Urbanist Hanoi

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.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Hidden Gem, the Cafe that Recycled Knick-Knacks Built

It is difficult to describe Hidden Gem Café without paraphrasing its name, but I have not found a better way to characterize this wonderful establishment.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Sonder, a Cafe Built on Passion for Coffee Beans

sonder (n): the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: The 'Tiny' Cafe That Contains Multitudes

Hidden down a quiet alley opposite the B-52 Victory Museum on Doi Can in Ba Dinh District is the gateway to Tiny Cafe. Make sure you look carefully, as the sign is easily missed, and this isn’t somewhere you’ll want to miss out on.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Come for the Dim Sum, Stay for the Dim Sum

As the old saying goes, when in Hanoi, do as your colleagues do.

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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...

in Food Culture

Vietnam Officially Designates December 12 the Day of Pho

Vietnam has officially marked December 12 the 'Day of Pho' in celebration of the nation's most well-known dish.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Take a Ride on Ha Dong’s Hipster Bus Café

When you initially spot the café, it’s hard to tell exactly what it is — it isn’t hurtling towards you at 50 miles per hour and doesn’t have helmet shrapnel from its previous victims stuck to its...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Cu Xa, the Cafe That Awakens Your Childhood Self

“Where is home?” is a question that at some point has probably nagged everyone who feels caught between worlds. To the owner of a retro cafe in Hanoi’s southern Dong Da District, it’s Cu Xa.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Oozing Quail Egg Bánh Giò for Upcoming Winter Days

After a long, draining day at work, the unexpected discovery of a steaming, peppery bánh giò, complete with oozing quail eggs, is the ultimate remedy.  

in Food Culture

How the Popularity of 'Durian Tours' Is Threatening the Survival of Malaysia's Tigers

In order to meet rising demand for durian, Malaysia plans to convert a large area of the Malayan tiger’s natural habitat into durian plantations.