The Completely (In)Complete Guide To Danang

Danang Guide

This is Danang, the vibrant coastal city that is rapidly becoming one of Vietnam’s must-visit culinary destinations. And, by the way, there are beaches too, in case you get tired of eating and drinking.

Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt

And it’s all nestled between the crystal-clear waters of the East Sea and the majestic Marble Mountains. There, Danang offers more than just stunning scenery. This city is a haven for food lovers, boasting an eclectic mix of traditional Vietnamese flavors, fresh seafood, and innovative fusion cuisine.

Whether you’re craving the simplicity of a freshly rolled spring roll or the complex flavors of a steaming bowl of Mi Quang, Da Nang’s food scene promises to take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.

My Khe Beach Danang
There’s beaches, by the way, in case you get tired of eating and drinking.

The Completely (In)Complete Guide To Danang

From downtown, with its elegant pink church and central market, over the Dragon Bridge, you hit Danang’s main drag and My Khe Beach, with its beach clubs and food trucks, and with hotel after hotel lined up obediently across the street. 

To the north, all that gradually fades out.

Fishing boats replace suntanned tourists bobbing in the sea. Paragliders circle and land. And then, you’re into the green lungs of the city, the winding road up into the Son Tra Peninsula. Glancing back across the bay gives you a whole new (and very photogenic) perspective on the city. The volume dials down to birdsong and hard-put-upon hikers panting along the roadside. 

Monkeys get familial in the foliage, and down below there are secluded secret beaches that feel a million miles from My Khe. 

Turning south, the other way, weaving around barefoot beachgoers trying to cross the road dripping wet, you pass the hip neighborhood of An Thuong before the road straightens out and leads all the way to Hoi An.

North, south, and everywhere in between this is ‘da nak,’ the ethnic Cham word for the opening of a big river. But let’s stick to the script and call it Danang. 

And this is your completely incomplete guide to Danang, because in this, Vietnam’s 5th largest city of over 1 million people, everything is in flux, with new places opening constantly (which we’ll keep adding and editing to keep this list up to date). We do the same with our completely (in)complete guides to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City too.

Danang's beaches
My Khe Beach, Danang.

Your Completely (In)Complete Guide To Danang: Where To Eat Drink And Sleep

There’s the weekly Dragon Bridge fire and water show, trips to the market, and the church, and the beaches, but, like every self-respecting city in Vietnam, downtown Danang is a place to be as much as a place to see. Insert regular trips to Herbal Boutique Spa (90 Duong Dinh Street), the pre-eminent place for relaxation (although there’s lots of others nearby if its two centers on opposite sides of the street are fully booked), and you’re in line for a blissful few days. 

Where To Drink In Danang

In downtown Danang, United Bar (2 Nguyen Chi Thanh, Thach Thang, Hai Chai) might be the most viral cocktail bar in the country.

United Bar Danang
Cozy dive bar vibes at United Bar with its viral banh mi stall entrance.

Inside has cozy dive bar vibes, with a steady, well-priced selection of classics, but it’s the entrance that’s the big attraction. What looks like a banh mi stand is actually the entrance in.  

Tê Bar Da Nang is more mixology focused
Danang’s Tê Bar.

For something more mixology-oriented, go to Tê Bar Da Nang (3rd Floor, Nguyen Thai Hoc). It’s a refined, but still fun, kind of cocktail bar above a branch of Cong Cafe (remember to order Cong’s signature coconut coffee. It might change your life…for the better). They’ve launched artsy menus, like Cocktails From Movies, with the Manhattan from Some Like It Hot and the Stinger from Beaches. Watch out for regular guest shifts backed by a bouncing soundtrack provided by regular duos like DJ D.A and MC WINO.

Tê Bar Da Nang
Tê Bar Danang has mixology on its mind.

The Tailor Bar (57 Tran Quy Cap) is a much more intimate affair, a single room with a mezzanine upstairs. As the name suggests, the exterior looks exactly like a tailor’s shop – well-dressed mannequins guard the door. The menu is signature packed, there’s a highball happy hour, and decent classics, and a steady stream of guest bartenders to stir things up a little. 

Tailor bar hidden behind a tailor's shop
Danang’s Tailor Bar, behind a window lined with tailorshop mannequins.

Tiki bars and beaches were meant to be together. Even though we’re still downtown, a little distance from the beach, Makara (162a Nguyen Chi Thanh) is keeping the combo alive with their Danang tiki bar. The anonymous entrance underplays the moody vibes inside – a dimly lit tiki bar that’s soaked in Champa culture, or, as they call it, ‘original tiki-Viet style,’ with rooms upstairs, each differently themed, for private sessions fuelled by their tiki-style sweet and sour cocktails – like their Ms. Mai’s Mai-Tai. 

The Heart Of Darkness (178 Tran Phu) brewery has ventured out of Saigon to open a taphouse on the ground floor of Wink Hotel Danang Centre (more on the hotel later). 

Heart Of Darkness Danang
Heart of Darkness craft brewery’s taphouse downstairs from Wink Hotel Danang Centre.

There they’ve upheld the impeccable service and crushable beers (and a few cocktails, should you want one) that has made Heart Of Darkness Saigon such a success. Doubters beware, the Heart Of Darkness team revel in flipping the craft beer unconverted. Added to that, in this up and coming part of town, Maison Marou (197-199 Tran Phu), has opened up right across the street, serving their rich coffee-chocolate mocas and brownies, and chocolate bars and other branded gifts to go.   

A few doors down from Wink, there’s more beer crushing brilliance at Brewhaha (16 Thai Phien). There’s a cool corner location, to watch the one-way traffic flow down Tran Phu Street, while the beers flow too. Or out back there’s a garden for a bit of air as you work your way through their international selection of beers – locally-brewed Australian-style Redrock or some Belgian Leffe.

Live music at C Bar Danang
Live music in Danang at C Bar.

Also, watch out for On The Radio’s (35 Thai Phien) regular live shows and events, in a cavernous venue. And, similarly, C Bar (100 Le Quang Dao Street), smartly combines atmospheric cocktail bar with live music venue, in a design-conscious, evocative, but reclusive location above a restaurant, Nhà Hàng Ngon Thị Hoa.

“The only Greek mythology cocktail bar in Danang,” P.Antheon (6 Floor, 53 Nguyen Van Linh, Danang) proudly proclaims. It’s a niche category, but that shouldn’t detract from how good this small, intimate bar really is. There’s the shimmering circular lights above the central bar with seats all around, and mythical menus themed, for example, around the epics of Greek Gods like Hades. Thankfully, in case you’re slipping too deeply into mythology there’s a large window that frames modern Danang outside.

Towards Son Tra, following the beach north, paragliders circle and land right on the sand of Son Tra Beach. There’s a sign, in front of the pagoda, for paragliding experiences, accessed along the other side of the Son Tra Peninsula past the Son Tra Retreat – Garden Lounge & Eatery (11 Le Van Luong, Tho Quang, Son Tra). At the retreat the menu mostly sticks to tourist-friendly Vietnamese classics – bo luc lac and beef in betel leaf – with some seriously good cocktails and cigars you can enjoy in the garden.

Son Tra Retreat
Danang’s Son Tra Retreat.

Staying in lane, the road winds past the Son Tra Marina (Ho Xanh, Tho Quang), a restaurant designed with Santorini in mind, with whitewashed walls and sky blue shutters, and breathtaking views back towards Danang. 

There are a couple of resorts set in the slope down to the sea, and the Đồng Đình Museum (472G+F56 Hoàng Sa) on the hillside – worth a stop to see some passable artworks, but more so for its vantage point and coffee shop with a view.  

Son Tra Marina
Whitewashed walls at the Santorini-style Son Tra Marina.

There’s another steep road accessed through a pagoda gate – probably with a queue of tourist buses indicating to turn off the main road – that leads to the Lady Buddha statue and Linh Ung Pagoda.

There are congregations of motorbikes along the way – the sign of a secluded beach like Bãi Cát Vàng, accessed through makeshift stairs.

And then, as the road becomes lined with decorative monkey statues and an ornamental balustrade, and the occasional vendor hawking drinks, you’re breathing the rarified air of the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort (Bai Bac, Tho Quang, Son Tra). 

If the Red Duoc Langurs are the Simon & Garfunkels of the treetops, folky, introverted animals peering down from the canopy, then the Rhesus Macaques are the Stooges, rampaging around the resort, jimmying open doors and looting minibars.  

Citron at InterContinental Danang
The upturned non la hats as tables at Citron, at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is prime early-period Bill Bensley design; a grand imperial palace on the hillside with odd touches, the rickety cable car down to the beach and pelican statues peering across the bathtubs.

Outside guests can visit the Bill Bensley Art Gallery, crammed with his eclectic works, or have lunch or dinner at Citron on one of the upturned non-la-hat tables overlooking the bay or at the colonial mansion that houses Pierre Gagnaire’s La Maison 1888.

La Maison 1888
Chef’s table at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort’s La Maison 1888.

There are more quirky touches inside the restaurant’s mansion, like the three private dining rooms imagined as the rooms of the siblings who lived here – an accountants room with a wall filled with antique adding machines, a room filled with vintage travel memorabilia, and a scarlet-red lady’s boudoir.

Over at the beach, there’s the mix of seafood restaurants and beach clubs, you’d expect to find. 

East West Brewing Co (1A Vo Nguyen Giap) have opened a huge craft beer venue (founder Loc reckons it’s twice the size of the already-very-big original Saigon microbrewery and taphouse). It is a monolithic block dropped right onto the beach, and close to the popular Danang location of Esco Beach Club (12 Vo Nguyen Giap) – there’s another one on Hoi An’s An Bang Beach.

At East West Brewing Co. they serve their perennially popular craft beers – their Far East IPA and their East West Pale Ale – alongside a menu that builds on the gastro pub-style one at the original East West Brewing Co. only with lots more freshly caught seafood, plus fun offers like their weekend freeflow ‘Kegs & Eggs’ brunch (350K). 

East West Brewing Co. Danang
In front of East West Brewing Co.’s monolithic Danang taphouse.

Nearby, on a quiet backstreet, is Whale Bar – Cocktail & Jazz (16 Morrison) with a sultrily-lit sign outside of a whale submerging itself, and some satisfying Japanese-style mixology.

Further south, Maia Danang (290 Vo Nguyen Giap) is packed too. It’s the founder John Gnoni’s third beachfront venue – after his other beach club, Paradiso, and Sugardaddy.

Breezy Maia Beachclub’s snazzy bamboo structure has lots of seats inside and cabanas outside that line the beach. There are lots of cocktails too – a 3-month barrel-aged Negroni, a tangy Mojito Martini coughing up dry ice, and lots of other fun stuff – Pornstar Martinis and Pina Coladas. And this part of the beach is fun too, with lots of food trucks and suntanned people. “Surely the second best beachclub in Vietnam?” John suggests with his usual exuberance.

Maia Beachclub Danang
Beachclub vibes at Maia Danang.

Then, heading south on the beach road, you’re into the hip neighborhood of An Thuong. There, the easy listening cocktail bar, The Craftsman Danang (48 Phan Tu), opened in 2019. Since then, it’s been the gateway drug for Danang’s residents to fall in love with a well-made classic. There are vinyl nights and a jazz band often sashaying in front of a red curtain. 

Craftsman cocktail bar Danang
The Craftsman, one of Danang’s original and best cocktail bars.

Where To Eat In Danang

Think downtown for the best street food in Danang, beachside for seafood. Simple. 

Danang has a uniquely Central Vietnamese take to its street food – whether localized versions of pho, or indigenous mi quang (Danang was part of Quang Nam Province – from where mi quang gets its name – before it became one of Vietnam’s five municipalities).

Start with Bánh Xèo Bà Dưỡng (280/23 Hoang Dieu, Hai Chau). It’s disconcerting at first, staring down the empty alley, wondering if this is the place. But, as you get nearer, the noise coming from this packed restaurant is confirmation. The bánh xèo is crispy, without the greasiness of other restaurants, the skewers have the perfect lick of flame, and, satisfyingly, you get to roll your own, remixing your hand roll with greens and beansprouts, bánh xèo and pork-skewer meat, before dipping it in the umami blast of their hoisin-pork liver and peanut sauce. 

Another essential street food in Danang is mi quang – a Central Vietnamese noodle dish perfect for the indecisive, best enjoyed at Ba Vi (166 Le Dinh Duong). Desire broth? It has some. Prefer dry? It’s that too. It has the same tactile thrill as Bánh Xèo Bà Dưỡng only here you get to rip greens and rain them into the bowl, and crunch up a rice cracker – which goes in too. 

Back in 2020, we went for lunch at Masterchef runner up Carol Pham’s Da Nang restaurant, NU ĐỒ Kitchen – MasterChef Noodle (11/1 Luu Quang Thuan), to sample her unique take on the Central Vietnamese classic, Mi Quang.

Carol had played around with it a little, influenced by her travels to India and Malaysia, but also by her childhood.

“The people of Điện Bàn, where I grew up, between Hoi An and Danang, don’t eat much meat, they eat fish and so they use spices like turmeric, ginger and onion. So I grew up with those flavors. They’re my flavors. I’m a spice girl!” she told us. Today, she’s more contented than ever. With a steady flow of guests entering the atmospheric, yellow-walled space she calls NU ĐỒ Kitchen.

Pizza 4Ps Danang
Peace through pizza at Pizza 4Ps Danang.

Ten years and counting, and Pizza 4Ps (74 Bach Dang and 8 Hoang Van Thu) remains a beloved made-in-Vietnam institution. From humble beginnings in an alley off Saigon’s Le Thanh Ton, Masuko and Sanae have spread the message of peace through pizza across the country and beyond. 

There’s lots to love – fresh burrata salads, creative pizzas and crab pasta, served with natural wines and craft beers. And there’s two outlets in Danang. Despite that, booking ahead is recommended (through their on-point web platform).  

Similarly, El Gaucho (351 Tran Hung Dao) is a brand that’s grown and grown – find them in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, Koh Samui, Pattaya and Bangkok – while retaining its soul, which mostly means a warm El Gaucho welcome and service, and lots of free shots of their moreish house-made caramel vodka. The steaks are good too, especially on Super Tuesdays when they’re half price. 

At Si Dining (1 Giang Chau 2), expect Italian cuisine that’s as integrated into its surroundings as the venue, surrounded as it is by lush greenery in a peaceful part of Danang.

Si Dining Danang
Stylish Si Dining.

There, Chef Alessio Rasom, whose globetrotting career has taken him from Europe, to Japan and Korea and now Danang, creates ingredient-driven daily menus, with a sensitivity to the seasons and local-sourcing, as with his Vietnamese mackerel tataki, and grilled squid served with roasted butter potato cream, N’duja sauce and balsamic onion jam. As you’d expect, there’s lots of reassuringly good pasta dishes too, like Alessio’s spaghettoni pasta with Hokkaido scallop and salmon roe caviar.

Fish dish at Si Dining
Chef Alessio Rasom’s Danang red mullet, with ricotta, pecorino, dill pesto and turmeric-lemon.

Saigon’s had a taste of Summer Le’s narrative-driven tasting menus, but this fascinating foodie started out in Danang.

She temporarily closed her first restaurant, Nén Danang (16 My Da Tay 2) – where she once welcomed celebrity chef Dominique Crenn – around the time of the pandemic, to open Nén Light in Saigon. But she’s since reopened the Danang original, in front of which, the voracious investigator of local ingredients has a small farm cultivating greens and herbs that go into her unforgettable ‘Story’ menus. 

Nén Danang
Homeward bound with Summer Le at Nén Danang.

At Le Comptoir (16 Che Lan Vien) the co-founders’ passion shines through. Chef Olivier and Myriam are usually buzzing about, Olivier describing each dish in detail and Myriam doing the same with the wine.

Chef Olivier and sommelier Myriam outside Le Comptoir Danang
Le Comptoir’s Myriam and Olivier .

There’s an a la carte menu, and a helpful series of set-menus to make the choice much easier.

This is brilliant modern French bistro cuisine – a photogenic pâté en croûte and intricately marbled wagyu beef with Robuchon-style mash – that you could return to again and again. In case it’s all a little too down to earth, the team are also behind the rooftop bar, The Gypsy (20 Dong Da Street), with a modern dining menu, classy cocktail experience, and breathtaking rooftop views.

Le Comptoir Danang
This is brilliant modern French bistro cuisine, like Le Comptoir’s photogenic pâté en croûte.

SIX ON SIX Cafe (Ba Huyen Thanh Quan) is the epitome of Danang’s breezy beachfront energy – even though it’s on a back street some way from the beach.

There’s the terrace seating out front, and the surprisingly big space inside, divided into sections – the front room with the fish tank with its turtle perennially trying to escape, the long space beside the open kitchen, and the garden area out back.

Brunch in Danang at Six on Six
Brunch in Danang at Six On Six.

The menu is equally adaptable, perfect for brunch in Danang, with cold brew coffee and kombuchas, and plates of huevos rancheros and smashed avocado, feta cheese and poached eggs. They’ve been expanding their dinner options too with set menus, and seafood-centric dishes like their pastis clams with fettuccine. 

Indian restaurant in Danang: Rang
Rang is a splash of color along Vo Nguyen Giap.

The snazzy new Indian, Rang (384 Vo Nguyen Giap), has opened up on the main road. It’s delicate frontage is like a mini Taj Mahal with a Vietnamese twist.

Inside it’s equally ornate – both in design, with dazzling, colorful wall murals, and in cuisine, with Chef Sohan Singh Bisht’s tandoor oven dispensing naan breads and kebabs, and his kitchen serving Indian cuisine with Mediterranean influences, and satisfying twists on classics, like their Gulab Jamun Pavlova or their NaanSense chocolate naan.

There’s even an elegant line of cocktails, with a dazzlingly colorful series inspired by India’s power dashed Holi Festival. 

Rang Indian restaurant Danang
Discover modern Indian cuisine, like their Tandoori Octopus, inspired by Octopus A La Pancha, at Rang.

And there’s Dirty Fingers (404 Vo Nguyen Giap), a big, bold, BBQ joint, with live sports, smiling staff and an entrance as open-mouthed as guests when they see the menu – chili cheese fries, pulled pork sliders, and ribs done low and slow, “just like back home.” 

Where To Sleep In Danang

Of course, if budget allows, InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is an isolated escape, on its own bay on the Son Tra Peninsula, with lots of fun design touches, and some seductive F&B offerings (see above).

InterContinental Sun Peninsula
InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.

The two colorful Wink Hotels on opposite sides of the river in downtown Danang burst with character. Wink Hotel Danang Centre fits for a quick bag drop – with automated check-in and 24-hour stays – before heading out for street food delights by day or parties late into the night. Wink Hotel Danang Riverside is a place to linger a little longer with a rooftop pool and bar, El Gaucho downstairs and other outlets opening soon. 

Wink Hotel Danang Riverside
The colorful Wink Hotel Danang Riverside.

There are lots of affordable, dreamy little spots near the beach too, like Fanta Suite Villa.

Then, as the road heads towards Danang, there’s an endless array of five-star resorts – Four Seasons The Nam Hai, Pullman, and further on Shilla Monogram Quangnam. For something more affordable and low-rise, keep going to check out An Bang beach in Hoi An, and places like Dechiu


You might also like

Your Quarterly Guide To Saigon’s Best New Bars And Restaurants, And More

Your Quarterly Guide To Saigon’s Best New Bars And Restaurants, And More

Welcome To Mochi’s Life In This Seasonal Dog’s Guide To Saigon

Welcome To Mochi’s Life In This Seasonal Dog’s Guide To Saigon

From Bali To Bam Bam As Head Bartender Agung Satria Shares His Saigon Guide

From Bali To Bam Bam As Head Bartender Agung Satria Shares His Saigon Guide

We Find Mixologist Kiddy Kawaii Down The Rabbit Hole To Get Her Saigon Guide

We Find Mixologist Kiddy Kawaii Down The Rabbit Hole To Get Her Saigon Guide


Copied

More stories

subscribe us