Urbanist Hanoi

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Sample Creative Coffee and Hide From Life at Chốn Hạ Hồi

Definitely not an easy-to-stumble-upon coffee shop, Chốn is located in a small, deep alley.

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.

Back Eat & Drink

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...

in Food Culture

A Brief Guide to Vietnam's Lesser-Known Sweet Sticky Rice Dishes

You may have tried the famed mango sticky rice from Thailand and wondered, “How on earth does this rice go so well with the sweetness of mango and coconut milk?” Usually, some would think of rice as p...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Hearty Banh Mi From a New-Fashioned Hanoi Co-Operative

Hop Tac Xa Thit Xien is more than just a bánh mì eatery – it’s a place to rekindle your childhood nostalgia and absorb the style of the street.

in Food Culture

Da Nang Just Made Vietnam's Biggest Bánh Xèo, Feeding 200 People

The world has never stopped obsessing over giant food, and Vietnam is no exception.

in Food Culture

Each Vietnamese Consumes 3kg of Beef, 20l of Milk Annually, Minister Says

Despite the country’s rising wealth, Vietnam still consumes a modest amount of beef compared with the world average.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Come for the Coffee, Stay for the Aesthetic

Apparently, the owners of Chon want people to find their café. However, you wouldn’t assume as much when attempting to navigate the narrow, snaking alleyways that lead to their joint. You’ll find a do...

in Food Culture

Pizza 4P's Receives Investment From Mekong Capital

Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital is injecting an undisclosed amount of investment into Vietnam's widely popular fusion pizza chain.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: The Deep-Fried Satisfaction of Steamy Bánh Gối

Thanks to being born and bred in Hanoi, I definitely have a love-hate relationship with the city. That said, there are more “loves” than “hates” on my list, and street food in Hanoi plays a huge part ...

in Food Culture

Banana Leaves Make Glorious Comeback in Supermarkets Across Vietnam

After straws, Vietnam’s anti-plastic movement now has a new target: plastic grocery wraps.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Immerse Yourself in the Traditional Architecture of Cafe Nha San

Nestled deep in a dead-end street reached through a warren of alleyways from an almost impossible-to-see entrance is an ancient-looking building. This stunning traditional Vietnamese stilt-house is on...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Sumptuous Xôi From One of Hanoi's Friendliest Street Food Vendors

If you live in Vietnam, then you’ll already know how vital rice is here, and the role it plays in almost every meal we eat.

in Food Culture

The Familial Vietnamese Ritual of Making Spring Rolls

“Nem rán (fried spring rolls), or just nem for short, has been a part of life in Hanoi since forever. Whenever I think of this dish, I think of my mother. That is because only nem made at home by my m...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Vintage Sound Systems and Birds of Prey Coexist in Café Nhac Xua

A quaint melody drifts out of Nhac Xua and over to one side of West Lake, where café owner Nguyen Duy Binh and I sit. The calming, classical, Vietnamese-style guitar-driven music, is soothing.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: The Dish That Smells Like Regret but Tastes Like Happiness

If you’re a food lover, there is one dirt-cheap, aromatic Hanoi snack that you must try: bún đậu mắm tôm.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Crispy Fried Eels Complete This Warming Winter Soup

I am Hanoi’s hungriest tourist; and the capital welcomes me into its flavorsome, umami-rich warmth with open arms.

in Food Culture

Da Lat, the Unlikely Home of El Salvador's Rare Pacamara Coffee Beans

In a previous life, Nguyen Van Son was an auto parts salesperson. As a gift of appreciation for his wife, he acquired a seemingly trivial plot of land in Da Lat and made it a place where the family co...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: De Tam Café Adds a Contemporary Touch to a Familiar Retro Aesthetic

As soon as you walk into De Tam’s leafy entrance courtyard, a familiar vintage theme becomes apparent. An entire wall is covered in shelves containing over 100 film cameras and lenses, while record pl...

in Food Culture

A History of Rice Wine, Part 2: A Traditional Craft Slowed to a Trickle

Rose-tinted shades and long swept-back hair tickling the collar of a half-unbuttoned maroon shirt that revealed a dangling peace-sign pendant: at age 27, Minh was the epitome of 70s Saigon cool. More ...

in Eat & Drink

Urbanist Hanoi's 5 Best Ngõ Nooks of 2018

In 2018, Hanoi certainly saw its fair share of the good, the bad and the surprising, but it was, as always, a wonderful year for eating and drinking. Across the city, we delighted in finding decades-o...

in Food Culture

The Alluring Backstory of Chả Rươi, Vietnam’s Slimiest Street Food Character

In the months leading up to winter in Hanoi, when the temperature starts to drop and a chilly breeze blows through the city, anticipation grows for a rare, unique delicacy — the palolo worm omelet, or...