If you are anything like me when you arrive in a new city or town, it will take you a while to pick where you want to eat. Especially if the place is completely new to you (i.e Asia) and you are spoilt for choice. If this applies to you and you are currently in Hoi An (or are en route) worry no more – Here are 10 places that I ate at and enjoyed. Note that the majority of these are listed under the ‘cheap eats’ column as I’m on a backpacker budget!
10. Rosie’s Cafe
We found this cafe in one of the side alleys that run through Hoi An town centre. It’s near to the Japanese bridge and has some nice seating inside. This was the first place in Vietnam that we found that did a Full English Breakfast which was reasonably priced at 60,000 VND. They also sold avo toast for 50,000 VND as well as a wide selection of coffees and smoothies.
I went for a cacoa, banana and peanut butter smoothie which cost around 50,000 VND.
This was a cheap eat located not too far from our second hotel stay (Hoi An Jade Hotel). This restaurant is out of the city centre but close to a lot of hotels in the Cam Chau area.
I opted for a standard vegetable fried rice and these amazing fresh spring rolls that came with a garlic soy sauce.
This place was a real winner for me. The Banh Mi are freshly made to order and are absolutely stuffed with meat, salad and sauce for 20,000 VND (60p!).
You can opt for the mixed meat Banh Mi or the non-meat Banh Mi. I went for the mixed meat and asked for no pate. So tasty!
7. Baby Mustard
This restaurant is absolutely beautiful. It is in an outdoor setting with a bamboo rooftop and is surrounded by plants. A little outside of Hoi An town, it over looks a rice paddie as as you make your way towards An Bang Beach.
I went for a fresh lemon and honey iced tea and a chilli and lemongrass grilled pork (a Hoi An specialty). The pork was absolutely delicious and only came to 80,000 VND! This is definitely one that I would recommend if you want to get out of the centre of Hoi An for a bit.
When I originally spotted this place, I figured that it was going to be another pretentious coffee shop selling over priced coffee to tourists. However, then I spotted that they sold cake and in a moment of weakness I went in to take a look. I’m glad I did! The drinks are actually similarly priced to the other places in the town centre and there is also plenty of seating available for you to relax after hours of touring around the town.
Cocobox is a little chain within Hoi An town, I believe that we visited 2 of four shops during our time there. I opted for a ‘Choc Norris’ smoothie one day (Cacao, banana and mint) and an Iced Tea on the second visit. I’m definitely developing an iced tea addiction here as time goes on!
One of Vietnams specialty foods is meat slow braised in a claypot. This restaurant was located pretty close to the Tim Tin restaurant and we both figured that you can’t visit ‘The Clay Pot Cafe’ without trying an actual clay pot dish.
I went for the 5 spice chicken clay pot, the pot was sizzling as it was brought out and our waitress warned us not to touch the it as she removed the lid with an oven glove. It was AMAZING! It’s worth noting that clay pots will usually take 30-40 minutes to cook in a restaurant but they are worth the wait because the flavour is incredible.
I love Japanese food and started to really crave some during our time in Hoi An. There is a big Japanese influence in the Hoi An town centre so I figured that if you wanted some decent Japanese food in Vietnam, you would be bound to get it in Hoi An, I then found this restaurant and proved myself right!
I went for the Tonkatsu pork dish which was both salty and tangy and worked really well with the dressing on the side salad next to the pork. This was one of the more slightly pricier restaurants in Hoi An. The Pork cost around 135,000 VND and you have to order rice seperately for another 20,000 but sometimes it’s worth splurging a little and this was definitely one of those occasions!
3. Hola Taco
This place nearly didn’t make the cut for me but it saved itself. A fairly cheap mexican restaurant, the tacos cost around 100,000 VND but are merely ‘okay’ for what you are paying.
What really saves this place for me is the nachos. I went for the ‘original nachos’ with guacamole, cheese and sour cream. They came out heaped with toppings and redeemed the restaurant immediately.
Somewhere along the line during our time in Hoi An, I started to miss the comfort of home cooked food. Imagine my delight when, 5 weeks into my Vietnamese adventure, I found a cafe owned by an Englishman that served Roast Dinners! I was over the moon!
It wasn’t as good as my nans Sunday Roast by any stretch but it was a home comfort that came when needed, made even better when I scoffed down a chocolate brownie with ice cream afterwards- that’s what Sundays are all about right?!
James decided to opt for the chicken kebab (I suppose we were in the kebab shack after all!) and was equally pleased with his meal. I tried one of his chips and can definitely vouch for them! I’ve included a pic of the menu below incase there are any travelling Brits in Vietnam reading this and looking for a taste of home!
1. Cafe Tuan
Rated (at the time of eating) as the number 2 restaurant on trip advisor, this was possibly one of my favourite cafes in Hoi An. It sold a mixture of Vietnamese and Western food but in my opinion, their strength is in their local specialities.
It was a great little cheap eat so we visited 3 times during our stay in Hoi An. I opted for caramel pork and shrimp on our first visit (along with some stir fried morning glory). On the second trip I tried the lemongrass and chilli chicken which was packed full of flavour.
The best visit was the last. I ordered a Vietnamese chicken curry. It took around 30 minutes to come out as it was cooked in a clay pot but it tasted absolutely divine. It came accompanied with a bread roll to mop up the sauce afterwards and I would consider going back to Hoi An just to have another plate!
So there you have it. The list of top ten cafes and restaurants that I would recommend to anyone staying in Hoi An.