Street food on Hanoi’s shortest street

Nga Do
When asking for a place to eat dried beef salad, you will be directed to Ho Hoan Kiem Street. Few people know this is the most “modest” street in Hanoi.

Hanoi has streets of approximately 100 meters such as: Nguyen Xi Street, Nguyen Trung Man Street, Dong Mac Street, Dong Thai Street, Cho Gao Street. The “champion” of the short streets is Ho Hoan Kiem street.  The street is also called Hang Che Street, but under French colonial times, it was named Philharmonique. In 1945, the street’s name was changed to Ho Hoan Kiem street.

Only 52 meters long, the name of the shortest street is similar to another name of Sword Lake that is located opposite and is a symbol of Hanoi. Pedestrians however think that it is only a small lane from Cau Go road to Dinh Tien Hoang road. Ho Hoan Kiem street has only one number for house addresseson one side, the other side are additional numbers of Dinh Tien Hoang street or Cau Go street. Although the street length is a distance of two lampposts, Ho Hoan Kiem Lake is a place where for famous snack food in Hanoi. Not only do young people like the dried beef dish, but it has long been familiar to many generations. Besides the dried beef salad, shops in Ho Hoan Kiem Street also serve spring rolls, steamed clear tapioca cake, and fried fermented spring rolls. Spring rolls are rolled with rice crust, and then dipped with sour and sweet fish sauce. The steamed clear tapioca cake is bigger in size compared to other places. Besides shrimp inside, the cake’s filling has pork. Best time to enjoy the cake when it is still hot and dip it with sour and sweet fish sauce with crushed roasted peanuts. 

Due to the sauce of two dishes: dried beef salad and steamed clear tapioca cake is similar so they are usually ordered at the same time. For those who like fried spring rolls, this place is also a good address. Spring rollsare not dipped in breadcrumbs but are directly fried so it remains crunchy on the outside and soft inside. The dish is served with sour and sweet chili sauce. Ho Hoan Kiem street is located in the heart of the Old Quarter, so if you have chance to wander around Sword lake in Dinh Tien Hoang street or visit the night market around Cau Go street, you will see the shortest street in Hanoi among high buildings. 

Do not hesitate to try street food here.

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