in Hoi An is, even by high Vietnamese standards, cheap
and tasty. In addition to the usual suspects, there are
three dishes that Hoi An is particularly famous for:
Cao lầu, a dish of rice noodles which are not quite as
slippery as pho and a bit closer in texture to pasta.
The secret is the water used to make it, and authentic
cao lau uses only water from a special well in the city.
The noodles are topped with slices of roast pork, dough
fritters, and this being Vietnam, lots of fresh herbs
White rose (banh bao vac), a type of shrimp dumpling
made from translucent white dough bunched up to look
like a rose.
Wantan dumplings, essentially the same as the Chinese
kind, served up in soup or deep-fried.
are really very adventurous, you can walk to the Central
Market, and have a local breakfast. Seating on stools,
eating a bowl of Cao Lau with wooden chopsticks, and
sipping the ice cold "White Coffee with vinamilk" is an
adventure. Beware though, prices will vary atrociously,
as shopkeepers swarm over you to sell you things, or
even shove plates of food before you. Just keep
declining politely and return the food if you don't
fancy it. Keep small denominations of dong with you, as
you probably won't get change if you give them US$.
Also, confirm the prices before you partake of the food.
Prices range from about 10.000-15000 dong for a bowl of
noodles, and 5000-7000 dong for a coffee. The baguette
is a nice snack, and should not cost more than 10000
dong. You can point and say no to the vegetables and
chilli that they will add. A recommended way to order is
to just say "Everything" and say "no" to the chilli.
Mineral water is around 10000 dong for a big 1.5L
Walking along the river at night, you will find a lot of
pubs. Beer is around 30000 dong. Cocktails are around
20000-50000 dong. There are some bar foods available,
such as fried prawn crackers for around 15000 dong a
plate. Just walk into any pub and have a seat.