Vietnam Restaurant List

Old Dec 19th, 2010, 07:45 AM
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CFW: I wish I could be of more help with Hue. My feeling is that there are new places opening all the time and that the scene is changed since my visit in 2008.

I think it is important to keep in mind the vast divide between the tourist places and the local spots. Throughout Vietnam, you can eat very well at local places for a few dollars; meals in the tourist spots will cost many times that and, in my experience, the food is usually not as good. SavourAsia is good about pointing this out. I wish I had taken better notes during my first visit to Vietnam about 11 years ago..I visited someone who was living there and we ate every meal at local places.

For what it's worth, here is one excellent local place I tried, from the Hue part of my report; it is very basic; open to the street; seating in plastic (full height) chairs. Super friendly staff.

<Hang Me, at #45 Vo Thi Sau, was the name at the top of my list of good eating places in Hue, and it was the name I spoke to the front desk person at La Residence that afternoon. I wanted to know if I could walk there, or if I would need a taxi. My mention of this place, however, brought a look approaching horror to the man’s face. He appeared flustered, and then told me that the restaurant was closed. But this was only about 1:30pm..did eating places in Hue really close that early? He disappeared, returning in a moment with a colleague in tow. Yes, it turned out that the restaurant was open but it was not a good choice for me. Why not? Well, it serves only “pastry.” “Pastry?” I told them, no matter, I would like to try it out and asked them to get me a taxi. More confusion..wait, wait….”I think that today is the vacation day.” By this time I was more determined than ever to make it to the restaurant with the unusual name. They dutifully called me a taxi and I set off, to be deposited minutes later at a tiny, open-air nook with a few tables and cooking equipment in the rear. More confusion when I entered. I checked the address out front. Yes, this was, indeed, #45 Vo Thi Sau.
The owner and waitress quickly recovered from their chock of seeing a lone western female at their door, and ushered me to one of the metal tables.

I will say here that in Vietnam, there seems to be a sharp divide between locally patronized restaurants and those oriented toward group tourists. Attempts to dine at the former were always received with some surprise, followed by warmth and friendliness. Hang Me proved no different. The place is more street stall than actual restaurant. Open to the narrow lane in front and outfitted with metal tables and plastic chairs, the place does have English translation on its brief menu. One look at this document and I understood the mention of “pastry.” The specialty here is rice flour crepes, in several forms and stuffed with a variety of meat and vegetable ingredients. For 55,000VND (US$3.28) I sampled the entire menu. Rice flour crepes stuffed with shrimp and herbs, rice four dumplings stuffed with pork and chives, and an array of other “small plates.” All very tasty. Recommended.>
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