Urbanist Hanoi

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Board Game Café Minipolo Bonds Friends Over Snakes and Lattes

Hanoi is no stranger to the board game café niche, but something about Minipolo has groups of friends flocking here day and night to fill the atmosphere with chatter, laughter and the occasional, inevitable bickering.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: A Mom-and-Pop Ramen Experience in Hanoi's 'Japantown'

Anyone familiar with the Linh Lang–Kim Ma–Dao Tan area knows it’s the closest one might get to visiting Japan in Hanoi.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: A Simple but Well-Balanced Bún Cá Thái Bình in Ba Đình

In these uncertain times when everything oscillates between “business as usual,” “total lockdown” and all shades in-between, I don’t really know when this article will be published, or if the little eatery I’d like to tell you about will be open next week, or next month.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Cafe Yên, Where the Line Between Coffee Shop and Alley Blurs

Yên (adj): quiet, unmoved.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: How 2 Brothers From Punjab Spread Their Love for Indian Food

Some names that immediately come to mind when the topic of Indian food is raised are the old favorites, such as Namaste on Tho Nhuom Street or Foodshop 45 in Truc Bach. But have you heard of a small restaurant called Eat List right in the heart of the Old Quarter?

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Lily Coffee, a Hideaway for When Life Gets Overwhelming

Nestled in a nook so small that not many Hanoians even know of it, Lily Coffee is a true hideaway, with its entrance tucked on the side of an alley. The gate held ajar separates two worlds — one bustling with traffic, the other tranquil.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Xóm Hà Hồi's Dill-icious Golden Grilled Cá Lăng

With Hanoi deep in winter’s chill, our bellies crave hearty delights, and there is nothing like frying your own chả cá in the cozy little hamlet of Hà Hồi to ward off the season’s bite.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Quán Nhạc Cầm Nurtures the Soul Like a Love Song

Albeit ostensibly a coffee shop, Cầm’s specialty is actually old Vietnamese music.

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in Food Culture

A Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm in Singapore That Tastes (and Smells) Just Like Home

Joo Chiat, a neighborhood in the eastern realms of Singapore, is hardly a forgettable area.

in Food Culture

The Unifying Presence of Cái Mâm, Vietnam’s Ubiquitous, Familial Food Tray

An authentic Vietnamese meal cannot be complete without cái mâm.

in Food Culture

Step Inside the Centuries-Old Store Selling Thousands of Sausages and Bánh Chưng

For around 200 years, Quoc Huong store has been selling sumptuous meat delicacies to hungry Hanoians.

in Food Culture

Tarantulas, Scorpions, Crickets Crawl Into Southeast Asia's Mass-Market Edibles

A spade strikes the bone-dry Cambodian dirt with a crunch, and the hunt is on. Chem Wai, a lanky, deeply tanned 53-year-old former soldier, has been collecting wild tarantulas and scorpions for most o...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Rice Dumplings With Bean Paste, Grated Coconut and Fiery Ginger Syrup

Bánh trôi tàu are elongated rice dumplings filled with mung bean paste, black sesame paste or grated coconut and served in a hot ginger syrup that warms one’s belly during cold winter months.

in Street Food

Urbanist Hanoi's 7 Best Ngõ Nooks of 2019

2019 again witnessed the continued need for humans to consume food and drink to satisfy our energy requirements.

in Food Culture

As Shortage Continues, Bánh Chưng Makers Start Hoarding Pork for Tet

Vietnam has been suffering from a pork shortage and thus, pork price hike, as the aftermath of the African swine fever outbreak continues to affect farmers.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Decadent Egg Coffee in a 1930s Architectural Gem

Travel back in time to a café within a charming 1930s building, only a few hundred meters away from St Joseph’s Cathedral.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: A Steaming Bowl of Mỳ Vằn Thắn to Ward off Winter’s Chill

The Old Quarter’s labyrinthine streets contain so many eateries that newcomers can easily feel overwhelmed.

in Food Culture

Chè, Bánh, Chả, Nem: The Curious Lives of Vietnam’s Regional Food Names

Realizing the word that one is using refers to an entirely different object in another region is a situation many can relate to. The last time this happened to me, it almost cost me a bowl of Hanoi&rs...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: In Xoan Cafe, a Sanctuary for Art, Tea and Cats

Curious cats, steaming tea and art-lined walls make Xoan Café feel like a home away from home.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Silken Tofu and Velvety Dumplings at Hanoi’s Most Authentic Chinese Eatery

I’ve long searched for an authentic Chinese restaurant in Hanoi that makes good dumplings — one of the most comforting foods to come out of northern China.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Căng Tin Cafe, a Gateway to the Past for the City's New Youth

Hanoi’s café scene is saturated with cafés selling a vision of the past.

in Food Culture

Vietnam Crowned Asia's Leading Culinary, Cultural Destination at World Travel Awards

Vietnam’s rising position in the global tourism arena was recently recognized by scores of accolades at the World Travel Awards.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: A Secret Garden Leads to a Haven for Hanoi's Young Creatives

Immediately after strolling through the gates of Café Tu Luc, a leafy new reality helps one feel at ease.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Pandan Jelly and Tapioca Pearls in a Little Bowl of Chè

Chè, the mercurial Vietnamese dessert soup, is appreciated by Hanoians both young and old. Whether wheeled around narrow streets in the Old Quarter, carried on shoulder poles or served in shop fronts ...

in Food Culture

Netizens Call for Boycott of 'Racist' Hoi An Cafe for Refusing to Serve Vietnamese

Many netizens are calling for a boycott of a coffee shop in Hoi An after anecdotes emerged online accusing the place of discriminatory service.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Nourishment for the Soul at Canh Bun Nguyen Sieu

Eating canh bún is akin to going for a walk on a clear day as sunset melts over the city; it costs almost nothing yet nourishes the soul.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Sometimes the Simplest Snacks Are the Most Satisfying

Hanoi’s summer days are unforgiving. On the most intense days, a bullish sun forms thick layers of heat between cement roads and tall, oppressive buildings. Yet here I was, standing in the epicenter o...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Slurping Thick Noodles and Seafood at Banh Canh Ghe Ut Coi

A whiff of the ocean hits you before you even step foot onto the street. In this curious corner between Quang Trung and Nha Chung, a new form of restaurant exemplifies the vitality and variety of Hano...