The main beach boulevard is scattered with restaurants and most tourists spend their time in these places.
As usual, we were comparing the restaurants and checking the prices carefully as we wanted to avoid the worst tourist traps (it doesn’t make sense to pay 4 times more for basic food, even though Vietnam is a cheap country).
Some places offer food for around 100.000 dong or even more but we never paid more than 50.000 dong for one portion.
Luckily there are also affordable and more authentic places even on the main street.
The cheapest food is normally pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup. We wouldn’t pay more than 35.000 dong for it.
The local pho stands are easy to spot. Fried rice and noodles are also a popular dish offered in every restaurant.
In the first evening we stopped in a touristic restaurant and paid 50.000 dong for plain and tasteless food but next day we found tasty fried noodles for 35.000 dong.
Here are some cheap restaurants on Cat Ba that we liked.
This is where we ended up having breakfast almost every morning. Located on the main boulevard, it is the only bakery we saw in the town and a very good one!
They offer delicious and big filled baguettes with vegetables, eggs, ham, cheese, bacon or chicken.
We had chicken baguettes with coffee every time. The baguette cost 45.000 dong which is not super cheap but worth it! Also the sweet pastries, cakes and doughnuts are fresh and look tasty.
Quan Cat Ba Family.
This place right next to Bakery Family has delicious pho for 30.000 dongs. One morning we decided to skip the baguettes and had soup instead.
Buddha Belly (Buddha Garden).
We read about this place before going to Cat Ba but couldn’t find it first (apparently they have changed location).
Another day we found it accidentally when we were driving scooters. And we are very happy we did! Buddha Belly is a vegetarian restaurant and offers generously sized and tasty portions for 30.000 or 50.000 dongs (small or big portion).
The place is a bit outside of the main street. It has a very relaxed and ambient atmosphere.
Buddha Belly is beautifully decorated and has a feeling of a yoga retreat. They also offer some meditation classes.
Even though the portions were big, the waitress came to pour more vegetables and tofu on our plates while we ate!