If you would like to taste authentic Vietnamese food but don't really feel that tempted by having a motor bike driving through your noodle soup bowl in one of the countless street kitchens of Hanoi, nor want to risk Montezuma's Revenge (particularly since the average Vietnamese toilet is just a hole in the ground with a water bucket next to it), then this is the place to go: Quan An Ngon. "Ngon" means "delicious", and, for authentic Vietnamese, this restaurant lives up to its name and gets my vote for the best in Vietnam. It is a gathering by Hanoi's finest street chefs in one location - an open-air restaurant with lots of cooking stations, each serving a regional specialty.
The place bustles at night with locals and in-the-know foreigners waiting for Vietnamese classics like Bun Cha - vermicelli with minced pork balls and fresh herbs - and green papaya salad with shrimp (and for all veggies amongst us: this tastes also orgasmic without the shrimp, plus there are way more food options that don't involve dead animals, which is a rare treat for Vietnam). The same concept restaurant exists also in Ho Chi Minh, where I haven't been myself, but it is supposed to be just as great! Unfortunately their website does not work, but the address is 18 Phan Boi Chau, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi (between Ly Thuong Kiet and Hai Ba Trung, one block East of Le Duan).
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