The budget hotel zone is chock full of Western-oriented food, some of it good. From the beach, walk up Trang Quang Khai St, then right on Hung Vuong or Nguyen Thien Thuat Sts for a block: you’re likely to find what you’re after (noodles, pizza, curries, baguettes, schnitzel).

Seaside Beach Resort has a Japanese restaurant open for lunch only.

Shrimp, Nha Trang’s Lac CanhLAC CANH
Divey, loud, hot and messy – the legendary Lac Canh is absolutely the place for Nha Trang’s best seafood and barbecue beef meals. Under whizzing ceiling fans and flurorescent bulbs, families sit around sizzling clay-pot grills where you cook up your own beef, squid (US$2.50), shrimp (US$3.50), beef, or order dishes like the luon dum (US$1.50), eel pate in pig intestine served on ‘papadum.’ Beer comes with giant cubes of ice. Some guys go shirtless when dining, and everyone throws discarded crab and fish parts on the floor. It’s near Dam Market, on a small street that goes inland just north of the Yersin Museum; go past the post office, then take a soft right.
Tel 058-821-391; 44 Nguyen Binh Kiem St at Ngo Quyen St

A stylish beach club with private pool, breezy sitting areas and beach umbrellas, La Louisiane is a perfectly fine place to set up for the day, or stop by for lunch. Food’s good actually, and covers everything from pizza, steak sandwiches and banana splits to seafood, noodles and home-brewed ‘Czech beer.’ Most dishes are US$3 to US$5.
29 Tran Phu St, open 7.30am-late

This smart little Vietnamese chain has four locations near each other in the area. At times it can feel empty and formal, other times hopping and atmospheric. Seats are in open-air tables with table cloths. Most guests go for the advertised seafood. A mid-sized lobster is about US$18. Noodles and salads start at US$2.
11 Biet Thu St, 21 Biet Thu St, 80 Hung Vuong St; open 8am-10pm

A standout amongst the (many) Italian places on the rows of budget hotels, La Taverna – a simple open-front place with terra-cotta tile floor and a bit of style – wins points for 41 pastas on hand and good pizzas. They serve Saigon beers with coolies on to keep them cold.
115 Nguyen Thien Thuat St

If you’re looking to swap noodle (Vietnamese) for noodle (Thai), this branch of the Good Morning Vietnam mini-chain has a good reputation, though I didn’t care for the US$3.25 pad thai. Perhaps stick with the curries or papaya salad with shrimp. Most dishes are US$2.50 to US$4.
111b Nguyen Thien Thuat St