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The Best Restaurants in Vietnam

What makes a good restaurant? A range of things — food, service, décor, ambience, concept, price, consistency, authenticity and, what is so often forgotten, marketing. This was evident when we asked our 75 judges which places they thought were the best restaurants in Vietnam. In both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, only six restaurants stood out from the rest of the pack. Four of these were down south, the other two in the capital, suggesting that these places have got most if not all of the good restaurant elements close to spot on.

 

Ho Chi Minh City

 

As with last year, Pizza 4P’s, that well-loved funky Japanese pizza restaurant, topped the voting. But unlike in 2014, this time it shared top spot with last year’s joint runner-up, Argentinian steakhouse El Gaucho. With these two restaurants consistently hitting the top two, more interesting was who else made the top 10, or, due to equal numbers of votes, top 11.

 

The massive and much-loved Sorae Sushi Lounge, a new addition to the list, jumped in at joint third with perhaps the best French restaurant in the city, the truffle-oil-with-everything villa eatery, Trois Gourmands. Also high up the list was the king of the American BBQ served up in a Vietnamese, quan nhau style setting, Quan Ut Ut. And not surprisingly, Thai street-food-with-a-twist restobar, Racha Room, was also high up on your catalogue of favourite places.

 

The beautifully crafted and decorated Cuc Gach Quan was voted as your favourite Vietnamese restaurant, with four joints coming in with equal votes at joint eighth: Au Parc, Lubu, Saffron and Au Lac Do Brazil. All are worthy top-tens.

 

Ho Chi Minh City has a growing collection of outstanding restaurants, so we would like to do some shout-outs for three newcomers. First up is Danish-inspired, contemporary European restaurant, cafe and bar, MAD House. We love this place, love the concept, and are overjoyed that this restaurant made it into the top 20. Also on our ‘yes we are happy’ list is Stoker. When it comes to the quality of their steaks, this recently opened meatfest parlour gives even El Gaucho a solid run for its money. But hit their creative cocktails and Stoker is a true stand-out. And of course, don’t forget Relish & Sons, an eatery that is putting the ‘b’ back into burgers. We are well into the idea of gourmet hamburgers and are happy that together with its rival, Soul Burger, it is leading the way to bringing these creative objects of mouth-watering pleasure to our city. And don’t forget another top-20 entrant, Badjha.

 

Hanoi

 

If you’re going to focus on the level of the food — the range that is aspired to — then Da Paolo and Cousins are not the ‘top’ two restaurants in Hanoi. Yet, Da Paolo puts the ‘i’ back into Italian and the ‘a’ back in authentic, and what it serves up is classic Italian fare, done very well. Cousins is similar; Mediterranean and contemporary European cuisine in a close-to-the-lake, garden setting. Once again, the food is excellent.

 

So when it comes to other factors; consistency, popularity, price and genuinely tasty cuisine, then according to your voting, Cousins and Paolo’s win hands down. However, our readers also liked El Gaucho and The Republic (joint third), the excellent French Grill in the JW Marriott (fifth), Maison de Tet Décor, La Badiane, Don’s Tay Ho, Moose & Roo Smokehouse and Daluva. That suggests that you have a range of contrasting tastes when it comes to dining out.

 

A special shout out for Daluva, who finally made it into the top 10. Their food has always been top-notch, now they seem to have got bums on seats to match. Another shout for the city’s newcomers — The Republic, French Grill and Moose & Roo Smokehouse — which, despite having opened within the last 15 months or so, have already captured your hearts. And finally a fist pump for the restaurants who’ve got to the top and managed to stay there — Don’s Tay Ho and La Badiane. Being so well established makes it hard to compete with the trendier, new-in-town upstarts. Yet somehow you’re both staying on top of your game. You should be proud!

 


 

The Top 10*

 

Ho Chi Minh City**

Au Lac Do Brazil

Au Parc

Cuc Gach Quan

El Gaucho

Lubu

Pizza 4Ps

Quan Ut Ut

Racha Room

Saffron

Sorae Sushi Lounge

Trois Gourmands

  

Hanoi

Cousins

Da Paolo

Daluva

Don’s Tay Ho

El Gaucho

French Grill

La Badiane

Maison de Tet Decor

Moose & Roo Smokehouse

The Republic

 

*The restaurants in these lists have been organized in alphabetical order

 

** Due to four restaurants getting the same number of votes, for Ho Chi Minh City we have listed the top 11

 


 

Restaurants in the Top 20*

 

Ho Chi Minh City**

Bahdja

Blanchy’s Street

Boat House

Ciao Bella

MAD House

Ocean Palace

Stoker

The Deck

Vesper Lounge

  

Hanoi

AAC la Folie

Amato

Cau Go Vietnamese Restaurant

Dieu’s Cuisine

Foodshop 45

KAfe

Linguini Fini

Mediterraneo

Namaste

Pots ‘n Pans

 

*The restaurants in these lists have been organized in alphabetical order

 

 

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