Hanoi has some of Asia’s tastiest street food, but like every vast metropolis, the key is to know where to go! These insider tips, provided by our Hanoi based Travel Specialist Thu Lan offer some tasty ideas for the Vietnamese capital’s understated, yet delicious cuisine, and importantly where to go to snaffle some sublime street eats!
Savory Sticky Rice at Xoi Yen
Xoi Yen is a local street side stall that bustles at the seams daily, and is an exceptionally popular venue for lovers of this savory snack. The eatery can be found on Nguyen Huu Huan in the Hoan Kiem District. Here they fire out the orders of sublime sticky rice with a choice of toppings such as chicken, pork, green bean and deep fried shallots, and are open until the early hours.
Pho at Pho Bat Dan
A local restaurant, and often argued as Hanoi’s best pho establishment, Pho Bat Dan (at 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District) has been serving up Vietnam’s national dish for over 60 years. The rich broth, excellent cured beef and famous chili sauce gives Pho Bat Dan its well-deserved reputation. There is no table service and the ambiance is reminiscent of Hanoi circa 1985. A local experience for sure, but made more accommodating for foreigners with high tables and comfortable seating.
Cha Ca at Cha Ca La Vong
The dish Cha Ca originated in Hanoi at the Doan family restaurant over a century ago. The street was later named Cha Ca Street after the dish, and to this day only one meal is served here: pan-fried fish with dill and spring onions, cooked at the table, served with vegetables. Ideally a lunch venue, the restaurant (at 107 Cha Ca St, Hoan Kiem District) is basic yet authentic, but high tables and comfortable seating are offered. The restaurant may have become a victim of its own success as portions have decreased over the years and service can be hit and miss, however the history and quirky décor help you overlook its shortcomings!
Bun Cha at Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim
Again, a restaurant serving a small, specialized selection, Bun Cha Hanoi offer only charcoal-grilled pork patties with vermicelli rice noodles, served with a huge platter of fresh herbs. Testament to authenticity is found in its patronage – the restaurant is frequented mainly by locals, creating the atmosphere that simply can’t be generated falsely.
Bo Bit Tet at Bit Tet Hoa
Thanks to the introduction of French cuisine to Vietnam over history, there are many cross-cultural nuances to be found around the country, including a unique coffee culture and some cuisine anomalies that fall somewhere in between East and West. Bo Bit Tet drops greasily into that category – the dish consists of fried beef, fries, egg and a spoonful of pâté served on a hot plate (often amusingly shaped like a cow). Something of a comfort food, the hot plate is often accompanied by a baguette for dipping and mopping up the last of the tasty juices.
So now you know! If you’re heading to Vietnam anytime soon, our Travel Specialist Thu Lan would be more than happy to share her extensive local knowledge with you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with her!