Vietnam was a total surprise for us in many ways, but especially in the food department. Vietnamese food is fresh, varied and absolutely fantastic. The problem when you arrive to a town like Hoi An is there are SO many places to eat that it is often overwhelming choosing where to go. Obviously, even with a week in town we did not become experts on where to eat in Hoi An, but we found a few favorites that will get you off the main circuit and eating some delicious food in between searching for your own favorite eateries!
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Our Top 5 Hoi An Restaurants
In researching where to eat in Hoi An, I kept coming across blog after blog mentioning a restaurant called Morning Glory. This is the go to restaurant recommendation online as well as from many hotels in the Ancient Town area. While it was decent, and we think you should go just for the atmosphere, I will admit we found similar quality food at sidewalk cafes where the locals eat, for a fraction of the cost! But I am recommending Morning Glory to give you a great spot to eat while you are in Ancient Town wandering around. There are two restaurants opposite each other so feel free to pop into either one. We tried the rice pancake (pretty great!), Cao Lau with tofu (first time to see it with tofu instead of pork!) and a version of my son’s favorite Bun Cha.
Bale Well is Our Favorite Place to Eat in Hoi An
While in Hanoi, we visited a local cafe with a friend and sampled a ton of different Vietnamese dishes. One of the best from that night was pork on a lemongrass stick. Ever since that meal, we continued our search. When I asked the Lantern Lady if we could get this dish in Hoi An, she immediately recommended Bale Well. This ended up being one of our favorite Hoi An restaurants.
This garden cafe hidden down a small alley is always buzzing with locals. A set menu means no choices to stress you out. The waitresses are super helpful too in showing you how to properly eat the myriad of dishes delivered to the table.
The set meal includes two different type of pork on a skewer that you wrap in rice paper, rice pancake and garnish with cucumbers and lettuce with a little kimchi too. This was our favorite Vietnamese dish throughout the country and one we continually search for!
Mr Hai Noodles
The Lantern Lady also suggested another local favorite, Mr Hai Noodles as a great place to sample the local dishes at a local price! The recommended dish here is the Mi Quang (turmeric noodle), which is also a variety of pho. However Mr Hai Noodles also serve the Cao Lau, the local Hoi An specialty. We tried both and preferred the Mi Quang. Cheap and cheerful. This is a great place to visit after making your lanterns or while cruising around outside of the Ancient Town area.
The Best Banh Mi Restaurant in Hoi An
If you follow us, you will know that we LOVE Anthony Bourdain and try to find his favorites in all the countries we visit. If you are a fan and a foodie, than you also cannot miss Anthony Bourdain’s favorite in town, Banh Mi Phuong.
While this is not a secret spot at all, it is well worth the effort to visit. Our tip – don’t wait in line, instead head inside for a seat to avoid the long takeaway line.
I had the bacon Banh Mi, but you can also have a mixed meat or even a tuna banh mi! There were so many options, that you will surely find something you like. For less than a dollar, you can eat here every day several times a day without breaking the budget! I was so sad that I only ate it my last night. It was delicious and will be a banh mi I will forever crave.
If you are looking for the expat scene, great western food and a place for the kiddos to be kids for a while,Dingo Deli is your place. We lucked out and stayed just down the street from here, otherwise I am not sure we would have ever found it. As much as we love eating only local food, it is also nice to find a place with a great sandwich, french fries and delicious breakfast options.
This place is buzzing with the local expat and worldschooling communities, so if you need a little English language time, you will definitely find someone to chat to here. Dingo Deli also makes a great space to work as they have dedicated office space with fast WiFi.
The kids spent an entire day here one day playing on the play structure which was a great reset for all involved!
There are a ton more Hoi An restaurants to check out, and even more we sampled, but these were out standout favorites. Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy these awesome restaurants in Hoi An as much as we did!
Do you have any local favorites visitors should try? Share them with us below!
Are you headed to Vietnam? Check out our other posts to help plan your trip!
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