The Magic of Vegan Innovation in Hanoi’s Historic Rice Barn

The restaurant evokes the essence of Hanoi's historic Old Quarter with its 36 ancient guilds, offering a unique dining experience. Patrons are treated to a delightful array of vegetarian dishes, carefully crafted and presented with flair in an impressive space that captures the charm and character of this iconic neighborhood.


Rice, a staple food in Vietnam and the essence of its wet rice civilization, holds a significant symbolic value for the Vietnamese people. It represents goodness and success, and this understanding led Dana Vegan House to choose rice as its central theme and inspiration.

Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Dana Vegan House is a tranquil sanctuary nestled in a small alley next to the bustling Cho Gao Street, once known as one of the 36 old guilds of Hanoi in the 18th century. The restaurant exudes a relaxing and nature-friendly vibe, with a unique cultural space that blends art, culture, and vegan cuisine harmoniously.

A Distinctive Cultural Space

This vegan restaurant in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a wonderful spot for those who follow a plant-based diet. Photo: Den Da.

As guests step into Dana Vegan House, they are greeted by a rustic entrance adorned with beautifully arranged sacks of rice, bundles of paddy, and traditional rice sifters. The restaurant’s design is inspired by the image of an old rice barn, creating a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere that evokes childhood memories.

Every architectural detail and interior design element has been carefully curated to reflect a philosophy of life centered on kindness and compassion. This unique cultural destination showcases a delicate fusion of art, culture, and vegan cuisine, offering diners a truly exceptional experience.

Art installation titled ‘Harvest Wish’ by artist Duc Phuong, adding a unique touch to the restaurant’s interior.

“The rice barn holds a special place in my heart, and it reminds me of my paternal grandmother, who has been a source of inspiration,” shared Huyen Vu, the founder of Dana Vegan House. “She taught me the importance of not wasting even a single grain of rice, and this led me to realize that the rice grain and wet rice culture embody the ethics and values of the Vietnamese people. This idea became the foundation for the concept of our restaurant, and it aligns perfectly with our name, ‘Dana,’ which means ‘helping and giving.’”

As diners enter the restaurant, they are transported back in time to the Thang Long Citadel of the past. The location of Dana Vegan House, at 12 Dong Thai Street, once served as the rice barn of Luong Thien, a wealthy and generous merchant. During a year of drought and poor harvest, Luong Thien opened her barn to the poor, earning the love and gratitude of the common people.

A breathtaking view of Hanoi’s Old Quarter from the second floor of Dana Vegan House.

Over the years, the rice barn has undergone various transformations, serving as a military post during wartime, a grocery store after the war, a residence, a restaurant, and a bar. Now, it has found new life as Dana Vegan House, an innovative vegan restaurant that bears a distinct cultural mark and spreads a message of compassion.

Replicating the Charm of Old Hanoi

The first floor of Dana Vegan House takes diners back to old Hanoi with its wavy tile eaves and bamboo market stall wattles that provide shade during the day and transform into windows at night. This unique design not only adds a touch of nostalgia but also tells the story of the Thang Long Citadel rice barn.

As guests continue their journey, they will discover the heart of the first floor—the bar. The antique wooden counter and cupboards create a serene and vibrant atmosphere, enhanced by colorful products illuminated by warm yellow lights. The bar is a unique work of installation art, combining rough sackcloth with smooth, reflective mirrors and wooden surfaces.

The space recreates the ambiance of Luong Thien’s old rice barn, blending the past with the present.

More than just a bar, this space tells meaningful stories and provides guests with awe-inspiring experiences, infused with cultural and historical significance. The first floor is a lively destination on Cho Gao Street, where visitors can immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere while exploring a variety of vegan dishes. The plethora of bottles, test tubes, and pots of rice plants, corn, potatoes, and cassava are sure to intrigue and excite diners.

As guests climb the tiny staircase to the second floor, they are greeted by exquisite architecture modeled after a 100-year-old house in Nam Dinh Province. The traditional cultural values and the passage of time are evident in the design. One of the most striking features of this floor is the eaves crafted from thousands of pieces of Do paper, adding a unique touch to the space.

The lanterns, crafted by artist Duc Phuong, feature bunches of straw, adding a unique touch to the space.

To create a medieval yet impressive three-room house, Huyen Vu and artist Duc Phuong drew inspiration from Do paper lanterns. The yellow light of these lanterns brings a sense of coziness and innovation to the traditional northern Vietnamese house. The vegan house is transformed into a giant lantern, covered in sheets of paper typically used for painting, known for their warm and distinctive color.

“In the face of urbanization, the second floor of the house preserves folk values, ingenuity, delicacy, simplicity, and warmth—a tribute to our ancestors,” artist Duc Phuong shared with The Hanoi Times. The lanterns, hung close to the floor to resemble red silk-cotton flowers, are another impressive highlight, inspired by the bundles of straw left by farmers after a bountiful harvest, symbolizing the end of the rice season and the beginning of prosperity.

A cozy dining experience at Dana Vegan House.

As guests conclude their exploration, they enter the restaurant’s open kitchen, where modern motifs showcase the chefs’ talents. The friendly and homey atmosphere makes guests feel like they are enjoying a cozy family meal.

A Chic and Innovative Vegan Menu

Contrary to the perception of vegetarianism in other parts of the world, Vietnamese vegetarian culture is strongly influenced by religion. In Vietnam, vegetarianism is not just about abstaining from meat but also about embodying tranquility, compassion, and appreciation for all living beings.

Dana Vegan House understands the deep values of Vietnamese vegan culture and embraces the motto, “Native upgrades plus international updates.” They prioritize organic and indigenous ingredients to preserve and elevate the status of Vietnamese vegan dishes, combining them with international influences in terms of ingredients, presentation, and dining style.

Delicious and carefully crafted vegan dishes served at Dana Vegan House.

The vegan menu at Dana Vegan House is not constrained by traditional boundaries. It embraces a fusion of Western and Vietnamese influences, allowing diners to appreciate the precious agricultural products of Vietnam. The restaurant wisely selects fresh, seasonal ingredients to deliver refreshing and complete gastronomic experiences.

Most importantly, the dishes are carefully prepared to preserve the natural flavors of the ingredients. As guests indulge in the delicious food, they can also enjoy the cool, fresh atmosphere, feeling as if they are immersed in nature itself.

A mouthwatering dish of Hanoi noodles, one of the many vegan delights offered at Dana Vegan House.

The space within Dana Vegan House evokes a sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of old Hanoi.

You may also like

Tuyen Quang to host big cultural festival in September

Thanh Tuyen Festival will be held from September 12 to 14 in the northern province of Tuyen Quang.

Painting contest held for buffaloes joining ploughing festival in Ha Nam

A buffalo painting contest for the Doi Son Tich Dien (ploughing) Festivalwas held on February 10, or the sixth day of the Lunar New Year in Doi Son commune, Duy Tien district, the northern province of Ha Nam.

Pho Hien folk cultural festival kicks off in Hung Yen

The Pho Hien Folk Cultural Festival opened in the northern province of Hung Yen on April 21.

Sam Son sea festival slated for April 21

The 2018 sea festival of Sam Son city of the north central coastal province of Thanh Hoa will take place on April 21, heard a press conference held in the city on April 12.

Ha Long Carnival opens in Quang Ninh

The Ha Long Carnival, a highlight of the Ha Long – Quang Ninh tourism week 2019, opened in Bai Chay and Hon Gai tourism area in the northern province of Quang Ninh on April 28.