Hanoi is well known as renowned traditional foods and let us show you some options in Vietnam’s chaotic capital city. Check out our favorite Hanoi restaurants, cafes, bars and street food because you will be surprised and have a memorable experience in Hanoi.
Street food is one of the best must-try in Hanoi as you can try the unique dishes and widen your knowledge about Vietnamese custom simultaneously. This is a city that takes the phrase “street food” dramatically – you can see food everywhere. Each block has several cafes, with diners spilling on to sidewalks littered with lots of tiny plastic chairs combined with red plastic tables for customers to gossip together.
If you are the budget, street food is a good choice for you and your friends.
Walking easily becomes a Hanoi street food tour with cheap pride all day or night. During the day, Old Quarter Hanoi street vendors is well known as selling fruit and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves or a tiny plastic cup.
It’s nighttime though when these streets really come alive with the kinds of food that Hanoi locals love most comprising our personal favorite – meat on a stick that is super delicious and sweet smelling.
One plus for Hanoi is that you never worry to be hungry in Hanoi as foods of hanoi are so easily to eat with the flexible pride without tourist guide.
Although street food in Hanoi is everywhere, finding a good food is so difficult, especially travelers and expats. Let us figure out some yummy foods and location of this store or vanders for you.
Use our Hanoi guide to find the best places to eat in Hanoi as well as an amount of yummy things to try the dishes in Hanoi during your tour. There’s no shortage of wonderful food to eat in Hanoi, and we’re so glad to share some of the best food in Hanoi Vietnam here.
Any visitor to Hanoi will quickly find out that the number one thing to do in Vietnam’s capital city is to try. The city has over 7.5 million residents, they almost chose the basic food because of convenience and tradition of this food such as:
1. Pho (Noodle Soup)
Pho has two type: pho with chicken and pho with beef, but every type is cooked with savory broth and your slow-cooked meat that makes Pho is super yummy and sweet- smelling. Moreover this food is so cheap with the quality of this. One attractive feature of Pho is your condiments, especially the small but potent red peppers.
Most of all, the main ingredient is that we always swirl on our chopsticks before slurping into our mouths.
Pho is well known as originating in Hanoi and is arguably the national dish of Vietnam. Pho become a favourite food of Vietnamese at the morning, at night, noon. In fact, that’s what we do whenever we’re in Hanoi. Any time we wonder what to eat in Hanoi, the answer is almost always Pho.
Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup)
In Vietnam, you can find easily Pho but it is not like Hanoi. Pho Bat Dan is one of the best store in Hanoi. The lines may often be long (a good sign) compared to other Hanoi pho shops, but the wait is well worth it when the reward is cheap bowls of soup with ultra-fresh ingredients and slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth slices of beef. Though super common, Pho Bat Dan is one of the most delicious restaurants in Hanoi.
Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup)
This restaurant is not easily to look for but you an feel very satisfy with this food, Pho Lam serves the kind of Chicken Pho that we could eat every day without getting bored. Eating here is a good experience starting with the women cooking the soup over coals and continuing inside the bare bones restaurant with long community tables and wooden benches.
2. Cha Ca (Grilled & Fried Fish with Rice Noodles)
Cha Ca, a Northern Vietnamese specialty is made by pan-fried chunks of meaty, fatty skinned fish, turmeric, dill, peanuts, shrimp paste and rice noodles so it is healthy food for you and your family. If you haven’t tried it before, then Cha Ca may be the most unique food to try in Hanoi and you can try this food with lots of vegetable to balance flavour.
3. Bun Cha (Grilled Pork & Noodles)
If Pho is Hanoi’s number one dish, then Bun Cha is number two that can create the unique taste of hanoi and it is a favourite dish of locals. And grilled pork and rice noodles are the stars and fresh herbs, sliced papaya, red chili and garlic are the common ingredients to make this yummy food for customer to try. If these ingredients aren’t enough for you, then add fried spring rolls called Nem to the mix and beer or tea to become prefect. That is so fantastic!
Bun Cha restaurants appear everywhere in Hanoi. After eating at several different Bun Cha restaurants, we introduce you Bun Cha Hang Quat where is have special taste. Although this address is so difficult to find, the Old Quarter restaurant does a brisk business of serving freshly made bun cha to the starving masses for just four hours a day from 10 am to 2 pm. Do not for you that do early to have good seat and comfortable table. This restaurant is so renowned by Barack Obama came here before.
4. Xoi (Sticky Rice)
Sticky rice is not locally in Hanoi but it still is a familiar food to Hanoi residents. Locals especially like the version at popular Xoi Yen, where they flavor the glutinous rice with green mung bean paste and lots of chicken fat and the high quality of rice. Topped with meat and paired with a cheap bottle of beer, Hanoi sticky rice is for chilling out and is a fun in the busy city.
5. Bun Bo Nam Bo (Beef & Noodles)
Bun Bo Nam Bo for Southern Vietnamese dish is a food combined with beef and noodles for the people who can not eat pork. Unlike pho and bun cha, this dish is not locally in Hanoi residents, but it’s still worth eating in Hanoi at Bun Bo Nam Bo for the melange of ingredients (grilled beef, veggies, herbs, peanuts and crispy onions) artfully served together in one big bowl in Hanoi as the stranger flavour.
When you eat Bun Bo Nam Bo, you should add fresh lime juice and chili sauce for traditional taste.
6. Bun-Mien Ngan (Rice Noodles with Muscovy Duck)
For the expats, Muscovy ducks are perhaps indigenous in the Americas and can be found in Australia and New Zealand where are far away Vietnam. We don’t know why the large, meaty ducks are so popular in Vietnam, but lover of cuisine can enjoy Muscovy duck at eateries around town with other versions from soups to noodle dishes.
7. Banh Mi (Baguette Sandwich)
As hard as we tried, we never found the best Banh Mi in Hanoi because of diversified taste of Banh Mi. Ironically, our favorite Banh Mi sandwiches in Hanoi were at nameless stands including the one outside our Airbnb apartment. We also tried a decent Banh Mi with paté at Bánh Mì Bà though the flavor profile oddly skewed sweet that creates a special taste over savory.
8. Pho Cuon (Rice Noodle Rolls)
If you are a big fan of noodle, then you will be interested in Pho Cuon that big rice noodles are rolled around beef and green herbs to create a delightful finger food. As usual, locals usually ramp it up by dipping the Pho Cuon into Nuoc Cham, a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, vinegar and chili to rise the savory for this dish.
9. Pho Chien Phong (Fried Pho Noodles)
In this Vietnamese dish, pho noodles are cut into squares, deep fried and then topped with beef and sautéed green vegetables. Considering that we dubbed these squares as “little pillows of yumminess”, it’s fair to say that we highly recommend trying Pho Chien Phong in Hanoi.
10. Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)
Banh Cuon is a common choice for locals in the morning. This dish includes rice noodles served with fresh herbs and bowls of pork, mushroom and minced shallots that is suitable for you if you are on the budget. And one of the good restaurant we recommend you to try is Banh Cuon Ba Hoanh where has high services and the quality of Banh Cuon.
11. Ốc Len Xào Dừa (Sea Snails in Coconut Milk)
As usual, the people has two groups: diners lean on snails or the other do not like it because we recognize that some people don’t feel comfortable eating the little mollusks. As for us, we love them.
In Hanoi, adventurous food visitors can eat snails bathed in coconut milk and lemongrass and then wash their hands in lemongrass-infused water. Oc Lan Beo Hai Phong is one of the restaurants has it. This restaurant is an optimal choice as they can make sure of the quality of food and you always feel comfortable to try the dish.
12. Che (Sweet Dessert Soup)
Che is a Vietnamese dessert with several tastes but normally, it has a little sweet if you are a lovers of sweety you can use it for thirsting. Che has two types: hot or cold, and it can have a wide range of ingredients like mung beans, red beans, fruit and tapioca beads that can help you to calm down in the sunny day or make you feel warm in the cold day.
Visitors can sample different varieties at decades-old Che Ba Thin in the Old Quarter where is renowned for delicious Che. You can find che at many eateries in the Old Quarter as it is a popular local Hanoi dessert and so easily to find che store with low pride.