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Eat & Drink in Con Dao Island

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Con Dao Island doesn’t have the wide variety of food that you would expect to find in most Vietnamese towns, but there are still some good options for a nice meal on the island that you can taste the local food or tasty specialities of Con Dao.

1. Dam Trau Village restaurant & bar – $5-$10 per person; Add: Dam Trau beach (on your right when going to the beach); Tel: 0949 989 799

Nothing can compare the feeling of tasting tasty foods and enjoy one of the most beautiful beach in Con Dao Island. Dam Trau Village restaurant & bar is located at Dam Trau beach that is near the airport, far from the center about 13km. At here, they uses as much local produce as the seasons allow. Their standard of supporting local agriculture while providing you with the freshest possible ingredients is the foundation of their business philosophy. Of course, sourced from local farmers, so the food & drink are offered at a reasonable price. At Dam Trau Village restaurant & bar, you can sit and taste the fresh foods in tree house, eat after walking along the beach, swimming, rent a tent to stay overnight on the beach… and other services. Especially, you will feel to be cared by the very friendly young owner.

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2. Ơt Restaurant – $5-$15 per person; Add: 05 Nguyen Duc Thuan Street; Tel: 0983 378 336

One of the nice place to eat on the island for the fresh seafood and atmosphere, Ơt Restaurant is opposite Con Dao Camping Resort that you are easy to find. At here, you can choose the fish and with a quick processing of the chef, you will be tasted the delicious foods.

Ot Restaurant also has long menus and there’s plenty of shellfish and live seafood to choose from. At here, you will specially to be enjoyed the flavor of the northern that mixed with the local flavor.

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3. Thanh Huyen restaurant – $5-$15 per personAdd: Khu 3, Hoang Phi Yen Street; Tel: 064 363 0411 

This place is 5 minutes out of town by motorbike, on the left hand side after crossing the lotus lake. There’s a sign for the restaurant: drive down the dirt track and over a rickety wooden bridge until you see a few shacks over a pond and a big sign on top saying ‘Saigon Beer’. It might not promise much from its ramshackle entrance, but once you settle down in one of the makeshift ‘gazebos’ clustered around ponds, paddies and herb gardens, you’ll start to appreciate the ambience here. The menu is short and exotic, and the food is fresh and delicious. Try the chicken with kaffir lime leaf (gà luộc lá chanh) or the buffalo hotpot (lẩu trâu). There’s now an English menu, but some of the translations can be hard to understand. It’s especially nice to arrive just before dusk while there’s still some light left to enjoy the surroundings. Bring bug spray so as not to let the mosquitoes ruin a great meal!

4. Con Dao Market – $1-2 per person; Add: corner of Vo Thi Sau and Pham Van Dong streets

This recently repainted market hides all sorts of delicious breakfast foods. It’s a great place to fill up in the mornings, especially if you’re staying at one of the cheaper accommodations that don’t include breakfast. The earlier you get here the better. The Con Dao market is also a good place to buy ingredients for a picnic to keep you going during the day while you’re exploring the island.

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5. ATC Resort Restaurant – $5-$15 per person; Add: 8 Ton Duc Thang Street

This is the pick of the resort restaurants in Con Son town. There’s an extensive and reasonably priced menu with all sorts of classic Vietnamese dishes on it. The food is fresh and well-presented. Try the canh chua cá – sour fish soup – a southern classic. First and second floor seating offer great views over the promenade and out to sea. It’s a particularly good spot for a late lunch: after the Vietnamese tour groups have left, you’ll have the restaurant and sea views all to yourself. Come around 1pm. However, sometimes it’s so quite that it closes!

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6. Six Senses Con Dao Resort – $20-$60 per person; Add: Far from the center about 7km on the way to the airport.

The restaurant and bar here are open to non-guests, but prices are high. The menu has lots of classic Vietnamese dishes as well as some European favourites. The latter isn’t available anywhere else on the island (except at Infiniti Cafe, see below), so if you’re craving some familiar food, this is the place to come. Ingredients are carefully selected and the food is good. The Six Senses Con Dao bar used to have a great Happy Hour from 4-6pm. Sadly, the management has brought this to an end, and, with cocktails at $15 a glass, it’s difficult to find a reason to visit this exclusive resort if you’re not a guest.

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7. Try Ky restaurant – $5-15 per person; Add: 09 Nguyen Duc Thuan Street 

Tri Ky Restaurant is the most popular of a handful of restaurants that line Nguyen Duc Thuan Street on the opposite side of the road from the ocean. All these places have long menus and there’s plenty of shellfish and live seafood to choose from. The food is fine but not memorable, and prices are much higher than on the mainland. However, portions are large and, on my last visit, there were signs that quality is catching up to mainland standards.

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8. Nguyet Hy Restaurant – $3-8; Add: 1 Vo Thi Sau Street

This place used to be a superb Saigon-style shellfish restaurant, however it has now changed into a BBQ eatery, specializing in Sichuan-style grills – famous for their spiciness. It was empty each time I passed on my last visit, and I didn’t get a chance to try it, but it might be worth a go, especially if you see other diners there.

9. Sea Travel Resort Restaurant – $7-15 per personAdd: 6 Nguyen Duc Thuan Street

For a while this place was quite popular, but I was never very impressed by the food here. Now, it seems, I’m not alone in that opinion: at my last visit to the island, the restaurant was deserted every night. It’s a shame because the location is fantastic: tables are laid out on a wooden deck under big trees near the beach, and live seafood is displayed in a big water tank. However, the new beach bar is very nice the cocktails are great – get here around 5pm and it should be Happy Hour (although there was some confusion over this on my last visit).

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10. Con Son Café – $2-5 per drink; Add: Ton Duc Thang Street

In the middle of the seafront promenade, Con Son Café remains the only place (apart from the resorts) for a sundown cocktail in town by the sea. A few tables are set under big trees in front of the old French customs house, but you can also take your drink over the road and sit on the seafront wall. It’s a superb setting and the cocktails are surprisingly strong. However, as Con Dao has grown in popularity, Con Son Café has started playing loud pop music to entertain its (increasingly young and hip) customers from the bright lights of Saigon. However, on my last visit they had at least closed the 3D mini cinema on the premises – the volume of which was so loud that it drowned out the lapping of the waves and the peace of the promenade. Barring the loud music (mostly on weekends), the cafe is still a stunning place to be. Note that this cafe is sometimes closed for long periods during the winter months when strong winds blow in from the sea (November to February).

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11. Infiniti Cafe – $2-7; Add: corner of Pham Van Dong and Nguyen Van Troi streets

This popular cafe serves fruit juices, smoothies, coffee, cocktails and ice cream. It also bakes its own bread (try the homemade pizzas) and offers excellent western-style dishes, including set breakfasts. It’s a cute, ‘mini-cafe’ of the sort that’s trendy in Saigon and Hanoi. The staff are young and friendly. It’s great for a refreshing drink in the middle of the day or a relaxing post-dinner cocktail. Undoubtedly the ‘trendiest’ place on the island and a good place to meet other travellers.

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 12. Con Dao Night Market

The area around the intersection of Tran Huy Lieu and Nguyen An Ninh streets has recently been turned into a night market. There are currently around a dozen stalls selling food and souvenirs. Food includes local shellfish, hotpots, and soups. It’s reasonably-priced, good quality and a nice place to spend an hour or two eating and drinking in the cool evening air. Perhaps this night market might one day become as popular and lively as the one in Duong Dong town on Phu Quoc island.

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13. Other Options: 

  • The Coco Restaurant at the Con Dao Resort has recently been spruced up: the menu is long and the food is good. 

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  • Bar 200 is a new addition to the island’s slowly growing list of western-style bar-cafe-restaurants. You’ll find it behind Con Dao Market on a corner of Phan Van Dong Street . Coffees, beer, and pizzas are all available.

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  • The intersection of Tran Phu and Pham Hung streets has several street stalls selling noodle soups throughout the day which are decent enough and very cheap.
  • And there is also a new soup and hotpot street eatery on Pham Hung Street, just up from the Phi Yen Hotel, near the seafront promenade. Food is good and it brings in a local crowd: serves breakfasts and dinner.

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