Hue Dining

Hue cuisine is one of the most distinctive in Vietnam, much of it with its beginnings in the Imperial kitchens of the Nguyen Dynasty. With the growth of tourism there has been a gradual introduction of other options including specialist Indian, Japanese, French and Italian restaurants.

Backpackers: The Imperial – Hue
Style: Western Pub, Vietnamese
Cost: $$

Backpackers (2)A pheromone dance spilt into the street mixed with a dizzy range of daily bar specials and pub activities. Happy hours, shitty shirt and dress night and beer Olympics set the tone at backpackers. The Pub food was above average though not exactly budget ranging from burgers and sandwiches, through pizza and pasta options to fish and chips alongside a few Asian favourites. If you’re looking for the young scene, the place to come.
Add: 10 Pham Ngu Lao
Phone: +84 (0)234 382 6567
Web: www.vietnambackpackerhostels.com
Email: [email protected]

Bo De
Style: Vietnamese Vegetarian
Cost: $$

Bo De (2) Bo De’s delightful garden setting on Le Loi just back from the river bank is probably Hue’s best physical location amongst dedicated vegetarian restaurants. It features Hue specialities such as Banh Beo, Banh Loc and Banh Nam and unusual combinations for Western palates like Bitter Melon with Mushroom and Mixed Fig with Fried Sesame and Rice Paper. According to my mates the hot pot is a stand out. Best not to be in a hurry, there’s no family restaurant vibe here as the staff occasionally struggle with customer service.
Add: 11 Le Loi
Phone: +84 (0)234 3825 959

 

Confetti
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $$

Confetti (2) The curiously named Confetti boasted a truly international wine selection alongside an exclusively Vietnamese menu as I sat alone (it was early). The room, including a mezzanine level, was a gallery of huge, framed paintings in a variety of styles against a soft pink background above subdued grey/green floor tiles. As I wandered, savouring the art with some interest, lazy muzak belied the frivolity of the restaurant’s name. Moderately priced, Confetti’s standard fare might suit those who are wary of the stronger flavours Vietnamese dishes can throw at you, but for me it falls between two stools. The service was very good, however, and there are many worse options to be sure. It’s also true that other reviewers have only praise for the place. Whatever, ‘Confetti’ is a misnomer, ‘Calm’ or ‘Sedate’ is closer to the mark for this off-the-street backwater.
Add: 1 Chu Van An
Phone: +84 (0)234 382 4148
Email: [email protected]

 

Duy Tan Restaurant
Style: Vietnamese (English menu available)
Cost: $$

Duy Tan (2)An al fresco option conveniently located in the city centre. Look for the many intriguing options that can’t be found elsewhere as spicy, tantalising aromas from sizzling barbecues quickly build your appetite. On the corner of busy Hung Vuong and Nguyen Tri Phuong the world rushes by this comfortable garden oasis that offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine popular with local professionals. I’ve rarely been disappointed here.
Add: 12 Hung Vuong
Phone: +84 (0)234 3936 986
Web: www.duytanhotel.com.vn

 

French Bakery
Style: French
Cost: $

French Bakery (2)Hue’s French Bakery has lots of stuff you miss from home and I’ve been a regular visitor. Substantial bread rolls with ham, salad and cheese, fresh quiche and scrumptious pastries and tarts. Eat in or take away. Spy the world below from the cute upstairs balcony, or settle into the lounge at the back and get away from it all. The staff are wonderfully helpful with skills in both French and English. This venue trains local youth in baking skills forging new career paths for many.
Add: 46 Nguyen Tri Phuong
Phone: +84 (0)234 3837 437
Web: www.laboulangeriefrancaise.org
Email: [email protected]
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Gecko Pub
Style: International, Vietnamese
Cost: $$
Gecko (2)Gecko Pub is a funky, friendly courtyard bar that keeps drawing a mob including some young Vietnamese. The European/Asian menu is serviceable, not exciting, but it’s a good place to make a pit stop, have a snack, take a load off and chill. The music makes Westerners feel right at home, spoken English quality is above the norm, and the youthful staff approach their work with zest and fun. On my visits they have always managed to lift my mood.
Add: 9 Pham Ngu Lao
Phone: +84 (0)234 3933 407
Web: www.facebook.com/geckopub.hue

 

Hang Me and Hang Me Me
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Hang Me (2)Two popular venues for Hue specialties, especially sticky rice based Banh Beo, Banh Nam, Banh Loc, Banh Ram It, Banh Uot and Cha Tom. Everyone who comes to Hue should try these unique dishes at least once before they leave – they epitomise quintessential Hue cuisine and you certainly won’t break the bank. Include Breakout about such specialties boxed here.
Add: 12 – 16 Vo Thi Sau
Tel: 383 7341 (12 Vo Thi Sau); 3848 402 (14, 16 Vo Thi Sau)

 

Jalapeno
Style: Mexican, Vietnamese, International
Cost: $$
Jalapeno (2)Formerly the Why Not Restaurant this venue has re-branded to highlight the Mexican part of its menu – nachos, tostadas, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos and fajitas. My kids love it which tells you it’s not overly spicy. Grab a table out the front to keep in the buzz of Pham Ngu Lao. The only dedicated Mexican restaurant in Hue but, as before the name change, there are many other options including Hue specialities, pizza, pasta and steak, duck, pork, chicken, beef, vegetables and seafood in myriad styles. Spoilt for choice.
Add: 38 Pham Ngu Lao
Phone: +84 (0)234 3846868
Web: www.whynot.com.vn
Email: [email protected]

 

Khong Gian Xua
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $$

Khong Gian Xua, HueA bit of a trek up the hill along Dien Bien Phu, Khong Gian Xua is highly praised by expats and locals alike for its authenticity. On my last visit Vietnamese staples like mi xao rau were brought to life with piquant herbs, fresh vegetables and yellow noodles, masterfully combined in a stir-fry. Steamed, subtly-flavoured eggplant melted in our mouths providing a perfect accompaniment to the tender pork in claypot. The choices were many and varied with seafood of particular renown. Situated somewhat regally in an old Vietnamese house replica, dominated by dark wooden beams and columns, it’s favoured by middle class locals, special celebrations and travellers looking for a walk back in time to the days of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Add: 205 Dien Bien Phu
Phone: +84 (0)234 3886 788
Web: www.khonggianxuahue.com.vn
Email: [email protected]

 

La Carambole
Style: French, Vietnamese
Cost: $$
La Carambole (2)One of Hue’s pathfinding restaurants for Westerners, La Carambole, continues to attract heaps of punters because of its consistent quality and well-considered International menu. The older sibling to the sensationally sedate Les Jardins de la Carambole, there’s a more ‘rough and tumble’ and affordable experience here including some seating sprawling outside befitting its location in the heart of the tourist district. For steak eaters La Carambole is hard to beat. I reckon it’s best to stick to the French selections here.
Address: 19 Pham Ngu Lao
Phone: +84 234 3810 491
Email: [email protected]

 

L’aubergine
Style: French, Vietnamese
Cost: $$
L'aubergine (2)Don’t let the worn, well-thumbed menus and the basic café setting put you off; you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The steak in pepper sauce (cooked authentically rare) alone is enough to make it a ‘must visit’. Vietnamese beef is notoriously troublesome for serious chefs but not at L’aubergine – in Hue only the high-end Le Parfum and Les Jardins de la Carambole can match this. I’m still salivating just thinking about it. A unique feature is the set menus, both Vietnamese and European. The European might be salad followed by squid followed by Steak with finally fruit for dessert. A Vietnamese selection could be soup, rice crepe with shrimp, spring rolls, fried vegetables with pork, fried fish with tomato, steamed rice and finally banana. There’s something for everyone here and for every purse with extensive Vietnamese and European (especially French) options stretching from budget to mid-range.
Add: 54A Chu Van An
Phone: +84 (0)234 362 4294
Email: [email protected]

 

Le Parfum (La Residence Hotel)
Style: French/Vietnamese fusion
Cost: $$$
Le Parfum Restaurant Terrace_0One of the best and most expensive restaurants in Hue is Le Parfum in the beautifully appointed La Residence Hotel. For style and top-level service Le Parfum is outstanding, especially for those who prefer a formal yet friendly experience. It is creative in its varied fusion cuisines and offers a well-thought-out degustation menu. The only issue is the price as it’s easily the most expensive eatery in Hue. In its defence, Le Parfum claims to be the only fine dining experience in Hue, sourcing ingredients from all over the world. For me, Les Jardins de la Carambole is better value-for-money, relegating Le Parfum to special occasions, but others disagree. Certainly, Le Parfum offers a quality experience that can be had nowhere else in Hue.
Add: 5 Le Loi
Tel: +84 (0)234 3837475
Web: www.la-residence-hue.com/le-parfum-restaurant
Email: [email protected]

 

Les Jardins de la Carambole
Style: French, Vietnamese
Cost: $$$
Painting from Les Jardins de la CaramboleRegarded by many (and Go Central Vietnam) as Hue’s premier restaurant for Westerners in both style and cuisine. From Antipasti to Vietnamese Crab Soup, Beef Bourguignon to Chicken (with chili and lemongrass), from Banana Fritters to Crème Brulee. Les Jardins de la Carambole nestles unobtrusively in a handsomely restored French Villa adorned with thought-provoking artefacts and artwork including a range of stunning black and white portraits. Within spitting distance of the Imperial Citadel it is steeped in class. You will not be disappointed.
Add: 32 Dang Tran Son Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 3548 815
FB: Les Jadins de la Carambole
Email: [email protected]

 

Lien Hoa
Style: Vietnamese vegetarian
Cost: $
Lien HoaConsidered by many Hue’s premier vegetarian restaurant, especially if you’re looking for value for money. Run by the adjacent Buddhist Monastery, Lien Hoa is very authentic, and locals flock here, especially on special days of worship in the lunar calendar – full-moon and half-moon days. Generous tofu hot pots, melt-in-the-mouth eggplant, fried mi can (a delicious wheat gluten ‘meat substitute’) and morning glory (local water spinach) typify an impressive selection. Water features, robed monks dining nearby, and interestingly, some of the cheapest beer in town complete the picture.
Add: 3 Le Quy Don
Tel: +84 (0)234 816 884

 

Little Italy
Style: Italian, Vietnamese, International
Cost: $$
Little Italy (2)One of Hue’s best Italian restaurants is a comfortable, modern, versatile venue with inexpensive breakfasts and a kid’s menu alongside extensive pasta and pizza options. There’s almost too much choice as, with an eye to ‘something for everyone’, even Chicken Curry, Filet Moutade, American Beef Steak, GYU Teriaki Chicken and Tacos spring out of nowhere amongst Italian and Vietnamese favourites. Strong customer service.
Add: 10 Nguyen Thai Hoc
Tel: +84 2343 826 928
Web: www.littleitalyhue.com
Email: [email protected]

 

Lotteria
Style: Western fast food
Cost: $-$$
Lotteria (2)Lotteria is Vietnam’s McDonalds. The two Lotteria venues in Hue are attached parasitically to the major supermarkets – Big C and Co-op Mart. This mixture of American-inspired fat-salt-sugar fast food provides a Western hit for homesick travellers through sweet bun burgers, fried chicken and syrupy soft drinks. Unlike McDonalds though, the food isn’t always fast and may not come all at once. Vietnamese often prefer the cheaper rice meals and flock in droves for the super cheap loss-leading ice-creams (3-5,000 VND). Video promotions blast uncomfortably from surround-sound speakers but the efficient air-con, free wi-fi, lunch-time specials and a family-friendly setting keep the patrons coming back for more.
Add: Big C and Co-op Mart

 

Mr Pho – Pho Café
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Mr Pho (2)This unassuming café opposite Hue Railway Station has been given rave reviews by many. The food’s very cheap and serviceable but that’s not it. The owner, Mr Pho, who speaks remarkably good English for Hue, is the attraction. He’s a real character, helpful, interesting and full of great travel ideas. As his wife called me back after I’d forgotten to pay he rushed up, waved at her as if to say, ‘I’ve got it’, and then shoved half the money firmly back in my pocket. Mr Pho loves life and people and he leaves a mark on all he meets. Stories of the lengths he’ll go to assist others are legion.
Add: 35 Bui Thi Xuan
Tel: +84 (0)234 382 2981

 

Omar Khayyam’s Indian Restaurant
See Ganesh

 

Pho Saigon
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Pho Saigon (2)Iconic and beloved by expats, locals and travellers equally, Pho Saigon specialises in pho, as the name implies, including chicken and beef pho (both well-done and rare). The ambience of a basic hose-out diner suits a somewhat frenzied service when crowded – this is fast food, Vietnamese style, and there’s no mucking around. There’s pleasant, albeit basic, outdoor seating in the evenings sometimes capturing relieving zephyrs after hot days. Locals travel across town for the distinctive and mass-produced banh bao and, as well as pho, steak, hotpot, prawns (shrimp) and pork ribs can be had. The young staff occasionally offer less courtesy than Westerners expect and, as they are plentiful on frenzied evenings, it’s ‘luck of the draw’. Overall, a delectable, cheap, genuine Vietnamese experience.
Add: 10 Nguyen Van Cu Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 3848662
Email: [email protected]

 

Quan Han
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Quan Hanh (2)Like Hang Me, another very popular and cheap venue for Hue specialities like Banh Nam, Banh Beo and Banh Loc. A place where westerners and Vietnamese can mix in big numbers creating an upbeat buzz.
Add: 11 Pho Duc Chinh
Tel: +84 (0)234 3833 552

 

Risotto Restaurant
Style: Italian, Vietnamese
Cost: $$

Risotto (2)Sister restaurant to Zucca in menu, setting and ownership. These two restaurants ‘bookend’ the tourist district. See Zucca
Add: 14 Nguyen Cong Tru Street
Tel: +84 (0)932 413 313
Web: www.risottorestauranthue.com/
Email: [email protected]

 

Ta: ke Japanese Restaurant
Style: Japanese, Vietnamese
Cost: $$

Ta Ke (2)A world class authentic Japanese restaurant with a comprehensive menu including sushi, udon noodles, tempura and yakinomo. There’s a Vietnamese selection too and a marvellous array of fruit shakes and juices. Private rooms with ‘pit tables’ are favoured by expats for special occasions (much to my horror as I struggle to clamber in and out of the bloody things). Nervertheless Ta: ke provides wonderful variety alongside the standard Western and Vietnamese choices elsewhere and is comfortably in my top picks in Hue.
Add: 34 Tran Cao Van
Tel: +84 (0) 234 3848 262
Web: www.dongkinhtourhue.com
Email: [email protected]

 

Tropical Garden Restaurant, The
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $$$

Tropical Garden (2)Outdoors the garden setting is a gorgeous oasis just beyond the grime and dirt of Chu Van An. Folk music on intriguing traditional instruments is a regular feature and a magnet for tour groups. Priced at the high end, the food is good but not consistently special. Nevertheless, some dishes surprise – for me the grilled squid and grilled aubergine are standouts – and you can choose between the spacious dining room with folk music and the calming ‘tropical’ garden outside, depending on mood.
Add: 27 Chu Van An
Tel: +84 (0)234 3847 143
Email: [email protected]

 

Why Not Bar
Style: Vietnamese, Western
Cost: $$
Why Not Bar (2)A venue for drinking, dining, pool and football on the big screen. Even your kids can get a pool game here as the spacious outdoor area above the street attracts most. For food, sister venue Jalapeno shares menu and services (see Jalapeno). Some prefer to eat the shared menu here for there’s a bar buzz, more outdoor seating and an elevated position perfect for ogling the passing parade on Pham Ngu Lao. Following a different tack, many who start drinking at Backpackers move on here and, if they’re still lively at closing, finish at Hue’s only expat-friendly club, Brown Eyes – a well-worn trail. Recently dropped beer prices to 15,000 VND to try to match new competitors.
Add: 46 Pham Ngu Lao
Tel: +84 (0)234 3824 793
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.whynot.com.vn

Banana Mango
Style: Vietnamese, Western
Cost: $
Banana Mango. (2)Chokka at lunchtime on my visits, looks like tour groups often drop in. Banana Mango has no frills Vietnamese/Western tucker but it’s cheap and consistently good. Grilled meats with French fries, sandwiches and pasta on one hand and noodles, fried rice and Vietnamese mains of seafood, pork, chicken, vegetables and beef on the other. There is a dedicated breakfast menu and fruit shakes are a specialty. Value for money for the budget conscious, the basic café ambience is enlivened by eye-catching, ‘for-sale’ abstract paintings.
Add: 122 Le Loi
Tel: +84 (0)234 382 0154

 

Café on Thu Wheels
Style: Vietnamese, Western snacks
Cost: $
Cafe on Thu Wheels (2)A highly-rated motor bike tour operation first, a café second, but the fare served by this cute cubby hole-in-the-wall operation is some of the best value in Hue matching other more expensive options. The straight-ahead, cheap approach is designed to attract backpackers and budget travellers who favour motor bike guided tours with very few dishes over 40,000 VND.
Add: 3/34 Nguyen Tri Phuong
Tel: +84 (0)234 383 2241
Email: [email protected]

 

DMZ Bar
Style: Italian, Vietnamese
Cost: $$
DMZGiven its special relationship with Little Italy Restaurant a wide range of Italian cuisine is on offer. Traditional Vietnamese and pub fare are also here but I’ve learnt to stick with the large Italian menu of salads, pastas, pizzas and varied, meat mains. Dessert choices may tempt some and cheap breakfasts are popular. An iconic landmark in the heart of the tourist district.
Add: 60 Le Loi Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 3823 414
Web: www.dmz.com.vn
Email: [email protected]

 

Family Home Restaurant
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Family Home (2)Small, cosy and highly regarded for its homely, family vibe and culinary authenticity. Ms My looked after punters superbly in English and Japanese as French chanson gently undulated in the background when I dropped by. The prawns (shrimp), with finely chopped lemongrass and green capsicum, were recommended and I’ll be forever grateful – magnificent value for the price. The food tumbled in as is the Vietnamese way, but the starter actually came first for a change. There was no problem seeing the chefs in action at Family Home as the toilet was ‘ensuite’ on the far side of the kitchen; just as it might be if you’re visiting a Vietnamese mate’s house. Very clean, yep, but not very private with just a sliding, unsecured concertina toilet door between you and the sizzling action.
Add: 11/34 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 3820 668
Email: [email protected]

 

Ganesh Indian Restaurant
Style: Indian, Vegetarian options
Cost: $$
Ganesh (2)Formerly Omar Khayyam’s, Ganesh effortlessly matches quality Tandoori-style Indian restaurants around the world. Service exceeds expectations and vegetarians find plenty of delectable options on the menu. Expats seek out imported Australian lamb dishes amongst a rich selection of fish, prawn, chicken and vegetable offerings. Ganesh modifies spice levels to suit customer preference but don’t be in a hurry, they don’t rush it, nor should they.
Add: 34 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street
Tel: + 84 (0)234 3821 616
Web: www.ganeshhue.com
Email: [email protected]

 

Golden Rice
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $$
Golden Rice (2)A cut above most Vietnamese restaurants in the tourist district and good value for money according to most reviews. ‘Good staff add to the experience’, we also hear. Although Pham Ngu Lao was quiet elsewhere, plenty were coming and going the last time I was there, so it looks like the punters have been listening. It’s true the staff are great but I’ve been a little disappointed on my last two visits. The prawns (shrimp) weren’t quite fresh and juicy enough and the sautéed vegetables too bland. It’s still a cut above but there’s room to improve if you’re touting yourself as ‘Authentic Vietnamese’. The waiter, as if guessing my thoughts offered a complementary dessert when I asked to pay (though taking notes and photos might have had something to do with it). It was a mango crepe and simply stunning in every way. The crepe means I’ll be back and my advice is: stay away from fusion cuisine attempts at this mid-range level, like my prawns in half shell with garlic and butter sauce. Really, I should have known better.
Add: 40 Pham Ngu Lao
Tel: +84 (0)234 3626 938
Email: [email protected]

 

Hung Vuong Inn
Style: Vietnamese, Western
Cost: $$
Hung Vuong Inn (2)A favourite among many expats with its comfortable blend of Western and Vietnamese options. Clean and modern, this cool, air-conditioned, affordable restaurant provides welcome respite from the scorching midday sun. My favourite is the cheap-as-chips stir-fried noodles with vegetables (mi xao rau) but the thin-crusted pizzas here are thought by some to be the best in town. Beer prices are very competitive.
Add: 20 D Hung Vuong Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 821 068
Email: [email protected]

 

Kangaroo Hue Restaurant
Style: Vietnamese, Western
Cost: $$
Kangaroo Hue (2)An extensive Vietnamese selection including Hue specialities is complemented with plenty of baguette and pizza offerings. East meets West too with its salad range – from Greek or tuna to squid. Seating indoors and out is serviceable, not stylish, but there’s a slightly elevated and nifty view of the world passing by from the front tables. Good for groups, families like mine with diverse needs and competitively priced – local beer only 9,000 VND, mains 60,000 to 80,000 VND – for the tourist district. Formerly known as Missy Roo.
Add: 31 Vo Thi Sau Street
Tel: +84 (0)905 124 245
Web: Kangaroo Hue Restaurant Facebook
Email: [email protected]

 

Kiem District Restaurants
Style: Traditional Hue
Cost: $/$$
Kiem District (2)A dozen or more restaurants and clubs have sprouted like mushrooms under cow pats after rain between Truong Chinh and To Huu a couple of blocks in from Ba Trieu (just a short walk from the Big C hypermart). This is the Kiem District which attracts middle-class youthful groups, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. The district also hosts karaoke at Hue’s iconic Red Apple as well. Menus are only in Vietnamese and real local favourites are available without a thought for Western sensibilities.

My favourite is Quan Go with its funky indoor/outdoor layout. There, rustic wooden surrounds and modern art relieve a standard tiled floor; the local beer, Huda, is only 10,000VND; and frog, eel, rabbit and turtle share equal prominence with squid, prawns (shrimp), fish, chicken, pork and beef. Turtle is also available at 2K and at Tao Vang (Yellow Apple) where oysters, snail, small birds and goat also compete for your attention. Many of the restaurants here also have a heavy seafood bias.
Get adventurous, and as there are no menus in English, take the food translation guide from this section with you. Here you can mix it with the locals and have really great food and drink much cheaper than elsewhere. You can also get closer to the real spirit, and at weeks’ end, zest for life, of the people of Hue.

 

2T
Add: 15 Hoang Van Thu
Tel: +84 (0) 54 393 2980
02
Add: 2 Hoang Van Tu
Tel: +84 (0)934 889 292
Bien Duong
Add: 80 Le Quang Dao
Tel: +84 (0)234 0988 366 123
Cuc Gach
Add: 9 Le Viet Luong
Tel: +84 (0) 935 695 559
Goc Pho
Add: 4 Le Minh
Tel: +84 (0)905 103 738
Hoang Ha
Add: 4 Tran Anh Lien
Tel: +84 (0)234 6567 777
Lang Chuon
Add: 7 Le Quang Dao
Tel: +84 (0)919 490 505
Phu Thien
Add: Le Quang Dao
Tel: +84 (0)234 3935 050
Quan Ga 2B Mieu Doi
Add: 42 To Huu
Tel: +84 (0)234 2468 246
Quan Go
Add: 62 To Huu
Tel: +84 (0)234 3949 706
Rio Beer
Add: 47 Le Viet Luong
Tel: +84 (0)903 542 2567
Samba Beer
Add: 26 Le Quang Dao
Tao Vang
Add: Le Quang Dao
Tel: +84 (0)234 6287 808
Thanh Nhan
Add: 9 Hoang Van Tu
Tel: +84 (0)913 833 097
Truong Sa 2
Add: 76 Le Quang Dao
Tel: +84 (0)234 3968 468
Vu Phuong Vu
Add: 10 Le Quang Dao
Tel: +84 (0)905 566 191
NB: Most of the restaurants listed above have a presence on Facebook.

 

Le’s Garden Bar
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $$
Le's Garden (2)I don’t reckon the kitchen has it quite right here but it’s a nifty garden bar with plenty of elbow room so come for a drink and stick to nibbles while you have a few. Hookah pipes are available for those who fancy communal smoking and there’s plenty of attentive staff who are trying hard but when I asked the bar manager for contact details she told me to look on Facebook. This response somehow typified the experience.
Add: 14 Pham Ngu Lao
Web: www.facebook.com/LesGardenBar.Hue/
Email: [email protected]

 

Liberty Bar and Restaurant
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Liberty Bar and Restaurant (2)Bob Marley bounced at just the right level throwing out a welcome chill-out away from the throng; the even lighting set just right. Several reviewers have noted Liberty Bar’s cool music selections and they’re right. It’s a bar with solid, cheap Vietnamese food rather than the other way round and good value for the budget conscious – 40,000 – 60,000 VND is all you need to coat your stomach and there’s plenty for vegetarians. The walls are covered with personal messages and wise epigrams like ‘if you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space’. For those on a budget and drinkers and pool players who are sensible enough to eat.
Add: 19/34 Nguyen Tri Phuong
Tel: +84 (0)935 330 450
Email: [email protected]

 

Little Owl Pub & Restaurant
Style: Vietnamese, European
Cost: $$
Little Owl (2)Launched just mid-2014 Little Owl has landed on its feet, often pulling a mob when neighbours are struggling. Lots of western pub food like burgers and pizza on one hand, Hue specialties on the other. My thick burger was good value, cooked medium retaining flavour and moisture for a change. From the street it’s intriguing: wood everywhere, split levels perfect for people watching, contemporary pop rather than old classics, open plan half in/half out and sport TV no sound. Food is budget priced but the extensive drink menu is mid-priced. One bizarre promotion offers a bottle of Jameson’s, three cans of ginger ale and a fruit plate for 750,000 VND.
Add: 35 Vo Thi Sau
Tel: +84 (0) 91 400 6847
Email: [email protected]

 

Mandarin Café
Style: Vietnamese, Western
Cost: $
Mandarin Cafe (2)A favourite with tour groups, the Mandarin Café can seat a host at its long central table. Owned by amiable photographer, Mr Cu, Vietnamese life sparkles throughout, gallery-style. Make sure you take a look upstairs before you go to see the complete collection. The menu includes a wide range of Western favourites alongside Hue specialities. Mandarin Café also offers tour and travel services throughout Vietnam.
Add: 24 Tran Cao Van Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 821 281
Web: www.mrcumandarin.com
Email: [email protected]

 

Nina’s Café
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Nina's Cafe (2)For some expats award-winning Nina’s Café has become a ‘home away from home’. Hiding at the end of twisting alleys (kiets) it’s a genuine Vietnamese family operation. All dishes are prepared by Mum and Dad while daughter, Nina, leads a warm, front-of-house welcome. The large menu draws from traditional recipes the family has cooked for decades. Their eggplant dish is especially treasured by expats. The real taste of Hue.
Add: 16/34 Ngyuen Tri Phuong Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 3836 636
Web: www.facebook.com/ninacafe.hue/
Email: [email protected]

 

Park View Restaurant – Tinh Quan
Style: Vietnamese Vegetarian
Cost: $
Park View (2)Don’t be put off by the often empty, sprawling room and its country town, school-hall feel. Its feast or famine at the Park View’s ‘Tinh Quan’ vegetarian restaurant which, capable of seating hundreds, fills to overflowing on special worship days in the lunar calendar but often appears sparsely attended in between times.
Its basic tables, stark fluorescent lighting and smart, black-vested waiters. But the food is consistently good and some of the best value in Hue. After many visits I’ve learned some dishes like ‘braised mushrooms in red pepper’ (aka red chili) will put hairs on your chest. But amongst the full range of Hue specialties, soups, noodles and delicious main options featuring eggplant, mi can, tofu, fig and various salads there’s something for everyone.
Add: 9 Ngo Quyen
Tel: +84 (0)234 3837 382
Email: [email protected]

 

Phuong Nam Café
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Phuong Nam (2)Budget conscious travellers and expats love this place. The food is consistently good and cheap – crepes, eggs, burgers, BLT’s and fruit shakes alongside a wide Vietnamese selection. French friends love the crepes, Vietnamese friends love the traditional fare and everyone loves the fruit shakes; but it’s the genuine welcome of the owner, Ms Ly, and her family that sets it apart and keeps punters coming back for more.
Add: 38 Tran Cao Van
Tel: +84 (0)234 317 3849

 

Seoul
Style: Korean
Cost: $$
Seoul (2)Favoured mostly by Korean and Japanese tour groups who can fill it to overflowing, Seoul has a mixed reputation amongst Western expats. But, if you favour Korean food, it’s your only option in Hue.
Add: 73 Ben Nghe
Tel: +84 (0)234 3931 789

 

Shiva Shakti
Style: Indian, Vegetarian options
Cost: $$
Shiva Shakti (2)Sister restaurant to Ganesh; same menu and owners. Positioned in the tourist district there’s more buzz here than at Ganesh and comfortable seating by the street is perfect for people watching. See Ganesh entry

Add: 27 Vo Thi Sau
Tel: +84 (0)234 393 5627
Web: www.ganeshhue.com
Email: [email protected]

 

Thien Tam
Style: Vietnamese Vegetarian
Cost: $$
Not just Hoi An Now’s pick as the best vegetarian restaurant in Hue but its pick as one of the best restaurants of any type in Hue, full stop. Mouth-watering, delicately blended combinations in a thought-provoking, airy and arty setting are created with a light touch. Many dishes you may never have seen before are offered and your only regret will be you can’t try them all. About 15 minutes out of town by taxi it’s well worth the extra effort; indeed a great idea is to lunch here after visiting Tu Duc’s tomb. Thien Tam is decked out with quality paintings, sponsors art in the community including talented orphans and acts as one of Hue’s major centres for Buddhist activity and learning. It has been criticised for having two menus (one for tourists, one for Vietnamese). You can insist on the lower prices if want to.
Add: 110A Le Ngo Cat
Tel: +84 (0)234 3898 220
Web: Thien Tam Restaurant Facebook
Email: [email protected]

 

Why Not Restaurant
See Jalapeno

 

Y Thao Garden Restaurant
Style: Vietnamese
Cost: $$$
Y Thao (2)On the north side of the Perfume River within the Citadel’s outer wall is the peaceful garden dining world of Y Thao. A favourite with tour groups who often arrive by cyclo, 8-course set menus dominate with reasonably priced vegetarian options from 200,000 VND and others ranging from 260,000 to 400,000 VND. The presentation draws from Hue’s Imperial heritage and it’s a gentle, restful scene that matches some of the city’s famous Kim Long Garden Houses in grandeur.
Add: 3 Thach Han
Tel: +84 (0)234 3523 018
Email: [email protected]

 

Zucca Restaurant
Style: Italian, Vietnamese, Vegetarian Options
Cost: $$
Zucca (2)Perched on the fringe of the dedicated tourist district on Doi Cung, Zucca and sister restaurant Risotto solidly challenge Little Italy as Hue’s premier Italian option. Preferred by many expats it’s tiny but the service is warm and courteous and complementary bruschetta gets you off to a great start. There’s a strong Vietnamese selection, especially seafood, while the Italian choices are dominated by salads, pastas and pizza. The appetizers are tantalising – home-made ravioli with fresh pumpkin ricotta cheese with cream is an intriguing offering – and throughout vegetarians are well catered for. The basic, small setting has been cleverly enhanced with mirrors and a wine display.
Add: 3 Doi Cung Street
Tel: +84 (0)234 8510 191
Email: [email protected]

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