These inviting eateries offer dishes that taste just like a traditional northern Vietnamese family meal.
Xoi Com offers a rotating menu of various homestyle northern dishes. Photo by VnExpress/ Phuong Anh
Here diners are given a pair of extra long wooden chopsticks, like the ones used in the subsidy period, with which to xoi com (scoop their rice). The room is furnished with wooden tables and chairs in a simple, country style.
Diners can order classic family dishes like braised pork, braised fish, and malabar spinach soup with crab. The menu is altered daily and is never boring. The shop’s location in an alley makes it a little challenging to find. If you’re traveling by car, you’ll need to pay to park outside the Vinaconex building.
Address: 107 Alley, 36 Lang Ha Street
Price: VND15,000–150,000 (64 cents–$6.40) per dish.
A typical meal with fried, braised, stir-fried dishes and soup at Tam Vi. Photo courtesy of Tam Vi
All of the dishes at Tam Vi, according to the restaurant, are made with fresh ingredients from morning markets. Tam Vi has a rustic appearance, and the bowls, chopsticks, tables, and chairs have all been chosen with care. The atmosphere of the restaurant may remind diners of an old northern home.
Tam Vi’s menu is all based on seasonal ingredients and thus is sometimes quite small. “We would like to introduce you to our memories of a family meal,” says the restaurant’s menu.
Address: 4B Yen The Street
Price: VND55,000 – 400,000 ($2.35 – 17.06) per dish
Au O Vietnam kitchen
The spacious dining area of Au O. Photo courtesy by Au O.
The name of the restaurant comes from two words “au o” like a Vietnamese mother’s lullaby, recalling old memories.
With plenty of room and natural light, Au O Vietnam Kitchen is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends or gather as a family. They serve more than 200 dishes from all three regions of Vietnam here. Compared to the previous two restaurants, this one has a slightly higher price. It’s often busy, so the fresh food that’s made to order can take a while to arrive.
Address: 15 Ly Thuong Kiet Street
Price: from VND15,000 to more than 1,000,000 (64 cents to $42.64) per dish
Cua Hang Mau Dich So 37 – State Department Store Number 37
Cua Hang Mau Dich restaurant is decorated in the style of the subsidy period. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Trung.
This restaurant’s design is inspired by the subsidy period. Here, diners can relive the old Hanoi years. If it feels realistic, that’s because it is: the owner decorated the establishment with real antiques from his collection, many of which are 50 years old or more. Not just the space, but the menu of Cua Hang Mau Dich So 37 is also strongly influenced by the old days. Items such as scorched rice, mixed rice, steamed rice cake, and pickles, are all served on enameled iron bowls and plates. The space, though, is somewhat constrained and is best suited for little groups.
Address: 158 Tran Vu Street/22 Nam Trang Street
Price: VND40,000 – 150,000 (USD 1.71 – 6.40) per dish
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