Traveling foodies, add this to your bucket list!

Nga Do
Vietnam is world-famous for its diverse, flavorful and balanced cuisine, and Hanoi food is especially interesting. Dishes such as pho and banh mi have become trendy in western countries, while Vietnamese coffee is a common flavor at hip cafes everywhere.

What many people may not realize, however, is that Vietnam is home to several distinct regional cuisines with different dishes and flavor profiles. Unsurprisingly, Hanoi food has its own legendary dishes as well, and the city is packed with places to eat.

For first-time visitors it can be daunting to figure out where to go and what to eat, so we’re here to help with an insider’s guide to the best food in Hanoi (including street food), divided into different dishes.

The majority of this good food in Hanoi is located in the Old Quarter, right in the middle of the action. Let’s go.

Where to eat Xoi in Hanoi

Xoi is glutinous sticky rice, and at Xoi Yen (35b Nguyen Huu Huan) heaps of it are served with additions such as hard-boiled eggs, pork, chicken and more.

This hearty, savory dish is great for a chilly Hanoi day, though the fast-paced serving of the restaurant doesn’t allow for loitering.

Best place for Mien Luon Xao in Hanoi

Another old-school, classic Hanoi dish is fried eel noodles, served either with or without soup.

An excellent version is served at 87 Hang Dieu in the Old Quarter, and is perfect for one of those misty Hanoi days.

Best places for Lau in Hanoi

Lau, or hot pot, is best enjoyed with a group and several beers, particularly on a cold winter night when the steamy dish will keep you warm. Phung Hung, a street in the Old Quarter, is famous as a lau hotspot once the sun goes down, and restaurants serve well into the evening.

Take your pick and sit down to the wide variety of lau on offer, featuring a range of meat and seafood options. Highway 4 (5 Hang Tre), also in the Old Quarter, serves excellent lau as well, in air-conditioned comfort no less.

Best Sot Vang restaurants in Hanoi

Literally translated as “yellow sauce”, sot vang is another example of French cuisine being adapted to Vietnamese tastes.

The dish, based on beef au vin or beef bourguignon, is similar to bo kho, found in southern Vietnam. It features a red wine base as well as spices such as cinnamon and star anise, as well as chunks of tender beef. This hearty soup is best enjoyed with at least one baguette, which allows you to soak up the delicious broth.

Tuck into an excellent sot vang at Qua Tang Thien Su (252 Hang Bong) in the Old Quarter. Or, try a creative combination of pho bo and sot vang at the stall at 3 Tran Phu, near the railway station.

Where to get your Caffeine fix in Hanoi

Vietnam is a major coffee-producing country, and a favorite pastime of Hanoians is sitting at a streetside cafe, enjoying a coffee while traffic whizzes by on the busy streets. The most famous type of coffee is the ca phe sua da, or iced milk coffee, but there are many other great varieties, and Hanoi is home to one especially unique version.

If you’re in need of a jolt of energy in between your street food feasting in Hanoi, satisfy your caffeine craving at Giang Cafe (39 Nguyen Huu Huan). This old cafe, located down a narrow walkway, specializes in cafe trung, or egg coffee. Though more expensive than your standard coffee in Vietnam, this delicious brew comes either hot or iced, and the combination of coffee and an egg works surprisingly well.

Now that your appetite is roaring, contact one of our local expert Travel Specialists for further insight into Hanoi food, or dining in other destinations within Vietnam,

Happy eating!

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