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The casual streetside food stalls found throughout Hanoi are good places for sampling a variety of tasty Vietnamese specialties, but when you’re in the mood for a more formal dining experience, our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest heading to any one of our picks for the best places to eat in Hanoi:
1. La Badiane. Expect a memorable fusion of Eastern and Western flavors at romantic La Badiane, which in four short years has quickly established itself as one of the top restaurants in Hanoi’s growing international dining scene. Grilled red tuna rubbed in Thai spices, crab risotto with Vietnamese asparagus and beef carpaccio in wasabi and sesame are just a few of the succulent offerings.
2. Quan An Ngon. Head to popular Quan An Ngon if you’ve come to Hanoi with an adventurous palate. First walk around a buzzing courtyard, which is lined with a small army of chefs preparing all sorts of Vietnamese delicacies, then grab a table and order whatever looks good from the restaurant’s huge menu. Bring your appetite.
3. Restaurant Bobby Chinn. You won’t only be dining at one of the trendiest spots in town during a visit to this award-winning restaurant — you’ll also be at the chef’s actual home. Furnished with art from Chinn’s private collection and whimsically decorated with silk-lined walls and white roses hung from the ceiling, Restaurant Bobby Chinn features one of the best wine lists in Hanoi and a constantly changing seasonal menu.
4. Tamarind Cafe. The menu may be strictly meat-free, but vegetarians and carnivores alike rave about the delicious cuisine, friendly service and fresh fruit drinks at this funky Old Quarter eatery. The menu is surprisingly ambitious, with dishes laden with everything from Indian to Italian flavors. Don’t leave without trying a plate of Tamarind’s delicate rice paper rolls.
5. Pho Gia Truyen. While Pho Gia Truyen’s service may be hit or miss and the ambience isn’t particularly memorable, this is the place to go for what’s arguably the best bowl of authentic pho in Hanoi. Take your spot in the long line, place your order at the front counter, then squeeze into one of the outdoor tables to slurp down every last drop of the rich, heavenly beef broth.