Where and What to Eat in Hue
In the old days, it was said that the emperors were always looking to find the finest chefs in the empire and to move them to Hue. This movement of chefs from the different regions of Vietnam allowed for the fusing of many new and different regional flavors and textures with the more traditional Hue dishes.
There are some nice restaurants southeast of the Perfume River as well as on the Citadel side of the river.
Downtown Hue has some tourist restaurants with typical western food (pizza and pasta), but many visitors prefer to stick to local dishes as they are outstanding and delicious.
Ancient Hue Restaurant
Ancient Hue Restaurant occupies a spacious two-storey wooden house dating back to the 1800s, offering authentic royal cuisine which made Hue a culinary hotspot of Vietnam, along with local artwork, and traditional dance performances. Set along Kim Long Street, the restaurant is surrounded by an impressive landscaped garden and lake while its indoor dining sections are fitted with decorative items to resemble royal quarters of the Nguyen Dynasty, such as silk cushions, ceramic vases. There’s also an art gallery within the restaurant, which exhibits abstract paintings, traditional crafts, and ceramic works by local artists. Food-wise, regional dishes such as banana blossom salad and banh beo (steamed rice flour cakes) are served in vegetables carved in shapes like phoenix and koi.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 22:00
- Address: 104/47 Kim Long Street, Hue
- Tel: +84 54 359 0902
Cafe on Thu Wheels
Cafe on Thu Wheels Restaurant run by the lovely and energetic Thu and is particularly liked by the backpackers who love to come here and enjoy live satellite English football with plenty of chilled beer. Located on 10/2 Nguyen Tri Phuong, in the alley next to Omar Khayyam's Indian restaurant.
- Tel: +84 (54) 832241
Elegant Restaurant Hue
Elegant Restaurant Hue’s extensive menu of local delicacies and potent cocktails attracts travellers looking to enjoy an affordable yet satisfying meal in Hue. A 10-minute walk from Hue's ancient bridge of Truong Tien, standout dishes at this cosy dining venue include BBQ shrimp on sugar cane (VND 129,000), caramelized pork with sesame (VND 89,000), and noodles with shredded chicken (VND 75,000). If you’re in the mood for some comfort food, English breakfasts, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas are available for VND 65,000 upwards. Elegant Restaurant Hue also serves a wide range of beers, liquors, cocktails, and imported wines by glass and bottle.
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 23:00
- Address: 29 Vo Thi Sau Street, Hue
- Tel: +84 91 100 88 22
Hanh Restaurant Hue
Hanh Restaurant Hue specialises in nem lui, a regional dish that’s made of minced pork rolls wrapped in lemongrass, and served with rice paper, vegetables, and peanut sauce. Set along Pho Duc Chinh Street, this local establishment is a 10-minute drive from Hue Imperial City via Truong Tien Bridge. If you’re looking to some of Hue’s most popular dishes in a single sitting, its set menu comes highly recommended. Priced at VND 110,000, this generously-portioned set comprises banh beo (steamed rice cake), nem lui, banh koai (rice pancake), banh cuon thit nuoi (BBQ pork wrapped in rice paper), and nem ran (fried spring rolls).
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 21:00
- Address: 11 Pho Duc Chinh Street, Hue
- Tel: +84 90 552 0512
Lac Thien Restaurant
The friendly, family-run, Lac Thien Restaurant is one of the best in Hue in which to try the most famous local dishes, banh khoai (a type of stuffed crepe, accompanied by peanut sauce) and nem lui. Tel: +84 (54) 52 7348. Lac Thanh Restaurant is on the corner, next door to Lac Thien Restaurant. It is run by a family of deaf-mutes and offers delicious Vietnamese food.
- Tel: +84 (54) 824674
Le Parfum Restaurant at La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa
Le Parfum Restaurant is an elegant dining venue within La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa, where affluent travellers can enjoy a six-course degustation menu of French-Vietnamese dishes with premium European wines as well as extensive a la carte offerings. Standout dishes include the roasted lamb rack (VND 695,000), sesame-crusted seared tuna (VND 310,000), and lemongrass-marinated chicken with smoked eggplant (VND 350,000). Set within a colonial-style building, booking a table at the upstairs terrace section is highly recommended as it offers relaxing views of the hotel’s expansive herb garden and Perfume River behind.
- Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 10:30 & 11:30 – 23:00
- Address: La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa, Hue
- Tel: +84 54 383 7475
Les Jardins De La Carambole
Les Jardins De La Carambole is set within a colonial-era villa, where diners can enjoy authentic French, Italian, Vietnamese cuisine in a classy setting. Set along Dang Tran Con Street, it’s especially popular amongst travellers thanks to its close proximity to the Complex of Hue Monuments. The upstairs dining section also hosts live piano performances while its expansive veranda overlook Perfume River and Hue City Centre. Priced at VND 120,000 upwards, expect quality main dishes such as beef bourguignon, grilled chicken with chilli and lemongrass, and grilled sea bass fish with Mediterranean sauce.
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 22:00
- Address: 32 Dang Tran Con Street, Hue
- Tel: +84 54 354 8815
Mandarin Café on 24 Tran Cao Van, is at the centre of Hue's backpacking community. This friendly, unassuming café serves up cheap, excellent Vietnamese and Western fare, and also hosts Sinh Café's booking desk, where you can book boat trips, car/bike hire, and tour information.
- Tel: +84 (54) 821281
Nina’s Café is a family-owned establishment that’s well frequented for its authentic yet affordable Vietnamese dishes. Signature dishes here include squid cooked with lemongrass and chili peppers (VND 85,000), banana flower salad (VND 70,000), and steamed rice cakes (VND 40,000). Set menus are available for VND 150,000, where diners can enjoy a choice of Hue specialities such as bun thit nuong (barbecued pork with rice noodles and greens), nem lui (pork wrapped in lemongrass) or mien xiao (fried noodles) as well as caramel pudding or ice-cream for dessert. Aside from its extensive food and beverage offerings, Nina’s Café also offers cooking classes and tours to iconic landmarks in Hue.
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 22:30
- Address: 16/34 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Hue
- Tel: +84 54 383 8636
Paradise Garden Restaurant
Paradise Garden offers a full menu, allowing one to try out different Hue-style dishes at an affordable price. Paradise Garden serves Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indian dishes in addition to local specialties – but it is those local specialties that make the lunch, snack, or dinner there. Located on the river edge promenade street near the Trang Tien bridge (which changes colour at night), the restaurant has a covered as well as a courtyard dining area.
- Tel: +84 (54) 38 38485
Risotto Hue is a good option for when you’re craving comfort food during your holiday in Hue. Located on Nguyen Cong Tru Street, this two-storey restaurant features colourful lanterns and wall murals while its upstairs dining section offers relaxing views of Perfume River. As the name suggests, Risotto Hue specialises in Italian cuisine at relatively affordable prices, such as seafood risotto (VND 85,000), homemade spinach and ricotta gnocchi (VND 85,000), and pizza Margherita (VND 100,000). Between 17:00 and 22:00, diners can enjoy complementary bruschetta, fruits, and a glass of local beer or wine with every purchase of a large pizza.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Address: 14 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Hue
- Tel: +84 54 394 9684
The DMZ Bar
The DMZ Bar was named after the demilitarized zone of the 17th parallel that once divided Vietnam.
Located on the main hotel and restaurant street in Hue, and close to two of the major riverfront hotels, the DMZ is a casual place with a pool table that offers a good choice of Vietnamese and some Italian food.
- Tel: +84 (54) 38 23414
Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant Hue
Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant Hue is renowned for its elegant setting and authentic presentation of Vietnamese imperial cuisine. Emulating a royal palace, the restaurant is surrounded by hundreds of paper lanterns, bonsai trees, plants and flowers, as well as a miniature pond and waterfall. All dishes are made by descendants of the Nguyen Dynasty, with set menus (inclusive of royal costume rentals, drinks and dessert) priced between USD10 and USD17 per person. Set along Le Thanh Ton Street, Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant Hue is a five-minute drive from Thien Mu Pagoda.
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 22:30
- Address: 7K/28 Le Thanh Ton Street, Hue
- Tel: +84 91 421 5033
Tropical Garden Restaurant
Tropical Garden Restaurant is on 27 Chu Van An Street and is a popular tour-bus stopover but it nevertheless has a cozy atmosphere. It serves fine Vietnamese fare from a good English-language menu, and there is live music nightly. Dishes at Tropical Garden include banana flower soup, steamed crab with beer, and grilled minced shrimp with sugarcane wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut sauce.
- Tel: +84 (54) 847143