The best way to discover Hanoi cuisine

Nga Do
The best way to discover Hanoi cuisine is head to the home of a local family in Hanoi`s Old Quarter to enjoy a traditional dinner with warm and welcoming hosts.

Private Dinner with a Hanoi Family

First, you can catch a lift from your Old Quarter hotel and make your way to a local's house. When you arrive, head inside to be greeted with steaming cups of freshly brewed green tea. Take a tour of the house and peek into the kitchen to watch family members putting the finishing touches on dinner. Chat with your hosts about Vietnamese culture and watch as the younger family members call others to the table.

Sip green tea, watch them prepare your meal, and chat about what daily life is like in Vietnam. Get tips on proper eating etiquette and pick up pointers for using chopsticks. The second, you can pull up a chair as dinner is served and let your host help you fill your plate with tasty Vietnamese dishes. Find out how to mix the various sauces and flavors, get feedback on your chopstick technique, and find out how to position your utensils to indicate you're done with your meal.

Once your meal is ready, take a seat at the table to dine on your own creations. As you relish the flavors of the food, also delight in insightful conversation with Hong, who make sure that you get your fill of both delicious cuisine and chatter. At the end of the day, record the recipes with the help of your translator, and bid your new friends farewell and head back outside to grab a ride back to your hotel. Now, you having gained new experiences and authentic dishes to recreate at home.

Vietnamese Cooking Class

Or, you can experience the tastes and textures of Vietnamese cuisine and learn a bit about the cultural heritage of Hanoi as you visit a bustling wet market and pick up a few skills during this hands-on cooking class. With professional chefs to guide between bites, dive into the flavors of Vietnam. Start your day at the Hanoi Cooking Centre, where you can sip on hot cups of tea and chat with your instructor about the day's itinerary before you walk to one of the city's last wet markets.

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Return to the school, don an apron, and get a tour of the kitchen. Help your instructor prep each ingredient and find out what 4 special dishes you're about to make. Follow step-by-step instructions as you hear about balancing the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Grab a seat at a spacious table with your classmates, pop open a few bottles of wine or beer, and then dive into your tasty creations. Get tips on types of dishes you can make, and feel free to take a list of recipes and your apron home, so you can recreate flavorful meals for your friends and family.

Private Half-Day Hanoi Cuisine Tour

Spend the morning tasting a wide range of Vietnamese cuisine. Eat breakfast at a famous restaurant in the Old Quarter, try a cup of egg coffee, and visit class architecture before broadening your taste with samples of cuisine from different regions of the country. Meet your guide at your hotel and head out for a Vietnamese-style breakfast. This unique experience brings you to a famous restaurant in the Old Quarter, where you wait in a line with locals to receive a main dish of sticky rice or pho, a popular Vietnamese noodle soup. Enjoy delicious food and soak up the bustling atmosphere.

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After breakfast, your guide takes you out for a cup of egg coffee, also known as Vietnamese cappuccino, at one of the more well-known coffee shops in town. Go for a short walk around the Old Town and check out ancient buildings, representative of the mixed Vietnamese and Chinese architectural styles. Explore the famous "36 Streets of Hanoi," uncovering the meaning behind the street names and learning to cross the streets and bargain with local vendors. Around lunchtime, dig deeper into Vietnamese cuisine, making a distinction between Northern and Southern flavors. Go to a typical Ho Chi Minh or Hue-style restaurant to sample local Northern cuisine, or try a traditional Hue cake to sample Central Vietnamese flavor. Finally, Bun Bo Nam Bo (noodles with beef) or Banh Xeo (traditional pan cake) cover the Southern culinary style.

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