Where to Eat in Hanoi?

The Best Hanoi Street Food Guide

Are you wandering around, still wondering where to eat in Hanoi? Trust us, for first-time Hanoi visitors and experienced ones alike, we’ve all been there once or twice. Hanoi, at first glance, seems like a mundane capital full of political buildings and not too many attractive restaurants. But in reality, even the heads of states who visited Hanoi (like Obama or Trudeau) are mesmerized by the street food here.  

More than just pho, bun cha or banh mi, Hanoi offers many delicious, mouth-watering yet affordable street food that only the locals know. But street food tour in Hanoi can make or break your whole trip if you do not know which food or which place is good AND safe enough that your belly won’t scream after a day indulging. So check out this ultimate Hanoi street food guide.

Pho Ga

Chicken Pho

Where to eat in Hanoi? A delicious bowl of Pho Ga in the Old Quarters, of course!
Bok-bok, who’s there? It’s me, your chicken pho-ney ♥️

Pho ga is less rich in its taste. Rather, it is more frugal yet still retains a savoury flavour, distinctive from pho bo. You can enjoy pho ga with either chicken breast or thighs, with a poached egg on the side for extra deliciousness!

Here are some notable stores:

  • Pho ga Hang Dieu: 1 Hang Dieu, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Pho ga Hang Hom: 15 Hang Hom, Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Cuong Loi Pho Ga restaurant: 42 Quan Thanh, Nguyen Trung Truc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Banh Mi Bit Tet

Beefsteak with baguette

Banh mi bit tet is another Vietnamese street food specialty that you should not miss. The modern Vietnamese take on the French beefsteak, Vietnamese banh mi bit tet mainly consists of sliced beef, meatballs, pate, french fries, onions, tomato slices and fried eggs – all heated to a sizzling point inside a smoking hot cast iron pan, then added inside is the special meat sauce.

In the moo-d for some bit tet?

The smell of perfectly seasoned and well-done beef mixed together with the buttery flavour of the sauce makes even the toughest food critics yield. Hanoians often enjoy this alongside some Vietnamese baguette and pickled cucumber. Enjoy it with a glass of homemade soy milk and believe us, you would never want to return to the old beefsteak again.

You can find the most authentic banh mi bit tet at:

  • Bit tet Hoe Nhai: Hoe Nhai street, Nguyen Trung Truc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
  • Ong Loi restaurant: 51 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Banh Xeo

Sizzling Pancake

Literally means “sizzling pancake”, this Vietnamese savoury fried pancake is another must-try on your journey in Hanoi. The dish is named after the sizzling sound it makes from the batter being poured into a hot skillet. Although the ingredients slightly differ from regions to regions, it generally contains pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, diced green onions, and mung beans.

Banh Xeo is the thing to eat if you don't know where to eat in Hanoi
Crispy crust on the outside, soft and savoury on the inside. Yummy!

Where to eat in Hanoi:

  • Banh Xeo Hang Bo: 22 Hang Bo, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Nem Cuon

Fresh Springrolls

If you want a slightly less oily version of spring rolls, we give you nem cuon. This fresh and healthy snack is made from a ton of vegetables and herbs, wrapped in rice papers. You can enjoy this vegan-style, or if you’re a meat-lover like us, you can always add in boiled pork belly and shrimps. People in the South usually dip it with a bit of peanut sauce, but Northerners tend to prefer it in a spicy, tangy way with nuoc mam cham (fish dipping sauce)!

Where to eat in Hanoi? Nem Cuon
This plate of nem cuon got us rollin’, because it’s THAT tasty!

Additionally, some stores try to mix it up by adding new ingredients such as nem chua (fermented pork sausages), thinh (crunchy pork ears mixed with rice powder), or even cha ca (fried fish cakes). There are many different variations, so take a look and decide which one is your favourite!

Where to eat in Hanoi:

  • Wrap N’ Roll: 33 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Pho Cuon

Rolled Pho

Tired of that soupy bowl of pho? Forget about that mildly offensive pho-ritto or pho jelly (seriously?) recipe lurking around the internet, Hanoian locals will give you an authentic alternative – pho cuon.

Where to eat in Hanoi - Pho Cuon
We won’t Rick-roll you, because this dish is pho-real!

This dish is similar to fresh spring rolls, as lots of vegetables and herbs are involved in the making of one roll. However, instead of rice paper, we use pre-cut rice noodles paper, which has a thicker layer than the original rice paper. We also replace the pork with stir-fried beef, and have nuoc mam cham as the main dipping sauce!

Where to eat in Hanoi:

  • Wrap N’ Roll: 33 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Pho cuon Huong Mai: 25 Ngu Xa, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Mien Ngan

Do you know that glass noodles, or mien, are another popular ingredient in Hanoians’ day-to-day dishes? We have a variety of recipes made from glass noodles, but perhaps the most delicious one to date is mien ngan, which uses duck meat as the main speciality. This one is a tad bit harder to find, but if you want a unique twist in your taste buds, then mien ngan is definitely worth a try!

Mien Ngan
The juicy, meaty duck mixed with herbs, glass noodles and savoury broth will surely make you swoon!

Where to eat in Hanoi:

  • Mien Ngan: 59 To Hien Thanh, Le Dai Hanh, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
  • Mien Ngan: 11 Bich Cau, Quoc Tu Giam, Dong Da, Hanoi

Banh Cuon

Steamed Rice Rolls

Popular amongst locals but less so for foreign tourists, banh cuon (steamed rice roll) is a stable breakfast dish in Hanoi. Believe it or not, the recipe of banh cuon dates back to around 200 years ago in Thanh Tri Ward, Hanoi! The original version has no fillings and is often served alongside a bowl of cha (Vietnamese ham) and dipping sauce, topped with crispy fried shallots and some herbs. As time passes, banh cuon with various fillings and styles came rolling by!

Banh Cuon
Banh Cuon – an iconic street food dish in the capital

Where to eat in Hanoi:

  • Banh Cuon Bao Khanh: 14 Bao Khanh, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Nha Chung Banh Cuon Store: 5 Nha Chung, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Banh cuon Ba Hanh: 26B Tho Xuong, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Banh Go

Fried Pillow Cake

Similar to Japanese gyoza, banh goi guarantees to make all of your taste buds exploded with flavours. Like most cakes in Vietnam, this pillow cake is not baked but deep fried to create a charming yellow pastry skin, crispy and fragrant. Furthermore, enjoy the sweet-salty cake with some fresh herbs such as lettuce, coriander to reduce its oily taste and raise our appetite. Yummy!

Banh Goi
It’s crispy, golden skin and savoury fillings are simply perfections!

Where to eat in Hanoi:

  • Banh goi Ly Quoc Su: 52 Ly Quoc Su, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

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