The Best Places to Eat in Hanoi, Vietnam

Ask most Hanoians, and they’ll tell you that the best place to eat in the capital is on the street or at one of the city’s many eateries lit by strip lights. But for those wanting a more relaxed and extended dining experience, the city also offers a decent number of pleasant, yet authentic, restaurants.

72 Mã Mây
Unlike many of the cookie-cutter Vietnamese restaurants in Hanoi, there’s a good reason why many tour groups are brought here for their lunch. There are a la carte menus on offer, but most guests prefer to opt for the “popular” meal, which involves pointing at steaming vats containing things like Chinese braised pork and fat juicy ribs.
61 Cửa Bắc, Quán Thánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
For an authentic taste of Hanoi, the best places to go are usually humble street stalls or even bia hois. This little venue in Ba Dinh District, however, is a real hit with locals who want to go upscale in their surroundings without compromising on the provenance of the food. Sample local and regional dishes such as crab hot pot and grilled dragon fish in a scuffed but convivial setting.
73 Cầu Gỗ, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
With a fantastic location by Hoan Kiem Lake and some of the best-prepared Vietnamese food in the Old Quarter, this stylish venue is onto a winner. The dishes here are very much old-style Vietnamese. There are no bells and whistles or attempts at fusion, but down-home creations such as pork steamed in coconut, fried tofu with lemongrass, and shrimp in chili sauce are right on the money.
15 Chân Cầm, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Inspired by the cooking of his wife’s grandmother, Madame Hien is chef Didier Corlou’s attempt at upscale but unfussy Vietnamese cuisine. Set in the former Spanish embassy, it is a beautiful spot for both lunch and dinner, with the outside courtyard in particular providing refuge from Hanoi‘s busy streets. Dishes, meanwhile, run the gamut from traditional classics to Corlou’s “New Hanoi” creations, adding exotic twists to familiar French and Vietnamese staples.
16 Lane 27 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Quảng An, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam
For some of best views (and food) in Hanoi, try the top-floor verandah at this West Lake institution. The climb to the fourth floor can be an effort -- especially during the sweltering summer months -- but it is worth it worth the laid-back ambience up-top. Wash down some of Don’s Canadian and French-grown oysters with one of the judiciously selected bottles of wine.
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