Hanoi is the heaven of street food of Vietnam with many kinds of food at an affordable price but fantastic flavours. Most Vietnamese street food spots serve fresh and light meals drawing heavily on herbs, lime juice and chilli. With its astounding mix of tastes and flavours, Vietnamese street food is one of the healthiest in the world. We explore the popular dishes that can be found on the streets of Hanoi and places where you can sample them.
Wondering what to eat in Hanoi, Vietnam? Our Hanoi food guide showcases the best food that we ate in Hanoi over five weeks in Vietnam’s chaotic capital city. Check out our favourite Hanoi restaurants, cafes, bars and street food because you won’t want to miss a thing during your visit.
- Banh Tom (crispy taro shrimp cake)
- Banh Cuon (savoury steamed roll rice cake)
- Kem Xoi (sticky rice with ice-cream) and Che Thap Cam (multimedia-flavour dessert)
- Banh Canh and Goi Cuon (spring rolls & rice noodle soup
- Bun Cha (Grilled Pork & Noodles)
Pho is a popular street food dish as well as a speciality in Vietnam, usually consumed for breakfast or lunch. It’s a rice noodle soup with beef broth and aromatic flavours. Its origins are found in the 20th century with the influence of French, beef-heavy cuisine. It was later popularized throughout the world by the refugees from the Vietnam war. Today, pho is the most popular soup in Vietnam. Pho Gia Truyen restaurant is highly recommended.
Banh Tom (crispy taro shrimp cake)
Banh tom is a shrimp patty speciality around West Lake (Ho Tay) in Hanoi. First, the dough is made with wheat flour, cornstarch, freshwater, egg, salt, pepper, turmeric powder and sweet potato. This is dipped in cooking oil and the shrimps are placed above. The whole thing is deep-fried for about 5 minutes until the shrimp pancakes become golden brown. The one usually enjoys along with the fish sauce. You’ll feel this speciality at Banh Tom Ho Tay.
Address: Thanh Nien, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Vietnam,
Tel: +84 4 3829 3737
Banh Cuon (savoury steamed roll rice cake)
Over the years have become the most popular breakfast food in Hanoi, Banh Cuon is Vietnamese steamed rice rolls. The steamed rice cooked until it is very sticky and then it is scraped off with a bamboo stick. Then, the rice roll is filled with strong-flavoured pork, mushrooms, onions, and fish sauce. The version with pork and shrimps is extremely delicious. Come to Banh Cuon Gia Truyen and give a try.
Address: 27 Hang Ga Hang Bo Hoan Kiem Hang Bo Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi, Vietnam
Kem Xoi (sticky rice with ice-cream) and Che Thap Cam (multi-flavour dessert)
Those kinds of desserts have not only an attractive flavour but also healthy ingredients, Thu Nga is the best dessert spot. Must-try is the kem xoi, sweet sticky rice topped with delicious ice-cream and toasted coconut and the che thap cam, a glass filled with taro, red beans, rice, and coconut milk. And many other delicious desserts
Address: 23 Nguyen Phong Sac Dich Vong Hau, Cau Giay, Ha Noi, Vietnam, +84 4 6292 3067
Banh Canh and Goi Cuon (spring rolls & rice noodle soup)
The banh canh, Vietnamese noodles with crab meat, crab cake, chilli, lime juice and coconut dip, surprises with a rich texture and robust flavours. Goi cuon, a fresh spring roll, is made of rice paper filled with fresh vegetables, cooked pork meat and cooked prawns dipped into sweet soya sauce and topped with roasted peanuts. These dishes can be found in Madame Hien, a beautiful restaurant located in the old part of the city that serves some of the best Vietnamese food in town.
Bun Cha (Grilled Pork & Noodles)
If Pho is Hanoi’s number one dish, then Bun Cha is easily number two when it comes to being a Hanoi local food favourite. And who can blame the locals for loving this dish where grilled pork and rice noodles are the stars and fresh herbs, sliced papaya, red chilli and garlic are the supporting players? If these ingredients aren’t enough for you, then add fried spring rolls called Nem to the mix.
Similar to Pho, you will find Bun Cha restaurants all over the city. After eating at several different Bun Cha restaurants, we consider Bun Cha Hang Quat our favourite. Though somewhat hidden in an alley, the Old Quarter restaurant does a brisk business of serving freshly made bun cha to the starving masses for just four hours a day from 10 am to 2 pm. “Go early to get a good seat and beat the crowd”
Tagged with: Special dishes from Hanoi, Vietnamese favourite food