Voted one of the top 100 beaches in the world by CNN it’s remarkable how uncrowded and undeveloped An Bang Beach has remained. Both the north and south sides are lined with bar/restaurants with some especially geared for English speaking and European expats and tourists. Early morning and late afternoon are the times the Vietnamese favor the beach but other than these peak times there is usually little trouble claiming a spot under a thatched umbrella and settling in for as long as you want if you buy a bottle of water. There is a greater variety of cuisine and setting at An Bang than at Cua Dai, reflecting the sizable expat community residing there.
Cay Me $$
A colorful family-run joint, Cay Me Restaurant specializes in freshly caught seafood and gourmet juices blended from locally sourced fruit. Partitioned from the busy street by a drape of greenery, Cay Me feels intimate and personal, as if the family has invited you into their backyard for a meal. Cay Me also offers an extensive vegetarian menu, pizzas, English breakfast and free home delivery to An Bang and Hoi An. Enjoy a grilled seafood lunch and smoothie for 200k dong.
Driftwood Café $$
At Driftwood Café the food is sensational and the authentic woodfire oven produces world-class, thin-crusted pizza – crispy on the edges and softer in the middle. The perfect stop-over after a day at the beach, enjoy Driftwood’s pizza in a relaxed environment with an icy cold beer and courteous Vietnamese waitstaff. Visitors and residents of An Bang Beach are the lucky recipients of this keenly-priced eatery cum beer garden that’s the brainchild of Simon Connon and his wife, Huong.
Felina Cantina $-$$
Keenly-priced Felina Cantina is the best Mexican in town. Unabashedly lazy in all of the best ways, Felina Cantina is not just a place to enjoy insanely cheap tacos (30k dong/taco), but also a place to hang out and relax. Californian artist, surfer, chef and all-around good guy, Chris Charney, has created a wonderful space at An Bang Beach that is enjoyed by expats and visitors alike. Tempt yourself with Felina Cantina’s creative Tex-Mex cuisine like chicken pineapple or barbecue tofu tacos. Regularly, on Thursday evenings, Felina Cantina hosts a salsa dance class that is open to all comers for a very modest fee.
Greek Souvlaki $
Permanently parked outside of the Blu Mini Mart, Greek Souvlaki is a very cheap, no-frills operation and more of a roadside stall for take-aways than a café or eatery. Providing the only dedicated Greek cuisine in Hoi An, the food is very reasonable for the price (one souvlaki will set you back 50,000 VND). This delicious mix of Hellenic meats, chips, and savory tzatziki is all papoosed inside a lightly toasted pita. For a great price, Greek Souvlaki is your go-to for a fast and filling meal at An Bang Beach.
Hippie House $-$$
As colorful and free-spirited as its owners Steffi and Michael, the Hippie House is the place to stay in An Bang if you’re looking for a taste of the local culture. Described as ‘social accommodation’ the owners strive to connect with each one of their guests on a personal level. The Hippie House has four bedrooms with fans (starting at 380k/night), and four air conditioned bungalows (from 900k/night).
H’Mong Sisters Restaurant $$-$$$
With a strong French, Iberian, and Moroccan influence, H’Mong Sisters Restaurant serves quality food in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Owned and managed by Benjamin Boudard and his wife Thuong, H’mong Sisters pays homage to the H’mong people of northern Vietnam, employing many of their traditional colors and patterns in the restaurant decor. A true meeting of cultures, H’mong Sisters is not to be missed. Be sure to stop by on Wednesday evening for a family barbecue on the beach and live music hosted by local group ‘Pop-up’.
Hungover Beach Bar $$
The Hungover Beach Bar, cheekily named after its founder Ms. Hung, is the place to hit after the party. Open till late this bar is known for its lively parties that begin around midnight. Popular with backpackers, the Hungover Beach Bar offers strong cocktails, a pool table, bar snacks (available all night), and live music on Saturday nights. Cocktails start a 60k, Larue for 25k, and Tiger for 35k. Ask the bartender for a deal if you buy ten or more drinks at a time. Note that the Hungover Beach Bar is open till late during the high seasons but limits their opening hours in the low and rainy seasons. PLEASE CHECK THEIR FACEBOOK FIRST.
K’Tu Market and Café $$
K’Tu Market is a one-stop-shop for all your kitchen essentials in An Bang. From spices to pickled goods to meats and gourmet sausages, K’Tu has everything you will need to stock a proper kitchen. Also a café, K’Tu’s terrace is a great spot to enjoy a ca phe and light snack under the shady palms. K’Tu has made a name for itself as a purveyor of some of the best barbecue in An Bang. Check their Facebook page for announcements about the next semi-monthly barbecue and spit roasting.
La Plage $$
Described by some as ‘the Cheers of Hoi An’, La Plage is more of a bar than a restaurant. Located at the southern end of the beachside lane, La Plage offers patrons a pub-like atmosphere by the beach that doubles as a restaurant serving Vietnamese and French dishes. In the evenings, La Plage cranks up a great play list and the pub vibe begins. Sometimes a mob gathers, sometimes it’s quiet — but chances are you will enjoy yourself either way.
Luna d’autunno $$
French-owned Luna d’autunno opened a new branch in Hoi An after the major success of their Hanoi restaurant of the same name. Serving Italian dishes from all regions of Italy, Luna offers some of the best wood-fired pizzas on An Bang Beach. Open and airy, there is room for the entire family at Luna. Enjoy their dishes at their location on An Bang Beach, have your meal delivered to your table at Soul Kitchen (also on An Bang Beach), or have it delivered to your front door anywhere in town.
Lien Ca $$
If you’re looking for a relaxed place to hang out and sunbathe, look no further than Lien Ca. This family run Vietnamese restaurant specializes in freshly caught seafood, beach side barbecue, and mixes a mean mojito. Stop by for lunch and spend the afternoon on their comfortable sun beds and strike up a conversation with the very amiable owner, Mr. Ca.
Party the night away with classic beachside cocktails and thumping house music at Marimba, a fun open air bar with a laid-back, international feel. Popular with the expat crowd, Marimba is a tame alternative to the larger beach bar options in An Bang. Open Thursday evenings through Sunday evenings, this little bar gets lively around 10-11pm. Larue is available for 25k, Tiger for 35k, and be sure to be on the lookout for free shot coupons in pamphlets around town.
P & B Vegetarian Restaurant $-$$
P & B Vegetarian Restaurant is the comfort food end of vegetarian cuisine. Think deep-fried okra, spaghetti with a cream and mushroom sauce, cheese garnishes and lightly seasoned, fried potato medallions. Each day of the week has a different menu to allow owner Linh to create every dish from scratch. P & B Vegetarian Restaurant is delicious to boot and has one of the best-value-for-money deals with a full four-course meal starting at 70,000 dong.
Seaweed Restaurant $-$$
The family run Seaweed Restaurant — a newcomer to the An Bang scene — specializes in grilled seafood and traditional Vietnamese dishes. With fair prices and generous portions, Seaweed Restaurant is quickly becoming a favorite among tourists and expats alike. The terrace is open and inviting, decorated with periwinkle blues and twinkling fairy lights. Pictures of the owner’s family remind you that you are a guest in his home and will be treated as such.
Shangri-La and Bang Burger $
Evoking images of utopian bliss might be a bit of a stretch but where else at An Bang can you get scrumptious cookies and ice cream on a sweltering summer day? Originally just a burger joint, the addition of cookies and ice cream alongside a range of shakes, sugarcane cocktails and mojitos throws up a very compact, eclectic menu. The basic outdoor setting in front of a hole-in-the-wall kitchen may be a far cry from the Shangri-La of Lost Horizon but the rapt attention and smiles on the kids’ faces on our visit suggested that Shangri-La may have been nigh after all.
Soul Kitchen $$
Soul Kitchen has everything you could want from a beach bar: comfortable and clean sun beds, a grassy terrace under the shady palms, live music in the evenings and a welcoming atmosphere for the entire family. Order off of the menu or have a pizza from Luna d’autunno delivered to your table. On the first Sunday of each month Soul Kitchen hosts an open mic night that brings in a range of talents. Other live music events are posted on their Facebook page as well as on the Hoi An Now events calendar.
Under The Coconut Tree Homestay and Café $
Tucked in a colorful back alley, Under The Coconut Tree Café offers generous Vietnamese and Western portions. With most dishes between 50 and 80 VND, a filling meal can be easily had for under 100 VND (including a drink). Decorated in fun beach bungalow kitsch, the atmosphere is very laid back with backpack-laden hotel guests coming and going. Under the Coconut Tree is not to be missed if you’re looking for a cheap eat and friendly service in An Bang.
By Louis Boehling and Stuart Neal