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.

Back Eat & Drink

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Ngõ Nooks: Piquant Broth and Tangy Snails at Bun Oc Co Hue

There’s nothing fancy about Bun Oc Co Hue. You’ll find makeshift awnings and a leaning mahogany tree outside, and tattered walls and faded floral tiles within. The shop itself is 28 years old, the sam...

in Food Culture

[Video] Taiwan's Stinky Tofu Is Not a Dish for the Faint-Hearted

Like Southeast Asia’s slew of durian desserts, Taiwan’s stinky tofu dishes are an acquired taste.

in Food Culture

[Video] A Virtual Tour of Malaysia's Top-Notch Durian Plantation

Most people around here are familiar with the durian fruit and its unique smell; however, not many have actually been to a durian plantation.

in Food Culture

Opinion: Anthony Bourdain Made Me Proud to Be Vietnamese-American

I landed Friday night in Saigon just in time for the news of Anthony Bourdain’s passing lighting up my phone in a jumble of tweets, texts and news alerts. As details emerged about the chef-turned-trav...

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

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.