Indulge in the Unique Flavors From Hanoi
People who have tried Vietnamese cuisine before are probably familiar with common foods such as pho and bun rieu. Those are popular foods that can be found all over the country but have you ever tried food that is unique to Hanoi? If you are unsure of what to eat in Hanoi, this guide will recommend some of the best local foods you must eat in Hanoi.
This list consists of the best foods to eat but a few items can be found in other parts of Vietnam as well. Hanoi is a very special part of Vietnam since its history with France has impacted the local cuisine. If you're looking for fun things to do in Hanoi then you should visit the French Quarter in which you will find a lot of great restaurants and cafes.
Make sure to stay until the end of the article for a little surprise, but first here are 10 Best Foods You Must Eat in Hanoi:
Pho - Vietnamese Noodle Soup
Warm yourself up with a bowl of pho
Pho is probably the most well known Vietnamese dish but did you know there are different variations of pho? Hanoi is considered to be in the Northern region of Vietnam so wide rice noodles are used in pho. Chicken and beef pho is also the most common type in the Northern region.
If you’re craving a hot bowl of noodle soup, chances are you can probably find it anywhere in Vietnam. It can be served as a street food or in higher-end restaurants. Pho is often served in international Vietnamese restaurants as well but it probably is not as inexpensive and authentic as eating it in Vietnam.
Ca Phe Trung - Egg Coffee
Strange but delicious combination
Going to Hanoi is not complete without trying the famous egg coffee. Its main ingredients are egg yolk, instant coffee, and condensed milk. Vietnamese coffee is known to be very strong and this is no exception. Egg coffee is served in cafes all over Hanoi but the best place to go is at Giang Cafe.
The cafe founder claimed to have invented this recipe when milk was scarce in Vietnam so he replaced it with egg. Surprisingly, this became a very popular drink among locals and foreigners. Try this unique cup of coffee instead of your usual in the morning.
Banh Cuon - Rice Noodle Roll
Eat a healthy and filling snack
Banh cuon is a very popular and delicious street food that is often served in Northern Vietnam. Banh cuon is a steamed rice noodle roll that is stuffed with ground pork and mushroom. It is often served with a side of cucumber, bean sprouts, and Vietnamese pork sausage. This is a very light dish that can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
This dish can be found in the streets of Hanoi and local restaurants. Banh cuon is very simple for a tasty snack that makes the best comfort food.
Bun Cha - Grilled Pork With Noodles
A popular favorite among locals and foreigners
Bun cha is a pork and noodle dish that originated from Hanoi. The dish consists of grilled pork patties, rice noodles, herbs, and a dipping sauce. Bun cha is very similar to another Vietnamese dish called bun thit nuong. The difference between these two dishes is the meat. Minced pork is used in bun cha while bun thit nuong uses grilled pork belly.
Both of these dishes are delicious, however, bun cha is rarely sold outside of Hanoi. Bun thit nuong is a more common Vietnamese dish so it is highly recommended to try bun cha while you are in Hanoi.
Banh Xeo - Vietnamese Crepe
The sizzling pancake
Banh xeo is often referred to as sizzling pancake because “xeo” is pronounced like the sizzling sound it makes when it is fried. It is also often referred to as the Vietnamese version of a crepe.
The fried pancake is made out of flour and turmeric while it is filled with pork, bean sprouts, and shrimp. This savory dish is a very popular street food in Vietnam. Banh xeo is easily accessible in Hanoi and should be on the top of your list of foods to try when you are in Vietnam.
Xoi Xeo - Sticky Rice With Mung Bean
Try this for breakfast
Sticky rice is a common ingredient that is used in Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you like sticky rice or not, xoi xeo is a food you must try in Hanoi. Xoi xeo consists of yellow sticky rice topped with mung beans and fried shallots. This is a popular item to eat for breakfast among students and workers since it is inexpensive and can be carried on the go.
This is a very simple and fast breakfast food but it is so good! A lot of times you will see vendors selling this on the street with the ingredients all prepared. The shallots and turmeric sticky rice make this a savory dish.
Oc Luoc Xa - Steamed Snails
You’re in for a delightful surprise
Don’t be alarmed if you see a lot of vendors selling snails on the street. Snails are actually a very common food in Hanoi. A popular snail dish is oc luoc xa, another popular item to eat when you are visiting this city. A lot of locals love this dish and you will a lot of vendors selling this.
You’ll be surprised when you get a taste of oc luoc xa. The snail is steamed and can taste kind of bland but it is absolutely delicious with the dipping sauce. You will have to work a little when you are eating this since you have to use a pointed utensil to scoop the meat out of the shell.
Cha Ca - Turmeric Fish
Eat the most iconic dish of Hanoi
When traveling to Hanoi, it is a must to try some of its local cuisines. Cha ca is one of the most iconic dishes that originated from Hanoi. The dish consists of fish that is marinated in turmeric and then cooked with dill and other herbs. This flavorful fish is often served with vermicelli rice noodles.
Since this is a dish that is unique to Hanoi, it is very difficult to find it outside of Northern Vietnam. Since cha ca have been around for so long, it is traditionally eaten with family at the dining table. To get the most authentic meal, go to a local restaurant or learn to make this dish from a chef.
Kem Xoi - Ice Cream With Sticky Rice
Are you craving for dessert?
Hanoi is known for its savory food but you cannot forget about the sweets! Kem xoi is essentially sticky rice topped with ice cream. There can be variations to this dessert but it usually has pandan sticky rice and coconut flavored ice cream with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes.
Although the weather in the Northern parts of Vietnam does get a little cooler, it is still usually hot and humid. Treat yourself this delicious dessert whether it’s summer or winter in Hanoi. Kem xoi can be found in most ice cream shops around the city.
Bun Rieu - Crab Noodle Soup
Don’t worry, it’s not spicy
Bun rieu is another noodle soup dish that will make the perfect comfort food. Its main ingredients include rice noodles, tomatoes, tofu, and meat. Don’t be intimidated by the red color of the dish. Annatto seed oil is used to make the soup base which also creates the red color.
A lot of work is put into making a bowl of bun rieu and it is shown through its flavorful ingredients. To make things even better, the soup is absorbed into the tofu and will burst into your mouth when you take a bite into it.
Wait we have a little extra for you!
There are plenty of things to eat in Hanoi but we hope you found this guide to be helpful. You can actually learn how to make most of these dishes.
If you are interested in taking a cooking class in Hanoi, use the promo code HANOIFOOD10 to get a 10% discount on www.cookly.me
You May Also Like
10 Restaurants You Must Try in Hanoi
Preparing for your try to Hanoi, but not sure where to eat? Our guide will take you through 10 of the must-try restaurants in the city!
14 Fun Things You Must Do in Hanoi
Looking for the must see things to do in Hanoi? Explore the Ha Long Bay, Thang Long Puppet Theatere, Dong Xuan Market, Imperial Citadel, Old Quarter, and more!