Vietnam Restaurant List

Old Dec 11th, 2010, 06:15 AM
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CFW
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Vietnam Restaurant List

Looking for recommendations in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An & Saigon. Have started to gather some from trip reports, but I'm sure I've missed a lot & would love to hear from everyone all in one place. Thanks!
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Old Dec 11th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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i have several but can't post till next week... babysitting grnads this weekend and going to santa brunch on sunday in nh
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Old Dec 11th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Hanoi: Here were some restaurants we tried and enjoyed along with reviews we read before going. My favorites were Green Tangerine for a relaxed meal and Bun Bo Nam Bo - very casual - superb food. If you plan to go out with the Hanoi Kids for a day, Quan An Ngon is a good place to go and many of the students will suggest this.

Green Tangerine: 48 Hang Be. In a colonial house from 1928, "a sanctuary for a luxurious meal", frommers.com praises the restaurant. "Modern french dishes with very creative twists", adds myeggnoodles.com. Go there before the dinner rush, advises Chris Mitchell. "You will feel like a character in – and in fact Catherine Deneuve has dined here", knows gus and charlie’s guide to hanoi - We ate here twice. Loved it.

Bun Bo Nam Bo: 67 Hang Deur Street - typical Hanoian 'ambience'This eating hole is a long, deep narrow one, smeared stainless steel tables and wooden benches to sit at and carpets of discarded banana leaves to kick at underfoot.....the few moments for your bursting bat (bowl) of Asian flavour. Here's the drum from the bottom up: a decent fistful of lettuce and herbs, the essential noodles, a scoop of beef and bean shoots sauteed with garlic, and the one, two, three of crushed nuts, dried shallots and thinly sliced triangled pickles of young papaya and carrot. A ladle of warm, sweet sauce is tipped over to finish this fine noodle nosh off. (great reviews on various sites) “Cheap, delicious” MY FAVORITE!!! Looks like a dump, but absolutely delicious.

Quan An Ngon (18 Phan Boi Chau) was the one place we encountered on the entire trip where we ate alongside Vietnamese families, with probably a higher percentage of locals than tourists. Food was fantastic, inexpensive - loved the shady food court picnic table atmosphere. Loved the beef salad (spicy as requested!) and the bahn xeo. A nice young server showed us the proper way to roll the bahn xeo in the rice paper wrapping. Second person recommended this. Great place to sample different food options. Food and stalls, then sit to order. More locals than tourists. English signs. Good first place to try foods. (Recommended dishes: Try as much as you can, but here are some dishes they do particularly well: Banh Cuon (rice flour pancakes with mushrooms and minced pork), Muc Xien Nuong (fresh grilled squid skewers), Bun Bo Thit Nuong (a grilled pork variation on bun bon nam bo) and Salat Xoai Xang Hai San (seafood and green mango salad). Quan An Ngon is also one of the few places where you can get a decent taste for southern street foods, such as banh xeo, goi cuon, and chao tom (grilled shrimp paste on sugar cane). Note: Several said only "ok" certainly not the best food we had in Hanoi.

Cha Ca La Vong It still resonates with me as some of the best (if not the best) food I've had in SE Asia yet. Great place for lunch. (Note - we tried this for dinner and weren't especially impressed, but there is an Indian restaurant just up the street from here that was fabulous)


HOI AN:

The best restaurant we ate in Hoi An was called Brothers. This was a bit past town (past the market area) along the water. The food was fabulous and the atmosphere was very romantic. I highly recommmend this one.
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Old Dec 11th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Quan An Ngon in Saigon is so good that I would eat all my sit-down meals there next time!
I had a tamarind crab dish there that I still dream about.
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Old Dec 11th, 2010, 08:45 PM
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In Hanoi, please go here
http://www.pbase.com/loricarlson/image/75955812
and eat this
http://www.pbase.com/loricarlson/image/75955806

It's in the French Quarter, everyone knows where it is, address is on the awning.
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Old Dec 11th, 2010, 09:31 PM
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Based on Lori's (offwego's) recommendation I ate at Bun Cha Dac Kim in Hanoi and I have to say it's the best Bun Cha I've ever had. In fact, even if I didn't like Hanoi (which I did) I would go back just to eat there. You can read all of my dining recs for Vietnam (went to all the same places you're going last year) on my blog, www.wired2theworld.com
Lori, next time you are in LA, if you want I'll take you to our favorite place for Bun Cha, it's a close second to the one in Hanoi.
We also ate at Bun Bo Nam Bo and agree,it was very good and would go back there as well.
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Old Dec 12th, 2010, 06:15 AM
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We ate at Bun Cha Dac Kim, but didn't really see what all the hype was about the place. It was fun cooking our fish table side, but we didn't think it was as flavorful as other dishes we had eaten.
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Old Dec 12th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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dgunbug, did you cook the fish yourself tableside, or did someone cook it for you? (pet peeve - I don't eat in restaurants where I have to do the cooking! If I wanted to cook, I'd stay home LOL)
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Old Dec 12th, 2010, 03:29 PM
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dgunbug-Bun Cha Dac Kim is not the place where you cook your fish at your table. In fact, they don't serve fish at all. Only grilled pork, pork patties, and fried spring rolls served over rice noodles with vegetables and dipping sauce.

Perhaps you are confusing it with the catfish place called Cha Ca La Vong? I didn't eat there because I don't like catfish, and frankly I though it sounded over-hyped.
But the Bun Cha, ah, that's another story all together.
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Old Dec 12th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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I was sitting here thinking "fish? In the bun cha?" Yes I think you're thinking of Cha Ca La Vong, which I also found underwhelming, in fact kind disgusting. The Bun Cha however, well that's worth a trip to Hanoi all by itself. Yes Kris I will def join you for Bun Cha in LA. Anytime.
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Old Dec 12th, 2010, 08:57 PM
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So I've been googling, but can't really figure out, how does one eat the bun cha served at Bun Cha Dac Kim?
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 05:27 AM
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So sorry for the confusion! Yes, it was Cha Ca La Vong. Unfortunately, my husband does not eat pork so we were unable to go to Bun Cha Dac Kim. He also does not eat catfish, so I had a good laugh when I just found out that it was indeed catfish that he ate!
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 06:10 AM
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bookmarking this post as I'll be in Vietnam in March. I have Kristina's trip report notes, but always looking for good food tips.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 03:40 PM
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ok, here is what we liked:

hanoi--

many like green tangerine, but i thought their menu was not all that appealing and way too expensive....

highway 4 was fun for an informal meal--old town

Le Malcaux at 2 hang bong was very good and informal for lunch...

we ate two meals at Mediterraneo at 23 nha tho st, opposite the cathederal...italian and very casual...nice balcony over the street....

koto restaurant 59 van mieu, opposite the temple of literature, and just near to craft link... one of the best meals we had...

a unique experience is at Quan An Ngon, 18 Phan Boi Chau... sort of a combo of street food and a nice restaurant... you order at your table from a menu representing the foods of many stalls scattered around the edge of the restaurant....runners go for the food and bring it to you...tons of fun and really good food.... our "station chief was very helpful in helping us select things...

little hanoi, hang gai street or just at the base of it... delicious lunch....did not have dinner but think they are good too.... smeagol loves it.... K says it was all sandwiches and salads...

but the best meal we had and one you must go to is: Ly Club, 4 le phung hieu st.... a bit formal, great menu....wonderful old colonial house/mansion.... $30 tasting menu was outstanding...

match box restaurant adajacent to the fine arts museum, 40 Cao Ba Quat st... excellent lunch...lovely wine bar type place....museum is a quick look...it has a fab shop for buying paintings as well.. we bought two...

hoi an:

across the river from the main town are a string of restaurants....we ate at two:

Thanh Phuong---excellent and very reasonable...two locations: 29 nguyen phuc chi (this is the one on the river where we ate) and 56 cong dong---to the left after the foot bridge...

mango mango---cross of mex and vietamese...great lunch there one day...to the right after crossing the foot bridge from town... we both loved it here...

our favorite by far however was the secret garden, located down an alley next to 60 le loi street....great atmosphere, live music, cooking school, fab food and lovely setting...

Tam Tam, 121 Tran Phu st....disappointing, but lovely house and nice balcony

Cargo Club... across the street from tam tam and mornign glory...fantastic pastry and desserts and a restaurant upstairs favored by westerners....we had lunch there one day and it was delicious....we had desserts on several occasions... a must visit for both.

morning glory...similar to tam tam in a lovely house with a balcony....food was good and well presented...

saigon:

Pho Xua.. 11B Le Quy Don st...down the side street from the war temnants museum...next door really... excellent vn meal...a/c...indoors and out...try various kinds of spring rolls...

fanny ice cream in both hanoi and saigon...

Temple Club, 29-31 ton that thiep st....upstairs from fanny's...fantastic atmosphere...club like...great food...don't have ribs--no meat....hue cake with special sauce for dessert...

mojo in the sheraton....excellent lunch but expensive...

need glasses overnight: hoang long 114 Le Thanh ton st....near to large market and across the street from the liberty central hotel... very reasonable....my bifocals with cheap frames: $37.50... they can read your present script and also give test for free...

La Hostaria....italian....very very good... friendly staff... 17b Le Thanh Tan St (restaurant street)... we went twice...dinner and lunch the next day....full service italian...good house wine...

wine is cheap in vn btw, unlike thailand....

hope this helps...

btw, Yaly for clothing in hoi an---3 shops...mens and womens... amazing and very reasonable....
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 04:31 PM
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This was two years ago in Saigon/HCMC
Bun Ha
Only tried for lunch (twice) but this was our favorite. Lovely bright and airy atmosphere, fresh beautifully presented food.

Xu
Fancy fusion. A little too much designer attitude, but the food was creative and actually quite good.

Lemon Grass
Good, but a little tired.

Mandarin
Very tired and not too good.

We'll give Quan An Ngon another try next time. The day we were there it was mobbed and we didn't have the energy for it. Because we expected to be entertaining clients in HCMC (later the plan changed) we surveyed a lot of the restaurants mentioned in the guidebooks. On balance many of them seemed to be coasting on their past reputations -- hygiene, service, enthusiasm, spark just weren't there. Maybe, too many set menus served.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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Here's a few more in Saigon.

Golden Elephant - Hai Ba Trung - best Thai food in town.
Pomodoro - Hai Ba Trung (across from Golden Elephant - very good Italian
Elbow Room - Pastuer/Ham Nghi - Western food that is very good. Death by Chocolate desert is great. Skewers on Thai Van Lung is their sister restaurant.
Sandals - Hai Ba Trung/Le Loi - Another good Western restaurant
Reflections (Caravelle Hotel)Asian Fusion - stop by the Saigon Saigon bar after for a drink on the patio
Tandoor - Hai Ba Trung (across from the Park Hyatt) - excellent Indian food

Quan An Ngon is always packed so be prepared to wait a bit for a table.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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we did not wait at all for a table, but i think we might have arrived about 6ish..
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 09:38 AM
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Although Pho24 is a fast-food franchise, and growing rapidly, its fast food is pho and they can be relied on to serve it quickly, at a low price, in plain surroundings. As the name implies, many outlets are open 24 hours a day.

At night, one parking area at Ho Chi Mihn City's central market is taken over by open-air restaurants. All the stalls post menus with photos of the dishes. Look for the busiest, because the locals know what's good. Cram into picnic-table-style seating and point out your choices to a young waiter who won't speak much English. If the regulars sitting beside you can converse, they probably will be delighted to give advice -- the Vietnamese are very proud of their cuisine.

At the one stall with a smokey charcoal grill out-front, I ate a marvellous grilled red snapper. Another tourist, who I met at a one-day cooking school, said it was the best meal he had eaten in Vietnam, and he had travelled widely.
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Am I the only person that doesn't get Fannys ice cream? Way overrated IMHO

We really enjoyed Cha ca la vong good lunch spot, as is little Hanoi (although I wouldn't say I love it Bob)

In Saigon the restaurant at the Park Hyatt is amazing, expensive but very nice food.
I also LOVED the chilli beef at Quan an ngon in HCMC, I still dream about that chilli beef.
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 11:05 AM
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So, Smeagol, we will meet in our dreams--you with your arm wrapped around the chili beef and me in an embrace with their tamarind crab! If I had to choose one favorite eating place in Vietnam, that might be it.

In general, I found the best food to be in the plainest places...
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