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The best restaurants in Vietnam for the luxury traveller

Vietnamese cuisine is distinct, mouth-watering and bursting with flavour. A divine concoction of sweet, salty, sour and hot flavours, not overly spicy, with rice, noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs all playing a big role; there’s no wonder that over the years it has become more and more popular around the world. With a staggering 500 traditional dishes to indulge your taste buds, Vietnam is the perfect destination for foodies. Crumbling old quarters have been transformed into fine dining eateries, headed up by globally respected chefs, and the street food scene is flourishing as ever. But with thousands of restaurants up and down the country, it’s almost impossible to decide which restaurants to go to for the best in providing quality Vietnamese food, a great atmosphere and a luxurious flare. Here we have rounded up the best, and our favourite, restaurants in Vietnam by region… HANOI Hanoi Wild Rice One of Vietnam’s finest establishments offering a range of traditional cuisine, rich in flavour and colours.  However, it has been very tastefully designed, and the architecture is almost as interesting as the food. With comfort and relaxation in mind, the designers have done a wonderful job using colours and shapes to create an environment into which one can immediately feel settled. The Green Tangerine This restaurant offers a menu of innovative and delicious French and Asian fare in a fantastic location. Set back from the busy streets in a lovingly restored 1928 colonial home in the Old Quarter, Green Tangerine is the best for its lunch menu. Seasons of Hanoi A classic Vietnamese restaurant with an intimate and romantic ambience.  Serving the finest in Vietnamese cuisine, the candlelit interior of this beautifully restored colonial villa is tastefully decorated throughout in warm earth-tone colours and authentic locally produced furnishings. Ho Chi Minh Temple Club Follow the trail of lanterns up the dimly lit stairs to this elegant restaurant. This is one of the top spots in the city, and white tablecloths, whirling fans and antique silverware to accompany chopsticks create a colonial atmosphere. But the menu is distinctly Vietnamese; favourites include grilled beef on lemongrass skewers and fish wrapped in banana leaf. Quan An Ngon Restaurant An open-air restaurant where Ho Chi Minh City’s finest street chefs create their masterful specialities. Locals and in-the-know foreigners jostle at night time, waiting for their favourite Vietnamese classics like bun cha (vermicelli with minced pork balls and fresh herbs) and green papaya salad with shrimp. Fortunately, there are a lot of tables, so the line moves quickly. Xu Restaurant Lounge Xu Restaurant Lounge serves both traditional and modern Vietnamese food, using new techniques often simplifying complex dishes to emphasise a particular ingredient. Recommended dishes to try are banh bot lọc, rice cracker banh he beef, and Vietnamese cang cua salad followed by a chocolate kumquat truffle. HOI AN Hoi An Mango Rooms An unusual and hip little restaurant that was started up by Texan-Vietnamese chef Duc, who has successfully fused the flavours of Vietnam, America and hints of Japan to create some delicious and unique dishes. The open kitchen allows you to see the chef at work with all his flair, creating a great dining experience. Morning Glory The Cargo Club restaurant at Morning Glory not only provides clean, fresh and delicious food, but they also share the charming stories behind traditional Vietnamese cuisine and culture. Cooking with love and passion, many dishes that you just won’t find on other menus are all available here and are perfection on a plate! They also offer great cooking classes which involve a visit to the market with the chef.  Book a table on the terrace and enjoy watching the sun go down with a cocktail or two! Full Moon Town Located on the banks of the Co Co River along a street leading to a beautiful sandy beach, Full Moon brings together traditional and modern architectural styles in a romantic setting. Serving typical Vietnamese dishes, this is a great place to explore local flavours and soak up Hoi An’s renowned atmosphere.  vietnamese food Hué Ancient Hué This is the best local restaurant in Hué. A collection of original Royal ancient houses, with decor that evokes an authentic ambiance of a Royal Palace. Delicate sweet and spicy flavours, and an abundance of fresh produce and seafood, this opulent restaurant showcases the best authentic dishes from the region, as well as a wide range of innovative fusion cuisine. Le Parfum at La Residence Hotel Le Parfum chefs use the freshest market ingredients to create delicious local, regional and international dishes. The airy high-ceiled dining area enjoys views across the Perfume River to the Imperial Citadel, and the well-clipped garden of La Residence make for a fantastic ambience. Whichever area of Vietnam you decide to visit, you’ll certainly enjoy trying all the local delicacies. If you’d like help planning your visit to Vietnam, please leave a comment below. James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel. Ampersand Travel create bespoke and luxurious travel experiences to Asia, the British Isles and Southern Africa. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

James Jayasundera

James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel in London. Ampersand Travel is an award-winning tour operator specialising in tailor-made holidays to Asia and Africa. James was raised in Rome by a Sri Lankan diplomat father and British mother, and from an early age he was travelling throughout the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Although he loves comfort, he is not blinded by five-star luxuries – the Ampersand motto is “luxury is in the experience” and it is that indefinable quality that makes something special which James is always on the look-out for. James founded Ampersand Travel in 2003, and since then the company has developed an excellent reputation for in-depth knowledge of its destinations, candid and impartial opinions on hotels and locations and a formidable network of contacts within the industry and its destinations.

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  1. Thanks for the round-up. I’m heading to Hanoi next month so will look to try some of these. It will be my first time in Vietnam… are there any particular classic Vietnamese dishes that you would suggest I try?

    1. Hi Dave – great that you are visiting next month! You must try Pho, a country classic, and goi cuon (spring rolls). Keep an eye out for Nuoc cham – not a dish, but it accompanies just about every dish!

  2. Pho is must try, but do not miss the Bun Cha Obama, which is only local street food choosen by President of the United States when he visited Vietnam!

  3. Thanks to this great article, I now have a list of restaurants I’ll have to choose from when traveling to Vietnam. As a food enthusiast, I’d love to try out the Hanoian Pho. Heard that it’s delicious.

  4. I can attest to Ho Chi Minh having some great restaurants that you might have to seek out with a little research and some exploring. Also, Hoi An is probably one of the best places to go for food — other than Hanoi! Hanoi definitely has the best pho, too. I’ve spent a lot of time in Da Nang and I guess they’ve got decent seafood here and other typical Vietnamese food. Although I think the young people in Da Nang are starting to open up new places for the next generation, and that’s cool to see too.

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