Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Hanoi: Food Guide

Last year, before we set off for a vacation in Hanoi, I went through a lot of travel blogs to find out what are the best Hanoi food to eat and where would be the best places to find them as we wanted to optimize our food-hunting experience given a 2-day period (to be specific, 1 day if we minus all the travelling time).

Luckily, all the nice, delicious food are within walking distance at the Old Quarter.  If you are like us, who don't have a lot of time to spend in Hanoi, but would like to experience the best of the local delicacies, below is the summary of the best of Hanoi. :)

Click on the links below to read more in detail.

1.  Bun Bo
Beef vermicelli noodles with herbs and beef slices, topped with shallots and grounded peanuts, served with beef broth.

2.  Pho Bo
Thin rice noodles with strips of beef served in hearty beef broth.

3.  Bun Cha
Charcoal grilled pork patties with vermicelli noodles and herbs.
Where?  Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim @ Duong Thanh Street
(Write-up coming soon.  Only in Hanoi)

4.  Mien Xao Lion
Stir-fried glass noodles cooked with beansprouts and egg, served with crispy fried mini eels and topped with fried shallots, sliced cucumbers and purple perilla.

5.  Banh Cuon
Thin warm rice noodle rolls filled with seasoned ground pork and minced wood-ear mushrooms topped with crispy fried shallots and served with a sweet dipping sauce.

Where:  Banh Cuon Gia Truyen @ Hang Ga Street

6.  Nem Ca
Deep-fried catfish rolled in rice paper served with wasabi dipping sauce in a classy restaurant, popular for its alcoholic experience.

Where:  Highway 4 Restaurant & Bar @ Hang Tre Street

7.  Ca Phe Trung
Vietnamese coffee with raw egg whipped with milk and sugar.

Where:  Coffee with a view at Cafe Pho Co @ Hang Gai Street


Others that we did not have the time to try yet.

Xoi Xeo
Sweet sticky glutinous rice with mung bean paste and fried shallots, topped with egg or meat
Where:  Xoi Yen @ 35b, Nguyen Huu Huan Street

Cha Ca
Grilled fish sauteed in dill, turmeric, shrimp paste and fish sauce, topped with peanuts and green onions
Where:  Cha Ca Tranh Long @ 31, Duong Thanh Street


Now, if you ever feel that you're gonna have a hard time communicating, you don't really have to worry much as most shops only serve one kind of food.  So, all you need is a very good sign language.  Otherwise, just jot down the names of the food and show them (Like what we did).

But if you are visiting Hanoi for a very short time and you want to sample a variety of the Hanoi specialties  then there is a perfect one-stop center.  I haven't been there personally but apparently, it is very popular among both locals and tourists.  It is located south of the Hoen Kiem Lake, so if you are heading back  to the Old Quarters after a visit of the Temple of Literature, it would be a nice place to rest your tired feet.
Where:  Quan An Ngon @ 18 Phon Boi Chau


  1. Wow wish you had posted this before we went to Hanoi last year! It would have cut down my research by loads hehe.

    Loved the Bun Cha there... don't think you missed out much by not trying the Cha Ca though. Didn't really fancy it all that much, thought it was too oily. Keep up the great work blogging! :)