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Hanoi restaurants

As the center of politics and commerce in Vietnam, Hanoi enjoys a cosmopolitan restaurant scene, with everything from gourmet Vietnamese and classic French to a variety of Asian-tinged fusion cuisines. The expat foodies patronize the small bistros in the Church Street area west of Hoan Kiem Lake and along Xuan Dieu Street, two miles north near the tony West Lake neighborhood.

Most Vietnamese prefer to eat dinner out rather than at home, so you're almost always sure to be mixing with locals if you dine before 6 pm. But expats and hi-so (high-society) Vietnamese head out on the town at about 7:30. Casual attire is acceptable for any place in the Old Quarter, though smart- or business-casual is the norm at swankier French Quarter spots. Reservations are advisable on weekends—and every day of the week at a few small bistros like La.

For most Vietnamese, however, "dinner out" means grabbing a stool and sitting out on the sidewalk to enjoy street food from a favorite neighborhood vendor. These operations sprout every evening on most major thoroughfares. Every hawker has a specialty, but among the standard fare are pho (a noodle soup with either beef or chicken), cha ca (fish and rice noodles), and roast duck.

The cuisine of north Vietnam is lighter than most in Southeast Asia, without any coconut- or curry-heavy specialties. Flavor is imparted by fresh herbs such as coriander, ginger, and lemongrass and nuoc mam fish sauce. Not surprisingly, there's a definite Chinese influence down to the chopsticks, and especially in bun cha, a savory noodle soup with marinated, minced-pork balls and mint. And locals swear their pho is Vietnam's best. The tastiest holdover from the supply-challenged days of socialism are the mom-and-pop specialty restaurants that serve a single dish.

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Wild Lotus, Hanoi

Located just south of Hoan Kiem District, Wild Lotus has an ethereal elegance and even better food. Inside the walled compound, paving stones bridge a...more

Editors' Pick
Vine Wine Boutique Bar & Café, Hanoi

At Vine, the wine is the star of the meal, and the decor reflects that. Rows and rows of its 100,000-bottle inventory glint from the walls of the 80-seat dining...more

Editors' Pick
Restaurant Bobby Chinn, Hanoi

Owned by the young American chef Bobby Chinn, this hip restaurant is packed with Western ex-pats and visitors seated on the silk-pillowed banquettes. Gauzy...more

Editors' Pick
Pho 24, Hanoi

With more than 40 soup-for-you restaurants located throughout the country, this successful franchise dwarfs even McDonald's in Vietnam. Like the Golden Arches,...more

Editors' Pick
La, Hanoi

This ten-table find has everything a good bistro requires: a neighborhood following, innovative comfort food, terrific ambience, and moderate-enough prices to...more

Editors' Pick
KOTO, Hanoi

Just across the street from the 1,000-year-old Temple of Literature, this teaching restaurant offers an educational opportunity for hundreds of...more

Editors' Pick
Green Tangerine, Hanoi

Customers who retreat from the retail hustle of Hang Be Street must feel they've stepped through some sort of Second Empire looking glass. The lengthy interior...more

Editors' Pick
Emperor, Hanoi

If you don't get a chance to make it to Hué (some 300 miles away), go instead to this shrine to the imperial city's cuisine. Emperor may just...more

Editors' Pick
Cha Ca La Vong, Hanoi

This bare-bones eatery in the Old City market district has been around for more than a century. The service is monosyllabic and there are no napkins, only...more

Editors' Pick
Café Moca, Hanoi

Run by American Jeff Richardson and his Vietnamese partner, Truong Viet Binh, Café Moca is a busy establishment near the city center. Seven varietal and...more

Editors' Pick
Results 1-10 of 11  |   1 2 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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