Hanoi Xua (Ernő Street)

Hanoi Xua is a Vietnamese restaurant in Budapest best known for its extensive soup varieties, above-average fried rice plates, and some Vietnamese dishes that rarely appear in other restaurants like the chè dessert. It occupies the ground floor of a residential apartment building in the outer part of District 9, once a seedy neighborhood, but now rapidly transforming thanks to moneyed international medical students at the nearby Semmelweis University.

Hanoi Xua’s hefty menu, bound in hardcover, lists 12 types of soups, including those with pho (flat rice), bun (round rice) and mien ("glass") noodles. I most enjoyed the bun bo hue (€5), a chili-laced spicy version from central Vietnam, and the mien bo glass noodles with beef (€5). They arrived in a rich, flavorful broth, although I wish the beef shanks were softer. The bun cha and the spring and summer rolls didn't leave much of an impression, you're better off going for the perfectly oily fried rice dishes (€6).

For big eaters, this is the winning formula at Hanoi Xua: start with a bun bo hue soup, then get a plate of fried rice, and round things off with tapioca pearls in a coconut pudding (chè; €2).