Deceptively simple from the outside, the elegant interior – with leather sofas, exposed stone walls, slate floors and plush seating – is a fine setting for the contemporary Vietnamese cuisine. Seafood is particularly strong here; the fresh fish spring rolls are divine. Try the prawns with peanut and tamarind sauce, or tuna steamed in a banana leaf.
Read more about Wild Rice
Au Lac House
On a sultry evening, you'll want to be seated on the terrace of Au Lac House, sipping cocktails and dining on finely prepared Vietnamese dishes. It's housed in a roomy colonial villa and the service is attentive and efficient, but the food is not to be outshined. The kitchen deftly concocts rustic country dishes and more-exotic innovations.
Read more about Au Lac House
Com Chay Nang Tam
This smoke-free Hanoi hotspot is famed for creative vegetarian
dishes, some of which are fashioned to look like meat. Some vegetarians may find
this a contradiction, but it's an ancient Buddhist tradition that is designed to
make meat-eating guests feel at home.
Read more about Com Chay Nang Tam
The chaotic Old Quarter is not known for refined dining
experiences, but Green Tangerine is the shining exception. It occupies a 1928 French
townhouse sheltered behind a loggia and a front courtyard. It provides asylum for
foreign gastronomes, with superb food, elegant presentation, a commendable wine list
and fine service. Reserve for a romantic dinner, or drop by for a leisurely
Read more about Green Tangerine
This cool and casual hang-out has the look and feel of a student coffee house. This being Hanoi, Tamarind attracts anyone dying for an omelette, but the varied vegetarian menu reflects an ambition to meld Asian culinary know-how and Western sensibilities. It's also a friendly spot for a pot of quality tea in the after 12:00.
Read more about Tamarind Café
Vine Wine Boutique Bar & Cafe
Vine is widely considered to be one of Hanoi's finest restaurants. It certainly has the city's most comprehensive wine cellar. Gourmet pizzas are a headliner, but the menu also includes excellent steaks, burgers, clay pots and a smattering of Thai dishes. It may sound over-ambitious, but the kitchen manages to keep all balls in the air. Hybrid East-West décor creates a contemporary atmosphere.
Read more about Vine Wine Boutique Bar & Cafe