One of the things that we liked about the Cha Pa Garden Hotel was its location right on Pho Cau May, one of the main roads in town. There were so many places close by including many that we had read good reviews on that for the most part, we ended up staying pretty close to our hotel for most of our meals in Sapa.
Our lunch the first day was at the Red Camellia. It had nice décor and serves a combination of Vietnamese and French food. Our meal was decent but not memorable. I might go back if I was in town for a while and was tired of the other places on this list.
We had dinner that 1st night in Sapa at Viet Emotion. After 3-weeks in SE Asia, I was in the mood for steak frit so I ordered the Oz steak and fries. My wife went more local with a veggie stir fry. My steak was decent. Not great but edible. The place has a nice atmosphere and reasonably good service. I did get a decent red wine by the glass at a fair price.
We actually had 2 meals at the Nature Bar & Grill. In addition to a large a la carte menu, they offer several “sets” at very affordable prices. It’s a large room with lots of dark wood paneling and an open fire pit off to one side.
The first meal we had there was dinner one night and the temperatures were on the cool side so we sat next to the fire. While it was warm & cozy, there was some associated smoke that went along with the fire. I had grilled duck with honey, (spring) onion soup (not in the French style), fresh spring roll wrapped in lettuce and a banana fritter for desert. my wife had grilled chicken with galangal, chicken soup and a pineapple fritter. The service was great and all-in-all; this was our best meal in Sapa.
We went back there for lunch on our last day in town. The weather was even colder that day and the fire was cranked up generating a ton of smoke. I know we enjoyed the food but in fact, other than the pumpkin soup, I don’t remember exactly what we ordered; mostly I remember only the smoke from that day. One side note: directly downstairs from the restaurant is an inexpensive internet café owned by the same folks.
The guide from our Muong Hoa Valley trek took us to The Hill Station on our way back to our hotel after touring that day. It was just down the hill from our hotel and her sister and Western brother-in-law own the place. The staff is entirely local Hmong girls, which translates to very friendly if somewhat mixed service. The place has a really nice atmosphere in kind of Scandinavian décor and a surprising wine list. We weren’t planning on getting anything but we saw “carrot cake” on the blackboard so we ordered that and tea. It wasn’t exactly what we were expecting but very good in its own right. If we had stayed in town longer, I think we would have tried it for a meal.
You can see some additional Sapa restaurant notes towards the end of our Vietnam 2005 Food Notes.