Dalat offers a small but nice selection of restaurants and cafés, especially around the lake, but its true charm lies in its many small kitchens where people are crowding with hot meals around a blazing fire on chilly evenings.
Dining in Dalat is not the most unique experience in Vietnam, but with the availability of fresh produce, the lingering French influence and a few regional touches, local eateries and deluxe restaurants alike are sure to please.
Made in Dalat: Fresh Produce
Known for its agriculture, Dalat produces the majority of Vietnam’s exotic fruits and vegetables. Get it straight from the source at the abundant fruit market, an adventurous eater’s paradise.
One local specialty, “sup atiso”, offers health benefits in addition to flavor. An artichoke heart is boiled with shaved pork and onions, topped off with coriander. For something a little special, order up a cup of artichoke tea, available at most venues.
Restaurants in Dalat
The best restaurant in Dalat is Long Hoa, a full service Vietnamese restaurant with grilled, fried and steamed variations of national dishes. If you’d rather dine with a view, get a table at Than Thuy along the lake, which offers Vietnamese and Sichuan kitchen.
Good Vietnamese food makes you want more at Art Café. They also serve a selection of Dalat wines.
Vegetarian dishes made from fresh, local produce is available together with life music at V Café.
Eating at The Night Market of Dalat
At night, one of the best spots for dinner is the central market, as vendors and stalls pour out into the street to serve up everything the city has to offer. With cheap prices, local crowds and irreplaceable ambience, only a cutting cold wind could offset the mood.
Dalat Kitchen & Street Food Culture
Around the Center of Dalat City you will find several places where locals are crowding in the evening for a hot dinner. These are the places you want to go, because there you find the most amazing street food of Dalat.
Kitchens offer a delicious soup with meatballs reminiscent of goulash, together with a grilled, hot baguette, for example in Le Dai Hanh Street.
At another spot you see a venue selling awesome thick, hot drinks, made from beans, corn, black sesame or peanuts. The place is called “Sữa Hoa” (Flower Milk) and in Tang Bat Ho street, but since the staff members are in a permanent state of disgruntlement, we quickly renamed it “Grumpy Milk”. Even if their bean milk is really good, the cold cakes to dip into it are not, and are better bought at the great bakery in Ba Thang Hai street nearby.
These places among others, show what street food in Dalat is all about: Crowding around a fire with a hot meal or drink in your hands. Because the evenings in the “Town of Eternal Spring” can get quite chilly.