Hanoi has a plethora of dining options for you to choose from when you come to visit, all the way from a simple sidewalk stall with a single offering to fancy restaurants with menus that go beyond fifty pages. With such overwhelming options, it’s difficult to make a choice. To make it easy for you, we’ve collected our favorites, each one different from the other.
Getting to Hanoi city center is simple
Noi Bai International Airport is a little over 25km from the Old Quarter of Hanoi. There are a few ways you can make the journey to the city center – bus, airport taxi, booking a Grab car through the Grab app, or by pre-booking a private car. While taking the bus may be the cheapest option, it is also extremely inconvenient and often late. Airport taxis charge a premium and with Grab cars, hassles are inevitable, especially when it comes to locating the driver at the airport when you have a language barrier between the driver and you. If you book a private car, you will not have to go through any hassle such as locating your driver, negotiating your price, or getting lost on the way to your hotel. Your driver will be well informed about where to go and will find you at the airport arrivals gate. From there it is smooth sailing through and through!
Home Hanoi Restaurant
Staying true to its name, dining at Home Hanoi feels like being in the comfort of your own home. The fascinating menu is a combination of the finest traditional Vietnamese dishes and those with a contemporary twist. You’ll find all sorts of favorites such as pho, bun cha, and nem ran along with more high-end offerings such as grilled meat and seafood dishes, crab, and claypot curries.
This restaurant is a popular option for hosting events – whether it’s something more intimate for your family and friends, or a grand celebratory banquet for 100 people. The warm wooden decoration and simple colors go well with the ambient lighting, offering an extremely cozy place to enjoy some mouth-watering home-cooked style food, and share that experience with loved ones.
Address: 34 Chau Long, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Hours: 11 am – 1:30 pm | 5 pm – 9:30 pm
Phone: +84 24 3939 2222
Price range: 150,000 VND – 300,000 VND ($6.53 – $13.05)
Must eat: Nem ran (fried spring rolls)
Vibe: Anything from casual to fancy. Attracts both locals and tourists
Cau Go Restaurant
A restaurant that doesn’t just offer a delicious menu, Cau Go creates an intimate experience for its diners thanks especially to the location that offers wonderful views of the most charming lake of the capital city, Hoan Kiem.
Start your order with water spinach fried with garlic, crab spring rolls, and the grilled beef skewers. For the mains, go with braised fish, stir-fried scallops with broccoli, and a bowl of white rice. For those that don’t eat meat, there’s a vegetarian corner with plenty of options such as stewed tofu with mushroom in a clay pot, stewed winter melon with lemongrass, and caramelized mixed veggies.
Share these together and enjoy a dessert of your choice. Please note that the venue is often full, especially during meal times and on the weekends, so you’d probably want to make a reservation if you want to give your significant other a treat.
Address: 73 Cau Go, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Hours: 10 am – 11 pm
Phone: +84 4 3926 0808
Price range: 150,000 VND – 300,000 VND ($6.53 – $13.05)
Must eat: Stir fried scallops with broccoli
Vibe: Intimate, great for special occasions, so leave the flip flops behind
Uu Dam Vegan Restaurant
Uu Dam Vegan Restaurant takes meat-free cuisine to a whole new level, catering to the increasingly growing vegan/vegetarian population in Hanoi. A restaurant spanning three floors, with thoughtful Buddhist-inspired interior design, each nook and cranny of this space makes for a wonderful Instagram picture. The menu takes on popular pan-Asian favorites, adding a vegetarian twist, so you will find all your favorite meat-based dishes just without the meat. No sacrifice on the flavor has been made.
For a place so unique and quite fancy, prices are not bad. You could enjoy a two-person meal for about $20.00 USD. Try their mango or avocado spring roll salad, cheese lotus, and pomelo salad. They are a roller coaster of flavors in your mouth. During the full moon period and the beginning of each lunar calendar month, Uu Dam gets packed with hungry vegetarian Buddhists – so remember to make a reservation.
Address: 34 Hang Bai, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Hours: 10:30 am – 9:30 pm
Phone: +84 98 134 98 98
Price range: 100,000 VND – 200,000 VND ($4.35 – $8.70)
Must eat: Pomelo salad is a definite must
Vibe: A little upscale, with unique decor, attracting diners looking for a nice sit-down experience
Pho Thin – 13 Lo Duc
When you are in Hanoi, pho is a must. Why? Hanoi is the birthplace of this complex dish. You can find pho in almost every corner of this city, either in small mom and pop shops tucked away in small alleyways, on mobile carts decorating sidewalks, or in high-end restaurants that serve it with a fancy twist. What makes Pho Thin stand out? Pho Thin is the first local brand to have gone international, having launched its first restaurant outside of Vietnam in Japan. Having operated for over 40 years, they have perfected their recipe, and diners know this, as they come back time and time again. You’ll find queues going beyond the doorsteps during meal times, and when the restaurant is full, you’ll find diners perched up on their motorbikes slurping away. This is how you know the recipe is what takes Pho Thin far, far beyond the borders of Vietnam.
Address: 13 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
Hours: 6 am – 2 pm, 5 pm – 9 pm
Phone: +84 98 2522866
Price range: 65,000 VND ($2.83) / bowl
Vibe: Casual and not at all fancy
Cha Ca Thang Long
Cha ca is a favorite Vietnamese dish (another Hanoi specialty) that is essentially fish fried with turmeric and dill on a pan. While many restaurants serve this juicy bowl of heaven, no bowl can ever catch up to the perfection that is served at Cha Ca Thang Long.
This simple restaurant has a simple menu, and just cha ca. Much like a Korean grill, the food will be cooked on the table. Don’t worry if you have never had this kind of experience before, as the lovely English-speaking staff will show you exactly how this dish should be eaten. The restaurant has garnered a loyal following thanks to its fresh ingredients and delicious sauces, that the moment you finish dining and leave, someone else will take your seat. Certainly a wonderful experience, and much better than heading over to your typical tourist haunt.
Address: 19-21-31 Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Hours: 9 am – 10:30 pm
Phone: +84 438 245 115 | +84 438 286 007
Price range: 120,000 VND ($5.22) / portion
Vibe: Casual, family-friendly dining
With these five restaurants, you really can not go wrong. They will give you the perfect introduction to Hanoi and Vietnam. Remember to slurp on your noodle soups as loud as you can to show your appreciation for the deliciousness of it all. Happy eating.