Best Dishes to Eat in Hanoi

Best Dishes to Eat in Hanoi


The best dishes to eat in Hanoi can be found both in its bustling streets and quaint restaurants.

Some of the best dishes to eat in Hanoi are an infusion of the best tastes in Asia – showcasing Vietnam’s rich history, culture and flavors.

Bún Chả – Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli

Bún chả came from North Vietnam and spread across the country – capturing the hearts of the many from locals to tourists. Besides, who can say “no” to barbecue?

This dish is one of the best dishes to eat in Hanoi as its specialty. This simple yet scrumptious dish is composed of grilled pork strips and balls or locally known as chả served on a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or bún.

It is best paired with a plate of local herbs and a bowl of dipping sauce with a dose of pickled vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, onion or green papaya served with additional meatballs.

Bún Chả – Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli in Hanoi, Vietnam

Banh cuon (Rolled Cake)

Perfect as a light breakfast or a midday nibble. This dish is a mixture of ground meat (chicken, shrimp or pork), minced wood ear mushroom, onions, Vietnamese ham (locally known as cha lua), steamed bean sprouts, and cucumbers wrapped in a steamed rice flour sheet.

Banh cuon is best dipped into nuoc cham sauce for a gastronomic explosion – like most of the dishes in Vietnam.

Most streets in Hanoi serve this dish however, the Banh Cuon Gia Truyen in Old Quarter is a good alternative as the restaurant provides menus with English translations.

Banh cuon (Rolled Cake) in Hanoi, Vietnam

Xoi Xeo (Xeo glutinous rice)

Xôi Xéo is considered a comfort food of the natives in Hanoi. This dish is cooked with mung beans and turmeric powder. Once the sticky rice turns bright yellow, it is then topped with liquid fat and a sprinkle of fried shallots – this then serves as the base of this Vietnamese dish.

From the base, you can then choose from a wide range of toppings from grilled chicken to tasty pork belly to fermented hard-boiled eggs.

If you’re in for a hearty meal (literally a hearty meal full of pork meat), try the combination of caramelized pork (thịt kho), Chinese sausage (lạp sườn), and pork floss (ruốc).

Xoi Xeo (Xeo glutinous rice) in Hanoi, Vietnam

Bun dau mam tom (Tofu & rice noodles served with shrimp paste)

A simple yet a very popular dish in the country. Bun dau mam has a funny strong smell – basically it’s like how you react to a durian fruit (just an example, they don’t taste the same of course!).

Don’t let its smell fool your craving (nope, you’ll miss half of your life if you do!). The rice noodles are set out with deep fried tofu, boiled pig gut, spices and herbs, cucumber and shrimp paste.

If you’re unsure how to best munch this dish, better ask a local buddy! Bun dau mam can be found whilst exploring the Hanoi old quarter.

Bun dau mam tom (Tofu and rice noodles served with shirmp paste)

Spare rib porridge

Imagine a bunch of spare ribs stewed for hours releasing all its flavors and once done, its broth is then used to cook the rice – you’re on for hot creamy goodness!

The rice porridge is then topped with the spare ribs for you to enjoy. This dish is best eaten in cold weather or winter.

Spare rib porridge in Hanoi, Vietnam

Snail noodle

For a unique gastronomic experience, snail noodle is considered one of the best dishes to eat in Hanoi – albeit, it is kinda unique from the list of food that you might expect served in this city.

You have the option to choose from a variety of snails in different sizes and shapes. If you’re anxious about your belly, these snails are clean and are safe for devouring. They are thoroughly cleaned and immersed in clean water to get rid of any dirt.

Snail noodle in Hanoi, Vietnam

Fish noodle soup

Super basic dish but excitingly tasty – this dish will surely make one’s taste buds dance. This dish is composed of well-seasoned grilled fish mixed with a lot of greens and noodles.

In a typical Hanoi restaurant, this dish is cooked using fish stock and noodle intensifying its taste.

Fish noodle soup in Hanoi, Vietnam

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