On the second day of arrival in Hoi An – after six months of travel around SE Asia and Australia – I knew it was the place for me. Originally planning to stay only three days, I’ve been based here almost two years! The ocean, the vibe, the food; these are just some of the reasons why I haven’t left.
Below, I share some of my most favourite places to eat, drink, explore, and work in Hoi An. Are some of your top spots on my list? Did I miss one? Share your insights in the comments below!
Central Vietnam is known as the food mecca of the country, and I’m not surprised! Hoi An is home to some of the most colourful, flavourful dishes around. Here are my top places to EAT.
1. Sea Shell by Nu Eatery
The best gỏi cuốn (fresh rolls) and bánh bao kẹp (steamed buns) you’ll find!
2. Mr. Son Restaurant
A little mom and pop restaurant located on An Hoi Island has a cosy, outdoor vibe. I highly recommend the fried rice (cơm chiên), pumpkin sautéed with peanuts, and Vietnamese pancake (bánh xèo).
3. Bon Restaurant
Hands down, the best eggplant claypot dish you’ll ever eat. Anywhere. Period.
4. Karma Waters
I eat at this vegan restaurant probably 3 – 4 times a week! Go for the vegetable curry, you won’t be disappointed.
5. Tam Quang Minh
My local Vietnamese vegetarian breakfast and lunch spot. Tam Quang Minh offers the classics: My Quang, Cau Lau, Pho, Bun, and an all you can eat vegetarian rice buffet.
6. Rosie’s Cafe
Rosie’s Cafe is owned by some of the sweetest people you’ll meet: Thuy and My. The cafe is a great place for breakfast, smoothie bowls, juices, and sits hidden in one of Hoi An’s beautiful laneways.
7. Nomad Yoga & Cafe
Yoga studio and vegan cafe, Nomad Yoga & Cafe has a great assortment of breakfast and lunch options. My favourites: the green smoothie bowl, Japanese Buddha bowl (pictured), and a cucumber, pineapple, and mint juice.
The best burgers in Hoi An! Their vegetarian burger’s base is made with beetroot and is extra yum 😉 some other popular burgers are the Juicy Lucy (the patty is stuffed with cheese) and the peanut butter burger!
9. Ganesh Indian Restaurant
I didn’t really like Indian food until I got to Vietnam, funny, I know! And, I’ve tried Ganesh restaurants all around Vietnam – from HCMC to Phu Quoc – Hoi An’s location has the best flavours.
10. The Happy Buffalo
Owned by fellow Torontonians, Lindsay and Evan, this space is great for watching the sun set over the rice paddies, chill with a drink, and nibble of fusion tapas. My favourite: the kim chi fried rice (which they’ll make vegetarian and/or vegan for you!)
11. MIX Greek Restaurant
MIX and #12 below, Blu Mart, are the two best – and only – Greek places in town. I love them both, for different reasons! If you’re craving a Mediterranean vibe and authentic Greek food, go to MIX. Their souvlaki to the free chocolate/banana dessert is not to miss.
12. Blu Mart Greek Slovaki
And if you’re craving Greek food while out at the beach – head to Blu Mart! Their hummus makes my heart swell.
13. Sound of Silence
Coffee. Ocean. Need I say more?
14. The Espresso Station
Another hidden laneway gem, the coffee at the Espresso Station is made with tons of love.
15. Le Cabanon
Along the river in Old Town, Le Cabanon boasts French food and flavour. For my fellow vegetarian Canadains, this is the only place that will make you a vegetarian poutine.
16. The Fisherman Vegan Restaurant
New to the An Bang scene, the Fisherman is a great spot for smoothies, fresh coconuts, and lounging by the ocean.
17. Phin Coffee
Newly renovated and relocated to a bigger space. I love Phin Coffee for its open, outdoor garden space.
18. Mango Rooms
The T Room Gin Bar is also another place to check out if you’re craving some unique gin cocktails.
As someone who spends quite a big chunk of time behind my laptop, I like to mix up my “office”. Luckily, Hoi An is filled with great cafes, restaurants, and coworking spaces to work from.