Street Food Isn’t The Only Bargain in Hanoi: Where To Eat When You Want A Restaurant
Vietnam is known for its street food but sometimes you just want a menu and maybe even an AC. Ain’t nothing wrong with that! The below range in price and ambiance but I can guarantee that all are damn delicious.
Ngon Villa Restaurant $$
I stumbled upon this place by accident and all I read when I walked by was an “All You Can Eat” sign. I shook my head and kept walking. Upon a little research, I realized that this pretty restaurant that offered all you can eat was, in fact, one of the best places to eat in Hanoi.
Fast forward to what was probably one of the most enjoyable meals I had in Hanoi. This by every standard was a nice restaurant. It was decorated with a mix of new and old Vietnam and the service was top-notch. It’s the sort of place that back home, would cost a pretty penny to eat at. For Vietnam standards, it was expensive but for us, it was a bargain. For roughly $15 each, we got the all you can eat option. Over the next hour and a half, we tasted tapa’s style dishes from fresh clams to jellyfish and tender pork belly. Every bite was delicious.
We even splurged beyond that and got Gin and Tonics. This place is a must for anyone coming to Hanoi. It’s also a great way to get a taste of different dishes from North to South Vietnam. You can order Al-Carte but trust me, you’ll want to taste it all. Go early or make a reservation.
You will see signs for Bún chả everywhere as it is a classic Vietnamese dish. It also happens to be one of Sean’s favorites. Bun Cha consists of grilled pork and rice vermicelli noodles, which is thought to have originated from Hanoi. The dish is served with herbs and dipping sauces. When it is brought to you it is broth and meat with the noodles served separately.
It’s up to you how you choose to eat it. Some put all the noodles in and some put a bit a time. We added vinegar and chili to ours as well. Be warned, it might look small but it is very filling! Bun Cha Ta is in Old Town and offers Vietnamese wine and some yummy spring rolls. Best part? It won’t break the bank!
Bahn Mi 25 $
Okay, so this isn’t really a restaurant but they do offer some seating. You will know you’ve come to the right place because of the long line of foreigners. This place isn’t the best but it is pretty dang good. They offer quick service and high-quality ingredients at 25,000 Dong a sandwich. Not too shabby and was a fun way to start our day before walking to Hoa Lo Prison.
Don Duck $$
You got to go here because the owner is so friendly. He takes pride in this place and can tell with each dish. We ordered from this place for delivery the first time and ate in person the second. We were happy with the dishes both time. The duck is obviously a must and they offer it a variety of tasty ways. Ask to sit outside (wear bug spray) and grab a few Hanoi beers and enjoy people watching as you do.
Pho 10 $$
Sean and I noticed this place towards the end of our time in Hanoi because of a massive line of locals and tourists. This place by all standards is expensive. Especially when you can get a pretty good bowl of pho on the streets for a quarter of the price. My favorite bit wasn’t actually the pho itself but these fried dough things that we ordered. It was delicious soaking up the broth of the soup. I was not a fan of the meat though but everyone else likes theirs so… So basically, I liked the fried bread so order that if you come here to eat.
No Name $
Two places down from Pho 10 is place is another great place to eat that has an incredible Avocado shake and is the definition of cheap eats! I can’t remember the name thus this rogue naming system. The place is small and it’s run by a friendly family. The spring rolls were some of the best I had while in Hanoi!
Highway 4 $$
For those that are wanting to be a little more adventurous such as frogs, snakes and more than Highway 4 is the place to go. It’s also the place to go for some great cocktails and food in general. Popular with expats, Highway 4 offers fresh ingredients and classic Vietnamese dishes in a modern setting. They offer lunch deals for those on a budget as one can easily spend $$ here. Just because you’ll want to try everything and anything.
Circle K $
Okay, this isn’t a restaurant but a chain market place but they offer the cheapest ice-coffee that we found. Did we mention they also serve food? Fairly good food? As in, they will actually fry you an egg in person for your dish? All for less than a dollar. If anything, when you are needing to reign in on the budget, Circle K offers some good food that will fill you up. Or, if you are eating at an odd time you know they will be open.
It’s a little out of the way but the Bahn Mi and coffee here is worth the extra 10 minute walk from Old Town. The menu is small but the Bahn Mi with egg and sausage had us being repeat offenders. The space of the cafe itself was pleasant, with lots of fans to keep it cool.
Get directions to the best Bahn Mi in Hanoi here!