We'd like recommendations for restaurants in Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Hanoi and Saigon. We are most interested in authentic, quality food rather than glitz.
Posted on Mar 23, 2011
I would also approach Derk, who knows food best and came back from Vietnam recently.
Posted Mar 23, 2011Add a comment
Moran, thanks. I have a general question about AFAR. For awhile, I was getting questions every day or so via e-mail. Now, no e-mail questions. I have to go to your site to see if there are questions I might be able to answer. Also, I think I received answers to my questions via e-mail, but not now. Am I doing something wrong?
Posted on Mar 26, 2011
In Hanoi, Quan An Ngon on 18 Phan Boi Chan St. is an amazing open air restaurant in a courtyard of a French colonial building. Authentic food with locals and foreigners enjoying fresh home made Vietnamese favorites. Highly recommend it. There are numerous food stalls throughout Hanoi and it's a must to sample the Pho.
Posted Mar 24, 2011Add a comment
If you're really adventurous, try Huong Rung (371A Nguyễn Trãi, District 1) in Saigon, nicknamed by expats "the endangered species restaurant." They don't actually serve endangered animals, but if you fancy king cobra or field mice or dog or any other "exotic" meat, this is the place.
Posted Mar 23, 2011Add a comment
Of course restaurants come and go all the time...but I liked Hanoi Hanoi in Hanoi. :-) I've mentioned it here before I think. It's run by an expat who hires local youths to teach them the restaurant business. So the service tries really hard even if it's not quite perfect. I was charmed by it. The food was quite good as well.
Posted Mar 28, 2011Add a comment
There's also a Quan An Ngon in Saigon, which is probably the best recommendation other than random street food for authenticity. The atmosphere is amazing, too, and it's ridiculously cheap for how wonderful it is.
Temple Club is great too, but definitely falls under a "glitz" type label. The food is very on point, though, and not westernized.
Pho restaurants are all plentiful and delicious. As you walk around, you will see them everywhere. Look for one that is busy with locals and open air - air conditioning is usually a sign that it's aimed at tourists.
Posted Mar 29, 2011Add a comment
And, (I forgot) Banh Xeo 46A in Saigon. I had a hard time finding it, but it was definitely my favorite banh xeo that I had and full of locals.
Posted on Mar 29, 2011
In Saigon, Quan An Ngon is a great place to be introduced to Vietnamese food. Walk around and observe what is being sold at the stalls. Order a bit of everything since portions are small. I would also venture to the seafood alleys in Saigon. Clams, escagots, fish, crabs and shrimps are sold by the pound and can be steamed and served with dipping sauce or sauteed in local spices. I believe the seafood stalls are on Bui Vien street (1/2 a block east of De Tham Street) in District 1.
In Hanoi, I would not miss Cha Ca La Vong in Old quarter of Hanoi. Enjoy!
Posted Apr 18, 2011Add a comment
If you have time in Saigon, drop into the Black Cat Cafe in District 1 and ask for the owner, Geoffrey Deetz, a restaurateur and foodie from Oakland, California, who has lived in Vietnam for the past decade. He is a fount of information about the best street food and the most authentic restaurants--where locals eat. Pho Hoa is pretty great for pho, but it's hard to go wrong with the street food, here or in Hanoi.
Posted Jun 27, 2011Add a comment
It is difficult to find a bad meal in Luang Prabang. We tried a different place overlooking the Mekong every day, and enjoyed it all. It is a great food town, and you don't need to spend a lot of money to get a great meal. For a special treat, I highly recommend the cooking class at Tum Tum Cheng. Linda, who teaches the classes, is AWESOME and when you eat the meal you cooked...heaven.
Posted Dec 19, 2011Add a comment