For some of the most authentic Vietnamese dishes in all of Hue, a meal spent at Dong Ba Market is an absolute must. We were initially drawn here after hearing rave reviews on travel shows, but what kept us around were the luring smells and mouth-watering food.
Keep in mind, this market is absolute chaos. You’ll be packed in like a sardine during meal time. The good news is, it’s well worth it. Weed through the stalls selling trinkets and overpriced souvenirs, and you’ll find steaming buckets full of some of the best soups you’ll ever try, like bun bo hue, a beef and pork bone soup that’s so good, you might make Dong Ba a regular evening stop on your Hue tour. Order from the menu and make sure you’re charged the correct amount, which is typically somewhere in the range of USD1-2.
If you’ve had enough street food and are leaning toward dining indoors around a table, the most obvious go-to choice for food is traditional Vietnamese. Outside of finding restaurants near your hotel, it would be well worth it to make your way to Chu Van An Street, which is chock full of great spots to eat.
For an authentic experience that shows off Hue’s Imperial cuisine at its best, Khong Gian Xua makes another excellent choice. This restaurant not only serves Imperial worthy dishes, the building itself gives off a feeling of royalty as well. Open-air seating is available on multiple levels, and traditional Vietnamese architecture turns their meals into an aesthetic experience. If you’re feeling daring, order the tortoise, which comes fully roasted to a perfect crisp. For the less adventurous, the grilled red tilapia is a good fall back if you like your food a bit spicy. (402-404 Dien Bien Phu - Da Nang)
Western and International Food
If you’re missing home and longing for some comfort food, your options for international or western fare throughout the city aren’t lacking, either. For a filling meal at any time of the day, we recommend trying out Water Land Bar and Restaurant. The brightly lit facade will surely guide your way, and you’ll likely see the outdoor seating area busy with locals and travellers alike. This restaurant serves both Western and Vietnamese food, and if you’re longing for something basic like pizza or fries, you’ll find it here. The service is a little slow, but the food is on par. (35 Chu Van An St, Hue 054, Vietnam)
Cafes and Coffee Shops
Of course, with Vietnam’s past so drenched in French culture, it’s no surprise that baguettes and other baked goods fill the ovens of most cafes and coffee shops in town. You’ll find tons of casual, quick spots without even looking, but for a Hue favourite, try True Coffee on Ngo Quyen Street. You might stick out from the locals here, but at least you’ll know it’s good. Pull up a chair at a tire-made table and order a dirt cheap Vietnamese Coffee. (15 Ngô Quyền)