If you think the variety of food available around Vietnam is impressive, just wait till you get to Da Lat. Here you’ll find all the favourites – steaming noodle soups, spring rolls, stir fries and steamboat – but with a wider range of ingredients due to the abundance of vegetables produced in the fertile surounds. So prepare to indulge your senses.
Apart from the restaurants listed below, it’s worth checking out food stalls around the central market, where you’ll find all kinds of unusual dishes. The market is also a good place to pick up a baguette and fresh fillings if you’re planning a day out and want a packed lunch. Keep your eyes open for the strawberry wine for which the region is famed, and which sells for next to nothing.
Recommdended Da Lat Restaurants
Café Tung: Stepping though the doorway here is like stepping back 50 years, to the sound of French singers, the scent of strong coffee and the sight of artists wearing berets.
Long Hoa: Located right near the city centre, this place has the feel of a French café with its red checkered tablecloths, but the food is unmistakably Vietnamese and very tasty too. Try a couple of local delicacies too, such as the strawberry wine and home-made yoghurt.
Da Quy: This small and intimate restaurant seems to get everything right; local and Western food cooked to perfection, attentive service and competitive prices. Try the fish in claypot.
Le Rabelais: It’s difficult to say what is more impressive here – the setting or the food, as both are magnificent. It’s on the ground floor of the Sofitel Dalat Palace in a beautifully designed room, and dishes like lobster with vanilla perfume and turnip cooked in soya promise new taste discoveries.
Peace Café: On the ground floor of the Peace Hotel, this place turns out average food and drinks, but is a good place to go to meet other travellers or the local motorbike guides who call themselves the Easy Riders.
Thuy Ta: With a lovely location on a tiny island on Xuan Hoang Lake, this is a great spot to go for breakfast or an evening cocktail, when there are sometimes jazz musicians playing.
Recommended Da Lat Bars and Nightlife
As a smallish city, Da Lat doesn’t have a seething nightlife like Saigon or Nha Trang. However, there are a few discos that cater to city folks looking for some action, and some wonderfully atmospheric cafes that are well worth looking out for their unique ambience.