Having eaten several burgers in the service of Word readers, I feel somewhat qualified to declare a ‘short-list’ of sorts. It’s not necessary, because there’s no official competition going on, but when it comes to food wars, let's face it, the battle of the burger is never over.

Vinsteak. Photo by Vu Bao Khanh

At the top of Xuan Dieu, Hanoi’s smog melts away. The sky is bluer, the air is lighter, and so am I, as I take off my facemask to breathe in the peaceful outskirts’ air. Suddenly, I get a whiff of something better than air — steak. I roll my bicycle onto The VinSteak’s kerb, eager to try the latest player in Hanoi’s competitive steak game.

If you get into heated debates over rosters, rotations, off-side traps and LBWs, don’t be ashamed, it’s fine — you couldn’t be in a better place right now.

Venture through the entrance of Mekong Merchant and you will find yourself in an open-air rustic patio where two verdant trees dominate the sky and lend a cooling shade to the whole place.

I discovered Quan Kien on a rainy Wednesday night when I almost didn’t go out. Only the fact that a friend was leaving for Italy soon, persuaded me.

If you haven’t been to Badhja yet, you won’t know that I’m paraphrasing their menu when I write: “If you’re someone who likes a mix of flavours, you will appreciate Algerian cuisine. It represents a fusion of North African, Arabic, Spanish, Moorish, Italian, Turkish, Jewish, Catalan, Sicilian and French influences.

As a cheese lover — nay, a cheese addict — I felt it was my duty to visit Le Padam, a cheese bar in District 2, which offers some of the best cheese you can find in Saigon. Owned by a French-Vietnamese couple, Cyrille and Ann, this new and unique French bistro emerged in the Saigon food scene a few months ago with the aim to offer some quality cheese — up to 14 different kinds — in a refined yet simple atmosphere.

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