Lucky for me, the New York Times’ updated 36 Hours in Hanoi was published the week before I was in Vietnam. I leaned heavily on this as a source of dining recommendations and was not disappointed.
Dinner at State-Run Food Shop No. 37 was by far my best meal in Vietnam. There was sauteed morning glory and pumpkin with garlic and all manner of goodness.
Dinner was followed by drinks at Tadioto which has a moody, cool vibe with oversized modern art paintings and dark walls. Mango cocktails were delicious.
My final recommendation is lychees — from a street vendor, on the breakfast buffet or in a cocktail. Eat the lychees. All of the lychees.