There has been a long history of Indian people settling in Vietnam. From as early as the beginning of the 19th century Indians settled in the country, mainly in Saigon, but a few more spread out. Then in 1986 the Doi Moi agreement was signed. This had the intention of creating a socialist market economy. Following this the population of Indian expats increased significantly.
Of course transmigration of people to and from Europe and the Indian sub-continent had been going on for much longer than this; the Spice Route saw to that. Most of the Indian people who emigrated to Vietnam settled in the South, possibly drawn by the warmer climate. However enough have settled in Hanoi to make sure of a vibrant and interesting Indian restaurant scene there.
There are plenty of alternatives for enjoying Indian food in Hanoi. The winding lanes of the Old Quarter provide some great opportunities and with the added bonus of being in the most picturesque part of the city. Namaste on Tho Nhuom is a fine example. The owner is a social chap, proud to be presenting his food in Vietnam. The restaurant regularly gets glowing reports from TripAdvisor and other review sites.
Also in the Hoan Kiem District is Khazaana, on Duong Thanh, named best Indian restaurant by the Vietnam Economic Times for the last six years running. It serves extremely good food at reasonable prices and is one of the busier restaurants in Hanoi.
The Old Quarter is a lovely place in which to spend an evening. Close to the Hoan Kiem Lake it is a myriad of winding lanes and tiny shops and businesses. There are many Indian restaurants here, though they are by no means restricted to this part of town. There are others dotted around like the very good Dalcheeni out by the West Lake.
Hanoi is an exciting city and getting better all the time. It had a reputation for closing down far too early at night and whilst it still isn’t a 24 hour party town, things are improving rapidly.