Planning the perfect day trips in Hanoi can be a daunting task for first-timers, especially when you have limited time. Let’s start your journey by getting a glimpse of Hanoi’s extremely rich street food and coffee culture.
Enjoy Street Food in Hanoi
Your Hanoi exploration isn’t complete without tasting its trademark street food and coffee. It’s a well-known fact that Hanoi is a paradise for street food and coffee enthusiasts. The historic capital is famous for the constant presence of an array of food and drinks, from hearty to healthy, across all corners of the city.
Street food of Hanoi (Source: Internet)
Pho is hands down the most popular Vietnamese dish and is served pretty much everywhere in Hanoi, from food stalls on the pavement to top-notch restaurants. Perhaps many of you have tasted Pho before going to Vietnam. However, westernized Pho is a far cry from the authentic, sophisticated Pho in Hanoi.
1. Pho Bat Dan (49 Bat Dan Street, Hanoi City – 6am-10am and 6pm-10:30pm)
The secret recipe of Pho passed down through generations is the reason why there is always a long queue of customers patiently waiting to be served. Each bowl of Pho is made with care and fresh, top quality ingredients to create the signature flavors that have many Hanoians and international tourists enchanted. A bowl of Pho starts from 30,000-55,000VND.
2. Pho Ly Quoc Su (10 Ly Quoc Su Street/42 Hang Voi Street/N2A Hoang Minh Giam Street, Hanoi City – 6:30am-10:30pm)
A bowl of Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su (Source: Internet)
Arguably one of the top and long-established Pho restaurants in Hanoi, Pho Ly Quoc Su comes with a very diverse menu of Pho beef noodle soup, catering to everyone’s taste and preference. The rich, aromatic, and tasty broth is the key factors in why the restaurant is favored by so many. A bowl of Pho costs around 50,000-77,000VND.
3. Pho Thin (13 Lo Duc Street, Hanoi City – 7am-10pm)
Over 30-year-old, this Pho restaurant made its name for its distinctive hearty broth. Even though Pho Thin only sells beef noodle soup, it has still managed to maintain its reputation for more than 3 decades, and attract numerous gourmets every day. The prices range from 40,000-60,000VND/bowl)
4. Pho Ga Cham - Yen Ninh Chicken Noodle Soup (64-68 Yen Ninh Street, Hanoi City – 7am-10pm)
Although the price is 2-3 times higher than average (60,000-110,000VND/bowl) and the relatively new restaurant doesn’t exactly look fancy, Pho Ga Cham is always packed during peak hours.
5. Pho Cuon Hung Ben - Fresh Rice Noodle Rolls & Fried “Pillow Cakes” (9am-11pm - 25 Nguyen Khac Hieu Street, Hanoi City)
Pho Cuon Hung Ben (Source: Internet)
This kind of Pho originated in Hanoi and is quite different from the typical Pho served with a rich bone broth. Pho Cuon, or Fresh Rice Noodle Rolls (55,000VND/dish/10 rolls) are square-shaped noodle sheets wrapped with stir-fried beef, veggies, and herbs; served with a light dipping fish sauce. As for Pho Chien Phong or Fried “Pillow Cakes” (60,000VND/dish), the rice sheets are deep fried and topped with savory sauce, beef, and sliced greens.
Other Street Food
Bun Cha is a very popular dish in Hanoi, consisting of barbecued pork, rice vermicelli, and greens. The juicy and tasty grilled pork is served in a bowl of dipping sauce (fish sauce combined with vinegar, sugar, garlic, and pepper) with pickled cabbage, carrot, onion, green papaya as well as meatballs. The accompanying greens served include mint, lettuce, and perilla.
Bun Cha Hanoi (Source: Internet)
1. Bun Cha Huong Lien or better known as Bun Cha Obama now (24 Le Van Huu Street, Hanoi City - Opening hours: 8am-9pm - Price Range: 40,000-50,000VND). The name Obama was gained when Obama came and ate Bun Cha together with Anthony Bourdain back in 2016 during his presidential visit.
2. Bun Cha Dac Kim (1 Hang Manh Street, Hanoi City - Opening Hours: 8:30am-9pm - Price range: 50,000-150,000VND).
3. Bun Cha Tuyet 34 (34 Hang Than Street, Hanoi City - Opening Hours: 7am-5pm - Price range: 35,000-55,000VND).
The iconic Banh Mi or Vietnamese baguette sandwich is ubiquitous in Vietnam, and Banh Mi Lan Ong is the best in Hanoi. Banh Mi consists of a loaf of bread stuffed with one or more meats, pickled carrots and radish, fresh cucumbers, and is topped with condiments such as chili sauce and mayonnaise.
Banh mi in Hanoi (Source: Internet)
1. Banh Mi Lan Ong (8 Cha Ca Street, Hanoi City - Opening hours: 7am-10pm - Price range: 15,000-35,000VND).
2. Banh Mi Dinh Ngang (252 Hang Bong Street - Opening hours: 3pm-11pm - Price range: 30,000-66,000VND).
3. Banh Mi Nguyen Sinh (17-19 Ly Quoc Su Street - Opening hours: 6:30am-10pm - Price range: 15,000-33,000)VND
Banh Cuon - Steamed Rice Rolls
This delicate and flavorful local delicacy is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Banh Cuon is a roll of ground pork and minced mushrooms wrapped with a thin rice sheet, topped with fried shallots and cilantro herbs. The dish is served with a tasty dipping sauce.
Banh Cuon Hanoi (Source: Internet)
1. Banh Cuon Ruoc Tom (68 Hang Cot Street - Opening hours: 4pm-7:30pm - Price range: 30,000-66,000VND).
2. Banh Cuon Quang An (71 Hang Bo Street - Opening hours: 5pm-9:30pm - Price range: 30,000-55,000VND).
3. Banh Cuon Kim Thoa (49 Ham Tu Quan Street - Opening hours: 6pm-10pm - Price range: 30,0000-66,000VND). In 2016, the famous chef Anthony Bourdain also visited this restaurant.
Discover Hanoi’s Coffee Culture
Hanoi boasts incredible coffee scene. If you’re looking to experience the diverse coffee culture of Hanoi’s local people, helloVietnam will list the cafes that have been around for a long time, nestled among the historic Old Quarter and quaint streets.
Giang Café (Source: Internet)
1. Giang Café (Opening hours: 7am-10:30pm – Price range: 15,000-33,000VND)
Coffee enthusiasts have probably heard of the famous egg coffee. Giang Café was founded by Mr. Giang, who worked at Metropole hotel as a barista where he invented egg coffee as an alternative to the cappuccino. He used eggs to compensate for the shortage of milk and cream in Hanoi back in 1946. There are two locations of Giang Café, one is at 39, Nguyen Huu Huan Street and the other is at 106, Yen Phu Street. Each son runs one branch.
2. Dinh Café (Opening hours: 7am-10:30pm – Price range: 30,000-70,000VND)
Dinh café was opened by Mrs. Bich, Mr. Giang’s daughter. The coffee shop is surreptitiously nestled in a small alley, on the 2nd floor of an old house, with the balcony overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake and the bustling Dinh Tien Hoang Street. The humble and nostalgic ambiance is reminiscent of youth and memories of Old Hanoi.
3. Pho Co Café (Opening hours: 7am-10pm – Price range: 22,000-55,000VND)
Located at 11, Hang Gai Street, the hidden coffee shop is tucked behind a small shop and can easily be missed if you don’t look closely. The highlight of Pho Co Café is its alluring view and setting with delicate antiques, wooden items, bonsai trees, and multiple levels of terraces offering a terrific view of Hoan Kiem Lake.