Cau Go Street is located at the Old Quarter area north of Hoan Kiem Lake, and this street has lots of roadside stores selling local food. There is one store called Binh (see photos, at least this is what the big signboard says) which sell very delicious Vietnamese soup noodles with grilled pork which you can see them actually grilling on the street (see photos). The grilled pork is inside the soup, and you are supposed to put the noodles (which are on a seperate plate) into the soup with the pork.
You should give them a try as it is very cheap and delicious, the only problem is that this dish is rather heaty with the grilled pork and you may get sore throat after that (drink lots of water).
During the hot weather in Hanoi, it is very nice to sit down and eat ice cream. There is a nice ice cream kiosk called Mondo Gelato which sells nice ice cream located at the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake at the Old Quarter area (somewhere near the intersection between Cau Go Street, Hang Gai Street and Luong Van Can Streets). You can sit here, eat your ice cream and enjoy watching the daily life of the locals as well as Hoan Kiem Lake which is just across the road on the other side.
My Van Than is a food store located somewhere at Ngo Cau Go Street and Hang Be Street at the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake (Old Quarter area). It sells local dishes Sui Cao and My Kho, which are essentially Vietnamese soup noodles which are delicious and this store is apparently popular among the locals. If you are not sure where, please look at the photos which I took. Very cheap and delicious local food here (10,000 to 15,000 Vietnamese dongs per bowl).
Our Hidden Hanoi street food tour ended with this delicious glass of che, a fruity dessert prepared to our taste. After an afternoon of exploring Hanoi’s hidden cultural and culinary treasures, this che really hit the spot!
While you are exploring Hanoi, you will come across may locals selling various types of fruits in the streets, and the fruits are also sold in the markets. Do try some of the local fruits, especially the dragon fruit (see photo) which is native only in Vietnam. This fruit has an interesting colour and shape, and when it is cut open, the flesh is white in colour with lots of black dots (you can eat them together with the white flesh). Remember to bargain because the locals will increase the price of the fruits by a lot once they see that you are a tourist.
There is a road-side store selling delicious and cheap fried fritters (see photos) along Cau Go Street at the Old Quarter area. Do give them a try and remember to drink lots of water because it is very heaty (also let it cool down a bit before eating as they are fresh from the frying wok).
While exploring Hanoi, especially the Old Quarter area (and the weekend night bazaar at the Old Quarter area), you will come across many road-side stores selling all kinds of local desserts and drinks. During my trip in December 2006, I managed to try the soya bean drink, bean curd, sugar cane drink, sweet potato dessert, fried fritters, red bean soup with nuts etc. Be bold and try the local desserts and drinks (they are very very cheap anyway).
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 :-)
Dried squid comes in different sizes.When order is made, auntie will smoke the dried squid (actually heat it) for a while over a metal wok containing flaming charcoal, the squid will shrink when heated, then she'll hit it with an empty glass bottle (eg beer bottle), and smoke it again, until its fiber split apart. Finally she tears the squid into small slices and pack in old newspaper. The taste's not bad really, worth a try
For a size of 1/2 feet squid, it costs VND20,000
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.
on the street, eating with cho sticks on tiny cplastic chairs...
Favorite Dish: - pho Hanoi (soup with beef and spices (cinnamon, kardamon etc...)
- bun bo Hanoi (bun=white rice noodles, bo=beef with slads, spices and peanuts)
bun cha Hanoi (rice noddles with grilled meat, peanuts and green salad)
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 love this place and will continue to frequent for one reason only: the roll-your-own fresh ginger beef nem. Costs 50,000, and it's enough to feed two people as a large appetizer. at only 55,000 - 60,000 VND for a large main with rice, it's great value too. Definitely try the beef (or pork, or chicken) with citron, chilli and caramel and the chicken and cashew nuts is also a favourite.Good prices, cute atmosphere, excellent service, convenient location.
Favorite Dish: the roll-your-own fresh ginger beef nem.
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!