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Central Vietnam restaurants

With only a narrow band of arable land between the mountains and the sea, restaurants in central Vietnam lean toward seafood and freshwater fish. Flavors here tend to be spicier and earthier than in the rest of the country. Hue is famed for a complex imperial Vietnamese cuisine characterized by elaborate presentations and dainty portions; the food is a delicious holdover from the 19th-century reign of finicky emperor Dong Khanh, who demanded 50 different dishes, all prepared by separate cooks, for each of his three daily meals. The city is also renowned for more pedestrian fare such as banh khoai, rice paper crepes filled with shrimp, pork, egg, and vegetables. Hoi An's specialty is cao lau, rice noodles served with pork, sprouts, croutons, mint, and banana bud; the locals swear the tastiest noodles are boiled with water drawn from the town's Bale well. Dinner begins earlier than in more cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi; 7 pm is the peak hour.

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Ancient Hue, Hue

Finding this Hue restaurant down a quiet lane near Thien Mu Pagoda is an adventure in itself. The five-acre compound feels like a step back in time to a Nguyen...more

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Apsara Restaurant, Da Nang

Da Nang's most upscale restaurant is located in a converted home just a short three-block stroll from the Museum of Cham Sculpture. The kitchen specializes in...more

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Brother's Café, Hoi An

Brother's century-old colonial building is the loveliest setting in all of Hoi An—and that's saying a lot in a city that's a designated UNESCO World...more

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Cargo Club Restaurant and Hoi An Patisserie, Hoi An

Trinh Diem Vy has been feeding backpackers since opening Mermaid Restaurant near Hoi An's central market in 1991, the Mesozoic era of Vietnamese tourism. Cargo...more

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Lac Thien Restaurant, Hue

Neither the Tet Offensive nor decades of anticapitalist rule could close this simple shopfront eatery outside the Citadel's southeastern Ngan Gate. Since 1965,...more

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Mango Rooms, Hoi An

Vietnamese, expats, and travelers all sit down to sup at this tastefully funky, 100-seat restaurant along Hoi An's riverfront, a lively place with brightly...more

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Mediterraneo d'Hue, Hue

Asian-style lanterns may hang outside, but the opera music is a dead giveaway that Leonardo Fazioli is serving Italian, and only Italian, at this new 60-seat...more

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



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