VIETNAM FOOD

What To Eat in Vietnam Hanoi? 15 Best Hanoi Dishes

Jul 02, 2024

What to eat in Vietnam Hanoi? Your taste buds are now in for a treat in the capital city of Vietnam. From steaming bowls of fragrant pho on bustling street corners to the crispy banh mi sandwiches that have gained international fame, Hanoi’s culinary landscape is a treasure trove of flavors waiting to be discovered. To help you navigate this gastronomic paradise, we’ve curated a list of 15 must-try dishes that answer the question “What to eat in Vietnam Hanoi?”

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Pho bo – Beef noodle soup

What to eat in Vietnam Hanoi? Pho bo is always the top choice of many people for this question. This iconic Vietnamese dish is a fragrant beef noodle soup that has become synonymous with Hanoi’s culinary identity. The magic of pho bo lies in its clear, flavorful broth, which is simmered for hours with beef bones, star anise, cinnamon, and other aromatic spices.

Served with flat rice noodles, tender slices of beef, and fresh herbs, pho bo is a balanced and comforting meal. Locals often enjoy it for breakfast, but it’s available throughout the day at countless street-side stalls and restaurants.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi beef noodle soup

Where to eat:

Pho Thin – 13 Lo Duc, Ngo Thi Nham, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan – 49 Bat Dan, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su – 10 Ly Quoc Su, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Pho ga – Chicken noodle soup

While pho bo might be more famous internationally, pho ga (chicken noodle soup) is equally beloved in Hanoi. This version of pho features a chicken broth slow-cooked until it falls off the bone tender, infusing rich flavor, added subtly flavored with ginger and coriander. The soup is typically served with shredded chicken meat, rice noodles, and a variety of herbs.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi chicken noodle soup

Where to eat:

Pho ga Nguyet – 5b Phu Doan, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Pho Ha Hang Hom – 15 Hang Hom, Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Pho ga Hang Dieu – 1 Hang Dieu, Cua Dong,  Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun cha – Noodle with grilled pork

Bun cha is another must-try dish when considering what to eat in Vietnam Hanoi. This lunchtime favorite consists of grilled pork patties and slices served with a tangy dipping sauce, fresh herbs, and rice noodles. The pork is marinated in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, and spices before being grilled over charcoal, giving it a smoky, caramelized flavor. To eat bun cha like a local, dip the noodles and herbs into the sauce and enjoy them alongside the grilled pork.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi bun cha

Where to eat:

Bun cha Tuyet 34 – 24 Hang Than, Nguyen Trung Truc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Bun cha Que Tre – 33 Hang Giay, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun cha Mai Hac De – 38 Mai Hac De, Bui Thi Xuan, Ha Ba Trung, Hanoi

Bun rieu – Crab noodle soup

Bun rieu is a flavorful crab noodle soup that showcases the delicate flavors of freshwater paddy crabs. The soup’s base is made by crushing the crab meat and shells to extract their essence, creating a rich, tomato-tinged broth. Served with rice noodles, crab meat patties, and often topped with fried tofu and fresh vegetables, bun rieu is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.

Where to eat:

Bun rieu cua Hang Bac – 11 Hang Bac, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun rieu Hang Luoc – 14 Hang Luoc, Hang Ma, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun rieu Trang  – 23 Nguyen Sieu, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun ngan – Muscovy duck noodle soup

Bun ngan is a lesser-known but equally delicious noodle soup featuring Muscovy duck. This hearty dish combines rice noodles with tender slices of duck meat in a savory broth. The soup is often garnished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and a squeeze of lime for added zest. What sets bun ngan apart is the unique flavor of Muscovy duck, which is leaner and more flavorful than regular duck.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi bun ngan

Where to eat:

Bun ngan Nhan – 11 Trung Yen, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun ngan Hang Thiec – 61 Hang Thiec, Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Banh mi – The most answer about what to eat in Vietnam Hanoi

Banh mi is perhaps the most versatile and widely recognized Vietnamese food, and it’s a common answer to the question of what to eat in Vietnam Hanoi. This French-inspired sandwich consists of a crispy baguette filled with a variety of ingredients, typically including pate, Vietnamese ham, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and chili sauce. Don’t hesitate to ask local people about places selling quality bread to have the best experience of this dish.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi banh mi

Where to eat:

Banh mi Pho – 61E Hang Ma, Hang Bo, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Banh mi 38 Dinh Liet – 38 Dinh Liet, Hang Dao, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Banh cuon – Steamed rice rolls

Banh cuon is a delicate dish of steamed rice rolls filled with seasoned ground pork and wood ear mushrooms. The rice batter is spread thinly on a cloth stretched over a pot of boiling water, creating a delicate, translucent wrapper. Once cooked, the rolls are served with fried shallots, fresh herbs, and a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, lime juice, and chili. To truly appreciate the art of banh cuon-making, visit heirloom banh cuon restaurants where you can watch skilled artisans prepare this dish right before your eyes.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi banh cuon

Where to eat:

Banh cuon Phuong – 68 Hang Cot, Hang Ma, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Banh cuon Duc Hanh – B9/43 Pham Ngoc Thach, Kim Lien, Dong Da, Hanoi

Banh cuon Doi Can – 50 Doi Can, Doi Can, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Cha ca – Grilled fish

Cha Ca is a Hanoi specialty that has an entire street named after it – Cha Ca Street. This unique dish features chunks of white fish (usually catfish) marinated in turmeric and other spices, then grilled tableside and served with dill, peanuts, rice noodles, and a pungent fermented shrimp sauce called mam tom. The interactive dining experience and complex flavors make cha ca a must-try when exploring what to eat in Vietnam Hanoi.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi cha ca la vong

Where to eat:

Cha ca La Vong – 14 Cha Ca, Hang Bo, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Cha ca Thang Long – 6B Duong Thanh, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Pho cuon – Noodle rolls

Pho cuon is a refreshing twist on the traditional pho, perfect for hot summer days. Instead of a soup, uncut sheets of pho noodles are used to wrap around beef and fresh herbs, creating spring roll-like parcels. These rolls are then dipped in a tangy nuoc cham sauce. The combination of chewy noodle wrapper, savory beef, and crisp herbs makes pho cuon a delightful alternative to the usual pho experience.

Where to eat:

Pho cuon Huong Mai – 25 Ngu Xa, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Pho cuon Thanh Hang – 29B Ngu Xa, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Pho cuon 31 – 31 Ngu Xa, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Nom bo kho – Beef jerky salad

Nom bo kho is a zesty and refreshing salad that combines shredded green papaya or mango with beef jerky, herbs, and a tangy dressing. The contrast between the sweet and sour fruit, the chewy texture of the beef jerky, and the crunch of peanuts creates a delightful balance of flavors and textures. This salad is often enjoyed as a light meal or appetizer. You can find excellent nom bo kho at many of Hanoi’s street food stalls, particularly in the Old Quarter.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi nom bo kho

Where to eat:

Long Vi Dung Nom bo kho – 23 Hoan Kiem Lake, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Nom Mai Nga – 25 Ham Long, Hang Bai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun dau mam tom

No discussion about what to eat in Vietnam Hanoi would be complete without mentioning bun dau mam tom. It consists of deep-fried tofu, rice vermicelli noodles, herbs, and various meats served alongside a pungent fermented shrimp paste called mam tom. The key to enjoying this dish is balancing the strong flavor of the shrimp paste with the other components. The combination of crispy tofu, fresh herbs, and the unique flavor of mam tom makes this dish a true Hanoi specialty. This dish can challenge the taste of foreign tourists, but once you taste it, it is difficult to refuse this unique flavor.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi bun dau mam tom

Where to eat:

Bun dau mam tom co Hoa – 25 Au Trieu, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bun dau met Tuan troc – 23 Phan Huy Ich, Nguyen Trung Truc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Trang Tien ice cream

This beloved local treat has been a Hanoi institution since the 1960s. The ice cream comes in various flavors, but the most popular are green rice, taro, and chocolate. What makes Trang Tien ice cream special is its unique texture – somewhere between ice cream and sorbet – and its affordable price. On hot summer days, you’ll see locals of all ages enjoying this refreshing treat on Trang Tien Street

what to eat in vietnam hanoi trang tien ice cream

Where to eat:

Kem Trang Tien – 35 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Xoi and Com – Sticky rice and Green sticky rice

Xoi, or sticky rice, is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a snack, side dish, or main course. In Hanoi, you’ll find both sweet and savory versions of xoi. Xoi xeo, a popular variety, combines yellow sticky rice with mung bean paste and fried onions. Other variations might include corn, black beans, pork floss, pate, or sausage.

Com, or green sticky rice, is a seasonal delicacy in Hanoi, typically available in autumn. Made from young green rice kernels, com has a subtle, grassy flavor and a slightly chewy texture. It’s often enjoyed on its own as a snack or used as an ingredient in other dishes.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi sticky rice

Where to eat:

You can easily find sticky rice or green sticky rice at street vendors on the streets of Hanoi.

Ca phe trung – Egg coffee

Ca phe trung is a typical drink of Hanoi when mentioning what to eat in Vietnam Hanoi. It is a Hanoi invention that has gained international recognition. This unusual beverage combines strong Vietnamese coffee with a creamy topping made from whipped egg yolks and condensed milk. The result is a rich, dessert-like drink that’s both strong and sweet.

what to eat in vietnam hanoi egg coffee

Where to eat:

Cafe Giang – 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

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Hanoi has an endless array of dishes to explore when considering what to eat in Vietnam Hanoi. Remember, the key to truly experiencing Hanoi’s food culture is to approach each dish with an open mind and a sense of adventure. Don’t be afraid to try new flavors and textures – you might just discover your new favorite food. So, the next time someone asks you “What to eat in Vietnam Hanoi?”, you’ll have plenty of delicious answers to share.

For those looking to delve deeper into Hanoi’s food scene, consider joining a culinary tour with Asia Encounter. Our expert guides can provide insider knowledge about the best local eateries, hidden gems, and the cultural significance behind each dish. Whether you’re slurping a bowl of pho on a busy street corner or savoring egg coffee in a historic cafe, every meal in Hanoi is an opportunity to connect with the city’s culinary heritage.

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