Urbanist Hanoi

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’s bánh đa trộn.

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 f...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: 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 that spill out onto streets and sidewalks, the variety of both venues and tastes is almost infinite.

Back Eat & Drink

in Food Culture

American Chef Anthony Bourdain, Who Introduced Bún Chả to Obama, Passes Away at 61

Anthony Bourdain, the chef, writer and travel show host, has passed away at 61.

in Food Culture

A Brief History of Curry in Vietnam

It is well documented that southern Vietnam’s cuisine has been influenced by the French, but it is also undeniable that the fare has been influenced by another of France’s former colonial hubs: the po...

in Food Culture

New Cookbook 'Vegetarian Vietnam' Boldy Reinvents Traditional Classics

In his new cookbook Vegetarian Vietnam, Canadian chef Cameron Stauch boldly reinterprets traditional Vietnamese dishes while retaining their authenticity.

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Craft Beer and Deep Conversation in a Cargo Ship Container

From Pasteur Street to Standing Bar, the capital hides a plethora of hop spots, but its newest entrant might be the most unique.

in Food Culture

The Evolution of Bánh Xèo: A Street Food History

While phở, bánh mì and now, occasionally, bún chả hog the spotlight in Vietnamese cuisine, everyone in Vietnam is familiar, to some degree, with bánh xèo. On street corners and in tiny, mode...

in Food Culture

A Tale of Two Fruits: The Colonial History of Durian and Mangosteen

Although both durian and mangosteen are native to Southeast Asia, their reputation – especially from a western point of view – leads two very contrasting fates: the latter is considered a lu...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: The Bánh Cuốn That’s Worth a Year of Waiting

Mrs. An’s bánh cuốn won the heart of world-renowned chef Bobby Chinn, kept lines of die-hard fans waiting outside and left a number of hearts broken when it disappeared for almost a year.

in Food Culture

After Milk Tea-Flavored Water, Japan Now Has Transparent Coffee Because Why Not

So this is why scientists have been too busy to cure cancer, send a human to Mars or successfully bring Tasmanian tigers back from extinction?

in Food Culture

A Food Folk Tale: How a Poor Farmer Traded Starfruit for Gold

In Vietnam, fruits, especially those of the oddly shaped variety, come with a story. From pineapple to watermelon, there’s not a snack in this country that doesn’t come with a lesson attached. The jui...

in Food Culture

Prickly History: The Fruit That Tastes Like Heaven and Smells Like Hell

Despite its regal title — “the king of fruit” — durian’s taste and distinctive smell have long been a divisive topic among foodies the world over. Originally from the island of Borneo, through ti...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: A Blissful Fish Feast at Bun Ca Sam Cay Si

As hot as it gets, Hanoi’s scorching summer is no match for delightful fish rolls and refreshing sour soup.

in Food Culture

A Food Folk Tale: Vietnam’s Unexpected Watermelon Tycoon

If you’ve been around a traditional Vietnamese household during Tet, you have probably noticed the presence of gargantuan, child-sized, dark green watermelons on the altar. These behemoths are both in...

in Food Culture

A Food Folk Tale: The Savage Clapback That Turned a Girl Into a Pineapple

Growing up in Vietnam, it seems that everything – from common household objects to fruits – has an origin story. Some of these local folk tales have a decidedly romantic angle, but others – like the l...

in Food Culture

Adventures in Eating: Sủi Dìn’s Journey From Imperial China to the Streets of Hai Phong

The first time I stumbled upon cô Ut’s nightly sidewalk ritual, the performance was already well under way. Perched on the low steps of what serves as a VietinBank branch by day, the young woman sat r...

in Food Culture

[Video] The Story of Japan's Only Sushi Restaurant Run by All Female Chefs

A group of intrepid female chefs has been defying the laws of tradition to combat sexism in Japan’s sushi community.

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Homemade Chilli Sauce and Aromatic Broth at Ever-Moving Spicy Pho Bay

Despite having changed locations twice in the last three years, Spicy Pho Bay remains one of Tay Ho’s most popular street food spots.

in Food Culture

Tracing the Lineage of Da Lat's Delicious Bánh Mì Xíu Mại

Every morning, the corner of Da Lat’s Hoang Dieu and Tran Nhat Duat streets is a mess of plastic tables and rubbish bins, bánh mì crumbs and bodies hunched over small bowls. This particular patch of s...

in Food Culture

Cơm Âm Phủ: Hue’s ‘Purgatory Rice’ That Tastes Like Heaven

Throughout Vietnam’s decades of development from a war-torn nation to one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, rags-to-riches stories are a dime a dozen. This is especially true in the country’s culin...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Duy Tri - One of Hanoi’s Original Cafes

Modern-day Hanoi is a labyrinth of new developments, with some areas already feeling the effects of gentrification. That certainly wasn't the case back in 1936, when Café Duy Tri first opened its door...

in Food Culture

An Ode to Vietnam's Cooling, Affordable and Ubiquitous Trà Đá

In Vietnam, trà đá vendors don’t exist, simply because every single eatery is in itself a trà đá vendor.