Don’t play a Pho in Hanoi.
There’s so much good food to be had. Where to start? Well right here. If you’re a first-time visitor to Hanoi, make a beeline for these famous dishes that are locked down on the ‘must eat when in Hanoi’ bible. We’ve also suggested some places that serve up a very good version of the local specialty.
Best Food in Hanoi, Vietnam
Must Eat in Hanoi #1 : Vietnamese Pho
Served with beef or chicken, Pho is a delicious signature Vietnamese noodle soup. It is probably the most popular street food in Vietnam.
There are different styles, including a sweet version or the light and herbal. Spice comes on the side. That is, you add your own chilli. The heart of this dish is in the broth. Go for Pho with brownish broths rather than clear — it’s a sign that they’ve boiled the beef bones for a long time for a delicious flavour.
The Best Pho in Hanoi:
It’s a 3-way tie for us between these restaurants: Pho Gia Truyen, Pho 24 (chain) and Pho Thin.
Pho Gia Truyen is located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, with a humble setting. Pho 24 is a chain specialising in Vietnamese Pho Noodle with outlets across the country. If you need an escape from the crowds, Pho24 is a clean and comfortable place to enjoy some pho. The original stall is located opposite Saigon Sheraton Hotel. The third winning option for delicious pho is Pho Thin. Pho Thin is a very cheap restaurant frequented by locals serving up an authentic bowl of Vietnamese Pho. Quick service and tasty broth.
49 Bat Dan
Tel: (08-4) 043800126
Vincom – 191 Ba Trieu St.
Hai Ba Trung District
Ha Noi, Vietnam
Tel: (08-4) 2222 5203
13 Lo Duc Street
Hai Ba Trung District
Ha Noi, Vietnam
Must Eat in Hanoi #2: Cha Ca La Vong
Vietnamese grilled turmeric fish with dill. It is named after the restaurant that first cooked up the dish.
Slow-marinated freshwater fish is served to you on a small stove. Then lots of ingredients are tossed in right there in front of you in a sizzling pan, till finally everything is ready. Enjoy the fish with a bowl of pho, and stir in some fish sauce and shrimp paste.
CC2.0 / Tri Nguyen)
Best Cha Ca La Vong Restaurant in Hanoi:
Cha Ca La Vong Restaurant on 14 Cha Ca Street. It’s a specialized restaurant in the Old Quarter serving just this one dish, slowcooked over charcoal, to a steady queue of customers daily.
You can only typically only find Cha ca la vong in specialized restaurants, serving solely Vietnamese grilled fish and nothing else. Another good restaurant is Cha Ca Thang Long (19 Duong Thanh Street), located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. It’s more affordable and far less crowded for the same great quality of food.
14 Chả Cá, Hoan Kiem
21 – 31 Duong Thanh Street,
Old Quarter, Hanoi
Tel: 04 3824 5115/ 04 3828 6007
Must Eat in Hanoi #3: Banh Mi
Arguably one of the most popular food made popular in Vietnam, the Banh mi often includes a baguette, Vietnamese-style pork roll, pate, cucumber, fresh herbs, mayonnaise, pepper and chill sauce. It can be found everywhere throughout Vietnam – from the street-side food carts to the huge food chains.
Best Banh Mi in Hanoi:
Banh Mi 25
25 Hàng Cá, Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm,
Opens Daily from 7am to 7pm
Must Eat in Hanoi #4: Bun Cha
Bun Cha is a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodle thought to have originated from Hanoi, Vietnam. Bun Cha is served with grilled fatty pork (chả) over a plate of white rice noodle (bún) and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce.
The dish was described in 1959 by Vietnamese food writer Vu Bang (1913–1984), who described Hanoi as a town “transfixed by bún chả.” Hanoi Bun Cha’s first restaurant was on Gia Ngư street, Hoàn Kiếm District, in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and moved to 21 Nguyen Huu Huan street now.
Bún chả is popular in the Northern region of Vietnam. In the South, a similar dish of rice vermicelli and grilled meat is called bún thịt nướng.
Best Bun Cha in Hanoi:
21 Nguyen Huu Huan Street
Opens Daily: 7am to 10pm
67 Duong Thanh Street
Famous Street Food Market in Hanoi: Cam Chi Street Food Market
Walk down Pho Cam Chi street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to preview the selection of great local Vietnamese food available, and settle down for a serving of whatever you fancy – a full serving of pho beef noodles or chicken porridge, a little Vietnamese snack of dried beef salad or Banh Cuon rice flour pancakes, or even Trang Tien ice cream for dessert.
Expedia: Asia’s Greatest Food Cities
Friends, countrymen, makan kaki, lend me your ears. I shall show you the way to paradise. Food paradise, that is. Loosen your belt and get your ENO ready, for we are about to journey through Asia’s Greatest Food Cities and mark out the treasures the great food gods have laid on the table.
In this series, Expedia highlights the best food to try in each city, as recommended by locals who have lived & tasted it. Read on to find out the most popular local dishes and the best places you should go to try them.
Ready to Eat?
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