Much like the rest of Vietnam, Hoi An is a food-lover’s paradise. The cultural influences from its Japanese, Chinese and French heritage, are also visible in its food.
This is the second and final instalment in my Hoi An series. In Part 1, I talked about the best things to do in Hoi An and outlined some travel tips for a comfortable trip. In this edition, I bring you my favourite places to eat and drink in Hoi An, as well as some general tips for when it comes to dining in Hoi An.
Hoi An General Tips for Eating and Drinking
- Definitely try the coffee here: you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to cafés.
- Do not forget to try the local Hoi An specialties such as cao lầu (a dish comprising of pork and noodles made with water from a specific well in Hoi An which gives it its texture and colour), chicken rice (shredded chicken in a bed of aromatic rice with fresh herbs and vegetables), Hoi An rice paper rolls, and of course the Hoi An style bánh mì, since the famed sandwich is supposed to have originated from Hoi An.
- The Happy Hours here are excellent value for money. Take advantage of it. The time varies across different establishments but it is usually between 5PM -8 PM.
- If you enjoy fish, Hoi An is the place to get your fill of it. The local way of preparing fish with fresh herbs is refreshingly light and makes for a perfect meal in a hot country like Vietnam.
- Do not stick only to restaurants and cafes here and try the street food and the food stalls at the Hoi An night market. They have an amazing array of delicious foods and drinks.
Best Restaurants in Hoi An : Where to Eat and Drink in Hoi An.
Here are some of the restaurants where I had the best dining and drinks experiences in Hoi An. This list does not contain street foods, mainly due to logistical reasons: street food stalls are not the easiest things to pin down while writing about a trip retrospectively.
I hope you find this list useful. Bon Appetit!
A simple Google search will tell you how well-known Morning Glory is and since it is so internet-famous, I expected it to be a tad over-rated. But was I wrong! I was blown away by the quality of food and the service here. So much so that I ended up eating here on multiple occasions.
I would describe the food as elevated local Vietnamese fare. You would be able to taste all the local Hoi An specialties such as chicken rice or rice paper roll, fresh Vietnamese rolls as well as other delicious plates such as fish herbed fish steamed in banana leaf.
Note that there are 2 Morning Glory restaurants. The one next to the river or Morning Glory original is more visible and busier which also makes it noisier. If you want a quiet or romantic dinner, I would advise you to visit the other address called Morning Glory Signature.
Morning Glory Original, 106 Nguyễn Thái Học
Morning Glory Signature, 41 Nguyễn Phúc Chu
Tra Que Herb Garden
Tra Que Herb Garden and restaurant is at the top of my list of the most memorable meals in Vietnam. This property has a beautiful garden up front and right behind the restaurant, they have a huge vegetable garden full of stretches of thriving vegetables like papaya, pumpkin and courgette.
All the vegetables they use to cook comes from the garden. The piece de resistance is the herb garden full of coriander, mint and morning glory. It was quaintly charming to see the staff come and pick herbs off of the spice gardens to prepare our shrimp papaya salad. You can even dine under a canopy of vegetables if you want!
Tra Que Herb Garden is a welcome nod to slow food and sustainable eating which packs in a great message while offering a bespoke eating experience. The food is fresh and the ambience breezy, since it is very close to the sea.
Address: Cầu, Cẩm Hà, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Right in the heart of Hoi An’s Ancient Town, Bazar Café is a tastefully decorated restaurant complete with an old-timey atmosphere and a beautiful terrace seating in the back. The front of the café is warm and inviting and positioned just right to give you a view of the street without being too out there.
It became my husband and I’s Hoi An ritual to come by here and people-watch every evening. The staff were also excellent and made every visit feel special.
They have excellent cocktails and a variety of standard fare in terms of food, mixing both Vietnamese as well as western dishes like burgers and bruschetta. All in all, an excellent place to while away your time in a welcoming atmosphere.
Address: Bazar Café, 36 Trần Phú, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Bánh Mì Phượng
Bánh Mì Phượng (photo above) is perhaps best known as Anthony Bourdain’s favourite banh mi place in Hoi An. Needless to say, it is extremely popular with the tourists and so usually full of people queueing up in front, especially during lunch hours.
The menu consists of different types of banh mi as well as customisable accompaniments for the sandwich such as vegetables, herbs and paté . Along with that, it also has sides such as fries! The meat is tender and juicy and it definitely stands up to its reputation. The passport photos and notes that travellers leave under its glass topped tables are a curious touch.
Address: 2b Phan Chu Trinh, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam 560000, Vietnam
Best Cafés to Try in Hoi An
Not only is Phin Coffee a great coffee spot, it is also a plant-lover’s paradise, with rows of beautiful potted plants and even a succulent garden tucked away upstairs. For your coffee fix, you can choose from a variety of coffee methods, like drip, V60, espresso and of course, Vietnamese style coffee.
They also have very good quality beans which pleased my coffee snob of a husband so much, that we went back there again and again. Of course, I went for the Vietnamese style coffees each time because when iced, it is just the perfect thing to beat the heat.
Address: 132/7 Trần Phú, st, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
This is another place just right for coffee lovers. They roast their own beans and if you want to buy some beans while enjoying your cuppa, this is the place for you. The customer service is excellent and if you are curious about your beans, they will entertain all your questions.
The décor is made of wood and darker colours which channel strong European vibes with an edge. As in many places in Hoi An, the street facing seats are the best place to sip your drink slowly while watching the colourful goings-on in the streets of Hoi An.
Address: 135 Trần Phú, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Special Mention: Mót, Hoi An
I will admit, I had no idea what this place was and what it served. I was first attracted to it because of the long queues that I saw outside this place as well as all the people posing for photos with their picturesque Mót cups complete with lotus petals on top. What’s not to like?
Some digging around showed that this shop sells herbal tea constituting of a variety of ingredients with medicinal properties which is supposed to invigorate you, make you healthier and live till you are 100 years old. Ok, the last bit is a joke. The drink is made according to a recipe which has been with the family for decades and is a strictly guarded secret. Needless to say, I had to try it.
The drink tastes extremely fresh due to it being served with a generous helping of ice. It is sweet with a very pleasant layered taste that comes from all the herbs. All in all, worth trying if not for anything else, but because it just pares well with the heat.
Address: 150 Trần Phú, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam