitment to experimentation, with unique fusions and presentations which bring out the best of the Vietnamese produce … one of the signature dishes on the a la carte menu is the pan-fried foie gras with house-cured duck prosciutto, crispy black sesame brioche, mango mint chutney and beetroot puree.” (The Culture Trip)  

New Day Restaurant: “Packed for lunch and dinner with locals and travellers serving solid northern Vietnamese cuisine … it's been so busy in recent times that you'll sometimes struggle to get a table … if you can get a table, New Day's a great stop during your Old Quarter wanderings with seating inside and out.” (Rusty Compass)  

Ngon Villa: “Offers a gastronomical survey of Vietnamese cuisine from the sweeter, Chinese inspired flavors of the south to the bolder spices favored in the north … they cleverly offer a tapas-style all-you-can-eat option alongside their a la carte menu so you can really get a taste for all this incredible country has to offer … the menu is thoughtfully coded with the regions each dish originates from.” (Stacie Flinner)  

State-Run Food Shop No. 37: “Dedicates itself to recreating the state-run canteens of post-war Vietnam, when the government controlled the economy and private enterprise was non-existent: hence the bureaucratic name … the decor plays along, with old farming and dining equipment adorning whitewashed brick walls … dishes hark back to the era but are sneakily scrumptious: our favourite menu item was the bottom-of-the-pot rice, crisped to crunchy perfection to use as a vehicle for dipping sauces.” (Travelfish)

Moto-san Uber Noodle “is a cosy restaurant with no tables at all … clients can enjoy their food in benches while they see the chef and how their noodles are done with some magic and fresh and exotic ingredients … the simplistic but delicate decoration where paper lamps are the stars, gets you into a warm and authentic old school atmosphere … one of the best kept treasures from Hanoi and you shouldn’t miss it.” (Lozano Travel)  

Namaste Ha Noi: “With the owners importing herbs and spices directly from India, there can be no doubting the provenance of the curries here … both North and South India are represented on the menu with the richer dishes from the north perhaps the pick of the menu … the kebabs and the naan bread here come particularly highly recommended.” (AFAR)  

Home Restaurant: “We loved Home so much we went back twice during our week in Hanoi, sitting outside on their patio both times, which is a cheerful spot with sunny yellow walls and a clatter of colorful lanterns hung overhead … we couldn’t get enough of their crispy spring rolls, green mango salad, grilled salt and pepper squid and their traditional char-grilled ‘cha ca’ which is cooked on a portable stove at your table.” (Stacie Flinner)

Club Opera Novel: “The decor and general haughtiness might be a little overdone but this is an impressive creation -- good for a dressed up evening of Vietnamese cuisine.  The food presentation is also impressive -- the flavours a little less so.” (Rusty Compass)

A La Folie: “There are a lot of French restaurants in Hanoi, but not all are as down to earth as this venue, tucked away down a quiet street in the Old Quarter … the restaurant specializes in robust, hearty fare so expect generous terrines, charcuterie plates, and gloriously oozy French cheese.” (AFAR)

Best eating in town
  • Guidebook