Hanoi, Vietnam Street Food Guide
Describe the best meal you’ve ever had and with whom: Outdoor market in Hanoi with my friend Peter. – Cy Yan
Heading to Hanoi, Vietnam? Don’t miss out on sampling the local street food, an absolute must-do! Where can you find the best street food in Hanoi? The Old Quarter, of course. This historic district can be found directly north of Hoan Kiem Lake and it feels like it’s from a former time. You won’t find skyscrapers or massive shopping centers here. Instead, local artisans and merchants set up small stalls to sell their wares. Its buzzing energy is infectious, and there are people constantly zooming by on scooters or bikes—so watch out! The Old Quarter is also the best place in the city to grab some local specialties to eat. But don’t just stop at any old restaurant—travel through the stalls to find a vast array of incredible street food. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of some favorites from Hanoi’s famous food markets.
Bun Cha is made with grilled pork and noodles. Fatty pork is grilled to perfection, then it’s placed on a plate of rice noodles and served with dipping sauce. This dish originated in Hanoi and is beloved by locals.
Phở (or pho) is a traditional soup made with a broth and thin rice noodles that are known as bánh phở. It’s topped with herbs and either chicken or beef. This is one of Vietnam’s most internationally popular dishes and locals tend to eat it for breakfast or lunch.
Xôi is Vietnamese sticky rice, and it’s made in a ton of different ways: Xôi ga is white sticky rice that’s topped with chicken, Xôi do xanh is yellow and white sticky rice topped with mung beans, and Xôi xeo is yellow-colored sticky rice served with mung beans and fried onions. And those are only three of the available varieties!
Cháo Cá is a local porridge that’s made with fish and rice, which is mixed until the soup is optimally thickened. Herbs and vegetables are often added to give the dish more flavor, and it’s especially popular during breakfast or lunchtime.
Bánh cuốn aka “rolled cake” is a rice roll filled with pork, mushrooms and shallots. It’s made from a sheet of all fermented rice batter that’s then stretched over a pot of steaming water and filled with all the fixings. It’s usually a breakfast food and is often served with nước mắm, a fish-based dipping sauce.