What is “Bún Chả”?
Bún chả is a popular dish among both locals and tourists in Hanoi. It consists of grilled pork strips and balls (chả) served over a bed of rice vermicelli noodles (bún). It is usually accompanied by a plate of fresh Vietnamese herbs and a bowl of dipping sauce.
Other ingredients, such as pickled vegetables (cabbage, carrots, onion, or green papaya) and additional meatballs, are often served on the side.
The sauce of this dish- a delectable combination of fish sauce or Nuoc Mam, vinegar, lime, sugar, garlic and chili- plays an incredibly important role in the overall flavour of this dish.
Not only does it create a unique, zesty flavour, but it also helps to balance the natural saltiness of the fish sauce and the sharpness of the vinegar. The combination of these ingredients creates a flavour that is truly unforgettable, and it is this combination that really makes this dish special.
Where to Eat It
Most restaurants in Vietnam specialize in a single dish. In Hanoi, bun cha is especially popular, with several restaurants and vendors offering it for lunch and beyond. For an authentic vermicelli experience, these special places to check out are:
Bún Chả Hương Liên
Already popular, this restaurant is gaining more notoriety after **President Obama and Anthony Bourdain shared a meal of Bún chả**. The slightly fatty, juicy pork balls, fresh herbs, and noodles dipped in the special sauce create an unforgettable flavor.
This place is a renowned spot for its attractions, but it can be quite touristy. If you’re looking for a more authentic experience and want to enjoy a traditional dish of bun cha where the local people go, you’re in luck. There are plenty of options to choose from, each offering a unique atmosphere and its own regional twist. Whether it’s a cozy restaurant tucked away in an alleyway, a bustling street-side food cart, or a traditional family-run eatery, you can be sure to find a spot that suits your taste. So why not explore and take the opportunity to try something new?
- Address: 24 Le Van Huu Street in Hai Ba Trung District
- Hours: Everyday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Prices: About 40,000 VND to 50,000 VND ($1.77 USD to $2.21 USD)
Obama and Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam
Bún Chả Hàng Mành – Đắc Kim
- Address: 1 Hang Manh Street
- Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Prices: About 60,000 VND ($2.65 USD)
Visiting Hanoi? Don’t miss out on Bun Cha Dac Kim – a tiny but legendary eatery run by the same family since 1965! Here, you’ll get generous portions of delicious food cooked with a special recipe and top-notch ingredients like lean and fatty meat, onion, garlic and fish sauce, cooked over charcoal for extra flavor. Despite the small space and the prices (around $3-4 per helping), the place is always full and is part of Hanoi’s food heritage. So don’t miss out!
Bun cha at lane 74, Hang Quat Street
- Address: 74 Hang Quat Street
- Hours: Every day from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm
- Prices: About 40,000 VND
If you’re looking for an unforgettable bun cha experience, then look no further than 74 Hang Quat Street. This establishment has been around for 19 years and has many loyal customers who come back for the delicious flavor.
The bun cha here comes in two types, minced meat and sliced meat. The latter is especially popular as it is thin and grilled to the perfect texture, avoiding that greasiness that you can get with other places. The dark charring on the cha isn’t from over-grilling, but actually from the dark sugar sauce that seeps into the meat and combines perfectly with the subtle fish sauce. You can get a set of bun cha here for just VND 40,000!
The restaurant usually opens at 9:30 AM, but make sure you come early as it usually sells out by 2:00 PM. So if you want to get the full bun cha experience, head down to 74 Hang Quat Street for a delicious meal!
Bun cha at 34 Hang Than Street
- Address: 34 Hang Than Street
- Hours: Every day from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Prices: About 35,000 VND
Visiting Bun Cha Tuyet in Hang Than Slope is always a great choice for a delicious and consistent cha experience. The set here looks especially inviting, with the cha, rice noodles, and herbs presented on a clean and pleasant tray. Plus, the price tag is very affordable – just VND35,000 (less than $2)!
When you dig in, you’ll find that the bowl of cha is filled with grilled meat, around 4 or 5 pieces of minced meat, and about 10 slices of meat – more than enough to satisfy your hunger. The two types of cha served here are grilled to perfection, providing a soft, sweet, and fragrant flavor. The minced meat is wrapped in xuong song (a kind of herb), making it even more flavorful and tasty.
Are you looking for a delicious street food experience in Hanoi? Look no further! Our Hanoi Street Food – Eat like a local tour is the perfect way to explore the city and sample its local delights. From Banh da chay, papaya salad, and fresh Vietnamese fruits to local doughnuts, Banh mi, sugarcane juice, and Bia hoi, you’ll be in for a treat. Plus, our best local guides will show you the city’s hidden gems, from the smallest alley to the hidden ancient temple. Get ready to explore and feast!
FAQ for Bún Chả
Are you curious about the popular Vietnamese dish, Bún Chả? Here are some frequently asked questions about it:
What is Bún Chả?
Bún Chả is a Vietnamese dish that consists of grilled pork (Chả) served with rice vermicelli noodles (Bún), fresh herbs, and dipping sauce.
What kind of meat is used in Bún Chả?
Traditionally, Bún Chả is made with ground pork that is then formed into small patties and grilled. However, some variations may use pork belly or other cuts of pork.
What are the herbs used in Bún Chả?
The most common herbs used in Bún Chả are mint, cilantro, and perilla. These herbs are usually served fresh and can be mixed into the noodle bowl or used as a garnish.
How is Bún Chả typically served?
Bún Chả is usually served family-style with a plate of grilled pork, a bowl of rice vermicelli noodles, a plate of fresh herbs, and a bowl of dipping sauce. Diners can then assemble their own noodle bowls by adding the desired amount of each component.
Is Bún Chả spicy?
Bún Chả can be spicy depending on the level of chili peppers used in the dipping sauce. However, the dish is typically not very spicy and can be adjusted to individual taste preferences.
Is Bún Chả gluten-free?
Bún Chả is gluten-free as long as the dipping sauce does not contain any soy sauce or other gluten-containing ingredients. It is important to check the ingredients of the dipping sauce before consuming.
Now that you know more about Bún Chả, why not try making it at home or visiting a Vietnamese restaurant to try it for yourself? Enjoy!