Four of IMEA’s Favourite Restaurants in Nha Trang

Four of IMEA’s Favourite Restaurants in Nha Trang.

These restaurants may not be advertised in all the guide books, but they are certainly well known to the locals and definitely represent excellent value for money and the very best of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.


“If you went to a restaurant in Nha Trang for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day for a year, you still would only experience a fraction of the possibilities available”. Local Expat. I think he tried it.

Lac Canh BBQ Restaurant

This legendary restaurant offers the best BBQ in town (maybe in all Vietnam) and possibly the cheapest. Cook at your table with small clay charcoal barbeques. It’s been a popular place for a long time and probably hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. Some attribute its success to one simple dish - the marinated beef cubes. It’s crowded, busy, noisy, and smoky but heaps of fun and great food. Don’t wear your best clothes, unless you enjoy that BBQ aroma at home.

Quan Banh Canh Ba Thua. Fish Noodle Soup

Although Banh Canh (a fish noodle soup) is readily available around Nha Trang, this one small restaurant has become famous. The story goes that the originator of this recipe, Grandma Thua, prepared and served this dish for many years before her passing - now the family continues the tradition. And the soup remains unchanged due to its fame and popularity. Only small plastic stools and low tables but you will probably still need to wait for a place.

But the real joy resides in eating the soup – and of course, there’s nowhere else in the world to get it. Cooked in a special clear broth, served with flat white noodles and chunks of white fish (Mackerel). The real secret may be in the accompanying baked fish cake (in very hot chilli sauce), covered with cured sliced onion. Just add the lemon.

Quan 69 Bach Dang. Vit Tiem Duck Restaurant.

This very popular restaurant may fit the adage “very good, very cheap, very Vietnamese”. Noisy, busy and now famous for its good food, cheap beer and its speciality duck dish, Vit Tiem. You’ll get the whole precooked duck (including head and feet) served at your table in a simmering hot pot. Locals say that the soup is made using various medicinal herbs and spices based on a traditional Chinese recipe. The duck meat falls of the bone and combined with the soup and bread rolls or rice noodles, tastes absolutely delicious.

Co Tam Vegetarian Restaurant

Co Tam Vegetarian Restaurant has also been around a long time and has a reputation for serving the most carefully prepared and delicious vegetarian dishes. Buddhist monks often frequent this establishment at the invitation of friends and families, in fact the décor and food follows a Buddhist theme.  A feature of their food is the presentation. Paradoxically, the menu advertises dishes like prawn or chicken salad, even beef curry but fortunately they turn out be all made from vegetables. It must take a lot of time and skill to make these dishes look (and taste somewhat) like the real thing. The baby prawns look like real prawns, the chicken looks like real chicken. A lot of non-vegetarians eat here regularly just to enjoy the special cuisine. So don’t miss out!