Hanoi Street Food Tours
Vietnam is famous for it’s street food, and this is no more noticable than in the capital, Hanoi. As you wander the streets of the Old Quarter, you will see locals of all ages sitting on the streets enjoying a meal. The secret behind the street food is the freshness of the produce, as each morning the stall owners go to the market to purchase the ingredients needed for the day. It is for this reason that Vietnamese food is considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.
Our guide will meet you in the Hanoi Old Quarter at your hotel, You will then be taken on a journey through the Old Quarter where you will be shown some of the more historical landmarks, tell you some interesting stories about the old town as well as show you different architectural influences in the Old Quarter.
On your journey, you will stop at a number of food stalls and restaurants in Hanoi to sample many local foods and drinks. These restaurants and food stalls are the ones that the tourist generally walks past as they are unsure of what the meal is. Your guide explain the ingredients that go into making each dish as well as the history and background behind the dishes.
Tour Times: 3 hours
Lunch: 11h30 – 14h30
Dinner: 18h00 – 21h00
Best Street Food in Hanoi Old Quarter
When it comes to exploring the vibrant food scene in Vietnam, one cannot miss out on the culinary delights of Hanoi Old Quarter. This bustling area is known for its narrow streets filled with food stalls and restaurants, offering a wide range of delicious street food options. From fragrant noodle soups to crispy pancakes and grilled meats, the street food in Hanoi Old Quarter is a feast for the senses. In this article, we will delve into some of the most popular and mouth-watering street food dishes that you must try when in Hanoi.
1. Bún chả (Grilled pork with rice vermicelli)
Bún chả is a quintessential Vietnamese dish that originated in Hanoi. It consists of grilled pork patties served with rice vermicelli noodles and a side of fresh herbs and dipping sauce. The pork patties are made from ground pork, infused with fragrant herbs and spices, and grilled to perfection. The dish is then assembled by placing a generous portion of rice vermicelli noodles on a plate or bowl, topped with the grilled pork patties, and accompanied by a selection of fresh herbs such as mint, coriander, and lettuce. A bowl of dipping sauce, typically made from fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and chili, is served on the side to add an extra burst of flavor.
2. Bún cá (Noodle soup with fish)
Bún cá is another beloved noodle dish in Hanoi’s culinary repertoire. It features a flavorful broth made from fish bones and aromatic herbs, served with rice vermicelli noodles and pieces of fried fish. The dish is typically garnished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and a squeeze of lime for a refreshing kick. Bún cá is a light and fragrant dish that showcases the delicate flavors of fresh fish and herbs, making it a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
3. Bún ốc (Snail noodle soup)
If you’re feeling adventurous, Bún ốc is a must-try dish in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. This unique noodle soup is made with a flavorful broth infused with snail broth, pork bones, and a combination of spices. It is then loaded with rice vermicelli noodles, snails, and various herbs such as mint, perilla, and coriander. The snails add a chewy texture to the dish, while the aromatic herbs and spices create a mouthwatering flavor profile. Bún ốc is a popular street food option, especially during the cooler months, when the warmth of the soup provides comfort and satisfaction.
4. Bún riêu (Crab noodles)
Bún riêu is a delicious noodle soup that features a rich and tangy broth made from crab paste, tomatoes, and spices. The soup is served with rice vermicelli noodles, crab meat, tofu, and a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables. The crab meat adds a succulent and briny flavor to the dish, while the tomatoes lend a hint of sweetness and acidity. Bún riêu is a popular choice for seafood lovers, offering a unique twist on traditional Vietnamese noodle soups.
5. Miến xào lươn (Glass noodles with eel)
Miến xào lươn is a dish that showcases the unique flavors of eel combined with glass noodles. The eel is stir-fried with a variety of vegetables and glass noodles, resulting in a delightful combination of textures and tastes. The dish is often garnished with peanuts and served with a side of dipping sauce to enhance the flavors. Some well-known spots to try Miến xào lươn include Quán Ký Đồng Xuân and Miến xào lươn Ngọc Sơn.
6. Bánh đa trộn (Mixed flat rice noodles)
Bánh đa trộn is a popular street food dish in Hanoi that features mixed flat rice noodles tossed with a variety of toppings and a tangy dressing. The noodles are typically topped with a combination of grilled pork, fried tofu, shrimp, cucumber, and herbs. The dressing, made from fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and garlic, brings all the flavors together and adds a refreshing and zesty note to the dish. Bánh đa trộn is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a light meal or a snack, perfect for a quick bite while exploring the bustling streets of Hanoi.
7. Bánh cuốn (Steamed rice paper rolls)
Bánh cuốn is a delightful dish that involves delicate steamed rice paper rolls filled with minced pork and mushrooms. The rolls are then served with a side of fried shallots, fresh herbs, and a savory dipping sauce. The combination of flavors and textures in bánh cuốn is truly satisfying, making it a popular street food choice in Hanoi. Some renowned places to try Bánh cuốn include Bánh cuốn Bà Hanh and Bánh cuốn Thanh Vân.
8. Bánh xèo (Crispy pancakes)
Bánh xèo is a beloved dish in Vietnam and is a must-try when exploring the street food scene in Hanoi Old Quarter. These crispy pancakes are made with a rice flour batter, stuffed with a variety of fillings such as shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. The pancakes are cooked until golden and crispy and are served with fresh herbs and a tangy dipping sauce. Bánh xèo is a popular street food dish for its delicious flavors and satisfying crunch. Some famous places to try Bánh xèo include Bánh xèo Zòn and Bánh xèo Lệ.
9. Bánh mì Hà Nội (Hanoi bread)
Bánh mì Hà Nội, also known as Hanoi bread, is a Vietnamese-style baguette sandwich that is packed with flavor and texture. The bread is traditionally made with a combination of wheat and rice flour, resulting in a light and crispy crust. The sandwich is filled with a variety of ingredients such as grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. Bánh mì Hà Nội is a popular street food option for its convenience and delicious taste. Some well-known spots for Bánh mì Hà Nội include Bánh mì 25 and Bánh mì Bà Lẹ.
10. Bánh tôm (Hanoi shrimp cakes)
Bánh tôm is a specialty street food dish in Hanoi that features crispy shrimp cakes. The cakes are made by embedding whole shrimps in a mixture of sweet potato and flour, then deep-fried until golden and crunchy. The combination of textures in bánh tôm is delightful, with the crispiness of the outer layer and the succulent shrimp inside. Bánh tôm is often enjoyed with a side of fresh herbs and a tangy dipping sauce. Some famous places to try Bánh tôm include Bánh tôm Hồ Gươm and Bánh tôm cô Tư.
11. Phở bò, phở gà (Beef/chicken noodle soup)
No visit to Hanoi Old Quarter would be complete without indulging in a steaming bowl of phở bò or phở gà. Phở or pho Hanoi is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that is fragrant, flavorful, and comforting. The soup is made by simmering beef or chicken bones with aromatic spices for hours, resulting in a rich and savory broth. The dish is then served with rice noodles, thinly sliced beef or chicken, and garnished with fresh herbs and bean sprouts. Phở bò and phở gà can be found at countless street food vendors in Hanoi, with each place offering its own unique twist on the classic dish.
12. Phở cuốn (Pho rolls)
For a different take on the traditional phở soup, try phở cuốn, also known as pho rolls. These refreshing rolls feature the same rice noodles and beef or chicken as traditional phở, but they are wrapped in translucent rice paper instead. The rolls are filled with fresh herbs and lettuce, creating a light and healthy dish. Phở cuốn is often enjoyed with a special dipping sauce made with fish sauce, lime juice, and chili. Some well-known places for phở cuốn include Phở cuốn Bà Tỵ and Phở cuốn Hà Nội.
13. Phở chiên phồng (Puffed fried pho)
If you’re looking for a unique and indulgent treat, look no further than phở chiên phồng. This dish takes crispy noodles to a whole new level by deep-frying them until puffed up. The crispy noodles are then stir-fried with a variety of ingredients such as beef, vegetables, and a flavorful sauce. Phở chiên phồng is a dish that is both crispy and saucy, making it a favorite among locals and tourists. Some popular spots for phở chiên phồng include Phở chiên phồng Trần Hưng Đạo and Phở chiên phồng Hồ Gươm.
14. Nem cua bể (Crab spring rolls)
Nem cua bể is a specialty spring roll in Hanoi that features crab as the main ingredient. These rolls are made by wrapping a mixture of crab meat, minced pork, mushrooms, and various spices in rice paper, then deep-frying them to perfection. The result is a delectable roll that is crispy on the outside and packed with flavors on the inside. Nem cua bể is often served with fresh herbs, lettuce, and a tangy dipping sauce. Some renowned places for nem cua bể include Nem cua bể Thanh Vân and Nem cua bể Đinh Liệt.
15. Chả cá (Grilled chopped fish)
Chả cá is a delicious grilled fish dish that originated in Hanoi and has become a beloved specialty in the city. The dish is made with marinated fish, typically catfish or snakehead fish, that is grilled until perfectly cooked. The grilled fish is then served on a sizzling hot plate, along with fresh herbs, rice noodles, and peanuts. Chả cá is a dish that is both flavorful and fragrant, with the combination of herbs and spices creating a tantalizing aroma. Some famous places to try Chả cá include Chả cá Lã Vọng and Chả cá Hương Liên.
16. Lẩu (Vietnamese hot-pot)
Hot-pot, known as lẩu in Vietnamese, is a popular communal dining experience in Hanoi. This dish involves boiling a variety of ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and noodles in a flavored broth at the table itself. The broth is often infused with aromatic herbs and spices, resulting in a rich and flavorful soup base. Lẩu is a social and interactive dining experience, where everyone can cook their own ingredients to their liking. Some well-known places for lẩu in Hanoi Old Quarter include Lẩu Phan Trường and Lẩu Hằng Tiến.
17. Thịt nướng kiểu Hà Nội (Hanoi-style barbecue)
Thịt nướng kiểu Hà Nội, or Hanoi-style barbecue, is a beloved street food dish that showcases the flavors of grilled meats. The dish typically consists of marinated and skewered meats, such as pork, beef, or chicken, that are grilled over an open flame. The meats are often served with rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a savory dipping sauce. Thịt nướng kiểu Hà Nội is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its succulent and smoky flavors. Some popular places for Thịt nướng kiểu Hà Nội include Thịt nướng Yên Phụ and Thịt nướng Đức Lương.
18. Cà phê trứng (Egg coffee)
No visit to Hanoi Old Quarter would be complete without indulging in cà phê trứng, or egg coffee. This unique and decadent drink consists of a creamy egg yolk mixture placed on top of a strong Vietnamese coffee. The combination of the slightly bitter coffee and the sweet and fluffy egg mixture creates a harmonious blend of flavors. Egg coffee is often enjoyed at cozy cafes in Hanoi Old Quarter, such as Café Giảng and Café Đinh.
Hanoi Old Quarter is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of delectable street food options. From fragrant noodle soups to crispy pancakes and grilled meats, the street food scene in Hanoi Old Quarter is a culinary adventure waiting to be explored. The dishes mentioned in this article are just a taste of the incredible flavors and textures that await you in this vibrant city. So, next time you find yourself in Hanoi, make sure to embark on a gastronomic journey through the Old Quarter and savor the best street food the city has to offer.