Hoi An in Vietnam has got to be one of the most charming little towns I’ve ever visited during my travels. It was not only the highlight of my three weeks in Vietnam
,but a highlight of my nine months of full-time travel around three continents! This colourful gem on Vietnam’s central coast
is an absolute haven for history buffs, bargain hunters, fashionistas and, of course, foodies.
From bahn mi and cao lau
to gourmet brunches and adorable cafés, Hoi An’s truly got something for every type of taste bud and budget. If you can find some time to squeeze in a meal between exploring the Ancient Town, getting a custom-made outfit or floating along the river in a lantern boat, here are some of the best restaurants in Hoi An that you have to visit.
Banh Mi Phuong
2b Phan Chu Trinh, Cáº©m Châu, Há»™i An
The late Anthony Bourdain, the king of culinary travel, catapulted Banh Mi Phuong to global fame in his TV show No Reservations. He coined Banh Mi Phuong’s special baguette “a symphony in a sandwich”, a crispy baguette packed with meat, pate, salad, egg and Banh Mi Phuong’s special sauce made from the juices of the smoked meat.
There’s a number of different banh mi to choose from here, with chicken, pork, or tofu for vegetarians, and prices range from 15,000VND to 30,000VND ($0.65-$1.30USD) depending on how heavy you go on the fillings.You’ll have to join the queue at any time of the day (Anthony Bourdain has that effect!) but service is quick so you shouldn’t be waiting any more than 10-15 minutes max. Be sure to visit before 9pm or risk being turned away as they often run out!
Madam Khanh - The Banh Mi Queen
115 Tráº§n Cao Vân, PhÆ°á»ng Minh An, Há»™i An
Ask any traveller or local for the best banh mi in Hoi An and I bet they’ll say either Banh Mi Phuong or Madam Khanh, and they’ll back up their choice with feisty reasoning too. If you’ve got enough time in Hoi An (and enough stomach space) to fit in two banh mi, head to Madam Khanh’s for your second try at the local dish and come to your own conclusion.
Madam Khanh’s service is said to be better, with a shorter line at peak times, and their chilli pork belly banh mi has its own cult following of both locals and tourists. The Banh Mi Queen’s secret sauce is what takes this meaty, eggy, bready goodness to the next level, and the walls are adorned with handwritten notes from previous customers singing Madam Khan’s praises.
Morning Glory Original
106 Nguyá»…n Thái Há»c, PhÆ°á»ng Minh An, Há»™i An
This Hoi An institution is one of a number of restaurants in the city owned by the legendary Ms Vy, and it boasts a 4.5/5 rating on TripAdvisor after a whopping 16,000 reviews! That’s almost unheard of.
Morning Glory’s menu is packed with Vietnamese culinary classics, from seafood curries to crispy banh xeo pancake to pork-stuffed squid that visitors rave about. If you’re popping in for a quick bite or a light lunch, the white rose dumplings are divine and are the perfect mid-shopping snack! The cocktail menu is decent too, with both fruity and fancy options depending on your personal preference.
Morning Glory Signature is another of Ms Ly’s restaurants, with a sophisticated take on Morning Glory Original’s best dishes as well as some contemporary additions. This one is great for a special occasion or to treat yourself to a classy night out.
Long Com Ga
16 Phan Chu Trinh, PhÆ°á»ng Minh An, Há»™i An
If you’re looking for some cheap and cheerful comfort food, you can’t go past com ga, or chicken rice. This traditional Vietnamese dish is normally made up of shredded chicken, fragrant pilaf-style rice, papaya and carrot slaw, and local herbs, along with a side of chicken broth.
Com ga is a common street food meal from roadside stalls and the night market, but for the best com ga in town, head to Long Com Ga. This hidden gem is easy to miss, nestled down a quiet side street in the middle of the Ancient Town, with a decent seating area, air con and high chairs available for little ones. A plate of com ga here will set you back about 35,000VND, or $1.50USD.
328 Cá»a Äáº¡i, Cáº©m Châu, Há»™i An
With a simple yet delicious menu, top notch service and wallet-friendly prices, Restaurant 328 is an authentic little eatery away from the craziness (and the prices) of the restaurants in the Ancient Town.
Choose from traditional meals like white rose dumplings, grilled fish in banana leaf or cao lau (pork and thick noodles), or if you want a taste of home they’ve also got western dishes to tickle your fancy. If you’ve still got room after your meal, the homemade mango ice cream is divine.
45 Nguyá»…n Phúc Chu, PhÆ°á»ng Minh An, Há»™i An
Located in a prime corner spot overlooking the Bridge of Lights and the bustling entrance to the lantern-lined night market, Mango Mango is a contemporary Asian-fusion restaurant serving up both Western and Vietnamese classics with a bit of flare.
The menu has tapa-style small plates for a quick bite or to share with your travel buddies, as well as huge main meals fit for a king. I can personally recommend the shredded duck tortillas, tuna rolls and grilled red snapper, but the menu is so impressive that it’s almost impossible to choose! Prices here are significantly higher than most Hoi An restaurants, closer to what you’d expect in Europe and North America, but the quality reflects that and it’s well worth a splurge.
Orivy Local Food Restaurant
76/1 Cá»a Äáº¡i, SÆ¡n Phong, Tp. Há»™i An
With a lush outdoor garden fringed by tropical plants and lit with fairy lights, Orivy serves up local food in big portions amongst a quaint, ambient atmosphere a few blocks away from the Ancient Town. The menu is packed with authentic Vietnamese fare, with dishes like the mango salad, mi quang (seafood noodles) and fried wonton taking centre stage.
The recipes here have come from the owner’s mother who still sources ingredients and cooks some of the specialty dishes. A genuine home-cooked meal!
220a Nguyá»…n Duy Hiá»‡u, Cáº©m Châu, Há»™i An
If you’re looking for an energy boost, a photogenic table set up or just a hot brew and a stable internet connection, NOURISH is the spot for you. This plant-based eatery is a favourite for expats, health nuts and digital nomads
, complete with a nutritious menu and comfortable workspaces.
Satisfy your fruity cravings with a brightly coloured smoothie bowl, chow down on a hearty falafel burger or opt for the tofu scramble, a protein-packed breakfast dish worth writing home about. The vibes here are super chill and I guarantee you’ll leave here feeling healthier and happier in both mind and body.
109 Nguyá»…n Thái Há»c, PhÆ°á»ng Minh An, Há»™i An
My Vy, of Morning Glory fame, owns this European-style café in the heart of the Ancient Town. There’s a menu of sweet treats, brunch dishes and light meals to choose from, as well as some delectable desserts and pastries in the cabinet. Cargo Club also has a decent drinks menu with juices, teas, coffees and cocktails.
The best part of the Cargo Club, aside from the baby pavlova that made me feel like I was back home in New Zealand, is by far the rooftop terrace with a view over the Thu Bon River and its lantern boats. Head here in the morning for a calm breakfast stop or pop in for an afternoon pick-me-up after a busy day of shopping.
Good Morning Vietnam
11 Lê Lá»£i, PhÆ°á»ng Minh An, Há»™i An
An authentic taste of Italy in the middle of Vietnam, this place is perfect if you’re looking for a change from pho, spring rolls and banh mi. They’ve got gourmet pizzas, hearty pastas and tender risottos packed with Italian flavours and the best quality ingredients.
The staff are warm and welcoming, service is quick and the wine list is seriously impressive. Make sure you leave room for some tiramisu or an affogato to round off a delicious meal!
Reaching Out Teahouse
131 Tráº§n Phú, PhÆ°á»ng Minh An, Há»™i An
This one’s a bit different, but it’s one of the most memorable places to visit in Hoi An. Reaching Out is a social enterprise, teahouse and gift shop that supports speech- and hearing-impaired locals in Hoi An. All the staff here are differently-abled and they run the shop/café in almost total silence, using sign language, gestures and notes to communicate.
The menu here is limited but you can choose from traditional Vietnamese coffee, a fantastic tea selection and some sugary delights like cakes and slices. Silence is hard to come by in Hoi An’s Ancient Town, so pop in here for a retreat from the chaos and enjoy a warm drink, while knowing your money is supporting the local community.
The Hill Station
321 Nguyá»…n Duy Hiá»‡u, Cáº©m Châu, Há»™i An
The Hill Station Deli & Boutique on the outskirts of Hoi An’s Ancient Town is a juxtaposition of European cuisine in a Vietnamese heritage building, complete with classic Hoi An yellow walls and bright blue shutters.
Known as the place to visit for tapas, wine and one of the most impressive cheese selections I’ve found in all of Southeast Asia, the Hill Station is a charming little spot for nibbles and drinks. If you’re a beer drinker, be sure to try a pint of the Jasmine IPA. Super refreshing on a humid Hoi An day.
The Bird House
7 Công Ná»¯ Ngá»c Hoa, Há»™i An
To round off this list of Hoi An’s must-visit eateries, the final spot is taken by a gorgeous riverside café called the Bird House, just around the corner from the Japanese Bridge. Stepping into the fairytale-like courtyard immediately relaxes you, it’s the perfect place to pull up a chair, sip a cold drink and watch lantern-adorned boats float down Thu Bon River.
Aside from the ambience, the beverage menu is what makes the Bird House brilliant. They serve up refreshing iced coconut coffees, fancy cocktails and Instagrammable coloured lattes!
I hope this list of places to eat in Hoi An has helped you find somewhere decent to grab a bite! This city is brilliant for food so there’s plenty of fantastic restaurants, cafés and bars that didn’t make it onto this list but that are still worth a visit. Happy travels!