We’ve now been living in the charming little town of Hội An on the central coast of Vietnam for two months (where has the time gone?!), and we’ve certainly tried our fair share of restaurants and street stalls. The Vietnamese cuisine is by far our favourite in Southeast Asia and there’s no shortage of dishes to try – and at a ridiculously low price. It’s not hard to go out for a meal for just AU$1.80 (or less!) and leave full and extremely satisfied. From local specialties to the classic spring roll, these are our favourite cheap eats in Hội An.
Owned by possibly the happiest man in all of Hội An, Mr Son is our favourite lunch spot and we are here at least five times a week (say hi if you’re around!). Mr Son acts as head waiter and bartender while Mrs Son works diligently in the ‘kitchen’ to get all the dishes out quickly and with the most flavour anyone could ask for. Mr and Mrs Son are a lovely couple and their food is consistent, the servings large, and everything is always served with a smile. You’ll find them located on An Hoi island – take the bridge across from Ancient Town and turn left, walk all the way down to the end and follow the bend around, to your left you’ll see a line of over 10 vendors – look for smiley Mr Son and the big sign!
Nguyễn Phúc Chu Road. Open every day from 11am-10pm.
Top dishes: fried wontons with pork (40.000VND), sautéed spinach/morning glory and garlic (40.000VND), crispy noodle with pork (pictured below – 50.000VND), barbecue pork with noodle (40.000VND), banana pancake (30.000VND), all fruit shakes (15.000VND)
Sao Mai is probably the cheapest restaurant you’ll find located along the river in Ancient Town and it’s a bonus that the dishes are delicious. A favourite with visitors to town, the setting is peaceful and perfect for people-watching; and the ideal spot to break up your day exploring Hội An.
48 Bạch Đằng – on the riverfront. Open all day.
Top dishes: rice soup (40.000VND), cao lau (35.000VND), rice pancake (40.000VND)
Central Market Food Hall
Boasting some of the cheapest eats in Hội An and an abundance of vendors to choose from, the Central Market has everything from fried rice to stuffed squid. It’s certainly not somewhere you go to if you want a long, lazy lunch, but the atmosphere is fantastic and you won’t leave hungry.
Tran Phu Road. Open all day – most stalls are closed by 8pm.
Top dishes: There’s way too many to choose from – prices vary slightly from stall to stall.
Off the main tourist track and not somewhere you’d discover unless you were staying in the area, BinBon is the cheapest and most local of our recommendations. A typical Vietnamese street stall with tiny plastic tables and chairs, there’s no English menu and the owner speaks very little English herself, but if you point to our recommendations below we promise you won’t be disappointed. You can easily feed two people for 40.000VND at BinBon. It even has WiFi!
120 Trần Nhân Tông Road. Open around 3pm-10pm. Varies by day.
Top dishes: Bánh mi muôi ot – grilled bread with chicken floss, spring onion, chilli sauce, fried onion and some other stuff we can’t figure out (pictured below – 10.000VND), xôi chiên nhân thit – crispy fried rice balls with vegetables in the centre (3.000VND per ball), pizza Da Lat – rice paper with pizza toppings (10.000VND), xúc xích duc – crispy skinned sausage on a skewer (10.000VND), bò vin chiên – beef balls on skewers (3.000VND per skewer)
This place is always packed and there’s good reason (other than the 10.000VND beer!). Located just outside of the centre on Cua Dai Road, it’s a great option if you’re wanting to escape the bustle of town for a night. Everything comes out in a sizzling pan and is packed with flavour. It’s a big call but we’re willing to make it: best fried rice we’ve eaten in all our travels.
409 Cửa Đại Road. Open for lunch and dinner.
Top dishes: vegetarian fried rice (30.000VND)
Bon is a little out of town but not a problem if you’re willing to take a bicycle or stroll along Cua Dai Road. We’ve certainly tried our fair share of cau lao since we’ve been here and there’s no arguments that it lives up to its ‘best cau lao’ reputation – and at a great price with friendly owners. The service can be a little slow so make sure you’re not in a rush.
474 Cửa Đại Road. Open all day.
Top dishes: cao lau (28.000VND), fresh spring rolls (35.000VND), rice pancake (39.000VND)
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese dish from the north but is enjoyed all over the country by the locals – generally as their breakfast dish. Consisting of broth, rice noodles, meat and herbs, this is by far the biggest, most flavoursome pho we’ve had. Once again a little out of town but worth the distance.
482 Cửa Đại Road. Open all day.
Top dishes: I’m not sure that she serves anything other than pho…30.000VND
We spent two weeks in Greece in 2016 and it’s safe to say this place gives the real Greek food a run for its money. We certainly weren’t expecting to be eating gyros while we were in Hội An but some raving reviews online made us jump on our bicycles for a lazy Wednesday afternoon lunch (which we’ve now agreed needs to be a weekly tradition!). Located on Hai Bà Trung Street just off An Bàng Beach, Greek Souvlaki is the perfect pit stop for lunch after a morning soaking up the sun. Fresh bread stuffed full with succulent meat, fresh salad, homemade tzatziki and fries, the gyros are hard to go past.
Hai Bà Trung Road. Look for the bright blue sign amongst all the restaurants. Open 10am-10pm.
Top dishes: chicken or pork gyros (50.000VND)Have you found any other affordable and delicious gems in Hội An? Let us know!