Dining in Ninh Binh is only at local storefront restaurants, none more interesting or sanitary than the other. Most group tours include meals at Thuy Anh Hotel in their courtyard dining hall or rooftop restaurant (dull but not bad), and the little budget backpacker joints (like the Queen Mini Hotel) near the train station also serve good, affordable one-plate meals. Just outside the Thuy Anh Hotel and farther down the road away from busy Hwy. 1, find the town's busiest local restaurant. There is no sign and no English menu, and they'll be amazed to see you, but the place is always packed with locals. Though you don't know what you'll get, the food's good.

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