Don’t Visit Hanoi Vietnam Without Enjoying These 10 Foods & Drinks

Nga Do
Get ready to take your taste buds on a Hanoi tour when you enjoy this top ten list of Hanoian foods and drinks you simply must sample.

Hanoi Vietnam has one of the most diverse food cultures in the world. Traditional culinary culture makes Hanoi's taste attractive and popular in the world.

With the with specific herbs and spices, Hanoi has a wide variety of fresh ingredients to inspire Vietnamese chefs. Here is a list of delicious dishes and cool beverages to get you started on your gastronomic adventure…

1. Pho

Don’t Visit Hanoi Vietnam Without Enjoying These 10 Foods & Drinks
Photo by Tristan Le
You can find versions of Pho all over Central and South Vietnam, but there are a few details that make Hanoi Pho especially memorable.

Basic Pho is basically a soup made of a clear beef or chicken based broth with flat rice noodles, herbs including green onions, ginger, and coriander, and thinly cut slices of meat, primarily beef or sometimes chicken.

Not too heavy, it is a flavorful soup that is most commonly eaten for breakfast. Nonetheless, you will find pho served all day in Vietnam.

2. Bun Cha (Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli)

Don’t Visit Hanoi Vietnam Without Enjoying These 10 Foods & Drinks 1
Photo by Viethavvh
Bún chả, is a dish consists of grilled pork strips and balls or chả served over a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or bún. It typically comes with a plate of fresh Vietnamese herbs and a bowl of dipping sauce.  Pickled vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, onion or green papaya served with additional meatballs on the side.

What makes it so special and famous is its sauce. The sauce is made of the famous Vietnamese fish sauce or Nuoc Mam combined with vinegar, lime, sugar, garlic and chili.

Bun Cha has a sharp taste, so anyone who comes to Hanoi wants to enjoy it.

Don't forget the Hanoi Street Food Tour if you plan on coming to Hanoi and want to enjoy this dish.

3. Nem Cua Be (Crab Spring Rolls)

Don’t Visit Hanoi Vietnam Without Enjoying These 10 Foods & Drinks 2
Photo by Larry
Nem is a clear evidence of inheritance of traditional boats in hanoi culinary culture.

Nem Cua Be are the perfect complement to bún chả.  These are fried rolls filled with sea crab and vermicelli noodles. Fresh and lightly fried, these rolls melt in the mouth and are to be savored.

These crab spring rolls are sold by the roll, where one roll is cut into three smaller pieces. They are eaten as an appetizer while waiting for the bún chả meal or dipped into the savory bún chả soup.

4. Chả Cá (Grilled Fish with Dill and Tumeric)

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Photo by Tri Nguyen
Grilled Fish with Dill and Tumeric is the perfect Hanoian comfort food.

World-renowned, The New York Times followed its history from Vietnam to the United State.  “Hanoians even have a saying that … “someone should try this once in their life before leaving this world.”

The special ingredient in Chả Cá is grilled fish, typically mudfish or snake-head fish. According to the restaurant, the best fish to use Hemibragus, because it has fewer bones and tasty flesh.

A  server will set up a hot pot on your table and will bring everything you need to accompany your meal. Fresh herbs, vermicelli rice noodles, a bowl of roasted peanuts and a dipping fish sauce with sliced chilies. In the pot is the fish grilling with mounds of dill and turmeric.

5. Bánh Cuốn (Steamed Rice Rolls)

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Photo by Thanh-tung nguyen
According to hungry travelers, Banh Cuon put Hanoi on the map. It is a delicate and light dish usually eaten for breakfast in Vietnam. However, you can find it all day long.

Bánh cuốn is made of a thin rice sheet rolled and filled with ground pork meat and minced mushrooms. It is served with fried shallots and cilantro herbs on top.

The secret flavor of this Hanoi food resides in its dipping sauce.

As with most Vietnamese dishes, Nuoc Mam of fish sauce is used in the dipping sauce. The magic comes with the additional drop of cà cuống, the essence of a giant water bug common in Southeast Asia. This drop in the sauce adds an extra flavor which gives off a taste similar to scallops or shrimps.

The rice sheet is made by steaming fermented rice batter on a cloth stretched over a pot of boiling water. 

6. Com Vong (green rice)

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Photo by Binh Giang
Com of Vong village is perhaps the most special snack in Hanoi cuisine. Dishes from “com” are always loved by Vietnamese and foreign diners and contribute to diversifying Vietnamese cuisine. 

“Com” has its main ingredient made of young green rice. This specialty is wrapped inside fragrant lotus leaf and seized with yellow straw fibers.

7. Banh Tom (shrimp cakes)

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Photo by thang nguyen
Shrimp cakes is a simple shrimp cake. Deceptively time-intensive, Hanoi-style banh tom, or shrimp cakes, have just a few main ingredients: freshwater crayfish or shrimp from West Lake, flour and sweet potato.

It's typically served with lettuce leaves for wrapping, plus chili, lime juice and fish sauce for dipping.

8. Cha Ruoi

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Photo by Viethavvh
A Hanoi food tour is absolutely indispensable for Cha Ruoi. A dish has great taste.'Cha ruoi’, a specialty made from sand worm widely available in the sea. People mix ruoi with paste pork and egg and lemon leaves and the cover of kumquat and onion and pepper. The best ruoi dish shouldn’t miss the cover of kumquat to have the signature flavor. After mixing all the ingredients together, people will fry the paste until it’s cover turned to yellow brown color. A smoking-hot dish will be served together with vegetables and fish sauce. An ideal dish on cold days.

9. Bun Thang (Rice Vermicelli with Chicken, Egg, Pork)

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Photo by Nguyen Thanh Quang
Bun thang or rice vermicelli with chicken, egg and pork can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The clear yet flavourful broth is made with 20 ingredients, including dried shrimp, squid, shrimp paste, spring onion, coriander, ginger, mushroom, beet, fish sauce, sugar candy, and vinegar. It is also a particularly attractive Hanoi dish as the noodles, chicken, eggs, pork slices, and a dollop of shrimp paste are carefully arranged to resemble a flower. Available mostly within Hanoi Old Quarter, Bun Thang is highly rated by tourists as you can enjoy a generous bowl of bun thang for about VND 30,000.

10.  Egg Coffee

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Photo by kantnews1
Close out Hanoi food tour with one of the Vietnam’s most renowned beverages, taken for health - EGG COFFEE

Vietnamese "egg coffee" - a creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam is perched on dense Vietnamese coffee.

There are hot and cold versions. The former is served as a yellow concoction in a small glass. It's consumed with a spoon and tastes almost like a coffee flavored ice cream -- more like a dessert than coffee.

The hot version comes resting in a small dish of hot water to maintain its temperature. The strong coffee taste at the bottom of the cup seeps through the egg -- the yellow layer on top -- and is quite thick and sweet, though not sickly.

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