Are you visiting the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, for the first time and you wonder what is there to eat and if it’s actually worth it? Well, there’s lots to eat and there is no chance you will regret it. Vietnam takes pride in making super rich and flavorful broths while they also use fresh vegetables and fruits to create amazing dishes. In Hanoi, there are so many finger-licking dishes that you will simply lose count, and you will find them in the most humble street food carts but also in posh restaurants. Before it gets too chaotic for you, here is a list with the most incredible food to try in Hanoi, Vietnam. Scroll down to find out more.
1. Chả Cá (grilled fish)
One of Hanoi’s most famous signature dishes, chả cá or else grilled fish, is a dish whose main ingredient is the snakehead, a fish found across Vietnam. The locals make sure they marinate it the right way, adding garlic, turmeric, salt, sugar, shallots, galangal (ginger-like root) and fish sauce. Chả Cá is more than just a delicious dish; it’s actually a trademark of the Vietnamese cuisine, and that becomes obvious in the cha ca street which is fully dedicated to this special dish. The dish is more than 130 years old, so please don’t miss it.
Address: 14 Chả Cá, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening hours: 11am - 2pm, 5pm - 9pm (daily)
Average price for two: 1.28 USD - 2.82 USD
2. Bún Thang (noodle soup with chicken, egg & pork)
A truly traditional and delicate dish of Hanoi cuisine, bún thang literally means rice vermicelli (bún) and a pack of herbals/ingredients (thang). Hanoi’s cuisine can be pretty sophisticated and well-balanced, which can be clearly seen in the 20 plus ingredients needed to make an original bún thang. However, the main ingredients are rice vermicelli, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, chicken, ham, radishes, spring onions, and laksa leaves. The flavor of this food is really distinctive, as it can be sweet, savory and light too, thanks to its numerous ingredients.
Bún Thang Bún Bung
Address: 32 Cầu Gỗ, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening hours: 8am - 11pm (daily)
Average price for two: 1.28 - 2.82 USD
3. Nem cua bể (crab spring rolls)
One of the most famous street food in Hanoi (and generally in Vietnam), nem cua bể is a crab spring roll and a must-try food experience. According to Hai Phong tradition, the wrapping occurs in a square and not the traditional roll way, giving them a characteristic square shape. The main ingredients of this unique dish include shrimps, pork, vermicelli, bean sprouts, mushrooms, green onions, and spices. This dish is suitable for both hot or cold days and should be enjoyed soon after being cooked.
Bún Chả Liên Anh
Address: 150 Ngọc Khánh, Giảng Võ, Ba Đình, Hà Nội
Opening hours: 10am - 8pm (daily)
Average price for two: 1.28 USD - 2.13 USD
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4. Bánh Gối (crispy dumplings)
The ideal street food in Hanoi, especially in the cold winters, bánh gối literally means pillow cake as the shape of the dumplings resembles a pillow. These very popular Vietnamese dumplings are deep fried so they create a yellowish, crispy pastry skin. So, what you need to make this delicacy are dough, minced pork, wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles, shallots, quail eggs, and several seasonings, while the design part requires some skills. The sweet-salty cake is well-paired with a dipping sauce and fresh herbs.
Quán Gốc Đa - Bánh Gối & Bánh Rán Mặn
Address: 52 Lý Quốc Sư, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Facebook Page: Quán Gốc Đa - Bánh Gối & Bánh Rán Mặn
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 8am - 6pm; Fri: 8am - 8pm; Sat: 8am - 9pm
Average price for two: 0.30 USD - 0.73 USD
5. Bún Chả (grilled pork with noodles)
This delicious dish is believed to have originated from the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, and it literally means vermicelli noodles (bún) and meat (chả). So, basically, the plate is served with noodles and a bowl of broth and grilled meat, alongside a basket of fresh greens. The noodles have to be soft and chewy, while the pork is made in two ways, either ground pork or grilled thin sliced pork. However, the secret to success lies in the broth which is mainly comprised of fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar, together with other spices.
Bún Chả Hương Liên
Address: 24 Lê Văn Hưu, Phan Chu Trinh, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội
Facebook Page: Bún Chả Hương Liên
Opening hours: 8am - 8.30pm (daily)
Average price for two: 1.71 USD - 2.57 USD
6. Miến Xào Lươn (vermicelli with fried eels)
If you are one of those culinary curious travelers, then make sure you try at least once this unique Vietnamese dish. Eel seems to be quite a common ingredient in the country’s cuisine, so miến xào lươn is a dish made of crispy fried eels and vermicelli or stir-fried glass noodles. Other ingredients added to the plate are spring onions, shallots, fresh mint, peanuts, and eggs. This distinctive dish is eaten year-round and it’s one of those dishes that you either hate or love.
Nhà Hàng Miến Lươn ĐÔNG THỊNH
Address: 87 Hàng Điếu, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening hours: 6.30am - 9.30pm (daily)
Average price for two: 1.28 USD - 2.35 USD
7. Bánh Cuốn (steamed rice roll)
Another delectable dish originating from northern Vietnam, bánh cuốn is made from steamed fermented rice batter filled with ground pork (or shrimp) and also wood ear mushrooms and shallots. The dish is usually served along with sliced cucumber and bean sprouts, while a rich sauce is recommended, and usually is fish sauce, but vinegar, sugar, and warm water may be added as well. In Hanoi, the rolls, the sauce, and the spicy vegetables are served on separate plates.
Bánh Cuốn Bà Hanh
Address: 26B Thọ Xương, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Website: Bánh Cuốn Bà Hanh
Opening hours: 7am - 3pm, 5 - 10pm (daily)
Average price for two: 1.07 USD - 1.71 USD
8. Xôi Xéo (sticky rice with mung beans)
Certainly one of the most eye-catching Vietnamese dishes, especially for those who see it for the first time, xôi xéo is a popular breakfast item among students and laborers as it’s pretty inexpensive and also filling. This bright yellowish dish is made of sticky rice, deep fried shallots, steamed mung beans, and some glutinous fat, while the color comes from the turmeric powder. Although it might sound like an easy dish to make, it’s actually one of the most challenging in the Vietnamese cuisine. It also keeps people warm during the cold weather.
Address: 37 Phố Hàng Bài, Hàng Bài, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening hours: 6am - 10am (daily)
9. Phở Xào (fried noodles with toppings)
So, this is a dish that Vietnamese people love to eat throughout the day and one can find it in plenty of street carts or any restaurant. Phở xào means rice noodles (pho) and to fry (xao) and together with the other main ingredients, beef or chicken and juicy green veggies, they compose a mouth-watering dish that can’t be missed (mushrooms and onions can be added). A plate of phở xào is surprisingly made in less than 15 to 20 minutes while the noodles are fried in a pan, making them delicious and really attractive.
Phở Xào Phú Mỹ
Address: 45 Bát Đàn, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Facebook Page: Phở Xào Phú Mỹ
Opening hours: Thu - Tue: 6am - 10pm; Wed: 6am - 2pm, 5pm - 11pm
Average price for two: 0.85 USD - 2.35 USD
10. Chim Quay (roast pigeon)
Alright, so this dish is surely not for the faint-hearted, culinary-wise, but for those who do feel a bit adventurous and curious. One of the birds that are commonly cooked in Hanoi is the pigeon, no matter how weird that might sound. And although meat in Vietnam is widely processed, this dish serves the whole bird barbequed, which can be somewhat shocking. The pigeon has to be aptly cooked and seasoned, so it does not get dry.
Address: 13 Tạ Hiện, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nộ
Opening hours: 8am - 11.30pm (daily)
Average price for two: 4.28 USD - 14.10 USD
Eat your way through Hanoi
It will be hard to believe that all the above descriptions and photos of the best food in Hanoi, didn’t make your mouth water. Well, if they did, maybe you should start planning a trip to Vietnam soon, don’t you think?
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