Great breakfast options, great egg coffee (which hanoi is famous for), great balconies.  Authentic but comfortable.  Grab a book and get your hipster on. 
If you want an authentic street food experience, but are worried that you can't stomach it, go to Madame Hien's for their Street Food Tasting Menu.  Inspired by this mother-in-law, a french chef set up this lovely restaurant in a restored colonial villa, with beautiful frangipani trees and lanterns in the gated outdoor garden.  Great to celebrate a special occasion, or to find refuge from the general insanity of the city. Reservations recommended.
Hanoi Cooking Center
Book directly on their website, or call them, rather than going through Viator or your hotel because it's cheaper. They take you on tour at the local market, and then are SUPER meticulous in teaching you how to make everything-- and plus they're actual recipes you can make at home.
Handspan Bai Tu Long Bay Tour
Halong Bay is overcrowded and overrated.  Handspan Tours runs an amazing 2 day, 1 night treasure junk tour to Bai Tu Long Bay and is super committed to eco tourism and sustainability. 
The food on the boat is also so delicious, and the rooms are very luxurious.  They are cheaper tours out there, but on this one, they are so meticulous, which makes the experience that much better.  There are so many activities on the boat including kayaking, a cooking demonstration, and fisherman village tour.  They're all great except for squid fishing. Squid fishing is dumb.
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