The Table Where Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama Had Lunch Together Is Now Encased in Glass

The Bourdain effect has taken on a new meaning at one now-famous Vietnamese restaurant.

The Bourdain effect has taken on a new meaning at one now-famous Vietnamese restaurant.

Bún chả Hương Liên—the eatery in Hanoi, Vietnam where Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama filmed an episode of Parts Unknown season 8—is preserving the moment forever by encasing the table (along with the blue plastic stools that they sat on) in glass.

“This is what the restaurant in Hanoi where our crew filmed a meal with @anthonybourdain and @barackobama now looks like…” Helen Cho, director of special ops and producer for the CNN series, wrote on a photo on her Instagram story. “WHUTTTTT.”

Bourdain reposted the photo with the caption, “Not sure how I feel about this.”


The no-frills restaurant near the capital city’s old quarter included what appears to be the exact beer bottles, plates and bowls that the pair sipped Bún chả—a traditional Vietnamese dish made up of grilled pork, broth, rice noodles and fresh herbs—out of in the exhibit.

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The meeting between the former president and the travel guru is now one of the most famous episodes of the hit show. Bourdain spoke to PEOPLE shortly after the episode aired, recalling how memorable and enjoyable the experience was.

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“I didn’t speak to him as a reporter, it wasn’t an interview,” Bourdain said in 2016. “I spoke to him as another father of a young girl, as a Southeast Asian enthusiast, as a guy who’s happy to sit on a plastic stool eating noodles with chopsticks drinking a cold Hanoi beer, and I think the President enjoyed that experience too.”

“It was really only after the shoot,” he continued, “that me and the crew all looked at each other and said, ‘Did that really happen?'”

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