Where To Eat in Hanoi Capital

Nga Do
Wondering what to eat in Hanoi Vietnam? Our Hanoi food guide showcases the best food that we ate in Hanoi during our three weeks in Vietnam’s chaotic capital city. We arrived knowing that we would like the Pho, but it turns out that the Hanoi Vietnam food scene is so much more than soup.

Hanoi street food is for real. This is a city that takes the phrase “street food” seriously – food is literally everywhere. Each block has dozens of cafes, with diners spilling on to sidewalks littered with tiny plastic chairs representing every primary color of the rainbow and similarly sized tables.

Day or night, a stroll easily becomes a Hanoi street food tour. During the day, Old Quarter Hanoi street vendors sell fruit and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. It’s nighttime though when these streets really come alive with all kinds of food including our personal favorite – meat on a stick. Long story short – there’s lots of great food to eat in Hanoi.

Finding food in Hanoi is the opposite of a challenge. Instead, at least for visitors, the challenge is knowing what and where to eat in Hanoi. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with our picks for the best Hanoi food. Use our Hanoi guide to find the best places to eat in Hanoi as well as a variety of yummy things to eat in Hanoi during your visit. Trust us – there’s no shortage of food to eat in Hanoi, and we’re happy to share some of the best food in Hanoi here.

#1: Pho

Oh, Hanoi Pho, how do we love you? Let us count the ways. We love you for your savory broth and your slow-cooked meat, both beef and chicken. We love you for your reasonable price of around $2 US. We love you for your condiments, especially the small but potent red peppers. Most of all, we love you for your freshly made rice noodles that we always swirl on our chopsticks before slurping into our mouths. We hate to pick favorites, but we think you’re the best food to eat in Hanoi.

Pho originated in Hanoi and is arguably the national dish of Vietnam. We could eat this soup morning, noon and night. In fact, we did while in Hanoi. Any time we wondered what to eat in Hanoi, the answer was almost always Pho. 

Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan is located at 49 Bát Đàn, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

#2: Bun Cha

If Pho is Hanoi’s number one dish, then Bun Cha is easily number two when it comes to being a local food favorite. 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 chili and garlic are the supporting players. If that’s not enough for you, then add fried spring rolls to the mix.

Bun Cha Dac Kim is located at No 1 - Hàng Mành,Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

#3: Cha Ca La Vong

We fell in love with the Hanoi food scene while eating Cha Ca at our first lunch. Cha Ca, a Northern Vietnamese specialty involves pan-fried chunks of meaty, fatty skinned fish, turmeric, dill, peanuts, shrimp paste and rice noodles. If you haven’t tried it before, then Cha Ca may be the most unique food you will try in Hanoi.

Cha Ca Thang Long is located at 19 - 21 - 31 Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Cửa Đông, Hanoi, Hà Nội Hoàn Kiếm

#4: Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)

Banh Cuon may not be popular outside of Vietnam, but hopefully that will change.

When we think about our time in Hanoi, a key memory will likely be sitting on small plastic chairs and eating Banh Cuon for the first time. We had never eaten this dish before, and we immediately fell in love with the big pieces of fermented rice noodles served with fresh herbs and bowls of pork, mushroom and minced shallots. Our love for Banh Cuon did not fade when we later heard a rumor that the dipping sauce may have been flavored with ca cuona, the essence of a giant water bug. If the rumor is true, then we got some extra protein.

Buon Cuon ba Hoanh is located at 66 Tô Hiến Thành, Bùi Thị Xuân, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.

#5: Xoi (Sticky Rice)

Sticky rice may be the ultimate Hanoi comfort food. We especially liked the version at popular Xoi Yen, where they flavor the glutinous rice with green mung bean paste and lots of chicken fat. Topped with meat and paired with a bottle of beer, Hanoi sticky rice is a true guilty pleasure.

Xoi Yen is located at 35B Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.

#6. Egg coffee

Of all things we ate and drank in Hanoi, egg coffee may be our very favorite. At Cafe Giang, second generation owner Tri Hoa Nguyen makes the decadent beverage by adding a sweet topping of whisked chicken egg yolk, Vietnamese powder, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese over a base of strong coffee. Is it a coffee or is it a dessert? The answer is “yes” to that question, but the bigger question is when can we drink it again.

Cafe Giang is located at 39B Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.

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