Some of the best food in Hanoi can be found on the streets and sidewalks. Wherever you find a busy corner with plenty of people sitting on little blue or red plastic stools, stop and join them.
Favorite Dish: If you get the soup, make sure you add some of the spices!
The general food tip in Hanoi's Old Quarters is not to go into a restaurant, but eat at the street vendors or small shops. The locals don't eat at restaurants with more than one item on the menu (they're just there for the tourists). The best food is found in places where they specialize in only one dish, e.g., pho, bun cha, cha ca, banh cuon, etc. If you have no idea what any of this stuff is, it's also easy to wander around the Old Quarters during breakfast, lunch, or dinner time, and watch where all the locals are gathering and squatting on those little plastic stools eating. You shouldn't even have to order, just sit down, point a finger for 1 or 2 portions, and they'll just bring you whatever the specialty is :-)
Generally, my little Hanoi trip was more about eating, eating, eating and coffee. Found this coffee shop on our way back to our guesthouse. This bowl of glutinous rice (sticky rice) comes with 2 or 3 side vegetables or meat. Cost about 10,000 Dong. Pretty tasty.
Check out some of the other goodies I had mainly from street vendors.
I would definitely suggest stopping and eating from one of the many street vendors who cook all sorts of delicious food right beside the road.
These photo's were taken during a day when i was walking with some friends, it was raining quite heavily and we came across a whole row of people cooking food along the side of the road. I was curious to try some, so upon my suggestion we stopped and tried some banh chuoi (banana cake). Which not only was delicious, but extremely cheap!
u can get cheap food everywhere in Hanoi.tho u may not know how to order,just point to what u see the next guy eating and they will bring the same to u.
their pho(glass noodles) is outta this world!!!
Have you ever read Jerry Hopkin's "Extreme Cuisine" ?If so, then you would have seen the gorgeous pictures of the fried scopions and other creepy crawlies. Well, I was inspired by Hopkins as well as another VTer, Kimmov, to try go on a dastardly binge on these things. Along the way, I also had a safer dish, "Cua Rang Muoi" or crabs sauteed in salt. Afterall, aren't crabs a distant cousin of the scorpion? They look somewhat the same with those legs and all.
Favorite Dish: Well, the crab of course. The scorpion tasted like musty version of a crab and the black shell was too hard to crunch.Also, the beady orange eye took some getting used to. Sigh, should have taken Kimmov's advice to eat them in HCMC. He mentioned that it tasted like popcorn over there.
Where to try this revolting thing:
At the side of the Museum of Revolution. They have an English Menu, thank God.
216 Pho Tran Quang Khai
Hoan Kiem District
Another great deal in Hanoi (as in other locations throughout Vietnam) are the pho stands. No matter where you are in the city, you are always within a hundred meters or so of one of these inexpensive little restaurants that are favored by the locals and low-budget tourists. Even if the owner doesn't speak English, just sit down and grab a quick bowl of pho (pronounced "fa"). You'll be glad you did.
If you're ever in doubt and fear that a dog might land on your plate , look at the menu and order a plate of Bun Thit Bo Nuong (fried noodles with beef )and a big pot of CHE (tea). It makes a cheap and satisfying meal.
Favorite Dish: Where:
This picture was taken at the eatery situated at the side of the Museum of Revolution. They have an English Menu, thank God.
216 Pho Tran Quang Khai
Hoan Kiem District
Despite it's infamous reputation for a biker's HQ club, Highway 4 does have an extensive menu for traditional rice wine and vietnamese street desserts. And all dishes are reasonably priced too.
Favorite Dish: Try Soi Vo, gultinous rice with mung bean, peanuts and garlic. It's a delicious and light snack that is available only after 10pm. It cost about US1 or so.
You're missing out a lot if you haven't tried the street desserts of Hanoi. Nose your way around the Old Quarters and join the locals as they munch on glutinous rice balls made with coconut, sesame seed in sweet gingery soup.
Where to find it
This photograph was taken at 7, Hang Giay Street, not too far from Phan Tai Hotel. A bowl costs 4000D.
Favorite Dish: Note to Singaporeans:This is a spicier and tastier version compared to the one found at home
After I toured the touristy street of Pho Nha Chung and seen St Joseph's Cathedral, hubby and I settled down at the nearest coffee joint called Student Cafe. Aptly named, this joint was crowded with students who parked mopeds at the side. Both of us had Ca Phe(Coffee) Sua(Milk) Nong(Hot) and were entertained by a chap who spoke fluent Taiwanese Mandarin. We were impressed, this was so far the only fella who did not "konnichiwa" us!
Favorite Dish: I hate to say this, but Hanoian Coffee pales in comparison to Saigonese Coffee! While it is still acceptable and way better than the international mermaid-brand coffee, it is less heady and missing a bloody strainer! I miss that tin filter, let me wait 1/2 hr for my coffee please.
Cost : About 6000D per cup
I was just making my way to the Museum of Vietnamese Revolution when something caught my eye. It was brown, succulent-looking and if I didn't know any better, I thought it was a suckling pig. You know, a baby pig roasted whole, served normally in Chinese restaurants. Only one thing looked odd, why was the tail not in a curly twirl but sticking out like a sore thumb?
Favorite Dish: Read on to find out more..
The next time you're in Hanoi, try eating their specialty , "Bo Cau Quay" or roasted pigeon. The Hanoians think nothing about serving the whole bird to you, beak, head, ass and all so you'll need to breathe deeply before eating this. Plus, the bird will be served in a " Don't eat me! Don't fry me!" position. Well, say a prayer at best and eat it. You won't regret it.
Note: The head is supposedly the best part but the beak was bloody hard. Prefered the drumsticks... Pity the bird is so darn small, it was delicious!
Favorite Dish: You can find roasted in a street stall not too far from Phan Tai Hotel at Hang Giay St. It's the one crowded with loads of well-dressed teenagers. Yes, you need to sit on those darn small stools while you're eating.
This is an eye opener for me. In Hanoi, food sellers carry their entire cooking utensils and food stuff with them. Even little tables and chairs ! They will pick a spot somewhere in the streetside and cook there and then. And if you want to eat the food, you just sit on the little stool and can eat together with them. Here, eating is more communal.
Favorite Dish: This is a bowl of hot steaming noodles with chicken meat, minced pork with mushrooms, cooked with lots of green vege (alot of scallions). There is also fresh sweet & sour chillie sauce to accompany the meal.
That meal cost me 3000 vietnamese dong or 20 cents USD.
There are many available food stalls around every corner in Old Quarter area.
Favorite Dish: Do stop by for a Bia Hoi (draft beer) which they serve. Very fresh and very light beer. You could snack that with some pork ribs or other finger foods. Delicious!