The Ciao Cafe is a popular cafe in Hanoi with western food (e.g. steak, fish, chicken, sphagetti), and I enjoyed my dinner here in December 2006. It is conveniently located along Hang Bai Street at the south bank of the Hoan Kiem Lake area. The price of the food and drinks here are cheap compared to Western countries.
Pretty average place, I went with some vietnamese students and they still couldnt get our food orders correct even when there was no language barrier!
Much better places to eat in Hanoi, don't bother unless you are desperate.
Firstly, it's air conditioned, and that was an essential for us as we'd been walking in the humidity for over an hour searching for somewhere for lunch, and were starting to get a bit lightheaded.
The cafe served a wide variety of international meals and Asian style food, very clean, but the decor wasn't too western - there was a little shrine in a corner. We found it just nice, and the service was good. It cost us about A$5 each for lunch which is probably more than most smaller restaurants in Vietnam, but we wanted somewhere where the menu was also in English and where we could know what we were eating.
Favorite Dish: My husband had curried Mackerell, which he liked but a bit too spicy in the heat. I had Paella which was really delicious. Both meals came with free small bowl of clear soup with green leaves in, but we had no idea what it was and no room to put it, so didn't eat it. Good choice of desserts and cakes too, but again we had no room for that.
Friendly staff, busy at lunch time, good cheap local food as well as ice cream, cakes.
Delicious icedcoffee, Vietnamese style with strong black coffee over ice cubes, sweetened by a little condensed milk