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KOTO, Hanoi

59 Van Mieu Street
Dong Da District
Tel: 84 4 747 0337's insider take:

Just across the street from the 1,000-year-old Temple of Literature, this teaching restaurant offers an educational opportunity for hundreds of Vietnamese—and a delicious, affordable lunch for customers. KOTO (the acronym stands for "Know One, Teach One") is the creation of Jimmy Pham, a Vietnamese-Korean raised in Australia, who founded the nonprofit restaurant to train disadvantaged youth and former street kids. The menu, which is sprinkled with inspirational quotes by Confucius and Dr. Albert Schweitzer, offers a broad range of Vietnamese dishes, including bun cha and nem tom (rice-paper rolls stuffed with prawns and herbs). KOTO is a popular lunch spot, but the four-story, 120-seat eatery can accommodate the crush. Photos of past KOTO grads hang from the walls of the busy ground floor, which has a mix of table and stool seating. For a more leisurely meal, climb the narrow staircase to the second-floor Temple Bar—which is outfitted with ceiling fans, muted lanterns, and long, low banquettes and cushions—and sip a Temple Tipple (Havana Club rum, lime, honey, and lemongrass) while sending gloating e-mail (Wi-Fi is free), or dine alfresco on the roof's Treetop Terrace.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 7 am to 10 pm, Mondays 7 am to 5 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.