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The Best Restaurants and Cafes In Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi © Pixabay
Hanoi © Pixabay
Hanoi boasts a combination of traditional Vietnamese food and influences from French cuisine, resulting in some of the best restaurants in South East Asia. There’s also a thriving cafe culture. Read our guide to some of the best venues in Vietnam’s capital.

Restaurant Bobby Chinn

Restaurant Bobby Chinn is the brainchild of the eponymous Chinn, who has fast become an international icon for Vietnamese cuisine. With several restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and with a new venture in London on the horizon, Chinn brings out the best of Vietnamese food, from pho to fine dining. Hanoi’s Restaurant Bobby Chinn is located in his home, and this intimate style is evident in the many personal touches that Chinn has placed throughout the unique interior. The menu is a combination of the freshness which Vietnamese food is famous for with culinary elements from all over the world.

Nineteen 11 Restaurant

Located in the basement of the Hanoi Opera House, Nineteen 11 Restaurant offers a trip back in time to the peak of colonial Vietnam. The Opera House, which was built in 1911 is one of a diminishing number of colonial buildings left in Hanoi and has become something of a landmark amidst the hustle and bustle of the city’s streets. In keeping with the chic interior and refined atmosphere, Nineteen 11 Restaurant offers exclusive fine dining, with dishes such as roasted duck cabbage salad with spicy tamarind sauce and foie gras with mango chutney and gluhwein ginger reduction, combining the best of east and west.

Hanoi Opera House © Dennis Jarvis

La Verticale

The signature restaurant of French Chef Didier Corlou, La Verticale is considered one of the best French restaurants in town and has confirmed Corlou’s reputation as a culinary heavyweight in his adopted home of Vietnam. Located in the narrow 1930s villa which gives the restaurant its name, the cuisine combines the best of French gastronomy with the ingredients and flavors of Vietnamese cooking. It serves classic dishes from both traditions. The ground floor shop stuns diners with its apothecary-like presentation of condiments and ingredients, whilst dishes like clam soup infused with lemon grass and Muscovy duck served with succulent foie gras in a baguette are innovative and delicious fusion combinations.

© La Verticale 

Madame Hien Restaurant

Another of Chef Didier Corlou’s ventures, Madame Hien is dedicated to his wife’s grandmother and ‘to all Vietnamese women of the past and the present’. It is a tribute to their way of cooking, and their ‘ancestral culture and the artisanal and regional knowledge of over one thousand years’. This culinary love letter to his adopted country is one of the best places to experience the riches of Vietnam’s diverse culinary traditions. Corlou is clearly passionate about Vietnamese food, which manifests itself in his curiosity about the many local dishes that form the backbone of Vietnam’s food scene. Come to Madame Hien Restaurant to explore the differences between northern and southern cuisines, as well as to try some of the best Pho in town.

15 Chan Cam, Hanoi +84 4 3938 1588

Essence Cafe & Restaurant

Based at the Essence Hanoi Hotel, Essence Cafe & Restaurant is one of the best places to try out authentic Vietnamese cuisine in an elegant and refined setting. Featuring an exotic decor which evokes both colonial Vietnam and cutting edge contemporary art, Essence Cafe & Restaurant is widely considered one of the best restaurants in the city. The Cha Ca La Vong, a grilled fish in which chunks of freshwater fish are marinated with turmeric, galingale sauce, condiments comes highly recommended.

Pots ‘n Pans

Focusing on innovation in everything they do Pots ‘n Pans offers Vietnamese cuisine infused with an international flair. The dishes on offer reveal this dedication to experimentation, with unique and otherworldly presentations and infusions which bring out the best of Vietnamese ingredients. A highlight of their a la carte menu is the pan fried foie gras with house cured duck prosciutto, crispy black sesame brioche, beetroot puree and mango mint chutney. Pots ‘n Pans is notable for its relationship with Know One Teach One (KOTO) and its training program graduates along with its international partner, Small Giants. KOTO is a not-for-profit organization that is changing the lives of street and disadvantaged youth through vocational training.

The Hanoi Social Club

Claiming to serve ‘healthy food for a healthy planet’ and offering a place for ‘peaceful souls to join together’, The Hanoi Social Club is on the ethical end of the Hanoi dining spectrum, with a range of dishes that show off the potential of Vietnamese ingredients. The food is simple but hearty and focuses on rustic and nutritious gastro-cafe cuisine. The restaurant also hosts regular musical performances and concert nights, as well as art exhibitions and craft fairs, which sees the cafe transformed into a mixed-use arts space and offers the creatives of Hanoi a place to debate, discuss and perform.

© The Hanoi Social Club 

Café de Paris

The Parisian Bistro comes to Hanoi in Café de Paris, in an attempt to recreate the best of the French capital’s traditional dining scene in Vietnam. This hugely popular restaurant is usually packed with members of the local French community who love their hearty, simple bistro food for its evocation of Parisian favorites. Unlike some of the more refined fine dining French options, Café de Paris keeps its prices affordable and its atmosphere relaxed.

Manzi Cafe and Art Space

Infused with an artistic and cultural atmosphere, Manzi Cafe and Art Space functions as an exhibition space, a cinema, a performance hall and a cafe, and is the place to experience something of the local arts scene in Hanoi. Located in an elegant French villa, the shady yard, and evocative interior makes for a relaxed and elegant space. While the food menu is limited, the coffee and snacks make this the ideal space for relaxing away from the chaotic city and experiencing Hanoi’s arts and culture first hand.

14 Phan Huy Ích, Hanoi, +84 43716 3397

Barbetta

Barbetta is located down the street from the Fine Arts Museum and some of this artistic and cultural vibe feeds into this bohemian bar and café. The industrial chic interior and grungy design make for space which evokes the hipster havens of Shoreditch and Williamsburg, but the inclusion of Communist memorabilia and iconography makes this unmistakably Vietnamese. The food combines classic Vietnamese with western favorites and is the perfect accompaniment to the restaurant’s extensive cocktail range.