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Hoi An's 10 Best Local Restaurants and Cultural Cafés

Wednesday - 22/04/2015 21:15

Once one of Vietnam’s most important trading ports, Hoi An has now become one of the most loved tourist cities in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site too. The Old Town still maintains its fusion of ancient Vietnamese and colonial French beauty and unique culinary heritage, made of specialities such as cao lau, quang noodles and shrimp dumplings. Here is our selection of the best 10 culinary spots in Hoi An.

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© Jean-Pierre Dalbera/Flickr

Mermaid

Owned by the now legendary Ms Vy, who later went on to open the more upscale Cargo Club and Morning Glory, Mermaid has for the past 20 years been one of the most well-known and loved restaurants in Hoi An. It became immediately popular because it was the first place to cater for tourists and expatriates while still maintaining traditional, home-cooked cuisine. Its menu offers a wide range of local dishes like fried wonton, white rose (shrimp dumplings) and signature dishes such as stuffed squid with pork and vegetables, mackerel in banana leaf and filled tomatoes. It is located next to a local market that provides fresh produce on a daily basis. Although smaller than Cargo and Morning Glory, Mermaid has cosy atmosphere and relaxing décor.

Mermaid, 2 Trần Phú, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Miss Ly Cafeteria

For the past 21 years, Miss Ly has been cooking both typical fare, such as cao lau, fried wonton and white roses, and her own designed dishes, turning her small restaurant into a vibrant and friendly spot right in the heart of the historical town centre. The menu’s ample selection, with a regional taster menu, provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to experience authentic Hoianian flavours at reasonable prices. The relaxed atmosphere and the charming interiors of the place, which is decorated with antique wall prints and paintings, make Miss Ly Cafeteria the ideal stop to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the centre while still enjoying the beautiful view of the surrounding historical buildings.

Miss Ly Cafeteria, 22 Nguyen Hue St, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Moon Restaurant & Lounge

Housed in a two-storey historical building, Moon Restaurant is situated only a five-minute walk from the local market. The building itself is an exquisite example of the Vietnamese, French and Chinese architectural and design blend for which Hoi An is renowned. The interiors are adorned with antique furniture, relics and murals, while the second floor offers a more romantic and intimate setting with the windows and the big arched balcony provides a great view of the Old Town. Moon Restaurant serves typical dishes from Hoi An as well as a Western selection, and in addition it has convenient set menus to choose from.

Moon Restaurant and Lounge, 321 Nguyen Duy Hieu, Hoi An, Vietnam+84 168 493 8519

Streets Restaurant Café

Awarded membership to Clinton Global Initiative in 2014, Streets is a non-profit organisation established in 2005 with the aim of providing training and employment for disadvantaged youths and street kids in the catering and hospitality industries. As part of the training programme, the trainees work at the Restaurant where they learn to cook and serve international and contemporary Vietnamese cuisine. The profit from the restaurant is then reinvested for future training. Located in the centre of the Old Town, Streets is located in an ancient two-storey shop.

Streets Restaurants and Cafe, 17 Le Loi Street, Hoi An, Vietnam+84 510 3911 949

Morning Glory

At Morning Glory, customers are presented with many options, from classics like quang noodles (yellow rice noodles with shrimps, pork, vegetables and grilled rice paper) and coa lau to more contemporary creations. The owner, Ms Vy, shows her passion for Hoi An tradition and culture by both respecting classic recipes by re-designing home-cooking that has been handed down by her grandmother, preserving the authentic flavours. The restaurant’s historic premises and the building’s façade are an evident reminder of the French colonial period, and the interior is finely decorated for a fine dining experience. Despite being pricier than other restaurants, Morning Glory retains the authenticity and quality of regional food.

Morning Glory, 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An, Vietnam+84 510 3241 555

Mango Mango

A view of Hoi An’s river at night is a must while visiting the city. Mango Mango sits just across the riverbank, an area once forgotten but that now is becoming increasingly popular among tourists who want to enjoy shopping for art and crafts and souvenirs at the market or have a nice meal away from the buzzing city centre. On offer are a variety of both Vietnamese traditional recipes and Western dishes. Although the prices are more expensive than other eateries, the location just across the Japanese Bridge makes it the perfect place to enjoy the stunning view of the river, which in the evening lights up with many colours, street vendors and Chinese flying lanterns.

Mango Mango, 45 Nguyen Phuc Chu, Hoi An, Vietnam

Ancient Faifo

For a true combination of local food, music and art, pay a visit to Ancient Faifo. This beautiful restaurant is a unique testament to the city’s trading period and its artistic one. It includes a bar area, a relaxing café space and a restaurant decorated throughout with oil paintings, antique furnishing and ceramics. Previously owned by prominent Vietnamese artists, Ancient Faifo has its own art gallery that showcases local Vietnamese artists’ works on a regular basis. In line with its historical prominence, the menu presents ancient recipes with a touch of modern fusion. Moreover, it has four different set menus to choose from and a good selection of tapas.

Ancient Faifo, 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An, Vietnam+84 510 3917 444

U Café

A fusion of Japanese and Vietnamese flavours, U Café is located on the river, a 20 minute walk from the the Old Town going towards Cua Dai beach. Ideal for a break away from shopping and sightseeing, U Café’ is 100% eco-friendly. Its structure and equipment are designed to reduce a negative impact on the river by recycling water; the same values are applied to the food, drinks and coffee they serve, which are sourced from the local market and from organic farms. Fishponds, plants and lotus flowers throughout the three levels of the Café enhance by the feeling of being in a green oasis.

U Cafe, Huyen Tran Cong Chua, near Tran Quang KhaiThanh Nam, Cam Chau, Hoi An, Vietnam+84 510 3501 118

White Marble Wine Bar & Restaurant

The strongest asset of this cosy venue is its location. Placed at the corner of Le Loi Street, right in the middle of the heritage sights, it is the ideal spot to chill out after a long day walking, enjoy people watching and the beauty of Hoi An’s historical streets. White Marble’s comfy interiors are lit by warm yellow colours, creating a relaxing, low-key and yet tasteful atmosphere. Although the food menu is quite simple, it still presents quality regional specialities and a good selection of tapas. On the other hand, the wine menu is one of the most extensive and sensibly priced in town, including also international wines.

White Marble Wine Bar & Restaurant, 98 Le Loi St Hoi An Old Town, Vietnam

Brother’s Café

Formerly a French-era police station, the building has been transformed into one of the most peaceful and stunning venues in town. Strategically located on the Thu Bon River, Brother’s Café comprises an inside dining area and an elegant open garden overlooking the river, which makes it ideal for a quiet drink while watching the sun goes down. Due to its premium location and its historical value, Brother’s Café is one of the most expensive restaurants in town but the scenery makes it worthy for a special night out. The food portions are generous and the quality is good. Visitors have the option to choose from the à la carte menu, five different set menus and buffet sets. The restaurant, moreover, caters for special, themed events, such as the Lantern Festival, sunset cruises and other ceremonies by arranging special buffet sets and activities around them.

Brother’s Cafe, 27 - 29 - 31 Phan Bội Châu Street, Hội An, Việtnam

By Silvia Buonpadre

Source: The Culture Trip


 

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