Hanoi’s a foodie paradise. Its food is deep in flavor and immensely satisfying. To fully appreciate the charm of Hanoi’s food, one may need up to a week, but with a bit of strategy, cramming the allure into just 1 or 2 days is possible. Here we will show you how:

Street food

Walk along the boulevards of Hanoi, one can see street food stalls dotting the sidewalks. Street food is the most popular way to eat in Hanoi. No matter if you are a local or a tourist, street food is the way to eat cheaply and fill up on delicious foods each day.

Many of the 7.6 million Hanoi residents eat street food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a great way to dine when out on the town or taking a break from work. Whether it is pho, banh mi, or cha ca, the best food in Hanoi can be found at the stalls and restaurants on the street.

Pho

Pho. Photo credit: tatsuya.fukata on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Pho is a Vietnamese soup made with noodles, broth, herbs, and meat. Typical pho dishes use beef or chicken. Hanoi’s traditional pho differs than other parts of Vietnam. Diners will find the noodles to be wider and the broth to a have a very distinct beef taste. Pho is one of Vietnam’s most popular street foods. In many cities around the world, pho restaurants have opened serving the soup. In fact, pho is synonymous with Vietnam.

Pho Bat Dan (49 Bat Dan Street) is one of the best pho restaurants in Hanoi. A bowl of pho will cost you between 30,000 VND and 55,000 VND. Pho Suong (36b Mai Hac De Street) is another popular choice. Its prices are a little bit higher and will set you back 50,000 VND to 75,000 VND. Pho Thin (13 Lo Duc Street) is another top pick and a bowl of pho will cost just 50,000 VND.

Banh Cuon 

Banh cuon. Photo credit: Silvia Foglia on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Banh cuon is a dish found in northern Vietnam. It is made using a thin rice batter that is fermented. The batter is then filled with ground pork seasoned with local herbs and spices. Mushrooms and shallots are added along with a dipping sauce called nuoc cham.

Banh Cuon Thanh Van (81 Le Van Huu Street) serves up some of the best banh cuon around. A dish costs 35,000 VND to 45,000 VND at the restaurant. Banh Cuon Hang Dieu (49 Hang Dieu Street) is a popular dining option for locals. Banh cuon dishes cost just 25,000 VND. Banh Cuon Ba Xuan (16 Hoe Nhai Street) is another low-price option for locals and tourists. The restaurant serves up the dish for just 15,000 VND but more expensive dishes can be ordered for 45,000 VND.

Bun Cha 

Bun cha. Photo credit: Maman Voyage on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND

Bun cha is one of Hanoi’s most popular street foods. It originated in the city and has been a staple of Hanoi ever since. The dish is based around grilled pork and noodles. The grilled pork and white noodles are served with herbs and spices. A dipping sauce is added to further the flavor of bun cha.

Bun Cha Tuyet (34 Hang Than) is a popular destination to eat bun cha. Diners can get a large serving of bun cha for 40,000 VND. Bun Cha Hang Quat (74 Hang Quat) is a slightly cheap bun cha eating option. Visitors to the street food restaurant can get a plate of bun cha for just 30,000 VND.

Banh mi

Banh mi. Photo credit: Jim & Claire on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC

The banh mi is a sandwich that fuses the great tastes of Vietnam and the culinary traditions of France. Created in the 1950s, a banh mi sandwich is made with a Vietnamese baguette filled with a variety of ingredients native to the Asian country.

Vietnamese baguettes take the traditional French bread to the next level. Rather than soft and doughy, Vietnamese baguettes are crispy on the outside. It gives the sandwich a crunchy texture while the inside is soft. Street food stalls and shops vary on what kind of fillings they put in the sandwiches. Pork, fish, tofu, and seasonal Vietnamese vegetables are typical fillings.

Banh Mi 25 (25 Hang Cha Street) is a great restaurant to dine on banh mi sandwiches. The sandwich shop is so popular that there are often lines around the corner filled with hungry customers. It is a destination for travelers and locals, which means it must be good. The artsy décor at Banh Mi 25 gives it a young, hipster vibe that is perfect for dining. Sandwiches cost between 15,000 VND and 30,000 VND.

Banh Mi Pho Hue (118A Pho Hue Street) is a small sandwich stall that opens its door to customers each day. The shop is small and the tiny counter is crammed with baguettes used to make delicious banh mi sandwiches. It is claimed to be one of Vietnam’s oldest banh mi shops. A sandwich at Banh Mi Pho Hue will set you back 25,000 VND.

Banh Mi Lan Ong (8 Cha Ca Street) opens early to catch the morning commuters on the way to work and school in Hanoi. Unlike many of the newer banh mi restaurants, Banh Mi Lan Ong doesn’t add fillings that take away the true essence of the sandwich. Traditional and simple banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches are on offer every day and they are delicious. A banh mi sandwich will cost 25,000 VND to 35,000 VND at Banh Mi Lan Ong.

Restaurants

If street food is not your thing, there are a number of restaurants for you to splash out at:

1915Y Restaurant

1915Y is a casual Vietnamese dining experience. The brightly decorated restaurant provides high-quality customer service and a great atmosphere. 1915Y serves up traditional Vietnamese foods with a flare. The presentation of each dish is beautiful to look at. One of the restaurant’s most popular items is the crispy pork ribs.

1946 Restaurant

Diners at the 1946 Restaurant will experience a traditional Vietnamese dining experience. Diners can choose to sit on cushions on the floor or sit at tables. The modest restaurant serves very traditional northern Vietnamese food. 1946 is a bit hidden, so diners will need to look out for it. Once they get inside, they will be glad they came. The field crabs are a favorite amongst locals.

Luk Lak Vietnamese Restaurant

Luk Lak is an upscale, trendy Vietnamese restaurant. It is a new take on traditional Hanoi cuisine. The restaurant’s customer service is top notch. Bun cha is one of Luk Lak’s most popular menu items and it is matched perfectly with local Hanoi beers.

Cau Go 

Cau Go offers diners a great, brightly lit, open venue for eating out. The restaurant has a great outdoor area where you can sit under the stars and eat delicious Vietnamese food. The presentation is definitely upscale and Cau Go is far from a street food stall. The clams in basil soup is a favorite on the menu and it goes well with the views outside.

Quan An Ngon

Everything about Quan An Ngon is gorgeous. From the food to the atmosphere to the décor, Quan An Ngon is a wonderful dining experience. The restaurant offers a traditional feel and attentive service keeps diners from waiting too long. It is advised to make reservations as Quan An Ngon can be quite busy. Many have claim Quan An Ngon serves the best cha ca in Hanoi.

Hanoi is a city with a wide range of foods. The city isn’t just rice and noodles as many may believe. Hanoi is a culinary capital of Asia and its restaurants are the perfect spokespersons for the cuisine.