15 Foods must eat in Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi has a rich and varied culinary tradition. Many of Vietnam's most famous dishes, such as Pho, Cha Ca and  Banh Cuon are believed to have originated in Hanoi. Hanoi has a rich and varied culinary tradition. Many of Vietnam's most famous dishes, such as Pho, Cha Ca and Banh Cuon are believed to have originated in Hanoi. 

Phở bò Hà Nội

Hanoi Airport Hotel recommends you 15 must-eat dishes in Hanoi:

1. Phở (Noodle soup): 

This universally famous food is best enjoyed in Hanoi, where it was “invented” in the early 20th century. Pho- or rice noodle soup- is omnipresent in Hanoi, appearing anywhere from street vendors to high end restaurant chain Pho 24. Some is served with chicken and some with beef. Each type of meat entails a variety of sub-dish, using from beef tenderloin to beef brisket, chicken wing to chicken thigh. The tip is, look for the place where locals gather the most and you know where you should order and sit down.

Phở gà Hà Nội


2. Bún thang:

If Pho is compatible to linguine in shape, Bun is more like spaghetti. Bun thang is one of the most popular yet hidden fares in Hanoi and one can hardly find it outside of the Old quarters or a few special restaurants scattering across the city. The chicken broth is artistically done and the dish is beautifully served. Bun thang is a harmonious blend of color- the yellow of sliced egg; the white of bun; the off-white of chicken and the green of onions and herbs.


Bún thang Hà Nội

3. Chả cá Lá vọng:

Chả cá Lã Vọng Hà Nội

You think you have read about this name somewhere and yes, you are right. Cha ca La Vong is listed as one of the top 100 things you gotta try before you die by many cuisine experts. It is exquisitely grilled fish served with bún, peanut, green onions, dills and shrimp paste. The fish is carefully chosen so that there are not too many bones and fishy smells. A glass of bia hoi or tra da will definitely give your meal more flavour.

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4. Bánh cuốn:

If the French has this famous delicious crepe made of wheat, egg and dairy products; Vietnamese and particularly Hanoian is proud of their steamed crepe from rice flour and water. A savoury meal, the inside stuffing contains ground pork, wood-ear and seasoning. Most street chefs make the dish right at door so look for a place that steams are coming up high. Banh cuon is served with nuoc mam, a mixture of fish sauce, sugar and lime.

Bánh cuốn Hà Nội

5. Xôi xéo:

Chances are you will encounter this dish in almost every outdoors market.


Xôi xéo Hà Nội

There are even two restaurants dedicated fully to this dish in the Old Quarters. Xoi xeo is sticky rice topped with ground de-hulled mung bean and fried onion. Sometimes it can be served with eggs or steamed chicken breast on request. The serving is really filling and it is good for any time of the day but most Vietnamese have it for breakfast or lunch.

6. Bún đậu mắm tôm


Bún đậu Mắm tôm Hà Nội

Bun dau mam tom is basically chunks of tofu served in a hot soup on a bed of rice noodles with a dollop of shrimp paste. It's an extremely popular meal that's often overlooked by guidebooks and seldom-tried by tourists or even long term residents of Hanoi.

A number of street side restaurants down Phat Loc alley in the Old Quarter serve up extremely tasty renditions of this dish, which seems simple, nourishing and healthy.

7. Bánh tôm Hồ Tây (West Lake Shrimp Cake)

Bánh tôm Hồ Tây Hà Nội

There is a cake must be mentioned when it comes to the specialties of Hanoi, which is the West Lake shrimp cake – one of the dishes made ​​culinary peculiarities of Ha Noi. The West Lake shrimp cake is a type of batter-dipped shrimp patties that were originally made and served by a state-owned restaurant next to West Lake in the 1970’s. Originally, freshwater shrimp that were caught from West Lake were used to make the dish, hence geographically inspired moniker. The West Lake shrimp cake is served with sweet and sour fish sauce, green papaya and carrot slices.

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8. Bánh mì

The baguette is one of the enduring symbols of French colonialism. It’s given a Southeast Asian twist by stuffing it with pâté, mayonnaise, pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeños and gobs of cold cuts. But the bánh mì is basically a blank slate to which cooks can add whatever they desire.

Bánh mỳ Hà Nội

9. Bia hơi(Fresh beer)

Bia hơi Hà Nội

Draft beer is sacred to Vietnam, where tipplers wile away the hours sipping on this crisp, unpasteurized and unfiltered lager—its name roughly translates to “fresh beer”—that’s usually sold for about 25 cents a mug. Go on, have four. You’d need to drink gallons to get drunk.

Bia hơi Hà Nội

10. Bún chả

When lunchtime hits in Hanoi, the air is perfumed with the scent of sizzling grilled pork, the key component to the city’s signature dish. The swine is served alongside a sweet ’n’ salty broth, slices of green papaya, rice noodles and fresh herbs as far as the eye can see.

Bún chả Hà Nội

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11. Nem cua bể: includes crab meat. It is a very nice dish. Having eaten once, one cannot forget it and want to eat it again. Nem ran is the best in the small shops specialized in selling nem. On menu of every restaurant, you can find this dish.

Nem cua bể Hà Nội

- Nem Vuong – 58 Dao Duy Tu

- Quan Nem – 123 Bui Thi Xuan

- Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim – 67 Duong Thanh

- Bun Cha Nem Cua Be – 1 Pho Hue

12. Bún ốc

Slow-moving sea snails are cherished in Hanoi, where they’re served in a steaming noodle soup with a tomato-based broth.

Bun Oc Ba Sau: 73 Mai Hac De

Bun Oc – Pho Hue Nhai

Bun Oc – Pho Doi Can

Bun Oc – Phu Tay Ho

Bun Oc co Them – 6 Hang Chai

Bún ốc Hà Nội

13. Miến lươn: vermicelli dipped in boiling water, eel meat boned and fried with onion and assorted kinds of vegetables (mint, mixed greens, and poured with consomme. It is a light and refreshing food. Mien luon is often sold in small sidewalk kiosks. This dish also appears on hotel menus, either with consomme or fried dry. Eels, snails, and fish are considered refreshing food, advisable for people of "hot blood".

Mien Luon Dong Thinh – 87 Hang Dieu

Mien Luon Yen Ninh – Junction at Le Dai Hanh street

Mien Luon 34 Le Dai Hanh

Mien Luon Tan Tan – 14 Tue Tinh

Miến lươn Hà Nội

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14. Bún riêu

Consider this the love child of phở, tomato soup and the sea. The noodle soup is composed of a tomato-based broth filled with plenty of crab and bobbing chunks of tomato.

Bun Ruou Quang Trung

Bun Ruou Thai Phien – Hai Ba Trung

Bun Ruou Hang Buom (15.00 – 19.00)

Bun Ruou Duong Thanh

Bun Ruou Tran Xuan Soan

Bún rươu cua Hà Nội

15. Various kinds of lẩu (hot pot): a turban shaped pan containing consomme; in the middle of the pan is a charcoal stove (now alcohol fuel or electricity is used). The consomme is boiling throughout the meal. The lau pan is placed in the middle of the table, around it are a variety of food which can include noodle, vermicelli, pig heart, liver and kidneys, goat meat, eel, onion, vegetables. Eaters serve themselves; taking the food into a large spoon and dipping ti into one's bowl . Depending on the ingredients used, it is called lau de (goat meat), lau luon (eel meat) or with many different kinds of meat, it is called lau thap cam (assorted meat). This dish always figures on the menu of deluxe restaurants and bear the name mixed hot pot-steamed boat.

Lẩu hot pot Hà Nội

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