French bread, or “banh my” in Vietnamese, has become a local staple, and you can buy short, thick baguettes on every street in Hanoi. The supermarkets and specialized shops listed in the Specialized Groceries section offer whole-grain breads, but for a broader selection try one of these bakeries:
5 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho
A bakery/cafe that makes excellent cakes as well as delicious bread. They deliver all over town and also have a place to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee and a croissant. They recently added a full breakfast and lunch menu that offers a nice seleciton of French dishes.
543 Kim Ma, Ba Đình
Tel: 84 4 37712550
191 Ba Trieu, 5th floor, Hoan Kiem
Tel: 84 4 32200278
Fine baked goods, especially the croissants and pastries, also a great breakfast spot for many expats who work in the area.
2 Nguyen Khanh Toan Rd., Cầu Giấy
Tel: 043 2813109
A very large bakery and restaurant with everything from cheesecakes and chocolate cakes to various types of mousse. Paris Gateaux is far from the center of town, near the Museum of Ethnology, but definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area or looking for a change of pace.
142 Pho Hue, Đống Đa
Tel: 04 4 39433337
This Vietnamese bakery does an excellent job with their baked goods, pastries, cakes, and breads. You can get loaves and sticks of good french bread here at lower cost than the western bakeries listed above. Selection includes cookies, cakes, tarts, and buns.
Donkey Bakery has become a fast hit in Hanoi as a socially responsible organization that trains and employs individuals with disabilities and also provide some of the tastiest treats in the city. In addition to the sit down cafe, catering and delivey services are available. From apple breads and cinammon cookies to soups and sandwiches, you can find quite a variety, including large perfectly salted pretzels.
A “Bia Hoi” is a type of local watering hole serving draft beer that’s produced and delivered daily in steel kegs. Men sit and drink at outdoor tables, with their t-shirts pulled up over their bellies on hot summer nights. In addition to these pilsner draft beers, Vietnam produces several bottled beers, most notably Hanoi Beer and Halida in the north.
Vodka was brought to Vietnam by the Russians, and remains the most popular hard liquor here. Almost every café and restaurant offers local and Polish vodka in addition to bottled beer, though wines and cocktails are becoming popular at upscale establishments. Those who have tried it and lived to tell the tale warn strongly against locally-produces wines, which are few and far between anyway.
Supermarkets and specialty markets carry a good selection of wines and spirits, as well as imported beers, but for something more exotic or unexpected try one of these shops:
Hanoi’s original wine shop, they’ve got it all.
7 Xuan Dieu, Tây Hồ
Phone: 04 4 37192922
Hanoi’s largest variety of European, American, and Australian wines, with a selection of spirits as well.
59 Hang Trong, Hoàn Kiếm
Phone: 043 9287666
Specializing in spirits and high-end wines.
1C Tong Dan, Hoàn Kiếm
Phone: 043 9351393