This is a guest post by Emma who writes for Hoi An Now. Follow Hoi An Now for the latest things to do in Hoi An on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hoi An, the ancient pearl of Vietnam’s cities, is a foodie’s delight. There’s plenty of activities to keep you occupied here – from rice field excursions to Nipa palm explorations, shopping in the Old Town to swimming at An Bang beach.
But one of the most exciting things about this place is its cuisine. From upmarket restaurants to roadside stalls, the local dishes will have you constantly hungry for more and you’ll never be spoiled for choice.
But what about your kids? They may not care for sampling Hoi An specialities, they just want a fun day out. Likewise, sometimes all you’ll want is somewhere to keep them occupied for a couple of hours while you relax.
Thankfully, Hoi An is a very family-friendly place, with a host of cafes and eateries to choose from that both you and your kids will love.
Here are my Top 10 family Restaurants in Hoi An:
10. Bao Han
Fussy kids will be easily pacified at this local place on Cua Dai. The charming owner Phi is happy to adapt her menu to suit their tastes (‘not spicy, no mushrooms’ etc.) and is so confident in the quality of her food that she operates a ‘no like, no pay’ policy.
Bao Han specialises in traditional Vietnamese fare but has some Western options, too – either way, you’re in for a treat.
Address: 17 Cua Dai
9. Paddy’s Irish Pub
It might seem strange to have an Irish pub on a list of family-friendly restaurants but trust me on this one! First of all, it’s got a swimming pool so it’s perfect for those sweltering summer afternoons. Secondly, the owners are really friendly and they’re happy to split a meal onto two plates for instant kid-sized portions.
Finally, they have a lovely dog called Polly to add to the homely atmosphere. And of course, a dash of that Irish charm never goes astray. 😉
Address: 97 Cua Dai
8. The Field
Both the service and the food are great here but the biggest selling point is its picturesque setting. With the river close by you can see ducks, boats and fishermen float by, set against a brilliant green background of rice paddies. There are lovely grassy areas for the kids to play in and the peaceful setting is enhanced by pretty coloured lanterns.
Tip: Arrive just before sunset so you can fully appreciate the surroundings!
Address: Tong Van Suong, Vong Nhi hamlet, Cam Thanh
7. Cargo Club
A little on the pricier side but well worth it for the great views from the balcony overlooking the Thu Bon River. It’s an ideal spot for a weekend breakfast but really, all the food here is beautifully prepared. With both local and western dishes to choose from, plus an extensive selection of pastries and cakes in the bakery downstairs, this is a place to truly treat yourselves.
Address: 107 – 109 Nguyen Thai Hoc
6. Tra Que Waterwheel
This restored traditional Vietnamese building, set against a beautiful backdrop of organic vegetable gardens, provides a wonderful setting for a family meal. The freshest of ingredients are used, making for an unforgettable dining experience…and for an, even more, special one, why not sign up for a cooking class? Your kids will love the market tour, dressing up as farmers to pick vegetables and learning how to make rice paper in the traditional way. The meal you’ll share together will be even more delicious after putting in the effort!
Tip: Cycle through the fields to get there and enjoy picturesque views like conical-hatted farmers tending to their crops and water buffalo lazily basking in the sun.
Address: Tra Que Vegetable Village, Cam Ha, Hoi An
5. Bazar Café & Restaurant
Although this is classed as a traditional Vietnamese restaurant, it includes western options on the menu to keep fussier kids happy. But the real reason it’s made my list is its beautiful garden setting. An oasis of calm in the heart of the Old Town, the enclosed courtyard is perfect for your kids to run around…although perhaps visit as a lunchtime treat, to keep the romantic evening atmosphere intact! Owners Thanh and her Italian husband Federico complete the warm and family-friendly atmosphere.
Address: 36 Tran Phu
4. Sunrise Resort
This one is definitely for a special treat. It may not be cheap but the facilities at the Sunrise Resort provide a wonderful day out for the entire family – far more than just a meal! There’s a kids club with different activities every day, video games for older kids to play and a luxurious pool to dip in before a leisurely lunch. FInish your afternoon with a Happy Hour cocktail on the man-made beach and prepare to tear yourself away. It’ll be tricky.
Address: Cua Dai Beach
3. Soul Kitchen
Continuing with the beach bum theme, Soul Kitchen makes it to my Top 3. Why? Well, there’s the gorgeous surroundings, with comfy couches overlooking the sea and shaded, grassy areas for the kids to play in. Then there’s the food – mini burgers, hand-cut chips and more to fill up on after a morning’s swimming. And of course, there’s the beach itself. Get away from the bustle of downtown and take a holiday from your holiday. Your kids’ll love it.
Address: An Bang Beach
2. Dingo Deli
With seating outside and indoors, an ‘adventure playground’, a tasty bakery and even an onsite mini-market, Dingo Deli’s got a lot to offer. An extensive menu covers all the western food you might crave, from pizzas to pies, and they even have a separate kids menu! Enjoy a delicious coffee after your lunch, give the treats from the bakery a try and keep an eye on your kids as they enjoy the trampoline, the swings and the treehouse outside. Happy families all round.
Address: 277 Cua Dai
1. Little Circus
A newbie to Hoi An, The Little Circus is already a firm family favourite. It’s got play areas inside and out with slides, ball pools and pretend houses. It’s got board games for older kids, with plans in the works for movie nights and teen yoga classes. And it’s got a cute café, with tables on a verandah for you to enjoy a juice or coffee. The menu might be small, with quiche as the only savoury option, but your kids are bound to love those mini-cakes!
Address: Cam Thanh, Hoi An
Bonus recommendation (since you’ve been so good)…
An alternative way to taste Hoi An’s delights – and to sample some local culture while you’re at it – is to hit the streets. There’s one particular street food tour that I highly recommend, where you’ll have a complete food adventure within the Old Town’s narrow streets. But if you’ve had enough of tours and you fancy a more DIY version, the night market is a great place to start. There you’ll find anything from banh xeo (crispy pancakes) to tau hu nuoc duong (a silken tofu dessert with sweet ginger syrup). And for the less adventurous, there’s always icecream. 😉
Address: Nguyen Hoang, An Hoi Islet
I hope you’ve found some tasty options in this list. If there’s anything I’ve left out, feel free to share them in the comments below.
If you would like more travel tips for eating out with kids pop over to our Eating Out With Kids page.
*DISCLOSURE: Images courtesy of Hoi An Now and Unsplash