Given the heavy influx of tourists Hue receives, it’s no surprise a large number of dining options are available, with a good mix of Western and authentic Vietnamese dishes on offer.
Banana Mango Restaurant on Le Loi isn’t much for atmosphere, but gets a thumbs up from regular customers for its cheap and good dishes, some of which are well designed to please Western palates. Just round the corner on Nguyen Cong Tru, brand new Risotto offers good Italian dishes and generous glasses of decent wine at cheap prices in a relaxed setting among a multitude of local street vendors; across the road and to the left of Risotto is a great bun bo Hue stall and on the alley to the left a stall that serves concentrated Vietnamese coffee for 5,000 VND a pop – a great place for interviewing motorbike guides.
Banana Mango: 106 Le Loi, Hue. T: (054) 820 154.
Rissotto: 14 Nguyen Cong Tru St, Hue. T: (054) 0932 413 313; (0925) 002 028.http://www.risottorestauranthue.com
Pham Ngu Lao
Pham Ngu Lao runs parallel to Side Street 66, just a block to the west, and is the main drag on the south bank when it comes to eating and drinking. On the corner with Le Loi is DMZ Bar, one of the most popular hangouts in the evenings, but it’s under the same ownership as Little Italy, and anything they serve there is available here as well. Little Italy has moved back to its old location on Nguyen Thai Hoc, at the other end of Pham Ngu Lao, and continues to serve up good Italian fare in country kitchen surroundings.
In the middle of Pham Ngu Lao, Golden Rice is a small two-storey restaurant with lots of character and a lot of good, cheap Vietnamese food. Its next door neighbour Ushi is one of those restaurants that juggles a textbook-sized international menu traversing French, Vietnamese, Italian and comfort food as well as a grill, and somehow manages to pull off consistently good dishes at reasonable prices.