Where to eat in Hue

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During our stay in Hue, Brecht spent most of the time in the hospital, as you may have read in a previous blogpost. Food and drinks were not included in the hospital stay and the food in the cafetaria wasn’t that great, so I was tasked to get take-out food for every meal. For me, every morning started with breakfast at  Jade Hotel, where I stayed, and getting a croissant (16,000 VND) and a pain au chocolat (20,000 VND) at  La Boulangerie Française for Brecht. He looked forward to my arrival every morning! Just because I came bearing deliciousness.

Our first night in Hue was immediately the first time I went to get take-out. Brecht was feeling sick, not in the mood for an outdoor dinner. I checked with the reception and they actually recommended Nina’s Cafe, which I mistook for the  Family Home Restaurant, located in the same street. I ordered chicken curry with rice for 75,000 VND and got Brecht some instant noodles in a shady little shop on the way back to the hotel. I seem to mislike the Vietnamese curry (think I prefer the Indian one), so our first take-out dinner was not really a success. Brecht did like his noodles though.

The next day, Brecht was feeling better, so we ate breakfast at the hotel, had some work done and went out for lunch to  Mandarin Cafe. I had the stir fried chicken with vegetables for 80,000 VND. It was OK, but I’ve had better. Brecht chose chicken soup with egg for 35,000 VND. It tasted OK, but the soup would have been better without the egg. The owner is friendly old man. He’s a photographer and displays numerous of his photographs in the restaurant. He gave us a free postcard, made of one of his photographs. Don’t forget to ask for a (free) walking map of Hue, the main reason for our visit to the restaurant.

In the afternoon Brecht started feeling worse again, so we stayed in to rest. We agreed that when the fever from the previous day returned, we would go to the hospital, just to be sure. And so we did in the late afternoon. They decided Brecht should stay in the hospital for some blood tests. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so I went to the hospital cafeteria to check out their menu. Not a lot of choice and not a lot of dishes I cared to try. So I got us both some soup which wasn’t that bad at all. After this three days of eating take-out food in the hospital would follow.

Chicken Soup at Mandarin Cafe
Enjoying some take-away on the Hospital Bed
Chicken Soup from the Hospital Cafetaria
Stir Fried Beef at Nina's Cafe

As I mentioned before, I ate breakfast at the hotel and got breakfast for Brecht on my way to the hospital. The same routine every morning. For lunch and dinner, we tried several different restaurants. One of them was  Nina's Cafe, tucked away at the end of a small side street. I got a warm welcome from Nina and when she heard my boyfriend was in the hospital with possibly dengue fever, she told me her (boy)friend (not sure which one) had it once as well. While waiting for the food, we talked about his experience with dengue fever. I ordered Hue chicken curry for 80,000 VND and stir fried chicken with vegetables for 70,000 VND. Yup, definitely not a fan of Hue or Vietnamese curry, but the stir fried chicken was good. When Brecht was released from the hospital, we returned there for stir fried beef with onions (75,000 VND), which was simple but decent, and stir fried shrimp with vegetables and mushrooms (85,000 VND), which was OK. The restaurant is cosy and the menu is elaborate, with a star next to Nina’s favourite dishes.

Risotto Restaurant was definitely our favourite! I got take-out there twice and we went there for dinner as well the day Brecht got released from the hospital. The owner is very very friendly. Everyone gets free (good) bruschetta while waiting for their food, as did I while waiting for my take-out pizza. I didn’t even have to pay for the coke I drank while waiting. And this was before she knew my boyfriend was in the hospital! The pizza (130,000 VND per pizza) was delicious, without a doubt the best one we had in Southeast-Asia up until now. The second time we had take-out pasta: spaghetti bolognese and pesto (85,000 VND each), both OK, not great, but pasta is not that fit for take-out as pizza of course. The third time we went to celebrate Brecht’s release from the hospital. Brecht had a pretty good lasagna for 100,000 VND and I had a delicious pizza zucca for 150,000 VND. The Vietnamese white wine (175,000 VND for a bottle) was a bit sour for our taste though.

Very happy with the Pizza Birthe brought
Pizza Zucca at Risotto Restaurant

I went to  Cafe on Thu Wheels twice for some take-out soup. Their tomato soup is delicious and costs only 28,000 VND for a decent portion. Brecht also tried the mushroom soup, but it was not like we’re used to in Belgium. It was more like bouillon soup with mushrooms that didn’t taste like mushrooms the way we know them. While waiting for my order, I could read the messages from previous visitors that covered the walls and ceiling of the little cafe.

Brecht likes Japanese, so after he was released from the hospital, we went to, a Japanese restaurant not far from our hotel. Brecht ate Sake Teriyaki, a salmon dish for 120,000 VND, which was OK, but nothing special. I had Tendon, tempura with rice for 70,000 VND. It was good, I love tempura, but despite the soy sauce, it was a bit dry. I guess this is probably just the way they eat it, but I like some sauce with my food. We tried Korokke (55,000 VND) as well, kind of fried mashed potato balls that turned out to be really good.

When Brecht was feeling better, we visited the Hue Imperial City. After a morning of wandering the royal grounds, we went to  Les Jardins de la Carambole to fill our empty bellies. We tried the salad La Carambole (120,000 VND) and the chicken Caesar Salad (160,000 VND), both delicious. It was nice to eat something different for a change. It was a bit more expensive than most restaurants, but they had Gouda cheese, and we love Gouda cheese!

Japanese food at Ta Ke
Sake Teriyaki
The slightly expensive but great Les Jardins de la Carambole
Delicious Caesar Salad
Loving the food at Les Jardins de la Carambole

We sampled a lot more places to eat in Hue than we would have if Brecht hadn’t gotten sick. Although we had mostly take-out, we hope our experiences help you choose a restaurant to answer your tastes and needs. Hope you’ll have a more pleasant experience in Hue than we did!