An independent selection of the best eateries from fine dining to street food in Hanoi, from Rusty Compass. No paid endorsements.

Hanoi eating guide

Introduction

Last updated 16 Feb 2017

This independent and handpicked guide to Hanoi's best eating was last updated in February 2017. We've tried every place on this list - most of them several times.

To the Vietnamese palate, the differences between northern and southern cuisines are pronounced. For travellers, those differences are far more subtle. One thing you can be sure, is that food will be a highlight of your Hanoi travels as it will be throughout Vietnam.

Hanoians prefer their food saltier with more fermented sauces than their southern counterparts. This is in part a legacy of the harsher climatic and agricultural conditions of the north and the relative scarcity of fresh and high quality ingredients. Northerners have had to make do with less throughout history and exotic sauces were one way of creating a tasty meal from basic elements all through the year.

These days the quality of the produce is much better but the culinary legacy remains. And while soups are big throughout the country, the Hanoian obsession with canh - at the centre of every family meal is a habit well worth cultivating during your stay.

Bun Cha,Hang Manh,Hanoi
Photo: Mark Bowyer, Mark BowyerBun Cha, Hanoi

Bun cha, and cha ca are tasty, accessible local dishes that shouldn’t be missed during a visit to the capital. Try and push yourself beyond the stench and sample the exquisite mam tom (fermented shrimp) sauce with your cha ca. You won’t forget it. You may become a fan for life.

As the home of Vietnam’s most well known dish, Hanoians are very protective of their pho offerings and will be displeased with unfavourable comparisons to the different version from the south. Detractors attribute MSG to be an excessive feature of Hanoian dishes and some say it defines the pho. Check if you react badly to MSG.

While dog and snake are eaten throughout the country, Hanoi is the city where their consumption is most common. If you want to explore these exotic flavours, Hanoi’s a good place to do so. Bear in mind though that even for Vietnamese, eating dog and snake is usually a rarity. These are not staple dishes and plenty of Vietnamese across the country would never touch either.

Old Quarter Hanoi,Vietnam
Photo: Mark BowyerA streetside eatery packing them in.

Hanoi may well be the best place in Vietnam to sample street food.  You can barely walk a block in the Old Quarter without stumbling across a run down opening packed with tiny plastic stools, low tables and enthusiastic diners. These places are so abundant that it would be ridiculous to list favourites. We’re not going to presume to know more than the locals. Follow them and you won’t go wrong.

And if you want something a little more comfortable than street dining, there are also plenty of choices from good quality, inexpensive Vietnamese eateries through to some impressive upscale spots. Several of Hanoi’s more upmarket restaurants are located in spectacular colonial era villas that have been lovingly restored.

Hanoi,Madam Hien,Restaurant,Vietnam
Photo: Mark BowyerMadame Hien's, Hanoi


Hanoi's also developing an interesting culinary scene beyond the native flavours. There are some excellent French eateries as well as chefs playing with contemporary dishes.

Whether you’re eating on the street or going high-end, be sure to plan your eating time in Hanoi.

Read more introduction

Maison de Tet Decor, West Lake, Hanoi

A great escape from Hanoi’s intensity. Open villa space by West Lake. Great breakfast, coffee and all-day cafe-style dining. By night the menu... Read more

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Maison de Tet Decor, West Lake, Hanoi
Villa 156 Tu Hoa, Nghi Tam, Ho Tay, Hanoi
+84 96 661 13 83
 

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Bun Cha Dac Kim, Hang Manh

Bun Cha is another Hanoi specialty not to be missed and this little bun cha stop on Hang Manh St is one of the dish's best exponents. Read more

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Bun Cha Dac Kim, Hang Manh
1 Hang Manh St, Hanoi
043 8285022
 

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A La Folie Restaurant, Hanoi

A La Folie moved by Truc Bach Lake in 2016 - it's still one of our favourite places for a relaxed meal of French cuisine in a cool space. Read more

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A La Folie Restaurant, Hanoi
9 Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội,
+84 4 3976 1667
 

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1946 Restaurant, Hanoi

1946 is a busy little Vietnamese restaurant in the Cua Bac area not too far from Ba Dinh Square. Read more

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1946 Restaurant, Hanoi
3 Ngo Yen Thanh, 61 Cua Bac, Hanoi
 

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Bar Betta, Hanoi

Hanoi's nostalgia fest is celebrated in earnest at Bar Betta, a wonderfully quirky cafe not far from the Fine Arts Museum. Read more

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Bar Betta, Hanoi
34C Cao Ba Quat, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
+844 3734 9134
 

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Bun Cha Huong Lien - aka. Bun Cha Obama

Bun Cha Huong Lien, aka, Bun Cha Obama, looks set to become a Hanoi shrine to the Obama presidency. It was already a popular local eatery serving... Read more

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Bun Cha Huong Lien - aka. Bun Cha Obama
24 Lê Văn Hưu, Phạm Đình Hồ, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
+84 4 3943 4106
 

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Cafe Cho, Hanoi

This little hole in the wall in the heart of  Hanoi's Old Quarter gets high marks for coffee, ambience and people watching. We came back several... Read more

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Cafe Cho, Hanoi
Ngo Cau Go, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi - not far from Hoan Kiem Lake
 

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Cafe Nola, Hanoi

Cafe Nola is a well hidden sanctuary of calm at the centre of the tourist area in Hanoi's old quarter. Read more

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Cafe Nola, Hanoi
89 Ma May , Hanoi - down an alley.
+84 169 608 4195
 

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Cau Go Restaurant, Hanoi

Cau Go, which means wooden bridge, is a stylish Vietnamese restaurant that enjoys spectacular views across Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi. Read more

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Cau Go Restaurant, Hanoi
7 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
+84 4 3926 0808
 

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Cha Ca La Vong, Hanoi

Hanoi’s original cha ca eatery. Cha Ca is a northern specialty consisting of river fish, turmeric, dill, peanuts, noodles and a fair load of oil.... Read more

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Cha Ca La Vong, Hanoi
14 Cha Ca St, Old Quarter, Hanoi
 

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Chim Sao Restaurant, Hanoi

Chim Sao is slightly away from Hanoi's main traveller area but it's well worth the 10 minute cab ride. It's the real thing in terms of Hanoi cuisine... Read more

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Chim Sao Restaurant, Hanoi
65 Ngo Hue, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
 

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Club Opera Novel, Hanoi

Club Opera Novel is probably Hanoi's most lavish Vietnamese restaurant - right downtown on Trang Tien St. Read more

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Club Opera Novel, Hanoi
17 Trang Tien Street, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi
+844 3972 8001
 

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Com Pho Restaurant, Hanoi

Not far off the southern end of Hanoi’s French Quarter, Com Pho is another busy Hanoi local eatery - a great place for an authentic no frills meal... Read more

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Com Pho Restaurant, Hanoi
29 Le Van Huu St, Hanoi
 

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Cong Caphe, Hanoi

Cong Caphe is a popular coffee chain that’s taken Hanoi by storm with its rustic, military chic decor. The capital is now packed with franchises and... Read more

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Cong Caphe, Hanoi
32 Dien Bien Phu St, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
 

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Cousins Restaurant, Hanoi

By Hanoi’s West Lake, Cousins is a favourite cafe restaurant with the city’s expats and a nice escape from the intensity of downtown. It's around 15... Read more

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Cousins Restaurant, Hanoi
3 Quang Ba Tay Ho, (West Lake) Ha Noi
+84 123 867 0098

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El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse, Hanoi

The El Gaucho steak craze started in Saigon and then spread to the capital Hanoi, where it seems to be getting a reception every bit as warm. Like... Read more

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El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse, Hanoi
11 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi

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Food Street - Tong Duy Tan St, Hanoi

Tong Duy Tan St, aka. Food Street, is slightly away from the traveller area of the city. It’s a stretch of simple, tasty, outdoor stalls with... Read more

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Food Street - Tong Duy Tan St, Hanoi
Tong Duy Tan St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
 

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Green Tangerine Restaurant, Hanoi

Located bang in the heart of Hanoi’s traveller ghetto on Hang Be St. Green Tangerine’s inviting open courtyard is a welcome oasis from the bustling... Read more

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Green Tangerine Restaurant, Hanoi
48 Hang Be Street Hoan Kiem District Hanoi
+84 4 3825 1286
 

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Hanoi House Cafe, Hanoi

One of three delightful cafes that overlook Hanoi’s St Joseph’s Cathedral. Good for a light meal, Hanoi House is more a wonderful cafe space than a... Read more

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Hanoi House Cafe, Hanoi
Upstairs, 47A Ly Quoc Su St, Hanoi
 

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Hanoi Social Club, Hanoi

Hanoi Social Club is a little outpost of Melbourne's cafe scene in a stunning French colonial villa in downtown Hanoi. Great food and drinks. Some... Read more

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Hanoi Social Club, Hanoi
6 Hoi Vu St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
+844 39382117
 

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Highway 4, Hanoi

Highway 4 is an old Hanoi favourite that's lost some of its ramshackle edge in recent years. Still a dependable stop for northern Vietnamese... Read more

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Highway 4, Hanoi
5 Hàng Tre, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi
(+84-4) 3926.4200
 

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Hoi An Chicken Rice Restaurant, Hanoi

The simple delights of Hoi An's unique take on Chicken Rice (com ga), is served up with commendable authenticity at this Hanoi eatery. The menu also... Read more

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Hoi An Chicken Rice Restaurant, Hanoi
1 Cua Dong St, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
 

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Home Restaurant, Hanoi

Home is a fancy Vietnamese restaurant, in a beautifully decked out colonial villa, on the fringe of the old quarter. Food’s good - the setting’s... Read more

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Home Restaurant, Hanoi
34 Chau Long, Hanoi
+84 4 3939 2222

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KOTO Restaurant, Hanoi

Koto is a great place for a meal or a drink close by Hanoi’s Temple of Literature. And this is no ordinary restaurant. Founded in the mid 1990s by... Read more

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KOTO Restaurant, Hanoi
59 Van Mieu St, Dong Da District, Hanoi - across from the Temple of Literature
+84 4 3747 0337

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La Badiane Restaurant, Hanoi

La Badiane has been a consistent favourite French restaurant in Hanoi since its opening several years ago. The setting, in a colonial villa, is... Read more

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La Badiane Restaurant, Hanoi
10 Nam Ngu street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
+84 (4) 39 42 45 09

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La Place Cafe, Hanoi

Overlooking St Joseph’s cathedral in a classic colonial era space with original tiles and a great vibe. Good cafe food and coffee too. Perfect... Read more

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La Place Cafe, Hanoi
4 Au Trieu St, Hanoi - near Cathedral
+(844)9285859

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La Verticale Restaurant, Hanoi

La Verticale is French Chef Didier Corlou’s signature Hanoi restaurant - and it lives up to all the hype. Set in a narrow 1930s villa, the menu is... Read more

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La Verticale Restaurant, Hanoi
19 Ngo Van So
, Hoan Kiem District
, Hanoi
+84 4 944 6317
 

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Le Beaulieu Restaurant, Hanoi

Set in the historic Metropole Hotel, Le Beaulieu is amongst the city’s best French fine dining experiences - at fine dining prices. The food is very... Read more

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Le Beaulieu Restaurant, Hanoi
Metropole Hotel, 15 Ngo Quyen St, Hanoi
+84 4 3826 6919 – Ext. 8500

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Luna d’Autunno, Hanoi

Luna d’Autunno has been serving Italian cuisine in downtown Hanoi since the 1990s, across various locations. The interior won’t win any design... Read more

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Luna d’Autunno, Hanoi
27 Nam Ngư, Cửa Nam, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
+84 4 3823 7338
 

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Madame Hien Restaurant, Hanoi

Madame Hien's French colonial villa is definitely one of Hanoi's most visually impressive restaurant settings. And the food's good too. Read more

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Madame Hien Restaurant, Hanoi
15 Chan Cam, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi
+84 4 3938 1588
 

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What's On At Huong Giang Hotel

My Music My world

RockStore Hanoi

61 Mã Mây | Map
Fri Mar 31, 2017
10PM
RockStore presents: MY MUSIC MY WORLD by Dj Ngoc Mobile Phạm Doanh Ngọc Dj Ngoc Mobile back... Read more

Swing like it's the 1940s

Hanoi Rock City

27/52 Tô Ngọc Vân, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội | Map
Sat Apr 01, 2017
9PM
DRESS UP PARTY this Saturday !! Ladies and Gentlemen, dance like it's the 1940s with... Read more

Alex & Dan Guitar Duo -Tadioto -Chủ Nhật.

tadioto: art, bar, events

24B Tong Dan Street | Map
Sun Apr 02, 2017
8PM
(English below.) Tối chủ nhật tại Tadioto, bạn sẽ có một cơ hội thưởng thức những ca khúc... Read more

GingerWork 4th Birthday - Illustrious Hat Soiree - LỄ HỘI!

Gingerwork

Ho Tay | Map
Fri Apr 07, 2017
8PM
► ENGLISH BELOW ► Liên hoan văn nghệ mừng sinh nhật GingerWork - nhóm sáng tạo chủ chốt của... Read more