Not only is Hoi An one of the best places in Vietnam to go sightseeing and shopping. It’s also one of the best places to explore the marvels of Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, if you really admire the subtle tastes and textures of Vietnamese food, then Hoi An is one of the best places in the country to learn how to cook it yourself.
Hoi An is also a great place for snacking from street stalls. Look out for cao lao, a delicious noodle soup with pork, mint and beansprouts. Other treats are banh xeo – savoury pancakes in rice paper with herbs, and banh bao, scrumptious parcels of crab or shrimp served with crunchy fried onions.
Recommended Hoi An Restaurants
Hai Scout Café: An ideal place for a pit stop while working your way round the Old Town sights, locted in a grand old building with high ceilings and spacious courtyard out back. They serve good Western breakfasts and sandwiches as well as tasty Vietnamese fare. This is the place to sign up for cooking classes with Red Bridge Cooking School if you’re interested.
Miss Ly: One of Hoi An’s most atmospheric restaurants (and that’s saying something) – just a few tables and a mouth-watering menu including lots of vegetarian dishes. US$3 set menus are great value.
Mango Rooms: Setting a new standard in eating experiences, this innovative place serves classic Vietnamese dishes with a surprising twist, such as prawns in passion fruit and chocolate sauce. There is also a comprehensive wine list.
Apart from the restaurants listed, it’s worth wandering into any local eatery that draws a crowd – it likely serves one of the specialities mentioned above. The local market is also another happy hunting ground for unusual eats.
Bars in Hoi An & Nightlife
Due to the steady tourist trade, there are several bars offering a convivial atmosphere to enjoy a drink after dinner, though there’s nothing so raunchy as a disco in town, as yet anyway.
Tam Tam Café: Though there’s typical bar food available here (sandwiches, steaks, etc), most people come for the happy-hour beers or cocktails, the pool table and chill-out lounge.
Treat’s Café: Hugely popular hang-out for budget travellers, with lively music and a long happy hour every evening.