Vietnam is world-famous for its diverse, flavorful and balanced cuisine, and Hanoi food is especially interesting. Hanoi Street Food such as Pho(Noodle) and Banh Mi(Bread) have become trendy in western countries, while Vietnamese coffee is a common flavor at cafes everywhere.
For first-time visitors it can be daunting to figure out where to go and what to eat, so we’re here to help with a local guide to find the best authentic street food along with top food vendors in Hanoi, divided into different dishes.
1. Pho Ga (Hanoi chicken noodles)
Place: 42 Quan Thanh Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Price: ~$2 USD
Description: Served for breakfast, it’s also great for a quick lunch when you have to rush back to work. Or if you skip your lunch and find yourself craving food mid-afternoon, nothing is better than having a steaming bowl of pho ga sat in front of you
2. Pho Suong: (Pho Bo) (Beef Pho Noodle)
Place: 25 Ngo Trung Yen, Dinh Liet, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Description: In the Vietnamese repertoire, beef pho noodle soup is a classic. In fact, it’s practically the national dish of Vietnam
3. Banh Cuon Ba Hoanh (Rolled Cake)
Place: 66 To Hien Thanh Street
Description: Great as a light breakfast or midday snack, banh cuon is a combination of ground meat (chicken, shrimp, or pork), minced wood ear mushroom, onions, Vietnamese ham (cha lua), steamed beansprouts, and cucumbers that’s wrapped in a steamed rice flour sheet
4. Bun Dau Viet
Place: 27 ngo 29 Hang Khay
Price: ~$2-5 USD
Description: The famous noodle that not every foreigner would have a bravery to try because the smell of the shrimp sauce. But we Vietnamese love it since behind the smell (which is unavoidable) the taste is pretty sweet and the combination of rice noodle, soya cheese and shrimp sauce brings joy to your mouth
5. Xoi Yen (Sweet Sticky Rice)
Place: 35B Nguyen Huu Huan, Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem District
Description: sweet sticky rice usually comes with staple toppings of green mung bean paste, soy sauce, and dried shallots, but you can opt for a variety of add-ins such as pate, boiled chicken, cha lua (Vietnamese ham), marinated pork belly, or preserved eggs for a more substantial meal
6-Bánh đúc nóng – Lê Ngọc Hân
Place: 8 ngõ 8b lê ngọc hân quận hai bà trưng
Description: Few dishes compliment this change of seasons better than banh duc nong — a thick, savory rice porridge lovingly beaten out by tough old ladies in Hanoi’s slender alleways.
The belly-warming breakfast served here has a consistency not unlike hot peanut butter brought to life with light fish sauce, ground pork, fried tofu and a confetti of cilantro, wood ear mushroom and fried shallots
7- Bún ốc cô Huệ (Snail vermicelli rice)
Place: 43 nguyễn siêu quận hoàn kiếm
Description: Bun oc is one of the top suggestions of Hanoi specialties for you. Bun oc is processed as per traditional cuisine. The broth is concentrated, strong, twinkle yellow of fried onions, sour, soft and natural sweet taste. A bowl of Bun oc has both types of oc (small and big snail) plus with green fried banana and soya cheese. Each snail is select carefully to ensure the quality and bring the delicious taste
8-Bún thang bún bung (Rice Vermicelli with Chicken, Egg, Pork)
Place: 32 – 48 Cau Go, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Description: Bun thang or rice vermicelli with chicken, egg and pork can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The clear yet flavourful broth is made with 20 ingredients, including dried shrimp, squid, shrimp paste, spring onion, coriander, ginger, mushroom, beet, fish sauce, sugar candy, and vinegar. It is also a particularly attractive Hanoi dish as the noodles, chicken, eggs, pork slices, and a dollop of shrimp paste are carefully arranged to resemble a flower.
9-Miến trộn luon – Ngõ Trung Yên ( Noodle with eel)
Place: số 1 ngõ trung yên
Description: classic Hanoi dish is fried eel noodles, served either with or without soup
10-Cháo sườn Hàng Bồ (Rib porridge)
Place: 32 Hàng Bồ
Description: Rib porridge is cooked with broth, mashed rice and baby back ribs. It really feasts your eyes. It also comes with salted shredded pork and fried dough sticks.
The best rib porridge is at the bottom of the pot because it has a lot of meat and burnt porridge. Sipping a good porridge, you seem to be back the childhood
11-Bánh tráng trộn – Hàng Trống (Mixed Rice Paper Salad)
Place: 86 Hàng trống
Description: Bánh Tráng Trộn is the most popular and addicting snack among the young locals. It’s not the healthiest snacks out there, but it’s so much fun to eat
12. Bánh rán
Place: O Quan Chuong, Hanoi
Description: is a deep-fried glutinous rice ball from northern Vietnamese cuisine. In Vietnamese, bánh is a category of food including cakes, pies, and pastries, while rán means “fried.”
13. MỲ VẰN THẮN BÌNH TÂY (Wonton Noodle Vietnamese)
Place: 54 hàng chiếu
Description: It has hearty meat-filled dumplings, savory roast pork, succulent shrimp, leafy greens, oodles of egg noodles, sprigs of fresh herbs and a sautéed garlic topping to add the right amount of spice
14. Bánh giò thịt xiên Đông Các (Gio Cake)
Place: Dong Cac
Description: Pyramical rice dumplinig is made from rice flour and tapioca flour. The filling is made from meat, onion, ear fungus, fish sauce, black pepper and salt.
15. Sữa chua mít Hoàng Anh (Jackfruit yogurt)
Place: 22 Ba Trieu, Hanoi
Description: Simply combine yogurt with contemporary jackfruit, “tran chau”(tapioca balls), jelly, syrup, and condensed milk, grinded ice and you’ll have a bowl of scrumptious jackfruit yogurt which may be very cool and never costly to take pleasure in
16. Bun Cha Huong Lien (Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli)
Place: 24 Le Van Huu, Hanoi
Description: The dish consists of grilled pork strips and balls or chả served over a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or bún. It typically comes with a plate of fresh Vietnamese herbs and a bowl of dipping sauce. Pickled vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, onion or green papaya served with additional meatballs on the side.
17. Com Tam 36 (Broken Rice)
Place: 17 Ngo Gach
Description: Cơm tấm is pure gastronomic pleasure: barbecued pork on broken rice, topped with a fried egg and other accoutrements
18. Cha Ca (Turmeric Fish with Dill)
Address: 21 Duong Thanh Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi
Description: A distinctive Hanoi delicacy, cha ca is white fish seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric, and dill served on sizzling pan. Diners also get a bowl of rice noodles, peanuts, chopped spring onions, parsley, nuoc cham sauce, and red chili slices, all of which are meant to be mixed together with the turmeric fish
19. Banh Goi (Fried Dumplings)
Place: 52 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Description: Shaped like miniature pillows (hence the name), banh goi contains finely-chopped glass noodles, wood ear mushrooms, minced pork, steamed quail eggs, and seasoning within a rice-flour pastry. It is then deep-fried for a crispy texture and served with a sweet-sour dipping sauce made with garlic, chilli, sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce.
20-Banh My Ngon (Vietnamese Sandwich)
Place: 49 Duong Thanh, Hanoi
Description: It is stuffed with pork, pâté, cured ham, a mélange of Vietnamese herbs and vegetables like coriander, cucumber, carrot, slices, radish and more depending on what part of the country you are in. A wealth of textures and flavors, you will savor spicy, salty, savory, sweet, and aromatic tastes in each bite.
21- Café Trung (Vietnamese Egg Coffee)
Place: 11 Hang Gai, Hanoi
Description: Although it is not a food, it is like food. Egg coffee or Ca Phe Trung is the most famous coffee in the north of Vietnam. It is a thick dark coffee topped with egg yolk whipped with condensed milk into an airy froth. Rich in taste, it can be likened to tiramisu dessert
Few tips to eat in Hanoi
- Don’t be surprised if no one knows you initially because everyone’s often busy and rushing around. Well, they are not being rude, they’re just tied up rightnow. Either grab a vacant seat or just hover for a bit and after a few seconds, when a server’s freed up, they’ll either point you towards a free table, or put out a new one if needed. Don’t worry if the place is packed: it often will be, but there is always space for another, and they’ll add and remove tables as needed.
- The furniture will almost never be the height you’d find in a Western restaurant, and range from truly tiny plastic stools and marginally-higher tables, to medium sized metal stools and tables. Sitting on these may be an problem for the older, and so I’ve advised on the description of each restaurant what sized furniture to expect. It’s not going to be a comfortable experience for many Westerners – but the food is worth it.
- After sitting, sometimes you’ll be given a menu, sometimes not. The more local the place feels, the less likely.
- If you need to catch their attention, use a loud “em oi” (pronounced like “em oi”): it sounds rude to Westerner, but it’s common in Vietnam and is simply for attention only.
- For drinks, brand names like “Coke” and “Sprite” will probably be recognized, as will “beer” – prices will be $0.36 (₫8,000) to $0.89 (₫20,000). They’ll sometimes be served cold, but more frequently unrefrigerated and with a glass of ice of unknown provenance
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