Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is famous for its centuries-old architecture and rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese, and French impacts. Its street food, in addition, is considered one of the essential features when it comes to this thousand-year-old capital. Below is a list of top-rated street food dishes in Hanoi.
- Pho – Vietnamese Noodle Soup
- Banh Mi – Stuffed Baguette
- Bun Cha – Grilled Pork and Noodles
- Cha Ca – Grilled Minced Fish Pie
- Banh Cuon – Steamed Rice Rolls
- Hanoi BBQ or Hanoi Barbecue
- Bun Dau Mam Tom – Rice Noodles with Fried Tofu and Shrimp Paste
- Banh Goi – Vietnamese Crispy Dumplings
- Bun Thang – Hanoi Rice Vermicelli with Ham, Chicken and Shrimp
- Oc Luoc – Boiled Snails
1. Pho – Vietnamese Noodle Soup
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, often made with beef or chicken and topped with fresh herbs like scallion, lime wedges, and chilies. It is arguably a popular street food in Hanoi and one of the most well-known Vietnamese dishes, which people enjoy throughout the year, and any time of day, especially for breakfast and lunch.
2. Banh Mi – Stuffed Baguette
Originally a dish of French origin, the quintessence of Banh Mi has made it identified and indelibly marked on the world culinary map. The Banh Mi is an airy and crunchy French baguette stuffed with a combination of Vietnam’s popular ingredients, such as liver pate, cold cuts, marinated vegetables, cucumber slices, cilantro, and so on. With this fascinating mix of Western and Vietnamese cuisine, Banh Mi is quite similar to the sandwich but more sophisticated and mysterious, thus still renowned in its own way.
3. Bun Cha – Grilled Pork and Noodles
Bun Cha can be found at every corner in Hanoi, from restaurants to street food stalls. This dish consists of grilled pork, rice noodles, a heap of marinated vegetables and pot herbs. The dipping sauce is the unmissable part of this dish, including fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, hot chili, and black pepper, which determines the dish’s quality. People in Hanoi often eat this dish for either lunch or dinner, sharing and eating with family.
4. Cha Ca – Grilled Minced Fish Pie
Besides the three above dishes, Cha Ca, grilled chopped fish pie, is indeed a remarkable cuisine in Hanoi. Hanoi now has several areas that produce Cha Ca, but none can be equal to the Cha Ca La Vong in terms of quality and flavor.
5. Banh Cuon – Steamed Rice Rolls
Banh Cuon is delicious as a light breakfast or afternoon snack for people in Hanoi. It includes thin, wide sheets of steamed rice batter filled with a cooked, seasoned combination of ground pork, chopped ear mushrooms, and minced shallots. The side dishes usually consist of Vietnamese pork sausage, sliced cucumber, and bean sprouts, with sweet and sour dipping sauce from fish sauce, lime wedges, sugar, garlic, and maybe chilies.
6. Hanoi BBQ
Hanoi BBQ or Hanoi Barbecue is not traditional in Hanoi, just appearing in recent years. However, it is quickly becoming popular among the capital’s citizens, especially young people. Along the old streets, visitors see BBQ stalls or BBQ restaurants everywhere. There are different types, but the most popular is the roadside BBQ stall. There is a mini stove on the table, and customers choose and roast what kinds of meats, seafood, or vegetables they want.
7. Bun Dau Mam Tom – Rice Noodles with Fried Tofu and Shrimp Paste
A plate of Bun Dau Mam Tom consisting of soft rice noodles, fried tofu, and fermented shrimp sauce has also earned its place in the capital’s culinary history. With its simple ingredients and reasonable price, it was a favored dish that helped residents of the capital overcome a rough time of the subsidy period. Nowadays, more items, such as green rice pork pie, pork rind, sliced pork, and so on, are added to the dish to meet more demands from locals and foreigners.
8. Banh Goi – Vietnamese Crispy Dumplings
Another well-known street food in Hanoi’s dish is Banh Goi. Banh Goi is a crispy cake or dumpling eaten in autumn and winter when it is getting colder. The main structure of Banh Goi has commonly seasoned ground meat, mushrooms, vermicelli, and grated vegetables such as carrots, kohlrabi, or jicama, sometimes also added boiled eggs. This mixture is wrapped into a thinly rolled dough sheet and then deep-fried. The dish is served hot with leafy greens, marinated salad, and sweet and sour dipping sauce.
9. Bun Thang – Hanoi Rice Vermicelli with Ham, Chicken and Shrimp
Bun Thang is a traditional dish that will give you a taste of Hanoi cuisine with bold flavors and is famous for its sophisticated and elegant cooking style. It is a light and delectable soup with an eye-catching appearance and charming colors from over 20 kinds of ingredients: green from the herbs, white from the rice vermicelli, yellow from the egg, light pink from ham, red from shrimps, and so on, blending well with the clear sweet broth boasting the combination of aromas of dried shrimps, chicken and shiitake mushrooms.
10. Oc Luoc – Boiled Snails
Oc Luoc is well-known not only in Hanoi but also in every province in the whole country. It is a dish of hot-boiled snails dipped in sweet and sour sauce with chopped ginger and sliced lemongrass. It may be a bit strange and exotic to eat snails, but it is so tasty that everyone likes to eat and share them with friends and family.
If your travel bucket list includes trying worldly cuisine, there should be room for those all Vietnamese street food dishes above, which are truly delicious and shareable.