Hidden in the mess of alleyways behind Elegant Suites in West Lake, you can reach La Bicicleta by turning off of Quang An at the suggestion of an unassuming sign, or you can get there by turning left, then left and the going straight down alley 31 from Xuan Dieu. You can approach it a myriad of other ways, too, but I’ll spare you the confusion. The point is this: La Bicicleta can be hard to find.

The problem with French food is that it’s just so good. If you’re cutting out carbs or restricting fats, I recommend you avoid this country’s cuisine altogether. On the other hand, what’s life without the good bits?

My first experience with this bakery happened when I was riding by — the pastry shop’s signage and shining glass window grabbed my eyes. I decided to go inside.

Enjoy is the brainchild of Hoi An-based photographer Réhahn Croquevielle — you know, the guy who takes pictures of people covering their smiles with their hands. They’ve got continental comfort food, Tra Que-sourced Vietnamese dishes and Italian coffee on the menu. Réhahn’s photo gallery is in the back.
But that’s not why we’ve come. We’ve come to try the ice cream — all 57 flavours.

The craziness of a Saturday night in District 1 is just a murmur eight floors below, as we take our seats in Acacia’s recently remodelled indoor/outdoor dining area. Gentle pockets of light illuminate cosy nooks of rattan and bamboo. Cool grey hues contrast with tropical greenery. I’m picking up a contemporary Malibu-beachside vibe. It is intimate yet casual; formal, but without the formalities.

There were whispers of excitement when the Moose & Roo Pub and Grill opened its doors on Ma May Street in 2013. Tourists flocked there after reading emphatic TripAdvisor recommendations, while locals quickly spread word about the restaurant’s tasty cuisine.

The best way to overcome the March winter blues in Hanoi is heading indoors and diving into a big bowl of homemade tomato soup — accompanied by a crusty baguette, of course.

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