Hanoi, has a lively street food culture that offers reasonably priced and flavorful food in attractive settings. Hanoi is a food heaven if you are a food lover. You can eat the best food, more often than not, on the street. Vietnamese street food differs per region. Food in each region carries its own distinctive and unique characteristics. Most Vietnamese street food spots serve fresh and light meals drawing heavily on herbs, lime juice and chilli. With its astounding mix of tastes and flavors, Vietnamese street food is one of the healthiest in the world.
The great thing about Hanoi and Vietnam in general is that you don’t have to go to high-end restaurants to have a delicious meal. Often the simplest shacks serve the most amazing food and then also for a very low price.
There are 4 seasons in Hanoi, each season has its own special dishes which sometime you will not find in other season. However, whenever you are in Hanoi, Do NOT miss these sample street foods:
- Pho (Noddle)
Pho is a popular street food dish in Vietnam, usually consumed for breakfast or lunch. It’s a rice noodle soup with beef and herbs. Its origins are found in the 20th century with the influence of French, beef-heavy cuisine. It was later popularized throughout the world by the refugees from the Vietnam war. Today, pho is the most popular soup in Vietnam. You can sample the dish at Pho Gia Truyen restaurant.
Address: 49, Bat Dan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi City, Vietnam
- Banh Tom (Shrimp patty)
Banh tom is a shrimp patty specialty original from the area around West Lake (Ho Tay) in Hanoi. First, the dough is made with wheat flour, cornstarch, fresh water, egg, salt, pepper, turmeric powder and sweet potato. This is dipped into cooking oil and the shrimps are placed on top. The whole thing is deep fried for about 5 minutes until the shrimp pancakes become golden brown. The patty is usually served with fish sauce. You’ll find this specialty at Banh Tom Ho Tay.
Address: Thanh Nien, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Vietnam
- Banh Cuon (Steamed rice rolls)
Banh Cuon are Vietnamese steamed rice rolls that over the years have become the most popular breakfast food in the country. The steamed rice is cooked until it is very sticky and then it is scrapped off with a bamboo stick. After that, the rice roll is filled with strong-flavored pork, mushrooms, onions, and fish sauce. The version with pork and shrimps is equally delicious. Taste it at Banh Cuon Gia Truyen.
Address: 27 Hang Ga Hang Bo Hoan Kiem Hang Bo Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi, Vietnam
- Bun cha (pork and vermicelli)
Bun cha may very well be Hanoi’s most famous dish. It can be found in southern Vietnam as well, but it just doesn’t taste the same. The best bun cha is served at 34 Hang Than, a small, very cheap eatery with plenty of flavor.
This dish became hugely famous earlier in the year when TV presenter Anthony Bourdain sat down for some bun cha with US President Barack Obama when the pair were in Hanoi. If you want to eat in the same room as they did, visit Bun Cha Huong Lien at 24 Le Van Huu and get the Obama Combo, which includes bun cha, a fried seafood roll and a bottle of Hanoi beer.
Another solid bun cha can be found at Nha Hang Thanh Hop (12 Dinh Liet), just a block north of Hoan Kiem Lake. Nha Hang Thanh Hop is usually filled with tourists, but plenty of locals stop by as well, and they serve excellent renditions of pho ga and other northern specialties too.
- Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich)
Banh Mi is one of the best results of the French occupation. There are many varieties of Banh Mi. In general it is a fluffy baguette stuffed with fried either egg, pork, pate, chicken and topped with cucumber slices, carrots, coriander and daikon. In Hanoi, this sandwich is finished with some hot sauce, slices chilies and mayonnaise. One of the best are served at Bahn Mi 25, 25 Hang Ca Street, Old quarter
- Cha ca ((fish fillet with turmeric and dill)
A truly unique Hanoi dish is cha ca, or sizzling plates of fish served with vermicelli noodles, peanuts, herbs and sauce.
Try this flavorful concoction at Cha Ca La Vong (14 Cha Ca), the city’s oldest restaurant restaurant.
There is another, larger outlet of this restaurant in the Old Quarter at 21-31 Duong Thanh.
Find your unique street food in Hanoi with us: