Hoi An is home to some fantastic regional dishes that you’ll only find there, and offers visitors a wide range of restaurants to choose from. From cheap and local to mid-range and charming, Hoi An really does have it all. Now that you know all about the foods to eat in Hoi An (check out my last post on The 7 Types Of Local Food You Must Try In Hoi An), you’re probably wondering where you can find them. Look no further than this all-encompassing list of the top 5 restaurants in Hoi An that you just have to try.
1. Banh Mi Phuong
This recommendation comes straight from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series “No Reservations”, subsequently making this little banh mi shop a local sensation. Before trying Banh Mi Phuong, I tried a few other banh mi’s in Vietnam that I thought were fairly decent. Needless to say, having a banh mi from Banh Mi Phuong skyrocketed my standards of what they should taste like.
Expect a queue when you arrive (depending on how long the line is, it might be worth your while to just order the banh mi’s for takeaway from the side counter). There is a small dining area if you want to stick around and don’t mind the crowded mess. My favourite banh mi was the traditional banh mi #9: pork, ham, and pate for only 20,000 VND ($1 USD). They also put in generous amounts of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and cilantro, and a spoonful of their secret sauce. Over the course of my 5 days in Hoi An, I ate at Banh Mi Phuong three times (obsessed? slightly), but could have easily eaten here every day, it was that good.
Address: 2B Phan Chau Trinh
2. Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen
Just when I thought I had tried the best banh mi at Banh Mi Phuong, along came The Banh Mi Queen. Located on an unassuming street just outside of Hoi An’s Ancient Town, you’ll find Nguyễn Thị Lộc, also known as The Banh Mi Queen. This family-run shop (a little stall with a few dining tables in the back) is like a well-oiled machine, with her at the steering wheel – you can expect to see the Queen herself when you’re there.
The only thing on the menu (or, I should say, lack of menu) at The Banh Mi Queen: her signature banh mi that comes with a variety of meat, cucumber, pickled carrot, her secret sauce, and a good helping of scrambled eggs on top. While I can’t determine a clear winner, I will say that I didn’t have a banh mi that came close to tasting as good as either of the ones from The Banh Mi Queen or Banh Mi Phuong for the rest of my time in Vietnam.
Address: 115 Trần Cao Vân
3. Quan An Binh Dan Cuong
This local restaurant, located at the start of the night market, is a great place to grab a bite to eat, enjoy a beer, and do a bit of people-watching. This restaurant is usually full of tourists and offers just about every regional Hoi An dish, as well as Vietnamese staples, on the menu. The food is very reasonably priced at about 20,000 VND – 30,000 VND ($1 USD – $1.50 USD) per dish, and a big bottle of Larue is only 10,000 VND ($0.50 USD). The service is efficient, relatively friendly, and they speak enough English to answer basic questions about the menu. The quality of the food and the price were so good that I actually went here twice for dinner during my stay in Hoi An.
Address: 1 Nguyen Hoang
4. Hoi An Market
If you’re looking for a truly local experience, albeit a bit chaotic (that’s part of the fun, right?!), head to the Hoi An Market for lunch where you’ll find dozens of little food stalls cramped together. Though the setting might not be the most sought after, you can’t really complain when the food is authentic and the price is cheap. Have a walk through the market and see if any stall in particular catches your fancy (it’s best to choose a stall that’s busy, as opposed to one that is completely empty). You can find pho, com ga, cao lau, mi quang, pho, and a number of other Vietnamese and Hoi An-specific favourites.
Address: Tran Quy Cap
5. Morning Glory
Arguably one of the most popular restaurants in Hoi An (at least for tourists) is Morning Glory. This is Ms. Vy’s fifth restaurant in Hoi An and has quickly risen to success in the 10 years it has been opened. Since most of the shops in Hoi An Ancient Town look similar (yellow exterior with the same wooden name-plate), you’ll likely walk past it during the day without much more than a quick glance. However, when the sun goes down, Morning Glory comes to life; buzzing with tourists throughout its two floors (with a large open kitchen on the main floor) and spilling out into the streets.
While this restaurant is definitely more expensive than any of the above-mentioned, it’s still cheap in comparison to what you’re likely use to back home, and considering the quality of food and service, it’s well worth it. Dishes range from 65,000 VND ($3 USD) to 195,000 VND ($9 USD). If you don’t want to queue, it’s best to make reservations a day or two ahead of time, as it’s completely packed during dinner hours.
Address: 106 Nguyen Thái Hoc