Some of you know that Sean and I recently launched Go Digital, a bespoke digital agency and as a reward, we booked a little trip to Penang. It has been months of setting it up and what better way to celebrate this new venture than a trip to Penang. Originally we were gonna be good and just stay in Kuala Lumpur but… We couldn’t not go to Penang which is considered the ultimate food lovers destination. So we went for it and I am SO freaking glad we did. It was a short trip but we had just enough time to fall utterly in love with Penang.
Hello Kuala Lumpur
Since we knew we would be heading to Kuala Lumpur for a month way back in January I had my list. My list of must-sees and on that list was Batu Caves. It is considered one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions. What draws the many tourists is the juxtaposition of the massive statue erected outside welcoming you. The other, the 272 steep stairs. These stairs take you up the limestone hill where 3 different caves await you. It’s also considered a religious landmark. It has been a Hindu temple for over a hundred years. The temple features many idols and statues erected inside and around it. As such it a mix of those there for religious purposes and those like myself to see the caves. It is said that interiors of the limestone are around 400 million years old!
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!
When one thinks of Croatia, I can guarantee you no one will think of the food as one of the highlights but I’m here to tell you that Split offers some fantastic food. Not only that but their local dishes might just be on par with their across the sea neighbours in Italy… Including a black risotto that any seafood lover would adore. So if you are on a budget (but don’t mind an occasional splurge) here are 6 places to eat while in Split.
This place is cheap, friendly and delicious. It is a little out of the way but worth it. With homemade tortials wraps made to order, it’s like a burger paniani and boy is it good. I got the Naughty Cow with a Kit Kat Milkshake. The vibe is chill and deff the perfect spot for lunch before exploring Diloctians Palace.
Where to find them: Ul. Zrinsko Frankopanska 6, 21000, Split, Croatia
This for all uncertain terms is a tourist restaurant. It is just a few minutes away from the famous Split Promemnade but service is quick, portions are large and the prices are cheap! Is is the best quality? No, but it did the trick and everything was fresh. Also, it is along the way to Marjan Hill making it a perfect pit stop to fuel before climbing up those stairs for one of the best views of Split.
Where to find them: Trumbićeva obala 11, 21000, Split, Croatia
This is not in downtown Split but almost any taxi driver will know where to take you and for good reason. If you are a vegetarian, I would stay away because this place has the best meat in the town. I would recommend skiiping the apptetiser course and ordering the house wine (red or white) with the Mixed Grill Platter. It comes with chips but order a side salad. Do that to at least to make yourself feel a bit better about all the meat you are about to consume. This platter comes with traditional meats and sausages and some classics like a buger stuffed with cheese and chicken grilled to perfection! Be warned though, service here is slow…. Very, very slow.
Where to find them: Hektorovićeva ul., 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Konoba Ostarija U Vidakovi
If you want to try out one of Croatia’s specialities and most popular dishes – peka, then this is the place to go. Due to the requirments on how to cook it not many places in Split can cook this dish authentically so finding a place that does is a hard one. We were recommended this place and it was the best meal we had while in Split. Full-disclosure, you have to let them know you want peka at least a day ahead of time so they can cook it in time. Otherwise it could be midnight before you eat!
Peka is a a blend of vegetables and meat drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and then baked to perfection under a bell-like dome, or ispod čripnje. It is not cheap but not breaking the bank either with the amount of food you get and a good bottle of wine. Plus, our waiter was fantastic and offered us the right appertives and gave us some history of food and Croatia adding to an already delightful meal.
Where to find them: prilaz braće Kaliterna 8, 21000, Split, Croatia
If you want to have the best fish platter of your life then this is the place for you. This Taverna has been cooking fish for years and is full of locals and tourists on any given day. I would recommend calling ahead or stopping by earlier in the day to make a reservation. The wait can be up to an hour on certain nights. We went here on a date night and the ambiance of the restaurant helped make date night feel a little more romantic.
Make sure to get the cuttlefish risotto (another Dalmatian speciality). Tip from me to you is go for a litre of wine. Don’t make our mistake of getting half a litre as you will order more (which we did). It just pairs too well with the fish for you to no drink!
Where to find them: Put Firula 17, 21000, Split, Croatia
This is a chain. But man oh man do I love them! They offer the typical pastries from around the world but also a few Croatian specialties as well. They are a full service bakery but also serve ice cream, sandwiches/wraps, bread and great drinks. You’ll see this chain spread out across Split and after a taste you will understand why. I recommend that if you want to sit on the promenade in Split then go to Bobis. It’s the ONLY one with local prices so your iced frappe won’t break the bank and you’ll get a view.
Where to find them: On almost every corner
So there you have it, 6 Places To Eat In Split Croatia!