Vietnamese Eats – A Restaurant Guide
Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world, known for its freshness and distinct flavours. There are loads of great places to eat at, in this beautiful country, including many street food stalls but in this post I’m going to fill you in on some of the restaurants we went to while travelling through Vietnam and what we ate at them… which was a lot!
The majority of Vietnamese dishes contain either beef or pork which Sanjay and I don’t eat. This posed a few challenges for us but most places had vegetarian options and some were very accommodating and substituted the meat to chicken or shrimp. Our food restrictions meant we weren’t able to try some of the dishes as they would normally be served (with beef/pork) but in most cases we were still given really delicious food. There were a few dishes that we found weren’t appetising – Not through the fault of bad cooking or anything like that but the flavours just didn’t gel well with vegetables opposed to the traditional pork and beef.
I’m a sucker for dessert but we didn’t really eat much of it in Vietnam, we were either too full or it wasn’t on the menu. I did have my usual fix of ice cream though!
Mon Ngon Pho Co Hanoi – The first Vietnamese food we tried was in Hanoi, we were about to go exploring through the Old Quarter but decided to have a quick bite to eat, to keep us going until dinner time. We stopped at this little restaurant which wasn’t overly busy but was clean and the staff were lovely even though their English wasn’t so good! We ordered fried tofu with spring onions and vegetarian fried spring rolls. The dishes came out quite quickly but both were quite average and lacking in flavour.
Bun Cha Ta, Hanoi – Bun Cha is traditionally a dish of grilled pork served over a plate of rice noodles/vermicelli and soup. We ordered the vegetarian option which took three times as long as everyone else’s orders to come out! There was a basket containing a bowl of hot soup, a bowl of fresh herbs, a bowl of cold rice noodles and a plate of fried spring rolls. The idea is to place the noodles and herbs into the hot soup and let the flavours come together.
Banh Mi 25 Hanoi – This cute little stall come restaurant on the side of the road has tiny tables and chairs set up next to it, sitting there eating Banh Mi, sipping the complimentary hot tea and watching the motorbikes pass by was actually a lovely experience J On top of that they had the best Bhan Mi that we tried while in Vietnam! A crusty baguette filled with meat/veggies and topped with pickles, carrots, cucumber, coriander and chilli. They even had chicken as an option so we were super pleased and they were seriously delicious…we ate there twice!
Gia Ngu Restaurant Hanoi – We ate here on our last night in Hanoi and were so glad we did, the food was delicious! It was the only place we found that did chicken spring rolls and they were divine! We ordered a chicken curry, which was served in a freshly hollowed baby coconut (the curry was supposedly Vietnamese but it definitely had some Thai influence to it) and a spicy prawn dish it all went down an absolute treat. At the end of the meal they served us complementary tea and a sweet sesame biscuit, a great touch!
Vy’s Market Restaurant Hoi An – We were drawn into this place by the cute lanterns inside and the fact that it was incredibly busy…The food would have to be great, with so many people inside! The restaurant doubles as a cooking school and it is huge, so we didn’t have trouble getting a table. There are different stations set up across the restaurant, each serving different types of meals. You are given a tablet to view the menu which is pretty cool! We ordered Cao Lau, this dish is unique to Hoi An – Pre-soaked noodles served with a little broth and thinly sliced meat, herbs, bean sprouts and a crisp, crouton like fried bread. We also ordered some shrimp dumplings, fresh prawn spring rolls and a chicken & rice meal. If you’re in Hoi An check this place out!
Hoi An Roastery – So my coffee loving husband loved this place, the coffee is apparently awesome! Not only do they serve the traditional Vietnamese coffee but also the usual flat whites, lattes etc. This cute little café is in the heart of Old Town in Hoi An, the staff are lovely and the food wasn’t too bad either, we had a pretty good chicken pho there (noodle soup with meat).
Morning Glory Restaurant Hoi An – This restaurant was recommended to us by hotel staff as being one of the best in Hoi An. It is super busy, so make a booking if you plan on eating here or you’ll be waiting a while for a table. The menu was quite extensive and has something for everyone. It took quite a while for someone to take our order but the food made up for that. We ordered chicken and rice as well as a Bahn Xeo-which is basically a savoury crepe, made of rice flour, ours was stuffed with shrimp, onion, bean sprouts and fresh herbs – YUM!
Vinh Hung Restaurant Hoi An – We booked a day trip to My son and included in the tour was lunch at this restaurant. We were served a set menu lunch and I have to say it was much better than expected! The staff were aware of our dietary requirements and tailored the menu for us. Our courses were – Crispy shrimp spring rolls, shrimp fried wontons, chicken cooked with lemongrass, ginger & chilli braised fish in a clay pot with sautéed morning glory and a fruit salad to finish. Drinks are not included in the set menu but make sure you try their mango and coconut smoothies – They are divine!
Mekong Delta Villages – We went on a tour of one of the villages on the Mekong and were lucky enough to be served lunch at the local restaurant. Main course was a crispy, fried, whole fish! We were a little unsure how to tackle it but very soon one of the locals came to our table with some rice paper and fresh vegetables, he scraped the flesh off the fish and rolled us fresh spring rolls – I’m not a big fan of fish but this was pretty good! (Sorry I’ve got no photos of the spring rolls, we ate them too quickly).
Wrap & Roll Ho Chi Minh City – Sanjay had eaten at Wrap & Roll when he was last in Ho Chi Minh about 7 years ago and said it was really great. We read there was one not too far from our hotel so decided to check it out. Unfortunately Wrap & Roll didn’t live up to our expectations – The service wasn’t great, we had to wait a long time for someone to take our order and the restaurant wasn’t even busy. They didn’t have the first two dishes we tried ordering and the food we did get was extremely greasy and unappetising. The food is reasonably priced but we found that was pretty much all Wrap & Roll has going for it.
I hope this post gives you an idea of which restaurants you could try and which you could give a miss. Ăn ngon miệng nhé! (Enjoy your meal!)
Happy Travels, Priti x