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Han Noi -- for the independent traveler :))

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*WARNING*: Reading the following will definitely result in: - Eating incredibly delicious Vietnamese food - - Becoming addicted to amazing Vietnamese coffee & marvelous sweet treats - - Receiving friendly & courteous service at the places you visit - - Meeting wonderful Vietnamese people - - Enjoying the marvelous Vietnamese culture & traditions - - Learning about the interesting history (sometimes tragic, always fascinating) of this ancient country - ******** Of course, if any of this sounds good to you, please continue reading :)) ******** I CAN'T SPEAK VIETNAMESE: And neither can I! But this shouldn't stop you from enjoying all of the cool things that Ha Noi has to offer for us independent travelers... here's some ideas about how to fearlessly explore, without being fluent in the native tongue: ** Learn three phrases: "Xin Chao" (Hello), "Cam On" (Thank You), and "Tam Biet" (Farewell)... Knowing and using these 3 most basic Vietnamese word combinations have enabled me to enjoy the sights and experiences of Ha Noi, without an interpreter or guide. (Hint: Pronunciation can be a bit tricky -- you can improve your efforts with the help of an online audio translator.) As elsewhere in the world, the local folks really appreciate your efforts to speak a little bit of their language. If communications require something more complex, try the following: ** Smile, smile, smile, smile... Make abundant use of something that everyone understands -- which will be promptly returned :)) Adding respect via voice tones and gestures (i.e., a small bow goes a long way in Asia) has also yielded wonderful responses. This is an opportunity to try out your sign language skills (e.g. pointing at your empty dish and giving a "thumbs up" needs no translation). Sad to say, many of the interactions I've (discreetly) observed between visitors and locals aren't very friendly (which might explain why we might receive less-than-polite service). ********** THE MARVELOUS CUISINE OF VIET NAM: Whether or not you're a "foodie", dining in Ha Noi can be a most enjoyable & memorable experience. There are eateries for all budgets, serving an amazing array of Vietnamese dishes that feature really fresh ingredients which are prepared in delicious ways. Yes, the "western" food and beverage chains have arrived in Ha Noi (e.g. KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Baskin-Robbins, Starbucks), and there are also steak houses, Italian / French / American / Australian / German etc. restaurants for those who need a "familiar food fix"... but... can you enjoy a delicious, filling bowl of rice noodles, grilled meat, and veggies for $1.75 back at home? How about savoring a beautifully-decorated, French-inspired pastry or piece of cake, or an amazing cup of Vietnamese coffee with sweet milk and coconut, for a fraction of what these would cost elsewhere? I've provided some Ha Noi dining strategies -- please continue reading... you'll also find specific places named in my "Tips" section... ********** THE EASIEST WAY TO FIND THE BEST PLACES TO EAT & DRINK AT IS... FOLLOW THE LOCALS: If you're reading this, I'll assume that you aren't part of a tour group, or have perhaps decided to try striking out on your own, separate from your fellow travelers. There is a reason why a particular eatery or coffee shop is jam packed with local folks -- and that's because they serve awesome tasting dishes/drinks (!). Like elsewhere in Asia, Vietnamese people truly enjoy their repasts, and a place that doesn't satisfy the palate won't be around very long (as there's a lot of competition for patrons). Out of the hundreds of meals I've had in Ha Noi, the (few) not-so-stellar dining experiences have occurred at places... you guessed it.... that are dominated by tourists. (Advance scouting tip: Try to check out establishments during the prime lunch hour, else you'll end up with a false impression about "lack" of popularity, if you arrive after folks have gone back to work.) So, you're strolling down a Ha Noi street, and spot a coffee house or restaurant that's a beehive of super busy activity, filled with happy locals... After you walk in, you quickly find out that the staff speaks little or no English... Don't leave! Ask for a menu -- many places have these translated (sometimes humorously), and/or provide photos next to the items listed. If either option isn't available, the next best thing to do is to point at the pictures on the walls, or gesture at a dish that your fellow diners are enjoying. If all else fails, you can then smile broadly, hold your hands upturned to indicate that you don't know what to order -- and the wait staff will usually select items for you that are tasty and suitable (as they want you to return). My "batting" average associated with enjoying yummy food using the "Help - I'm Lost" approach is 1.00 so far :) As the majority of eateries favored by the local Ha Noi folks aren't on TripAdvisor, this will require somewhat of an adventurous spirit -- just follow the crowds of locals! ********** WE'RE CURIOUS ABOUT STREET FOOD, BUT...: Ah, the decision to eat or not eat Ha Noi street food has probably vexed more than a few visitors. If you have a sensitive constitution, are leery about having your food cooked on the sidewalk, or struggle with those tiny stools (like moi) you can still enjoy the famous Street Food Cuisine -- as there are LOTS of places which serve these very same items in a more familiar restaurant setting. Such eateries are mingled among the sidewalk vendors, so if you spot something that you'd like to try, amble a bit further and you'll invariably find the same being served at a place with regular tables and chairs (& an indoor kitchen, restroom, etc.). (NOTE: The nicer setting is also accompanied by higher prices -- please see my recommendations for places to eat at, where you won't be charged an exorbitant amount for that bowl of pho.) ********** SOLO?: One thing you'll immediately notice is that the Vietnamese are very social -- and rarely go to eateries, coffee houses, museums, etc. by themselves. So, as a solo traveler, you may feel rather conspicuous... This presents a wonderful opportunity to sit down at those long restaurant tables, and strike up a conversation with your fellow diners. As I frequently dine/drink coffee and visit the sights by myself, I've been able to have delightful conversations with many Vietnamese; they're quite fascinated about foreign countries, and seem happy to share information about life in Viet Nam as well. Start with a smile and a nice introduction, and folks will respond (or at least politely let you know that they can't speak English). ********** THE PLACES THAT SERVE ONLY 1 TYPE OF DISH: Finding a crowded Ha Noi restaurant that specializes in only a single item is like hitting the "food lottery jackpot" -- be prepared for a wonderful gustatory experience! The famous "Cha Ca" fish (a Ha Noi specialty), "Pho" (beef noodle soup), and "Bun Cha" (grilled pork w/ rice noodle) eateries are among such places that are worth seeking out... Again, look for lots of locals to help with making your selection. ********** COFFEE AND SWEET TREATS: If you don't enjoy these items, you have my sincerest pity -- as Ha Noi offers so many options to savor a caffeinated beverage and delightful desserts. Be prepared to become "addicted" to the super strong & amazing Vietnamese coffee (especially versions with sweet condensed milk + coconut flavor, or with egg), and having to go through withdrawals when you depart. Asian pastries and desserts are less sweet than western versions, and often include fresh fruit. The smaller servings allow you to sample more than a single item (many of which are inspired by both French and Vietnamese recipes). Another delightful way to satisfy your cravings are via dessert "drinks", which contain jellies made from fruits, and served in a semi-sweet liquid. Many places also sell fresh fruit smoothies (made without sugary syrups), plus ice cream, gelato, and sorbets (which arrive in portions that don't over-tax your capacity). And be sure to sample the delicious fresh pineapple -- these can be purchased already trimmed and sliced, from the many street vendors. ********** SUPER FRESH SEAFOOD, ANYONE?: For lovers of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, Ha Noi has much to offer... If your time & budget will allow, it is worth sampling one of the city's "Hai San" (seafood) restaurants -- the ones with the live tanks outside. These eateries are perhaps best enjoyed with friends, as they offer whole fish and other dishes that are served in portions beyond the capacity of a solo diner. Keep in mind that items from the aquaria are priced by their weight, so it's a good idea to get a size estimate of your chosen species from the wait staff before ordering (to avoid a surprise when the bill arrives). You can have your fish steamed or fried (w/ sauce atop) -- both methods are very tasty! If the prices and/or portions seem daunting (i.e. because you're dining solo, or have a limited budget), you can still enjoy Hai San: 1) Asian carp have sweet white flesh, are really delicious, and less pricey; 2) Braised "basa" catfish steaks, served in a clay pot w/ delicious sauce, are inexpensive and very yummy (~65k VND for a single serving); 3) Squid dishes (breaded/fried calamari style, or stir-fried with vegetables), as well as fried rice or stir fried noodles with seafood, aren't costly and are suitable for solo diners/couples with small appetites. ********** FANCIER DINING: Ha Noi has very upscale eating establishments, which are wonderful for a romantic meal, dining after seeing a performance at the Opera House, or other special occasions. You will find impeccably dressed staff, linens on the tables, lovely decor, and artfully presented food offered at these places. It's quite wonderful to don nice attire and dine at a fine restaurant -- for less than what you'd pay for the same experience outside of Viet Nam. *NOTE: As elsewhere, ordering alcohol at a fancy eatery in Ha Noi will add substantially to your tab. ********** HISTORY & CULTURE: I'm always amazed and delighted that the admission fees for most cultural and historical attractions in Ha Noi are so inexpensive -- for less than the price of a USA latte coffee, you can spend an afternoon discovering the 80+ ethnicities of Viet Nam, see artifacts dating back thousands of years, stroll through temples, and learn about the many fascinating (and sometimes sobering) facets of this ancient country. While visitors expecting an experience similar to the Louvre, Hermitage, or Smithsonian will probably be disappointed, I have been quite pleased with the well-curated exhibits (with good English and French translations) at most of these places. (Hint: If you like to have an unhurried museum experience, note that hired guides/interpreters tend to rush folks through these places.) Live performances are priced low in Ha Noi, e.g. the traditional Vietnamese Opera and Water Puppet shows are very inexpensive; prime seating at the venerable Ha Noi Opera House are less than $25 USD, and even less for spots along the sides. ********** HA NOI'S MARVELOUS PUBLIC PARKS: For a true Ha Noi experience, visit one of the many public parks in and around the city... These places are kept very clean, offer nice shade & benches for sitting (& relief for tired feet) -- and they are excellent spots to observe Ha Noi-ans enjoying their ancient city. During the early mornings, you can watch elders practicing Tai Chi, adult couples dancing to ballroom music, or impromptu badminton games between friends/families. Weekend afternoons are perhaps the "best" time to go to a public park, as folks from all ages and walks of life can be found exercising, playing, drinking tea, and having a good time. I've seen wedding parties posing for photographs, fishers filling baskets with tasty tilapia, young couples on romantic strolls, athletes engaged in fitness training, grandparents doing calisthenics, youngsters cruising around on roller blades, hacky-sack devotees exhibiting their skills, teen groups learning dance moves -- and all of this without the omnipresent motor scooters (!). Nearly all of the public parks are free too, so spending an hour (or longer) at these spots is really worth your time. ********** I hope that my information will benefit you as an independent travel in Viet Nam's' exciting, chaotic, and fascinating capitol city -- enjoy Ha Noi!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

26 Places

15 City Tips

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Map

26 Places

O'Douceurs

Restaurants

6 Degrees

Restaurants

Cong Caphe - Quan Su

Restaurants

Banh Canh Ghe Ut Coi

Restaurants

Porte D'Annam Restaurant

Restaurants

Cafe RuNam

Restaurants

Paris Gateaux Bakery

Restaurants

Thong Nhat Park (Lenin Park)

Parks

The Gioi Hai San 2 (Seafood World 2)

Restaurants

Quan An Ngon

Restaurants

Highway4 Hang Tre

Restaurants

DaNang Quan

Restaurants

Cafe Dinh

Restaurants

Minh Thuy's Family Restaurant

Restaurants

Pho Bien Seafood

Restaurants

Cha Ca Anh Vu

Restaurants

Lenin Statue

Monuments & Statues

Thien Phat Vegetarian Restaurant

Restaurants

Pho 10

Restaurants

Cong Caphe

Restaurants

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

History Museums

Vietnam National Museum of History

History Museums

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

Bodies of Water

Temple of Literature & National University

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Xoi Yen

Restaurants

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Theatres

G C's City Tips

  • "Pushy" folks (not many in Ha Noi): Although you may encounter a few at the touristy spots (e.g. Hoan Kiem Lake), a head shake (w/ smile) usually suffices to decline their offers
  • Tipping: Not expected at locals-only places; at tourist-frequented spots, your server may hint about leaving a tip (i.e. change held in both hands when they return to your table)
  • Street crossing: Walk steady, constantly look in both directions -- & if that scooter is going to cut in front of you no matter what, just halt briefly before continuing
  • Braving traffic: Buses, trucks, & taxis won't yield to pedestrians, so I usually cross Ha Noi's streets when only scooters are in the lane (they do manuever around me)
  • Paying with cash = best: Most places don't accept credit cards for payment; even if a merchant will take a card, the transaction fee will be added to your bill
  • "Self-tipping": Don't get angst over taxi drivers/servers retaining <5000 VND of your change -- not worth causing ill will over 25 cents (pay w/ exact amounts if this bothers you)
  • Favorite place to buy Vietnamese handicrafts: Craft Link (no haggling necessary, good prices & fair trade purchasing from local artisans)
  • Favorite "street food" in a nice restaurant setting (& not over-priced): Minh Thuy, Net Hue, Nha Hang Mon Hue (multiple spots), Quan An Ngon
  • Favorite specialty eateries: Cha Ca Anh Vue (grilled fish), Pho 10 (pho soup), Xoi Yen (sticky rice), Bahn Canh The (fresh seafood rolls + soup), Bun Bo Nam Bo (beef & noodles)
  • Favorite coffee spots: Aha Cafe, Cafe Dinh, Cong Caphe; also Cafe Runam (very elegant, albeit more $)
  • Favorite sweet treat spots: Paris Gateaux Bakery, O'Douceur's French Bakery, and the Hai Ha Confectionary stores (take out only)
  • Favorite Hai San (seafood) restaurants: Pho Bien and DaNang Quan (best prices), The Gioi Hai San (more $)
  • Favorite $$ eateries: Nha Hang Thien Phat, Highway 4, Porte d'Annam, Ly Club
  • Favorite Ha Noi sights: Temple of Literature, Ethnology Museum, Museum of History (note: the facility w/ pre-Revolution history), Ngoc San Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda
  • Favorite Ha Noi parks: Thong Nhat Park (4k VND admission fee), park surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake (free), Lenin Statue Park (free)
  • Save
    O'Douceurs
    Restaurants (French, Cafe, European)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    Wonderful French bakery - delicious freshly-made pastries, tasty drinks, and great ambiance to enjoy treats with friends or solo. Staff speaks English too! Worth seeking out :)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    From the community
    Ranked #125 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • great service. delicious drinks. average cakes 21/09/2017
    • So-so croissant 21/09/2017
    • O'Douceurs
    Address:
    91A Tran Hung Dao
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 167 641 4033
    Hours:
    Sun
    08:30 - 21:30
    Mon - Sat
    07:30 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    6 Degrees
    Restaurants (International, Fusion)
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    G C Says:

    This restaurant has amazing view of West Lake from its 8th floor... Great cuisine (Asian-inspired + western style dishes), excellent service, and very nice setting/surroundings.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Patrons tend to dress smartly when dining at 6 Degrees. Cab ride from the Old Quarter will cost about 40k VND.
    From the community
    Ranked #457 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A worst dinner ever? 10/09/2017
    • Worst meal ever 31/08/2017
    • 6 Degrees
    Address:
    189 Nghi Tam, Tay ho
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3719 6060
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:00 - 12:00
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    Cong Caphe - Quan Su
    Restaurants (Cafe, Fast food)
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    G C Says:

    Great caffeinated brews that are super popular with the locals; nice interior w/ A/C, friendly staff, fast WiFi speed, and food items too. The Quan Su spot is my favorite Cong Caphe in Ha Noi :)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Vietnamese coffee w/ condensed milk + coconut = must try!
    From the community
    Ranked #355 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Great coffee 15/09/2017
    • Cool cafe for a quick beer 09/05/2017
    • Cong Caphe - Quan Su
    Address:
    68 Quan Su
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 99 393 96 69
    Other:
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    Banh Canh Ghe Ut Coi
    Restaurants (Asian, Vietnamese, Soups, Seafood)
    G C Says:

    One of those amazing single-item eateries: really yummy fresh seafood rolls & seafood soup that's chock full of crab, shrimp, & veggies. Very popular with the locals and close to the cathedral in the Old Quarter :) Note: You can order just the soup w/o fresh rolls, if you prefer. *NOTE: The TA map location incorrect -- this place is about 1.5 blocks further north of the spot shown -- on the left side of the small triangular park at the intersection of Quang Trung Street & and Trang Thi Street.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Join the locals at the long tables inside, and strike up a conversation as you enjoy your food! The cashier lady speak English very well :)
    From the community
    Ranked #247 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Mwah 09/09/2017
    • Yummy 10/08/2017
    • Banh Canh Ghe Ut Coi
    Address:
    2B Quang Trung Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 94 842 18 86
    Price range:
    USD 2 - USD 5
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 22:00
    Other:
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    Porte D'Annam Restaurant
    Restaurants (Vietnamese)
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    G C Says:

    A really nice mid-range priced Old Quarter restaurant that serves excellent/innovative fusion cuisine -- very creative menu, elegant setting, and polite + English-speaking service :)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Spiffier dress is appropriate; the upstairs tables next to the windows provides a nice view of the street activities below.
    From the community
    Ranked #65 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A very good lunch set 21/09/2017
    • Feast for the eye 14/09/2017
    • Porte D'Annam Restaurant
    Address:
    22 Nha Tho street, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
    Hanoi 00000001
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3938 2688
    Price range:
    USD 8 - USD 40
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 - 22:00
    Other:
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    Cafe RuNam
    Restaurants (International, Vietnamese)
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    G C Says:

    Probably the most elegant coffee spot in Ha Noi :) Great drinks, lovely setting and ambiance, and tasty desserts offered too. Staff are very polite & speak English as well. Prices a bit higher than other cafes -- the A/C is quite nice on a hot day strolling through the Old Quarter :) Lots of local patrons (especially couples)... a romantic setting indeed.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Vietnamese food is also available here.
    From the community
    Ranked #80 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice surroundings 24/09/2017
    • Nice lunch in peaceful setting 18/09/2017
    • Cafe RuNam
    Address:
    13 Nha Tho Street
    Hoan Kiem
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3928 6697
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    07:00 - 23:00
    Other:
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    Paris Gateaux Bakery
    Restaurants (Cafe)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    Chic and modern eatery featuring Asian-style baked goods, ice cream, and unique drinks (plus espresso and other coffees as well). You'll enjoy eating the not-too-sweet pastries... Savory items also sold here. Orders are placed on the main floor, then are brought upstairs to the (a/c-cooled) dining areas.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Try the grass jelly w/ coconut milk (or other variations) drink... very yummy & not too sweet. The ice cream is very delicious too! Ask your server for the WiFi code :)
    From the community
    Ranked #1,746 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • average bakery and cafe 12/11/2016
    • Bad attitude 15/08/2016
    Address:
    So 75 Ly Thuong Kiet
    Hoan Kiem District
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3941 2768
  • Save
    Thong Nhat Park (Lenin Park)
    Parks
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    Probably the best public park in Ha Noi :) Big trees, multiple paved pathways, large lake w/ islands, paddle boats (for rent), a carnival & play equipment for (younger) children, benches everywhere to sit at, and several spots for public performances are available here. Small admission fee (4000 VND) -- and no scooters! NOTE: The TA photos for this attraction actually belong to the "Lenin Statue Park"... Thong Nhat used be called "Lenin Park", which is likely the source of confusion with some visitors.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • In addition to the drink vendors with simple tables/chairs, there is a nice cafe where you can enjoy a coffee, tea, or other drinks while gazing across the lake :)
    From the community
    Ranked #88 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    • Nice park 20/08/2017
    • Interesting Spot to Watch the Locals 10/04/2017
    • Thong Nhat Park (Lenin Park)
    Address:
    Tran Nhan Tong, Le Duan, Hai Ba Trung
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
  • Save
    The Gioi Hai San 2 (Seafood World 2)
    Restaurants (Seafood)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    This restaurant seems to have the best selection of the freshest seafood always available... Interior is immaculately clean and modern, serving staff extremely polite and helpful. Popular among the locals, who know where to eat great seafood dishes! Note: Best visited with a group so that you can enjoy a whole fish/variety of dishes. The pomfret fish can be consumed by a (hungry) solo diner (will cost about 500k VND w/ rice and an appetizer). Before confirming your selection, ask the server to estimate the weight of the fish you will be ordering to get an idea of the cost for your dish.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Steamed fish = super delicious :)
    From the community
    Ranked #1,476 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Just so so 11/08/2015
    • So amazing seafood 28/07/2015
    • The Gioi Hai San 2 (Seafood World 2)
    Address:
    75A Tran Hung Dao Street, Hoan Kiem District
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 90 604 26 26
    Other:
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    Quan An Ngon
    Restaurants (Asian, Grill, Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    The Quan An Ngon is probably the best place to sample the many varieties of Vietnamese cuisine at one place. One spot is an outdoor-styled cafe (w/ awning to keep you dry during rainstorms, plus long tables to facilitate meeting your fellow diners), and there's also a fancy restaurant in a restored French villa (for a more upscale dining experience). Both offer really tasty food and great service, with prices that aren't too expensive :) Very popular with visitors and locals both!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The Bahn Zeo pancake is a "must-try" item -- ask the server to show you how to wrap these :) This restaurant can get quite busy, but it's worth the wait!
    From the community
    Ranked #79 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Local food, local way under one roof 23/09/2017
    • A quick bite before the next leg 22/09/2017
    • Quan An Ngon
    Address:
    18 Phan Boi Chau Street, Hoan Kiem District
    Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem Dist
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 90 324 69 63
    Price range:
    USD 0 - USD 10
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    06:45 - 22:00
    Other:
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    Highway4 Hang Tre
    Restaurants (Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    One of my favorite "upper-scale" Ha Noi eateries :) Elegant surroundings, innovative menu, delicious food, great service by English-speaking staff -- worth sampling during your visit!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The fried, whole paddy crabs & catfish-filled spring rolls are really yummy :)
    From the community
    Ranked #198 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best Vietnamese Food I've had. Great service. 01/09/2017
    • Nah.. 25/07/2017
    • Highway4 Hang Tre
    Address:
    5 Hang Tre
    Hoan Kiem District
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 243 9264 200
    Price range:
    USD 10 - USD 15
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 23:30
    Other:
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    DaNang Quan
    Restaurants (Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    This great seafood restaurant offers unique dishes from central Viet Nam (e.g. skate fish, Danang-style seafood hotpot), along with chicken and other meat entrees too. (Lots of good options for vegetarians as well). Their fresh rolls are different and delicious :) It's located on West Lake, about 20-35 minutes by taxi from the Old Quarter. Staff are super friendly! Note: Ms. Van is the manager for the DaNang Quan -- she speak excellent English and can help you with ordering a delicious meal... she's available Fri-Sun evenings, so plan your visit during these weekend nights :)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Try their delicious central Viet Nam-style fresh rolls -- the ingredients are brought to the table & you make these yourself :)
    From the community
    Ranked #786 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Great service by super friendly staff, delicious & very fresh seafood in an elegant setting 13/04/2015
    • Wonderful Vietnamese restaurant w/ delicious food, amazing staff, and great ambiance :)) 15/02/2015
    • DaNang Quan
    Address:
    67 Trich Sai
    West Lake - Ba Dinh District
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3728 6574
  • Save
    Cafe Dinh
    Restaurants (Cafe, Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    The Cafe Dinh is a "hidden" gem of a coffee house located right next to Hoan Kiem Lake -- but you have to know the secret to find this place: Enter the street-side shop that sells backpacks, head to the back of the store and climb the narrow stairs, skirt the dishwashing spot, and squeeze through the narrow entrance into this small place. Cafe Dinh is always packed with locals (and the occasional tourist). They have the best prices for coffee drinks -- most cost 15k VND, and are really delicious/perfectly brewed :) Not a fancy place, but your taste buds will be delighted after your first sip!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Balcony seating = best, albeit a favorite with the patrons (so might be difficult to score a spot).
    From the community
    Ranked #92 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great egg coffee 20/09/2017
    • Unexpected Surprise! 10/09/2017
    • Cafe Dinh
    Address:
    13 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District
    2nd Floor
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Other:
  • Save
    Minh Thuy's Family Restaurant
    Restaurants (German, Asian, Vietnamese, International, Fusion)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    The Minh Thuy Restaurant is probably the "best" of the low-cost, tourist-oriented eateries. Everything is well made with fresh ingredients and reasonably priced... they have an expansive menu, and the staff speak English and are very friendly. This is a great place to sample "street food" in a classier setting (with regular tables & chairs) :)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Fans of Vietnamese sticky rice will find tasty offerings that are combined with grilled chicken and pickled vegetables :)
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great service, good q-price relation 07/08/2016
    • Hardly anything Vegetarian 01/08/2016
    • Minh Thuy's Family Restaurant
    Address:
    2A Duong Thanh
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3200 7893
    Price range:
    USD 2 - USD 8
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Pho Bien Seafood
    Restaurants (Seafood, Vietnamese, Asian)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    The classy Pho Bien restaurant offers really top-notch seafood at somewhat lower prices than the other (similar) Hai San places. There are at least two locations in the Old Quarter, and both offer great dishes prepared with really fresh fish, plus nice service -- every meal that I've eaten here has been excellent :) It's very popular with the locals, and many parties are held here! Note: If you want to try braised catfish in a clay pot, this is the best place to sample this classic dish :) 65k VND for a single person serving... your order will arrive with 2 thick fish steaks and delicious sauce (add to your rice).

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Both outside seating (patio setting surrounded by plants) and indoor tables with A/C are available :)
    From the community
    Ranked #624 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Fresh, tasty seafood 28/08/2017
    • Fantastic Seafood, Great Staff 30/04/2017
    • Pho Bien Seafood
    Address:
    14 Pho Trang Thi
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3928 5757
    Other:
  • Save
    Cha Ca Anh Vu
    Restaurants (Asian, Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    The Cha Ca Anh Vu is my favorite place to try this classic Ha Noi fish dish -- which is the only item served here. (Judging from its immense popularity with the locals, other Ha Noi-ans agree with this assessment as well). There are 3 levels to accommodate the many diners :) Note: The excellent and polite staff will help with the table-top cooking of the Cha Ca, and show you how to eat it with the rice vermicelli, peanuts, and shrimp paste.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The shrimp paste = very potent stuff, use sparingly :)
    From the community
    Ranked #215 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wonderful dish 03/07/2017
    • Delicious! 27/05/2017
    • Cha Ca Anh Vu
    Address:
    116k1 Giang Vo
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3512 1279
    Other:
  • Save
    Lenin Statue
    Monuments & Statues
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    Ha Noi's ode to Comrade Lenin :) After taking your photos, relax on the shady benches (in the park area behind the Comrade)... it's a great spot to view the locals partaking in their daily activities.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • In the morning before 8am, you can often watch couples perfecting their ballroom dancing techniques here.
    From the community
    Ranked #76 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    • Still valued :) 24/09/2017
    • Enormous statue in an enormous open space! 19/09/2017
    • Lenin Statue
  • Save
    Thien Phat Vegetarian Restaurant
    Restaurants (Asian, Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    This very elegant eatery features a wide array of vegetarian dishes (and ones with meat as well). The dining rooms are delightfully decorated and ultra-clean, soft music plays overhead, and the wonderful wait staff (attired in classic ao dais Vietnamese dresses) provide excellent, courteous service. The food is well-prepared, delicious, and served with eye appeal too :) A nice spot for a romantic evening, without spending a fortune!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The "set menus" are a good way to sample their offerings... they have two choices that are for solo diners too :)
    From the community
    Ranked #467 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Delicious, flavourful food 03/05/2017
    • Superb eating house 05/01/2017
    Address:
    91 Ly Thuong Kiet
    Q. Hoan Kiem
    Hanoi Hoan Kiem
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 98 322 11 11
    Other:
  • Save
    Pho 10
    Restaurants (Asian, Vietnamese, Soups)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    Among the many places to eat this classic Vietnamese dish, the Pho 10 restaurants (2 in the Old Quarter) are my favorite... and the locals will likely agree with this assessment (always packed during the lunch period with Ha Noi-ans). Everything is prepared in an inside kitchen, and you are seated at regular tables and chairs. Orders are quickly filled, and you can choose from different preparations as well... very consistent quality too :) At Pho 10, they serve the Ha Noi version of beef pho, which is different than the southern style of preparations: more subtle taste, by comparison. Add chiles and lime juice to your bowl for more zest :)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Be sure to order some of the Vietnamese fry bread to dip into your soup :)
    From the community
    Ranked #71 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Popular Pho Place 25/09/2017
    • Best rated pho in Hanoi 25/09/2017
    • Pho 10
    Address:
    10 Ly Quoc Su Street
    corner of Chan Cam St
    Hanoi
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3825 7338
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    06:00 - 14:00
    17:30 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Cong Caphe
    Restaurants (Cafe, Vietnamese)
    G C Says:

    Another great spot to enjoy caffienated drinks in a chic and comfortable atmosphere... always lots of local folks here! Fast WiFi, a great variety of offerings, and polite/courteous service at the Cong Caphe, always :) Prices are a tad bit higher (> 5k VND), but the A/C and ambiance is worth it (in my humble opinion).

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Ask the server for the WiFi code :)
    From the community
    Ranked #149 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great coffee, bad hygiene. 20/09/2017
    • Cool little coffee shop 20/09/2017
    • Cong Caphe
    Address:
    54 Hang Dieu
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 6292 5761
    Other:
  • Save
    Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
    History Museums
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    This is my favorite Ha Noi museum :) In addition to the extensive indoor exhibits (all well-curated and translated into both English and French), there are examples of traditional houses in the lovely, park-like area in the back. Very cool to actually walk inside these structures -- be sure to watch the videos which document how they were constructed (pretty amazing talents are demonstrated). Also, an outdoor water puppet show takes place here -- at no extra admission cost :) If you visit with a guide/interpreter, you might be a bit rushed -- go back and enjoy this place in a more relaxed fashion...

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Be sure to find out about the water puppet show schedule before visiting -- you'll want to catch this classic performance!
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very interesting and interactive experience 24/09/2017
    • Outdoor houses were great 23/09/2017
    • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
    Address:
    Nguyen Van Huyen road, Cau Giay district
    Nghia Do, Cau Giay
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3756 2193
    Price range:
    USD 10 - USD 10
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    08:30 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Vietnam National Museum of History
    History Museums
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    This excellent museum is well-worth visiting -- it features nice exhibits of artifacts dating back as far as 400,000 years, up until the 19th century. The displays of the ancient bronze drums, giant stone turtle, and the funeral canoe are amazing... If you arrive during the lunch time closure, no problem -- just enjoy a coffee or tea drink at the nice cafe in the outside courtyard (where you can also view ancient stone statuary as well).

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • You can buy an informative guidebook in the small museum shop (located outside of the main building)... for 60k VND, it serves as an excellent souvenir as well :)
    From the community
    Ranked #54 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    • Excellent visit 19/09/2017
    • Informative, and diverse, but layout couldve been better 02/09/2017
    • Vietnam National Museum of History
    Address:
    1 Trang Tien - no 25
    Tong Dan, Hoan Kiem
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3825 2853
    Other:
  • Save
    Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    To the Vietnamese, Hoan Kiem Lake is not "just another lake" -- this place has much historical significance :) (Read up on its background before visiting :) Hoan Kiem Lake is in the heart of the Old Quarter, and the broad walkways along its border are really popular for strolls by tourists and locals alike... It's one of my favorite spots to spend a leisurely weekend afternoon :) Note: I've observed an interesting event here at Hoan Kiem Lake: a group of student-age youth (usually young ladies) will approach and surround a tourist (typically a male, solo westerner), and ask if they can interview him for a class project... sometimes the session is video recorded. I'm not sure if these are "legit" -- so it's best to make sure that you don't leave yourself vulnerable to having your items removed while distracted. Also, I've observed men appearing to be tour guides approaching lone visitors; a young boy shows up after greetings are made, and he announces that he wants an opportunity to practice speaking English. These are not "random meetings', but appear to orchestrated events (as I see the "guide" and "boy" discreetly meeting, after the unknowing tourist departs).

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • As this is one of the (few) areas where petty thievery seems to take place, it's a good idea to pay attention to your valuables :)
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Under renovation 25/09/2017
    • Super 25/09/2017
    • Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)
  • Save
    Temple of Literature & National University
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    Interested in visiting a 1000 year old institute of higher education & viewing remarkable classic architecture? The Temple of Literature is such a place... Stroll the well-manicured grounds, and check out the curated exhibits -- especially the stone stelae atop the carved turtles, which list the names of professors & graduate dating back hundreds of years.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Many folks don't go beyond the first large courtyard/temple, and miss out on the more amazing, multi-story building that's behind; there are musical performances here at times too.
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Don't miss this when in Hanoi 25/09/2017
    • Fascinating 24/09/2017
    • Temple of Literature & National University
    Address:
    Quoc Tu Giam Street, Dong Da District
    Hanoi 100000
    Vietnam
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    07:30 - 11:30
    13:30 - 16:30
  • Save
    Xoi Yen
    Restaurants (Fast food, Asian, Vietnamese)
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    Vietnamese sticky rice is a classic local dish (& is my favorite Asian comfort food). Xoi Yen offers take out as well as dining in an upstairs area (good views of the busy street activity below). Note: To order, select the style of rice you want as a "base", then choose your topping(s). For under $2, you'll have a delicious and filling meal :)

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Everyone has their favorite combinations: mine is the saffron-flavored sticky rice base with Chinese sausage topping (can't get enough of this dish!)
    From the community
    Ranked #152 of 1,891 restaurants in Hanoi
    • Good for breakfast 08/07/2017
    • Try if you must 02/07/2017
    • Xoi Yen
    Address:
    35b Nguyen Huu Huan
    Hoan Kiem
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    +84 4 3934 1950
  • Save
    Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
    Theatres
    See more photos
    G C Says:

    The Water Puppet show is a classic Viet Nam art performance that will delight folks of all ages... Live music and narration accompany amazing movements of the puppets, which "act" atop water. Themes for the skits range from humorous to historical... and at the end of the show, the puppeteers appear behind the curtain. A must see when you're in Ha Noi :)

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • For best views, try to get a seat near the front -- those at the back of the theater are a bit far away to see things well :)
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 281 things to do in Hanoi
    • Totally enjoyable for all ages 25/09/2017
    • Very Impessed the traditional show 25/09/2017
    • Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
    Address:
    57B Dinh Tien Hoang
    Hanoi 10000
    Vietnam
    Phone:
    84 04 8249494
    Other:
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