Most middle-aged locals in Hanoi grew up during the state-subsidised period, which began in 1976 after Vietnam’s unification and lasted until the economic reform in 1986. Three decades later, a nostalgia for this period still inundates the capital, with wistful communist-style cafés and restaurants are scattered throughout the city. Among them, State-Run Food Shop #37 is Hanoi’s most-beloved and convincingly decorated – its patchy walls are plastered with retro typefaces and framed food ration stamps, and the wooden dining tables are surrounded by an array of vintage Soviet fans and rusty transistor radios. However, its simple, northern home-style dishes gratify all senses with a delicate heartiness. Highlights include sweet and sour clam soup, and an upside-down dome of crispy fried rice that can be easily cracked into pieces.
Take a break from your Hanoi adventures and stop by this cute café for artisanal bakes and a fortifying cup of coffee
An innovative Japanese-Italian restaurant specialising in wood-fired pizza
A hole-in-the-wall pho spot that's popular with locals