In this travel guide, you’ll know about its origin and the best places to eat Cao Lau Hoi An.
What is a Cao Lau?
Cao Lau is a noodle dish served with char siu, shrimp, pork, egg, and a small amount of broth (cooked with pork bones). Char siu meat is thoroughly marinated and then boiled. Then the boiled water is also used as a side sauce.
Like other Vietnamese dishes, Cao Lau can’t truly taste the best without its accompanying vegetables.
There are 12 different types of vegetables: cucumber, star fruit, lettuce, cilantro, bitter vegetables, baby cabbage, banana cabbage, bean sprouts, and other herbs.
There is also a vegetarian version of Cao Lau, where meat and eggs are replaced by tofu and vegetables such as mushrooms.
The origin of Cao Lau Hoi An
According to records, Cao Lau appeared in the early 17th century, during the most prosperous trading period of Hoi An port.
The Chinese and Japanese traders brought their own culinary culture and gradually created a new dish, Cao Lau Hoi An, a blend of Chinese and Japanese cuisines.
Read more: If you’re interested to learn more about Hoi An culture and history, check out the book Secrets of Hoi An, where the writer walks you through thousand years of history around this historic port.
Best places to eat Cao Lau Hoi An
In Hoi An, many restaurants are decorated with red and green lanterns, so diners can enjoy the charming atmosphere at the same time. We also love dining at little local Cao Lau restaurants on your visits.
Cao Lau Thanh
This restaurant is simpler and more laid-back than other restaurants in Hoi An. While the restaurant’s space is not large, it’s always tidy and clean. I like that the restaurant always gives a feeling of a home cook whenever I dine here.
In addition to delicious food, you’ll also receive a warm welcome from the owner. Here, you can also drink cold or hot tea at no extra cost.
- Address: No. 26 Thai Phien Street, Hoi An, Quang Nam
- Opening hours: 7:00 – 19:00
- Price: About 30,000 – 45,000 VND/serving
Cao Lau Lien
Lien restaurant on Thai Phien Street has served diners for nearly 30 years. It’s one of the most popular Cao Lau restaurants in Hoi An, offering diners the most typical flavors.
All ingredients are hand-selected by Mrs. Lien early in the morning, so it’s always fresh. Wherever guests order, she prepares the noodles into the bowl with rich char siu, crispy pork skin, and fresh vegetables.
Dining at this restaurant, you can also see the kitchen and how your food is made.
- Address: 16 Thai Phien, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam
- Opening hours: 13:00 – 21:00
- Price: about 25,000 – 45,000 VND/person
Cao Lau Ba Le
Ba Le restaurant is always famous among diners for the richness and deliciousness of char siu meat, attracting diners right from the first taste.
The cook pays special attention to the ingredient preparation and creating Cao Lau noodles.
- Address: No. 49/3, Tran Hung Dao Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam
- Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00
- Price: about 20,000 – 45,000 VND / serving
Khong Gian xanh
If you are looking for a delicious Cao Lau restaurant in Hoi An, you cannot miss Khong Gian Xanh restaurant.
A feature of this restaurant is the green and cozy space, along with the attentive and dedicated staff service. We usually feel comfortable and relaxed when coming here.
You can also try other dishes here, such as fried mussels, grilled pork vermicelli, and fried wonton.
- Address: No. 687, Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoi An, Quang Nam
- Reference price: about 30,000 – 50,000 VND / serving
- Opening hours: 9:30 – 21:00
Hoi An Market
Hoi An is a culinary paradise with many tasty dishes. You can try the Cao Lau dish at an affordable price, starting from 20,000 VND.
- Address: The intersection of Bach Dang, Tran Phu, and Nguyen Thai Hoc streets
- Opening hours: 6:00 – 22:00
- Price: About 20,000 – 30,000 VND / serving