This restaurant was near our hotel and we decided to try it after reading the experience of another traveler. We loved it. The décor is French colonial with lots of plants and very pleasant filtered light. It’s an oasis of quiet in the middle of the chaos that is Hanoi. The food is Vietnamese but with a European touch. It’s more oriented toward tourists since, while inexpensive for us, it would be expensive for the average Vietnamese person. Three of us ate there and our bill was around $25, wine included. Very recommended.
New Day is a small restaurant on Mã Mãy street. As you pass by, all you see is a small ground floor and the terrace which extends to the middle of the street. As it fills up, you can go to dining rooms on the upper floors or even eat in the kitchen with the chef.
The waiters are very friendly and joke with you when you try to order in Vietnamese and not in English. The food is delicious and the price is great. You can eat some hearty portions of rice and noodles for only 45,000 VND.
I’d recommend the menu. For 99,000 VND (about $7) you get a Pho, two Nem Ha Noi rolls, a plate of rice with some meat or fish in sauce, and dessert. The “Ga Om Noi Dat” was exquisite!
In Hanoi, there are many food stalls on the street. Some food stalls are fixed and have a room at street level where business owners keep their possessions and goods, and sometimes put some tables and chairs. Normally the tables and chairs are placed on the sidewalk which is why it's impossible to walk down the sidewalk and you end up in the road along with all the cars, bicycles and motorbikes, honking incessantly. You can enjoy breakfast typical of Hanoi, which is Noodles soup, usually with chicken. It's a strong plate that ensures enough sufficient energy for the rest of the morning. The price is normally 15 VND (0.66 €), although it's not surprising to see locals pay only 10 dongs, and some want to charge you 20 dongs. There are food stalls specializing in one dish (which is typical), and others that offer a variety. Some are buffets. You can fill a bowl with rice and ingredients and pay a fixed price, which can be between 20 and 35,000 VND.
Staying in Hanoi’s Old District (“36 Streets”) might mean giving up the comforts of the city’s large international hotels. In exchange, though, you’re immersed in the authentic life of the city. You can walk night after night through the neighborhood’s narrow streets and discover places that haven’t changed in years and some surprisingly good food.
The 96 Restaurant is still not in any of the guides. The staff is young and, of course, try to attract the attention of the small numbers of foreigners in the area. The restaurant is spread out across two floors and decorated in a nice but not overwrought manner. The music is almost imperceptible and the food, while traditional, is among the best I had in Vietnam. In fact, the Cha Ca was the best I've ever had.
One of the most interesting and active NGOs in Hanoi, the restaurant Koto serves to collect street children, ve are then trained in hospitality and practices, before starting work in international hotels and restaurants, as their training is first rate. The restaurant is opposite the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, and is a must-see as well as a place to eat well. The restaurant is one of the many activities that the NGO KOTO (Know One Teach One-Knowing One, Teach One) participates in.
Near the Cathedral, Nha Tho Street is a mecca for foreigns in Hanoi. It has dozens of restaurants of all price ranges and qualities. The Moca Café is aimed at tourists rather than backpackers, because the bill will probably be around 10-15 euros. It's international food, specializing in Italian and Indian. It's not worth eating Vietnamese food here as it's expensive and there are hundreds of bars around where you eat better.
There is a small alley, on the south side of Dong Xuan market, which brings together numerous food stalls, all of various types, at affordable prices. In some food stalls it works like buffet. Here you pay only 20,000 (less than 1 €) and you can fill the dish with rice plus the ingredients you want (from meat to peanuts to shrimp).
Little Hanoi restaurant is one of those restaurants recommended by Lonely Planet which is a safe and not disappointing, but not surprising, perhaps given the fact that it is recommended. The staff is very friendly and the restaurant is quiet and here you can find a friendly atmosphere. The food is good and the value is worth it. The spring rolls are quite tasty and the "sweet and sour" shrimp resemble those prepared in Thailand far more than other restaurants in Vietnam. Dinner can go for about 60-80,000 Dongs (about 2.7 to 3.7 €) per person. Note: (these were the prices in May 2009)
The San Tuoi restuarante Song Hai is a typical street restaurant in Hanoi. There are small tables and plastic chairs on the pavement, without anything fancy except the food they serve. Their specialty is seafood. You can eat different types of river snails for various prices, different types of clams, crabs, oysters, or fish. The prices are really decent. What you spend really depends on the seafood you choose. You can eat for between 40,000 and 80,000 dongs per person, so 1.7 to 3.5 euros. The restaurant San Tuoi Hai Song is perfectly located, not far from the Water Puppets theatre, which means that it an ideal place to go for dinner after a show. A seal of approval for this restaurant is that you always find expats enjoying their seafood.
Set in a French colonial building in the heart of town, near Lake Hoan Kiem. This is a recommendable restaurant is you don´t know Vietnamese food very well because they have a prepared menu, so you don´t have to think of what to ask for, and it was all very good. The place has a relaxed atmosphere and the staff is very nice.
This restaurant is in a courtyard away from the chaos of Hanoi. It's nice because you can go inside and escape the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. The food was good and the dishes were quite filling but the service was not perfect. The price is also good. It´s a good place to eat if what you want is a moment of relaxation and tranquility and then later to back to the busy streets of the city.
This is in the West Lake area. It has a huge capacity, something like 1,200 guests, and the buffet offers over 200 different dishes ranging from Vietnamese to European and Chinese. The restaurant has nice décor and offers good views of the lake. If you visit in May or June you’ll be in time to see all the lotus flowers in bloom along the lake.
This is quality food, a unique creation of spices from Vietnam, with good service and a good atmosphere. It has a part that is private where you can eat in tranquility. You can buy the spices which they sell too. A great experience. I recommend it!