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.

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in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Tender Strips of Garlic-Infused Beef at Pho Thin

In the midst of a Hanoian winter, all you want is warmth. The houses aren't built for the cold, and on a bike at night, the chill seeps right into you. At lunch or after work, there's nothing better t...

in Food Culture

Meet Linh Nguyen, the Fulbright Scholar Spreading Vietnamese Culture Through Food

Linh Nguyen is a Fulbright scholar, blogger and writer whose first book, Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook: Classic Vietnamese Street Food Made at Home, became an Amazon bestseller after...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Refreshing Cocktails at Hanoi’s Best Hole-in-the-Wall

Bars in Hanoi don’t come much smaller than Dot. Its width is no more than the span of my arms, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in value and substance. You’d barely notice the place...

in Food Culture

Milk Tea-Flavored Water Is Here. Is the Apocalypse Near?

The stark, clinical fluorescent lighting inside the convenient store casts an air of ominous dread all over the shop’s beverage section. With a glance, I find it. The blue package stares back at me me...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Vegan Buffet, Nourishment That Makes You Feel Good

Anyone who’s lived in Vietnam for any reasonable length of time will have heard of cơm bình dân – rice buffets offering an abundance of meat and vegetables during lunch hours. In recent years, however...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Trainspotting and Nostalgia at The Railway Hanoi

The stretch of railway between Tran Phu Street and Dien Bien Phu Street is quickly becoming one of the hippest spots in Hanoi. In the last couple of years, a social enterprise named Zo Project, a fash...

in Street Food

Ngõ Nooks: Yen Phu's Banh Xeo Spot Is Legit

Any street food restaurant you regularly pass on your commute, or that lies within the local area where you live, is likely to receive your patronage more often than most. Minh Banh Xeo is no exceptio...

in Food Culture

Pandan, Southeast Asia's Humble Leaf Set to Take the World by Storm

Pandan, an aromatic plant native to Southeast Asia, could soon have its moment in the international spotlight thanks to British chef and food writer Nigella Lawson, who extolled its virtues in an inte...

in Bars & Cafes

Ngõ Nooks: Cuoi Ngo – One of Hanoi’s Most Hidden Cafés

If you’ve managed to find Cafe Cuoi Ngo, then you deserve to see it. The place feels like a well-kept secret, but it’s so hard to find that I don’t think publishing this article will overburden the sp...

in Food Culture

Tet Tales: The Many Folk Stories Behind Vietnam's Sticky Rice Cakes

To me, there's nothing that screams Tet as much as sticky rice cake. However one wants to spice up the usual celebration by replacing some dishes with something new each year, sticky rice cakes remain...