Top 12 Authentic Vietnamese Food You Must Eat in Hanoi

By Onetrip | Foods and Drinks

Jul 01

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the center of culture,politic,.. in Northern Vietnam since second millenium. Trying the cuisine is the best way to understand a long course of history because our food shows the the true colorful image of Vietnamese tradition, as well as many characteristics that make up each region

Cuisine of Northern Vietnam always creates its features and flavour, different from food in central Vietnam- known as the domination of the hot and spicy taste or sweet and sour in Southern Vietnam, flavour of Northern food is abundant not as sour, sweet and spicy as other regions

And Street food culture is an indispensable part of Hanoi cuisine. Street food stalls are becoming more and more popular and familiar with locals and tourists because of homely stall on the sidewalks around Hanoi

In this article, we highlight the Top Vietnamese food you must eat in Hanoi and the best places to have them.

Top Vietnamese Food You Must Eat in Hanoi will answer your questions like:

  • What to eat in Hanoi?
  • What is Hanoi famous food?
  • What must eat Hanoi?
  • What must eat in Vietnam?
  • What do you eat for breakfast in Hanoi?

Bún Chả  – Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli

Bún chả is one of locals and tourists’ favourite food, is a must to try whenever coming to Hanoi

The dish consists of grilled pork strips and balls or chả served over a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or bún.  It’s typically eaten with its side dishes such as plate of fresh Vietnamese herbs and a bowl of dipping sauce. Other ingredients like pickled vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, onion or green papaya served with additional meatballs on the side.

Grilled pork strips and pork balls

The sauce of this dish- combination of fish sauce or Nuoc Mam, vinegar, lime, sugar, garlic and chili,  plays a very important role in flavour of this dish.

Where to Eat It

Most restaurants in Vietnam specialize in making just one dish. In Hanoi, there are several restaurants and vendors of bun cha. While it is a popular meal for lunch, some restaurants serve it all day. For great local vermicelli experience, these are two special places to check in Hanoi.

Bún Chả Hương Liên

Already popular, this restaurant is becoming  more well-known when President Obama and Anthony Bourdain ate Bún chả together.  To capitalize on this fame, Bún Chả Hương Liên restaurant added the name “Obama” to the link of their Facebook page.

Inside the restaurant with prominent pictures of President Obama

Although the walls are now covered with Obama’s pictures, the cuisine remains the same – local, authentic and delicious. This is one of the best bún chả restaurants in Hanoi.

The entrance of Bún Chả Hương Liên restaurant

The entrance of Bún Chả Hương Liên restaurant

The combination of the slightly fatty, juicy pork balls ,fresh herb, noodles dipped into the special sauce makes this dish unforgettable flavour

Hùng Lẩu

The second restaurant was actually where we ate our very first lunch in Hanoi. It is a very local joint where no-one speaks English. This place was recommended by our Airbnb host, and undeniably, the restaurant was packed with locals.

The second restaurant we’ve eaten at lunch in Hanoi, highly recommended by our Airbnb host and it’s packed with locals, this is the reason why no one speak English

Eating with locals at Hùng Lẩu

Eating with locals at Hùng Lẩu

With no one speaking English and the menu in Vietnamese, we felt a little difficult to order, luckily, we shared a table with locals on their lunch break, through gestures and facial expressions, we made them to understand and help us order lunch

This was a wonderful introduction to Bun Cha. We found that meatball was grilled to perfection in addition to flavourful sauce, all made a great combination. Definitely, a place to get your Bun Cha fix

Grilling the pork at the entrance of the restaurant

Grilling the pork at the entrance of the restaurant

Where to eat Bun Cha

Bún Chả Hương Liên

  • 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)

Hùng Lẩu

  • Address: 6, Ngõ Trạm, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Prices: About 35,000 VND ($1.54 USD)

Another popular option, especially with tourists is Đắc Kim Restaurant. We found the pork to be be fatter and not as delicious or delicate as in the other two restaurants above. However, it is still a satisfied choice for this dish to eat in Hanoi.

Bún Chả Hàng Mành – Đắc Kim

  • Address: 1 Hang Manh Street
  • Hours: Everyday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Prices: About 60,000 VND ($2.65 USD)

Already in Hanoi? Try Hanoi food with Onetrip hanoi food tour

Bánh Cuốn – Steamed Rice Rolls

Bánh cuốn is another local specialty from Northern Vietnam that you don’t want to miss.

It is often familiar as a breakfast in Vietnam. However, you can find it all day

Bánh cuốn is made from a thin piece of rice rolls and filled with minced pork and chopped mushrooms, topping with stir-fried shallots and cilantro

The secret flavor of this Hanoi food resides in its dipping sauce.

The secret flavor of this Hanoi food resides in its dipping sauce.

Nuoc Mam is the indispensable ingredient of this dish used as the dipping sauce. The magic comes with the additional drop of cà cuống, the essence of a giant water bug common in Southeast Asia.

The flavour of “ca cuong” combining  with the flavour of dipping sauce make its own characteristics of this dish- so special and unforgettable .Today, this natural essence is becoming scared and many restaurants are now using an imitation essence.

The rice sheet is made by steaming fermented rice batter on a cloth stretched over a pot of boiling water.

Ladies preparing bánh cuốn to order at street side restaurant

Ladies preparing bánh cuốn to order at street side restaurant

Bánh Cuốn at Gia Truyen

For this dish, Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền is the first restaurant we highly recommend not only its fame, but also the original water bug essence in the dish that creates more authenticity for food

In Vietnam, ordering the essence and the bug as a side dish is popular, and you can also do that.

Menu at Banh Cuon Gia Truyen

Menu at Banh Cuon Gia Truyen

The bánh cuốn is light and flavorful. It is a very unique and delicate Hanoi food best eaten as an starter.

Although this dish was delicious, wemissed having more attention from the staff and being able to talk aboutthis Hanoi food specialty and the unique essence used.

Where to Eat It

Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyen

  • Address: 12 Hàng Gà, Hà Nội.
  • Hours: Everyday from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm and 5pm to 11pm
  • Prices: About 35,000 VND per person, (approximately $1.54 USD)

Pro Tip: Order a couple portions of this best Hanoi food as it is very light.

Cà Phê Trung- Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Although it is not a food, it is like food. Egg coffee or Cà Phê Trung is the most famous coffee in the north of Vietnam. It’s a thick cup of coffee over the egg yolk that is stuffed with condensed milk into a cool foam. Rich flavor, it can be likened to tiramisu dessert.

Rich and silky egg coffee

Where to Drink It

Hidden entrance of Cafe Pho Co

Hidden entrance of Cafe Pho Co

It is so easy to look for several shops and places to enjoy a satiny Vietnamese egg coffee. However, one place we have tried and highly recommend is a hidden and difficult to find. That is called Cafe Phố Cổ

Café Phố Cổ

  • Address: 11 Hàng Gai, Hàng Trống, Hà Nội
  • Hours: Everyday from 8am until 11pm.
  • Prices: About 30,000 VND for a cup of egg coffee ($1.34 USD)

Pho Cuon of Ngu Xa – Pho Rolls

Pho cuon- pho rolls is a dish appearing for a long time in Hanoi. You can realize that the word “ pho “ are in both dishes. And yes, they do have similar meaning! Pho cuon and pho have ingredients in common: banh pho, the rice cake that is cut into thin strips to make noodles, but banh pho in pho roll is cut into circle or rectangular shape

It’s very simple to make pho rolls. At first, they use the original shape of banh pho, then add in ingredients such as beef, cilantro, lettuce, mung bean sprouts and endives. Finally, all are rolled and wrapped into stuffed cylindrical pieces. Ad dipping sauce that is made of fish sauce, garlic, chili, lime is a very important flavour

Photo: Pho Cuon Huong Mai

Photo: Pho Cuon Huong Mai

Where to eat Pho Cuon

  • Address: there are many restaurants serving pho rolls in Ngu Xa Street, District Ba Dinh.
  • Price: 30,000 – 60,000 VND

Com (Green Rice) in Vong Village

According to the legend, in autumn thousands of years ago, when the harvest arrived, it began to rain heavily and the rain finally engulfed all rice fields.. People in Vong Village decided to harvest the immature heads of the grain to bring home and roast in order to fight against hunger. Amazingly, they discovered that this roasted grain has a very special and wonderful flavor.Since then, Vong villagers usually make this dish to eat in autumn.

Many famous writers of Vietnam have written about com in Vong Village. Thach Lam – a famous revolutionary Vietnamese writer – said: “Com is a distinct presence of the country, a gift of immense green rice fields; It carries all the tastes of simplicity and purity of rural Vietnam .” The green of com is made from Lotus leaf packing

Where to Eat It

  • Address: Vong village, Ward Dich Vong Hau, District Cau Giay
  • Price: 200,000 – 300,000 VND per kilogram

Bun Thang (Noodle with Chicken Soup)

Bun thang is a special dish both in its name and in how it’s made.  It’s the combination of remaining food from Tet ( Vietnam New Year) and leftovers to In to make a new dish. Bun Thang consists of many nutritious ingredients mixed together, that seems to be the same as a method used in Eastern medicine. As said above, all ingredients such as noodles, chicken soup, some people can add duck egg, shrimp, onions, mushroom. This is really the combination of appetite and nutrition

Where to Eat It

Bun Thang Ba Duc

  • Address: 48 Cau Go street, District Dong Da
  • Price: 35,000 – 45,000 VND

Bun Thang Ngoc Tuyen

  • Address: 56-58 Dao Tan Street, District Ba Dinh
  • Price: 30,000 – 40,000 VND

Bun Thang Thuan Ly

  • Address: 33 Hang Hom, District Hoan Kiem
  • Price: 30,000 – 40,000 VND

Cha Ca La Vong (La Vong’s Grilled Fish)

Cha ca – the dish appears in many regions all over Vietnam with different tastes, but Cha ca La Vong always make it distinct flavour of the rest. The Doan family, who has pioneered the flavour of this dish, has a secret recipe and this was passed back and inherited by the oldest son of the Doan. In general, they slice fish into small pieces, then marinate and fry them before grilling. This food is so famous that the street where the Doan lives and sell cha ca is now known as “Cha Ca Street.”

The name La vong originated from the statue of “La Vong”(a chef in the 11th century BC)  placed in Doan family’s restaurant, so after that, people call the dish ‘ Cha ca La Vong”

Photo: Cleverfood.com.vn

Where to Eat It

  • Address: 14 Cha Ca Street, District Hoan Kiem
  • Price: 40,000 – 100,000 VND

Grilled Pig’s Tripe on Gam Cau Street

Gam Cau Street – the name makes you hard to believe that it is translated into English “ under the bridge” and there are few restaurants located on Gam Cau street. As I suggest, it’s really under some bridges in Hanoi. Sitting in the restaurants under the bridge is an interesting experience, we can both try grilled pig’s tripe and watching the train passing by on the bridge. That sounds great..

These restaurants have several grilled dishes: tripe, stomach, rectum, beef, and more. I ensure about the quality and safety of  food in these restaurants because of their reputation, so you don’t have to worry. If there are many Vietnamese there, eat there!

Photo: 7monngonmoingay.info

Where to Eat It

  • Address: Gam Cau street, District Hoan Kiem.
  • Price: 70,000 – 100,000 VND

Xoi xeo (Sticky Rice with Mung Bean Topping)

For a long time, Hanoians are likely to choose xoi xeo for their breakfast. It’s made from steam sticky rice and other ingredients. Sticky rice in steaming process will be mixed with chicken fat. This steamed rice is then combined with green beans, steamed and ground, and on top is crispy chives.

This bright yellow xoi xéo is packed in lotus leaves. Deep fried chicken, chives and lotus leaves combine to create an indispensable scent of cravings.

Where to Eat It

Xoi May

  • Address: 45 Ly Thuong Kiet, District Hoan Kiem
  • Price: 15,000 – 20,000 VND

Xoi 622-Duy Tan

  • Address: C12 alley 76, Duy Tan Street, District Cau Giay
  • Price: 20,000 VND

Hanoian Pho

Whenever landing in Hanoi, most of tourists are curious about a very famous rice noodles soup in Vietnam because its deliciousness has been spread internationally. No one knows when Pho was made, only know Pho have been appeared for a long time and it is a symbol of capital. Nowadays, Pho has been spread widely in many countries.

However, pho in Hanoi still keeps its special characteristics that nowhere has. It means that although you can try Pho in many region or any countries several times, once you try Pho in Hanoi , you may realize that, Pho in capital is the best.

Pho has three components: broth, rice noodles, and meat (usually beef or chicken). It is also accompanied by a plate of herbs.

Where to Eat It

Pho Suong

  • Address: 24 Trung Yen street, Ward Dinh Liet, District Hoan Kiem.
  • Price: 40,000 – 50,000 VND

Pho Vui

  • Address: 25 Hang Giay street, District Hoan Kiem.
  • Price: 30,000 – 60,000 VND

Pho Ly Quoc Su

  • Address: 10 Ly Quoc Su street, Ward Hang Trong, District Hoan Kiem.
  • Price: 50,000 – 80,000 VND

Pho Bat Dan

  • Address: 49 Bat Dan street, District Hoan Kiem.
  • Price: 30,000 – 60,000 VND

Banh my – What is BANH MI?

Banh Mi- top 10 most delicious sandwiches in the word according to evaluation of Traveller. Not only Vietnamese but a lot of celebrities are eager to the mouthful taste of Banh Mi

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull or famous Chef Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain al have tried Banh Mi, appreciated this dish and l highly recommend banh mi as must-try food in Hanoi.

And now is your turn, enjoy your own special banh mi and start your Hanoi Local Experience with us!

Banh mi is Vietnamese words for baguette (a long, narrow loaf of French bread). Unlike French baguette, Vietnamese banh mi is made by wheat flour with thinner crust. Due to this cuisine combination( Vietnamese cuisine and French one), BBC – Travel ranked banh mi as the best world’s sandwich

The popularity of Banh mi in Vietnam marks a unique way of living and convenient, exciting lifestyle of Vietnamese after the war.

While America is popular with fast-food such as KFC, Vietnam serves  the people banh mi as such a rich amount of protein in a small package. If you travel Vietnam in the first time, banh mi must be the  number one priority you may try and I’m sure that the taste of Banh Mi will not make you disappointed

Where to eat “best banh mi Hanoi”?

Anywhere in Hanoi also appears Banh Mi stores or only Banh Mi vendors. Near the old quarter, you may eat banh mi at breakfast, or any meals because it is available to find it all day.

We, local tour guide in Hanoi, will provide a detailed and distinguished place to enjoy the elegant  taste of Hanoi banh mi.

Banh mi Nguyen Sinh

Banh mi Nguyen Sinh is one of the first banh mi store in Hanoi. Home recipe and goose paste  are two things making it special.However, due to the famous and reputable brand, Banh mi Nguyen Sinh is quite expensive.

  • Address: No. 17 Ly Quoc Su, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Hours Opening: 7: 30 – 21: 30
  • Price: from 40.000 VND to 80.000 VND
  • TripAdvisor rate: 3.5

Banh mi Minh Nhat – Banh mi MasterChef

If you want to find a store with reasonable prices and high quality, Banh Mi Minh Nhat is an ideal place for you

Interestingly, Minh Nhat is a chef winning the Vietnam Masterchef 2014. After that , she gave up the job in bank and started her dream in cuisine

  • Address: No. 13 Hang Khay
  • Hours Opening: 6:30 – 22:00
  • Price: 20.000 VND – 40.000 VND
  • TripAdvisor rate: 4.0

Banh mi 25 Hanoi

Banh Mi 25 Hanoi is a reliable brand not only travellers but also locals. It is understandable when this store is rated 5 star food on Tripadvisor because of tasty and diverse of types of Banh Mi, moreover, staff are friendly and the service is so good .

  • Address: 25 Hàng Cá, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 – 21:00
  • Price: from 15.000 VND to 25.000 VND
  • TripAdvisor rate: 5.0

Banh mi Pho Hue (Banh mi Hue Street)

You can find out the compliments given to this store by the famous chef :Geoffrey Deetz about their appetizing banh mi.

BBC has commented about banh mi here : each ingredient has its own flavour and role in creating a delicious banh mi

  • Address:  No. 118 Hue Street,  Hai Bà Trưng District
  • Opening Hours: from 6:00  to 19:00
  • Price: 20.000 VND – 50.000 VND
  • TripAdvisor rate: 4.5

When to eat banh mi?

Because of its convenience and availability, you can enjoy it for all meals of a day.

Nowadays. the life is more and more busy, so fast food is playing an important role of every Vietnamese people, from office workers to students. Therefore Banh Mi is a suitable option for convenience and tasty, nutrition

You can wander the old quarter, stop in front of banh mi store, then order and enjoy your real Vietnamese cuisine every time you feel hungry.

  • Martial says:

    Good tips. Good food 👍

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