Urbanist Hanoi

Ngõ Nooks: Kamon – Authentic Japanese Cuisine Served With a Side of Persian Rugs

Tucked away amongst a row of cafes on Van Phuc Street is a curious Japanese restaurant – beneath the bright red KAMON sign above its entrance and the usual menus offering sashimi and sushi is an altogether more suspect list of items for sale: Iranian Persian Carpets?

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Ngõ Nooks: The Delectable Comfort of Xuan Dieu's No-Name Bánh Đa Trộn

With most of my life having been spent living in Saigon, the concept of bánh đa was first introduced to me by a mass-produced instant crab noodle soup package. 

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Hẻm Gems: Bún Cá With a Twist That Takes Guts to Try

Ut Ha Quan looks nothing like the kind of traditional Hanoi street food eatery that makes it to glossy magazines and world-famous food channels. There’s no grumpy grandma, no mold on the walls and no trash on the floor.

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Hẻm Gems: Steamed Hai Phong Rice Cakes at Banh Beo Cho Do

That the most delicious food in Vietnam is usually found on top of shabby plastic tables is an incontrovertible truth. So much so that modernity has done something strange: we feel skeptical when seeing street food served in clean, air-conditioned restaurants. It is a liberating experience, on the other hand, to visit a place like Banh Beo Cho Do, where past and future — instead of clashing — intertwine and complement each other.

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Hẻm Gems: 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 same age as Co Hue’s daughter, who now runs it.

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Hẻm Gems: 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.

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Hẻm Gems: 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.

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Hẻm Gems: 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.

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Hẻm Gems: Tender Strips of 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 than a steaming hot bowl of phở to restore you.

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Hẻm Gems: 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, more and more vegan buffets have been appearing. One of the most reputable is simply called Vegan Buffet, or Quan Chay Dieu Tam, which sits right next to West Lake at 133 Nguyen Dình Thi.

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Hẻm Gems: 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 exception. Situated near the top of Yen Phu, it’s the perfect pit stop if you’re on your way to or from Xuan Dieu or the north of Tay Ho.

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