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23 Hanoi Restaurants, Taste Tested and Approved

I love to eat and I can eat a lot! Whenever I come to a new place, I love exploring the food culture. I have lived in Hanoi, Vietnam for 1 year and I have had many opportunities to try different foods both Vietnamese and international cuisine. It took many months to find and try all the Hanoi restaurants that I have listed below and I am sure that there are still hidden gems that I have yet to discover.

I have found that Hanoi restaurants offer a great variety and you can satisfy just about any craving. There is a concentration of international establishments in the tourist and Tay Ho (West Lake) areas as the restaurants cater to foreign customers.

But, I have found international cuisine in other parts of the city as well. The tourist area is known as the, “old quarter” close to Hoan Kiem Lake. Obviously, there is a great selection of Vietnamese cuisine in this area too.

The restaurants that I have selected are based on the following criteria:

  • I have eaten at each establishment at least one time.
  • I had a positive dining experience.
  • The food was satisfying.
  • I would consider returning or I have returned many times.

I customized a map that you can view below that has each restaurant listed. I have also written a short description with pictures of each restaurant and they are listed in random order. I hope you find it helpful for selecting your next dining experience in Hanoi.

***If you have suggestions for other restaurants that I should try, please comment at the bottom with your suggestions. Thanks!***

International Cuisine

O’douceurs

This could quite possibly be my favorite restaurant for breakfast. I discovered it in the first few weeks of living in Hanoi and I frequent it several times per week. It is owned by a French and Vietnamese husband and wife.

I would argue that they make one of the best lattes in the city that I have had. They mix a variety of coffee beans that offers a unique blend of delicious flavors. They also offer fresh juices, tea and other beverages.

They also freshly bake delicious and affordable french pastries including croissants, chocolate croissants, cakes and much more! You can even request custom cakes or baked goods for an event or birthday. They also supply many local restaurants with rolls and other bread products.

O'douceurs Cakes

Bahn Mi

Fresh-Baked-Bread


Joma

This is a great place that offers several locations in Hanoi and a variety of eating options that make it a great spot for breakfast, lunch or afternoon snack. It is a bit more expensive compared to other restaurants that offer similar food products but they have a great dining atmosphere, air-con, fast wi-fi and complementary water.

When you enter the restaurant you head to the counter to order and receive a number on a metal stand. Following, you find a seat and wait for your food to arrive.

I really enjoy the large coffee which comes with a free refill because it comes in a proper sized mug which I have not found at another cafe in Hanoi. Some of my favorites include the french toast, tuna melt and lemon mint smoothie.

Joma-Latte

Joma-Breakfast-Burrito

Fruit-Museli

Joma-Waffle

Joma-Tuna-Melt


Red Bean Restaurant

Red Bean

I have been to Red Bean restaurant once for a date. It is centrally located in the old quarter and caters to tourists. As you can see in the image above, is it ranked #6 out of #1370 restaurants on trip advisor  which is no easy feat. It has a nice atmosphere and great customer service. The staff speak English fluently so communication is not an issue (assuming you speak English).

The menu has a variety of western and traditional Vietnamese dishes. I ordered a seafood dish and it was delicious. Everything is really good but you are going to pay premium comparatively to other establishments.

Red-Bean-Appetizer-Plater

Red-Bean-Seafood-Dish

Red-Bean-Seafood-Skewers


Puku

This is a popular meeting spot for young Vietnamese and expats as it is one of a few publicly known establishments that are open 24hrs a day. The menu offers a great combination of western and Vietnamese food. The prices are reasonable for western food and a bit more expensive for Vietnamese food compared to other Vietnamese establishments.

They have great wifi and extension cords are readily available to bring your computer, although they do not encourage people to work all day. They also play good music. The overall vibe is positive and the staff are very customer service oriented. I go there frequently and they acknowledge me by name when I enter. They also have food for all meals of the day as they are open 24hrs a day.

They are tucked away on a back street and have outside seating. During the summer, the outside seating is very enjoyable as it has umbrellas to offer shade from the sun or rain.

My favorite meal is their hamburger which I would argue is one of the best hamburgers in Hanoi. It  comes with a small salad and fries. One big selling point is that they have ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard which I have found is hard to find in Hanoi. The hamburger with a hanoi beer is 145,000 VND or $7 USD.

Puku-Beef-Burger


Comga

Comga is one of the 1st restaurants that I frequented since it was around the corner from a hotel that I was staying at. It has a great corner location and is easily visible to find. It has several partners that own the restaurant but the most prevalent is Anton. He is a Vietnamese local and a great resource to learn about Hanoi and Vietnam in general, if you have the pleasure to meet him.

Comga also features a combination of western and Vietnamese dishes. The most popular dish originates from Hoi An. Jasmine rice fused with turmeric root, chicken and chili sauce from Hoi an. They also have a good burger. The staff speak good English and they have steady wifi if you are looking for a place to work.

Comga-Restaurant

Comga-Outdoor-Seating

Comga-Indoor-Seating

Comga-Chicken-Burger


Namaste

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Hanoi and it is delicious! It is the only Indian restaurant that I have been too and I do not want to try another because I would risk being unsatisfied when I know that I will have a great dining experience at Namaste. : )

It is owned by an Indian couple that have been in the restaurant industry for several years and they are really good at what they do. They have a big menu  and feature authentic Indian dishes from different parts of the country. It is a popular establishment for Indian expat locals and travelers.

My favorite dish is vegetable shaam savera and paneer butter masala with garlic naan or cheese naan. If you can’t make it to the restaurant, than you can order take-out as they deliver all over the city.


The Moose and Roo Pub and Grill

This is a chain restaurant which has two locations. One location is on Ma May street in the old quarter which is a pub and grill and the other location is on Hai Ba Trung which is a smokehouse. The menus vary from each location but both feature a variety of beer and a BBQ menu. It is going to be more expensive than local Vietnamese cuisine but it is a great alternative if you are looking to satisfy a craving.


Hanoi Social Club

This place took me a while to find because I had not heard of it but I was glad when I found it. I love breakfast and they have a great breakfast menu which features healthy options. They have many menu options that cater to vegans and vegetarians but they have meat available to meat eaters too.

They have imported coffee from central America and Africa for any coffee connoisseurs but you are going to pay a premium for this coffee comparatively to other western establishments or local Vietnamese coffee.

It is a popular destination for the local expat community and teachers. They often have live music and other events to check out. They have three floors for seating but it can be difficult to find seating during live events or sunday mornings/afternoons. Overall, it is a great place to check out.

Toast-Boiled-Eggs

Ginger-Tea

Hanoi-Social-Club-Sandwich

Cous-Cous

Mint-Lychee-Smoothie


Black And Jack

This is another great restaurant located in the old quarter, close to Hoan Kiem Lake. I was told by a friend that they have great burgers and that is how I was introduced to them. If you enjoy a good burger then I would check them out.

Their menu features a lot of western food and it is another great place to check out if you are looking to satisfy your western cravings.

Zenith Yoga And Cafe

This is a great place for any vegetarians, vegans or health conscious eaters. Over the past year, they changed locations but their new location is better since it offers more seating. It can be difficult to find as it is not located directly on the street.

You need to walk into an alley and the entrance is on your right. You will notice a large pile of shoes as they ask everyone to take off their shoes when you go in.

You will walk up a flight of stairs and then the entrance is on your left. As you can tell by the name, it is also a yoga studio. There are several rooms with seating that offer large comfortable sofas and uniquely constructed tables. All of the rooms have air-conditioning and you will be quite comfortable when visiting. Did I mention the food is delicious?

Cous-Cous

quiche


La Place

This restaurant is in the heart of the old quarter, directly next to St Josephs Cathedral. It is a nice place to go and watch all the tourists as they walk around the small square in front of the cathedral. The cathedral can also be a popular place to get photos taken for wedding pictures.

La Place has three floors. I like sitting on the second floor as it has an outside terrace for people watching. I will also go there to work as there is a strong wifi connection. Their menu has a combination of western and Vietnamese cuisine. The food is decent and they also make good coffee.

La-Place-Restaurant

La-Place-Counter

La-Place-Indoor-Seating

Waffles

St-Josephs-Cathedral


Gecko

This is a chain of restaurants that have a similar menu to each other. Their locations are concentrated in the old quarter and cater to foreign customers. Although, their menu consists of food that you can find elsewhere, it is competitively priced.

Gecko features another Vietnamese and Western menu. They have a large menu and everyone should be able to find something that appeals to them. Another great selling point is that they sell cheap beer. All the beer in Hanoi is cheap but some establishments will have a higher mark-up than others.

If I am really hungry, then I will order a salad, cheese garlic break, spaghetti and a beer for 145,000VND or $7 USD.

St-Josephs-Cathedral

Salad

Gecko-Pizza

Saint Honore

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast and I am a sucker for any restaurant that serves a good breakfast. Saint Honore caught my attention because it is a bakery. Although, they have a lot of things to choose from, comparatively to O’douceurs (my favorite bakery) they charge a premium.

Saint Honore has several locations in Hanoi to choose from and they are a great choice if you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth or want to try a new place for breakfast or lunch.

Gizmo

While leaving abroad, I am always craving some authentic Mexican cuisine. Surprisingly, I have been able to find some establishments that have been able to satisfy my cravings. Gizmo is one of those establishments. It is a relatively new restaurant in Hanoi and opened while I have been living here. They feature a great menu and are constantly getting feedback from customers to make improvements.

They are located on Au Co and have a two story restaurant. Sitting on the second floor is nice as they have several murals on the wall and have a nice ambiance. They also have a button at each table, so when you are ready to order, you can simply push the button and a waiter will come to your table.

All of the food is delicious but I recommend the fish tacos. They also have guacamole! It is an extra side that you have to order for an added cost but well worth it! I also recommend the margaritas, as they are made strong. Enjoy!

Gizmo-Burrito


Salt n’ Lime

This is another Mexican restaurant in Hanoi that I did not discover until recently, as of writing this post. It is located in the Tay Ho area, close to Sao Mai pool. I have eaten here twice and have been satisfied each time. I ordered a Burrito, chips and a margarita. Their menu features a variety of Mexican cuisine and their prices are what you would expect to pay for international cuisine.

Compared to Gizmo (the other Mexican restaurant in Hanoi), I would say that they are both satisfying and have a great selection of Mexican food. They also both make great margaritas and guacamole. I would recommend trying them out yourself and seeing what you think.

Al Fesco’s

Al Fresco’s is a a chain of restaurants in Hanoi that features western cuisine. Their menu offers pizza, pasta, salads, burgers, nachos, ribs and more. Many of their wait staff speak English so communicating what you want to order is not difficult. Their customer service is above par compared to many restaurants in Hanoi. Although, Al Fresco’s has many positive points, their menu is a bit over priced compared to other restaurants that offer the same food. I would not recommend this restaurant for budget travelers.

The Kafe 

The Kafe is another chain of restaurants in Hanoi, although their menus are slightly different from each location. It is a great place to check out for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Their menu has a nice selection of food to choose from.

If you have a sweet tooth and like french toast, then I would suggest ordering their french toast. They also offer speciality sandwiches such as a salmon sandwich. They offer a wide selection of coffee drinks and other drinks as well such as teas, fruit drinks and more. Their customer service is good and their staff speak good English. Another nice touch is that all of their tables have a complimentary pitcher of water.

Kafe-Latte

Kafe-French-Toast

Kafe-Salmon-Sandwich


Bangkok

I lived in Thailand for one year and often crave Thai food. Fortunately, one day while driving, I saw a restaurant called, “Bangkok” (Thailand’s capital city) and decided to check it out. It is owned by a Thai women from Bangkok (big surprise) and has authentic Thai food.

Although, some dishes are not exactly the same as you may find in Thailand, they are pretty close. Some of my favorite dishes include Pad Thai, Pad see ew, Khao pad gai and Tom kha gai. The prices are very reasonable and a dish with a beverage will cost about 140,000 VND or $7 USD.

Bangkok-Coconut-Soup

Vietnamese Cuisine

Bahn Mi 25

This is one of the first establishments that I frequented when I first arrived to Hanoi and it was just getting established. It is a very successful family owned business that has done an amazing job climbing to one of the top three restaurants on trip advisor! One of the most amazing things is that it is not a sit-down restaurant but rather consists of a small stand and some plastic chairs.

Although, it has a basic layout, they have perfected their craft. Banh Mi was introduced to Vietnam with french colonization and still exists today. Banh Mi 25 offers baguettes that you can have with a choice of chicken, pate, eggs, pork or veggies. They also offer complimentary green tea and bananas. Depending on what kind of Banh Mi you order, they cost between 15,000 to 25,000 VND or 0.75-1.10 USD. I normally order two.

Bahn-Mi-25-Stand

Bahn-Mi-25


A New Day

This Vietnamese restaurant is located in the heart of the old quarter on Ma May street. They serve traditional Vietnamese food at reasonable prices without sacrificing quality or service. Most of the staff speak good English as the restaurant caters mostly to foreigners.

They have street seating as well as inside seating. It is always packed with people because it has a great location, great food and great service. They have a main floor and then a second floor up a narrow set of stairs that you access next to the kitchen. All the food is really good but I normally order fried rice, morning glory, and a beer or green tea. One plate of food with a beverage will cost 50,000-100,000 VND or $2-$5 USD.

Minh Thuy

This is one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants in Hanoi. It used to be located on Ngo Huyen, on a backpackers street and then moved to a larger space on Bat Dan street. The head cook and co-owner of the restaurant won master chef in Vietnam several years back so the food is pretty good. The restaurant is on the second floor and is really open with a nice ambiance.

Most of the wait staff speak English and the customer service is really good. The prices are reasonable and the beer is especially cheap compared to what other restaurants charge for the same beer. Their menu consists of Vietnamese and western food. If you go here, I would recommend ordering a Vietnamese dish. My favorite dish to order is “Chả Cá” Hanoi which is a noodle fish dish with dill. It is amazing.

Ca-Cha-Hanoi


Quan An Ngon

This is a chain restaurant with several locations in Hanoi. It serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine. They have open style seating available and indoor seating available. The food is good but expensive compared to other Vietnamese establishments. If you are looking for a nice restaurant then check out Quan An Ngon.


Caphe 129

This is a local gem that few people know about except expats because they do not have a Facebook page, Tripadvisor listing, or a website. It is located outside the old quarter area to the south. I heard about it through some online forums when searching for breakfast restaurants in Hanoi. It is indistinguishable from other local Vietnamese restaurants which can make finding it difficult.

They offer plastic chairs and tables for seating and have some surprising food on their menu. You can order breakfast burritos, fruit smoothies, pancakes, french toast and more. I have only gone their for breakfast but they have food for lunch and dinner as well.

The restaurant is run by a family and they do not speak English so communicating through hand-gestures and pointing usually gets the job done. The prices are super competitive and you are likely not going to be able to find similar western food for such affordable prices.

Caphe-129-Breakfast-Burrito

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Hi Nathan
    I’ve really enjoyed reading through your blog! I’m the editor of ExpatArrivals.com – we’re currently updating and expanding our Vietnam expat guide, and we’d love to have you share you insights about life there and feature your blog on our site. If you’re interested in learning more about how we work with our expats, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].
    Thanks for a great blog!

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