24 hours in Hanoi: The best Vietnamese street eats

Twenty-four hours are simply not enough to experience the best of Hanoi as this city is famously a street food wonderland, but we understand what it is like to travel under time and budget constraints. So I’ve come up with a fantastic itinerary for you to try the best of what the city has to offer in one day.

Hanoi is a street food wonderland. Follow almost any lane in this vivid, motorbike-clogged city, and you will find a cacophony of food stalls with colorful signs shouting the names of mysterious Vietnamese dishes. Behind them, scores of people slurp, munch, drink, and chatter, huddling on the city’s iconic miniature plastic stools.

How can you get the most taste out of your stay? Our list has you covered:

Banh Mi

 “That’s a symphony in a sandwich” is how Anthony Bourdain described the most famous Vietnamese sandwich called the Banh Mì.
If you’re planning on traveling to Vietnam, the one sandwich you will not want to miss is the banh mi. This iconic sandwich has been consistently ranked as one of the best sandwiches in the world.

Photo: Best Vietnamese banh mi- Hanoi Food walking tour.

Xoi xeo

Amazingly attractive with its bright yellow color, “xoi xeo” is sold in every wet market or may even be right on the street corner early in the morning. The seller keeps “xoi xeo” warm in a bamboo basket that is carried on the shoulder or fastened behind the bicycle. “Xoi xeo” is a special dish for breakfast, especially with students and manual laborers thanks to its rather low price, its fulfillment, and palatability.

Recommended places to eat in Hanoi:

Xoi xeo – Address: 35B Nguyen Huu Huan street.

Xoi Sen Minh Long – Address: 188 Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh

Xoi Xeo

Bun Cha

Bun Cha was the dish that president Obama fell in love with when he first came to Hanoi in 2016. It is understandable as this is one of the most flavorful dishes of Vietnamese cuisine. Bún chả is served with grilled fatty pork over a plate of white rice noodles and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce.

*Recommended places to eat in Hanoi:

  • Bun Cha Cau Dong – Address: 41 Cau Dong
  • Bun cha Dac Kim – Address: 1 Hàng Mành
Photo: Bun Cha in Hanoi

Hoa qua dam

There is nothing better for dessert than a bowl of Hoa qua dam. Enjoy a nice mix of fruit, yogurt, and milk in Hanoi. You will find the best Hoa qua dam at To Tich street.

*Recommended places to eat in Hanoi:

  • Hoa qua dam Hoa Beo – Address: 23 To Tich
  • Hoa qua dam Hang Bac – Address: 66 Hang Bac
Photo: Hoa Qua Dam

Bun bo Nam bo

Bun Bo Nam Bo is a mouth-watering vermicelli noodle dish served with stir-fried marinated beef, shortly known as stir-fried beef noodles. This popular food item has been introduced well from north to south Vietnam and is best known in Hanoi.

Bun Bo Nam Bo means beef noodles of the southern region, but there is no specific information about the origin of this dish until now. Many assumed that this noodle originated from the south of Vietnam, while others agreed it came from Hanoi and served in southern style: dry noodle without broth. Whether from north or south, Bun Bo Nam Bo is still a typical Vietnamese noodle dish that was once recommended among the top 10 must-try food in Vietnam by CNN.

*Recommended places to eat in Hanoi:

  • Bun bo nam bo Bach Phuong – Address: 67 Hang Dieu
Photo: Bun Bo Nam Bo

Egg Coffee

“Cà phê trúng”, or egg coffee is a Hanoi specialty in which a creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam is perched on dense Vietnamese coffee.
There are hot and cold versions. The former is served as a yellow concoction in a small glass. It’s consumed with a spoon and tastes almost like coffee-flavored ice cream — more like a dessert than coffee.

The hot version comes resting in a small dish of hot water to maintain its temperature. The strong coffee taste at the bottom of the cup seeps through the egg — the yellow layer on top — and is quite thick and sweet, though not sickly.

*Recommended places to eat in Hanoi:

  • Cafe Giang – Address: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan
  • Dinh Coffee – Address: 13 Dinh Tien Hoang
Photo: Egg Coffee

Tips: Life is so much less complicated if you have a friendly local guide to show you the best of Hanoi. Experience more the local cuisine with our Hanoi Food Walking Tour.

One thought on “24 hours in Hanoi: The best Vietnamese street eats

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