On Christmas Eve, I had lunch plans with a friend and we knew it would be a struggle to find an open restaurant. It was also a Sunday. After scouring the Internet, TripAdvisor and a few out of date social media sites – we came across Halong Vietnamese restaurant.  And their Facebook hours were actually up to date, intelligently displaying their holiday hours.

Both my friend and I had never been to Halong before and the idea of a Vietnamese meal made my mouth water.  It sounded like a pleasant change from the typical Medellín cuisine.

I was immediately impressed by the serenity and sense of calmness I felt upon entering the restaurant, despite the fact utter chaos and traffic was just steps away. I was also shocked by the amount of greenery surrounding the seating area.

Although Halong is just steps away from Calle 10 in El Poblado, the restaurant is perfectly hidden on the quiet side street of Carrera 43F.  It’s a green, tropical and unexpected paradise in El Poblado.

Medellín, the city of eternal spring, has many positive aspects.  Beautiful weather.  Warm people.  And a restaurant scene that is growing at a rapid rate.

However, up until I found Halong Vietnamese Restaurant, I was still struggling to find solid, flavorful Asian inspired cuisine. So, this restaurant demonstrates that it is possible to find good Asian food in Medellín, but it is still somewhat of a rare breed here in Medellín.

Halong Vietnamese Restaurant

Halong Vietnamese Restaurant

Halong Vietnamese Restaurant

From the creative umbrellas, to the stark black and gold finishes – it’s as though you’ve stepped out of Medellín and entered a Vietnamese paradise.

We were immediately greeted by a warm and friendly server by the name of Juan Pablo. I was all ready to use my newly perfected Spanish vocabulary, when Juan started speaking perfect English.  Although Juan was born in Colombia, he had lived in Boston for many years.  Within minutes, the thick Boston accent was clear as day.

Upon being seated, Juan suggested a refreshing Moscow Mule for myself and an Iced Green Tea with Chlorophyll and Ginger for my friend.  Both drinks were refreshing and delicious. My friend hydrated while I simultaneously dehydrated.  We made a good team.

We began with some appetizers, choosing both a healthy and unhealthy option (a delightful mix of fresh and fried).  My friend opted for the fresh Rollitos Verano with rice paper and vegetables, which cost 9,000 pesos for two rolls.

My fried appetizer option! And boy was I happy with my decision

My fried appetizer option! And boy was I happy with my decision

I decided on (after it came highly recommended from our server) the Limpias de Langosta – which are delicious fried lobster rolls, which cost 15,000 pesos for two rolls. These were two very different options, but both equally mouth-watering.

Main Dishes at HaLong Vietnamese Restaurant

Next, we were on to the main dish. Both my friend and I opted to go the traditional Vietnamese route and ordered Pho, which costs 15,000 pesos for meat or 14,000 pesos for chicken.

A quick shot of our Pho. Extra limes for me (not pictured)

A quick shot of our Pho. Extra limes for me (not pictured)

The Pho arrived quickly and blew away my expectations.  It was warm, savory and had lots of vegetables. The portion was sizeable.   This was just what I needed on an uncharacteristically chilly December day.

In addition, I peaked at a few other dishes that walked by. There wasn’t one I would have turned down. Here are a few others that seemed particularly interesting to me and I’ll likely consider ordering next visit:

The mango salad looked delicious and hearty. Definitely trying this next time!

The mango salad looked delicious and hearty. Definitely trying this next time!

The arroz frito (fried rice) – one of the most popular dishes!

The arroz frito (fried rice) – one of the most popular dishes!

Tuna in soy ferment, accompanied by rice with black mushrooms. But not always available, so check with the restaurant.

Tuna in soy ferment, accompanied by rice with black mushrooms. But not always available, so check with the restaurant.

Ambiance at Halong Vietnamese Restaurant

The ambience within the Vietnamese restaurant is absolutely beautiful! At night, when the lights are dimmed, the place transforms as though you are stepping into a paradise that is no longer within Medellin.

The ambience and décor only seems to get prettier and warmer at night!

The ambience and décor only seems to get prettier and warmer at night!

It reminded me of restaurant located within a beautiful Mexican resort.  All we were missing was the beach and the sound of the ocean. It became a romantic, serene and a very enjoyable atmosphere.  I would also consider this restaurant to be a great place for a romantic date spot.

Location of Halong Vietnamese Restaurant

How to Get to Halong Vietnamese Restaurant

Halong Vietnamese Restaurant is located a two-minute walk from the large Exito in Poblado (located on Calle 10) or about a 7-10-minute walk from the Medellín Metro’s Poblado metro station on Line A. Or it’s about a five-minute walk from Iglesia San José and Parque Poblado.

Website: http://halong.com.co/

Address: Carrera 43F # 10-38, El Poblado

Phone: +57 4 581 1644

Hours: Monday – Saturday: Noon – 10:00 pm, Sunday: Noon – 4:00 pm

Note that many of the photos in this article are from Halong’s Instagram page with their permission

The Bottom Line: Halong Vietnamita

In conclusion, Halong Vietnamita restaurant was an enjoyable, lovely and pleasant experience.

If you’d like to try the delicious Vietnamese cuisine for yourself, take a sneak peek at their menu here before you go!  Remember – there’s plenty of options for everyone including both vegan and vegetarian.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Let us know what you think.

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