In addition to lots of attractive destinations, Hanoi undoubtedly impresses all visitors by its unique and diversified cuisines, which can be considered as the most typical dishes of Vietnam cuisine and at very reasonable prices. By participating in Hanoi day tours, visitors will not only conquer all outstanding attractions of Vietnam’s capital but more interestingly enjoy Hanoi’s superb cuisine with the wonderful street food heaven and typical local dishes favored by all foreigners as well. Let's check out to see top 7 must-try dishes in Hanoi street food heaven.
How to explore Hanoi cuisine?
There are several ways to enjoy Hanoi cuisine, especially tailor-made food tour Hanoi. First, walking or motorbike food tour are extremely suitable for visitors wishing to enjoy Hanoi’s cuisine in a local way. There are great choices if you want to stay active throughout your holiday in the capital of Vietnam. If you are an unapologetic foodie, the tailor-made food tour Hanoi will let you enjoy authentic Vietnam cuisine with the help of a local chef. Or more interestingly, you can enjoy exploring a local market, where you pick your own ingredients before learning how to prepare popular street food dishes, such as Bun Cha (grilled pork patties with noodles), Pho (beef noodle), Ban Xeo (savory Vietnamese pancakes) and many more.
Hanoi street food
A unique cuisine that attracts both Hanoi foodie and many travelers is street food Hanoi. This is a city that takes the phrase “street food” seriously – food is literally everywhere. You need an expert or simply a Hanoi foodie lead the way to the best food stands or local restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter (near Hoan Kiem lake). The variety of cuisines from the local dish, street food to the high-end restaurant made Hanoi one of the world best destination for hungry travelers. Also by tasting Hanoi cuisine, visitors can learn more about Vietnam culture, history as well as observing the local life in this thousand years old town. But do not worry about the prices as street food is cheap eats Hanoi.
What to eat?
1. Pho (Noodle Soup)
This is the most popular dish in Hanoi as travelers love it for the savory broth and slow-cooked meat, both beef and chicken, and just around $2 US. I really like its condiments, especially the small but potent red peppers and freshly made rice noodles. Let’s try it, it is actually a cheap bowl of soup with ultra-fresh ingredients and slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth slices of beef or chicken.
Top 3 best places for Pho in Hanoi:
- Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su: No 10 Ly Quoc Su (Chan Cam), Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Pho Bat Dan: No 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Pho Thin: No 13 Lo Duc (Le Van Huu), Hanoi
2. Cha Ca (Grilled & Fried Fish with Rice Noodles)
It is obvious that visitors will fall in love with the Hanoi food scene immediately just after tasting Cha Ca, the most unique food to try in this city. Cha Cha, a Northern Vietnamese specialty is created by pan-fried chunks of meaty, turmeric, dill, fatty skinned fish, peanuts, shrimp paste, and rice noodles and other fresh ingredients.
Top 3 best places for Cha Ca in Hanoi:
- Cha ca Anh Vu Restaurant: 116 K1 Giang Vo, Ba Dinh, Hanoi (US$20 for 4 people)
- Cha Ca La Vong Restaurant: 14 Cha Ca Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Cha Ca Kinh Ky Restaurant:
+ 25 Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
+ 621 Lac Long Quan, Tay Ho, Hanoi.
+ 41 Huynh Thuc Khang, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
+ 172 Nguyen Son, Long Bien, Hanoi.
+ 104 Hoa Ma, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
3. Xoi (Sticky Rice)
Sticky rice is a big thing in Vietnam. For Vietnamese people, sticky rice is a great company in every single occasion, from big sacred ceremonies to daily breakfast. When you’re traveling to Hanoi, don’t just party too hard on some exceptional well-known dishes like bun cha or pho and ignore the presence of sticky rice. Because, to be honest, in the position of a true Vietnamese, it is sticky rice, not any other dishes that could be the real national symbol of Vietnamese cuisine. Sticky rice may be the ultimate Hanoi comfort food at which visitors can enjoy the glutinous rice with green mung bean paste and chicken fat topped with meat and paired with a bottle of beer. This dish is a true guilty pleasure.
Top 3 places for Xoi in Hanoi
- Hang Dieu Fried Sticky Rice: Hang Dieu, Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi
- Ba Thao Sticky Rice: Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi
- Truong Chinh Sticky Rice: near the busy crossroad of Nga Tu So, Hanoi
4. Bun Cha (Grilled Pork & Noodles)
Bun Cha is a well-known local food in Hanoi. It is made of grilled pork and noodle, often thought to have been originated from Hanoi, Vietnam. This dish is served with grilled fatty pork (cha) over a plate of white rice noodle (bun) and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce/broth.
If Pho is Hanoi’s number one dish, then Bun Cha ranks easily number two when it is regarded as a Hanoi local food favorite, where grilled pork and rice noodles are the stars and fresh herbs, sliced papaya, red chili, and garlic are the supporting players. And you can add fried spring rolls to the mix to enjoy the dish in the most amazing way.
Top 3 places for Bun Cha in Hanoi:
- Bun Cha Dac Kim since 1965: No. 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
- Bun Cha Huong Lien: 24 Le Van Huu street, Hai Ba Trung district (After the memorable evening on May 23, 2016, the name Huong Lien suddenly famous to the world’s famous restaurants thanks to the drop-in of U.S President Obama, in his 3-days business trip in Vietnam, he chose this restaurant for his dinner on May 23 to enjoy its famous dishes - Bun Cha.) - 2-USD/set; extra sea-crab spring roll at 0.3 USD/piece.
- Bun Cha Hanoi: 34 Hang Than street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi.
5. Pho Cuon (Rice Noodle Rolls)
If you love rice noodles, you will love Pho Cuon too where big rice noodles are rolled around beef and green herbs to make amazingly delightful finger food. And then let’s ramp it up by dipping the Pho Cuon into Nuoc Cham, a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, vinegar and chili, which makes Pho Cuon much more delicious
Top 3 best places for Pho Cuon in Hanoi
- Pho Cuon 31: 31 Ngu Xa, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.
- Pho Cuon Huong Mai: 108 Tran Huy Lieu/ 25 Ngu Xa (30,000 VND - 50,000VND)
- Pho Cuon Hung Ben - Ngu Xa: 33 Ngu Xa, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
6. Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)
Banh Cuon, one of the definitive Northern Vietnamese food, is rice-flour pancakes (or some even call Vietnamese ravioli) stuffed with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms. Banh Cuon is traditionally served with Cha Que (Vietnamese ham seasoned with cinnamon powder) dipped in the fish sauce and fried shallots, creating a contrast of flavor: light and rich, silky and crispy.
Many tourists immediately fell in love with these big pieces of fermented rice noodles served with fresh herbs and bowls of pork, mushroom, and minced shallots. That is Banh Cuon.
Top best places for Banh Cuon in Hanoi:
- Banh Cuon Ba Hanh: No.26B Tho Xuong Street
- Banh Cuon Ba Hoanh: No. 66 To Hien Thanh Street for a heavy lunch
7. Che (Sweet Dessert Soup)
Che is a sweet Vietnamese dessert, especially when enjoying Hanoi street food, it is a big pity if you forget Che. Che can be either hot or cold with a wide variety of ingredients such as jelly, mung beans, red beans, fruit, and tapioca beads.
Top best places for Che in Hanoi:
- Che Dung 93: 95 Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Che Huong Hai (Huong Hai Congee Shop): 93 Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Che Bon Mua: No 4 Hang Can, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
These above are just some most popular and typical dishes of Hanoi, let’s come and explore Hanoi in your own way. I do hope that my review can be helpful and wish you a memorable trip in Hanoi.