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Hanoi street food tour: 12 of the best dishes to eat like a local

05/01/2024 19.954

A Hanoi street food tour offers a delightful exploration of Vietnam's capital city, renowned for its vibrant culture, historical significance, and, above all, its delectable street cuisine. With a plethora of street food vendors scattered throughout the city, Hanoi has rightfully earned its status as a haven for food enthusiasts.

Hanoi street food tour

Hanoi street food tours, an integral part of its sidewalk culture, contribute to the city's charm. No Hanoi travel itinerary is complete without indulging in its tempting street food offerings. With an array of diverse dishes with distinct flavors and wholesome ingredients, Hanoi's cuisine is sure to astonish every visitor.

1. TOP 12 must-eats in your Hanoi street food tour 

A Hanoi street food tour is an excellent way to experience Vietnam's vibrant culinary culture. Renowned for its unique blend of fresh herbs, spices, and harmonious flavors, Hanoi street food will bring you an unforgettable culinary experience. Let's take a look at our list of the 12 must-eats in Hanoi:

1.1. Best street foods in Hanoi for breakfast/ lunch/ dinner

1.1.1. Banh mi

Banh mi, a delicious French-inspired sandwich, is undoubtedly one of the best street foods in Hanoi. For the best banh mi experience, head over to Banh Mi 25 in Hanoi Old Quarter. This well-known establishment offers freshly-made banh mi with a variety of fillings such as pork, chicken, and tofu, all packed with flavor. Another excellent choice is Banh Mi Pho Co, located near Hoan Kiem Lake, which serves banh mi with crispy pig’s belly, a must-try for meat lovers.

  • Banh Mi 25: 25 Hang Ca, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Banh Mi Pho Co: 38 Dinh Liet, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

1.1.2. Pho - An essential dish for the best Hanoi street food tour

Pho is a ubiquitous Hanoi street food, widely recognized as Vietnam's national dish. This beef noodle soup is made with clear broth, rice noodles, and thinly sliced beef, and served with fresh herbs, raw vegetables, and lime wedges. For those looking for the best pho experience in Hanoi, there are plenty of options to choose from. Pho Ly Quoc Su, Pho Thin, and Pho Bat Dan in the Old Quarter are all renowned for their classic beef pho. 

  • Pho Bat Dan: 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Pho Ly Quoc Su: 18 Le Truc, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
  • Pho Thin Bo Ho: 61 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Hanoi street food tour

1.1.3. Vermicelli with grilled pork (Bun cha)

Bun cha, a dish of grilled pork served with vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and dipping sauce, is a quintessential Hanoi street food that is loved by locals and visitors alike. For an unforgettable bun cha experience, head to Bun Cha Huong Lien, which was famously visited by Former US President Barack Obama during his trip to Hanoi. Another great option is Bun Cha Ta in the Old Quarter, which serves a tasty and affordable version of this classic dish.

  • Bun Cha Huong Lien: 24 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
  • Bun Cha Ta: 21 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

1.1.4. Vietnamese sticky rice (Xoi) - A perfect dish to kickstart your Hanoi food tour

Xoi, a delightful sticky rice dish with a variety of flavorful toppings like fried shallots, shredded chicken, or pork floss, is a beloved street food in Hanoi. Hanoians particularly enjoy xoi as a favorite breakfast option, starting their day with its comforting flavors. For an exceptional Xoi experience, make your way to these recommended spots to indulge in the best xoi in town:

  • Xoi Yen: 35B Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Xoi Ga Hang Hom: 42 Hang Hom, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Xoi Ba Son: 44 Cau Go, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Hanoi street food tour

1.1.5. Vermicelli with fried tofu and fermented shrimp paste (Bun dau mam tom)

Bun dau mam tom, a renowned Hanoi street food, showcases a delightful combination of rice vermicelli noodles, tofu, and pork belly, accompanied by fermented shrimp paste. The unique blend of flavors and textures has made it a beloved choice among locals and tourists alike. For a memorable bun dau mam tom experience, be sure to visit these recommended destinations:

  • Bun Dau Hang Khay: 31 Hang Khay, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Bun Dau Co Hang: 174 Xa Dan 2, Dong Da District, Hanoi
  • Bun Dau Ngo Gach: 4 Ngo Gach, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 

In addition to bun dau mam tom, other noodle dishes worth trying in Hanoi include bun oc (snail noodle soup), bun thang (chicken noodle soup), bun rieu (crab noodle soup), and bun moc (meatball noodle soup).

>>> Check out some Hanoi coffee shops and enjoy the delightful flavors of Vietnamese coffee!

1.2. Ideal Hanoi street foods for a light meal 

1.2.1. Sweet soup (Che)

Che, or sweet soup, is the best dessert to beat the summer heat in Hanoi. The che in Hanoi features layers of red beans and mung beans, glutinous rice balls, herbal jelly cubes, and a drizzle of syrup topped with coconut shreds. For an unforgettable Che experience, make your way to these places:

  • Xoi Che Ba Thin: 1 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Che Go: 9 Tran Phu, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
  • Che 4 Mua: 4 Hang Can, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 
Hanoi street food tour

1.2.2. Vietnamese fried donut (Banh ran) - One of the best Hanoi street foods

Banh ran, a delectable Vietnamese fried donut, is an absolute must-try on your Hanoi street food tour. This delightful treat can be found at every market or street corner in the city, beckoning food lovers with its enticing golden crust, crispy texture, and flavorful fillings. With its irresistible taste, banh ran is perfect for enjoying as a late afternoon snack, satisfying your cravings with its delicious flavors. 

Some good places to get this snack are: 

  • Banh ran Gia Trinh: 16A Ly Nam De, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Banh ran Hang Chieu: 52 Hang Chieu, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Banh ran Vong Thi: 242 Lac Long Quan, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

1.2.3. Rice paper salad & Vietnamese pizza (Banh trang tron & Banh trang nuong)

Rice paper salad and Vietnamese pizza are popular night-time snacks in Hanoi, readily available on almost every corner. Rice paper salad consists of rice paper, quail eggs, shredded mango, fresh herbs and flavorful dried shredded beef. Meanwhile, Vietnamese pizza features crispy rice paper topped with beaten egg, dried shredded beef, minced pork, sausage, and more.

To try these special dishes, visit:

  • Banh Trang Tron Chi Ba Beo: 24B Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Banh Trang Tron Hang Trong: 86 Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Banh Trang Tron Nguyen Sieu: 3 Nguyen Sieu, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Hanoi street food tour

1.2.4. Green papaya with beef jerky salad (Nom bo kho)

Nom, a true testament to the wholesome and well-balanced cuisine of Vietnam, is a must-try dish to visitors. This vibrant salad features green papaya and carrots, combined with flavorful beef jerky, crunchy peanuts, aromatic herbs, and a harmonious blend of mixed fish sauce. When in Hanoi, immerse yourself in the tantalizing flavors of Nom at these renowned establishments:

  • Nom Bo Kho Ong Gia: 1 Nguyen Trung Truc, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
  • Nom Bo Kho Co Van: 16B Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

1.2.5. Hot bagel twist (Quay)

Hot bagel twist (banh quay nong) is a must-try Hanoi street food that should not be overlooked by tourists. Made from flour, these crispy and hot bagel twists are commonly served as a side dish alongside the famous pho and other noodle dishes. When dipped in the broth of pho, the bagel twists take on a subtly sweet taste. This hot and crispy delicacy is especially popular in winter.

Let’s visit some of the best hot bagel twist shops in Hanoi:

  • Quay Dui Ga: 164 Thai Thinh, Dong Da District, Hanoi
  • Quay Nong: 48 Hang Dieu, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Quay Nguyen Luong Bang: 149 Nguyen Luong Bang, Dong Da District, Hanoi
Hanoi street food tour

1.2.6. Hot plain rice flan (Banh duc) - Among the best foods for your Hanoi street food tour in winter

Banh duc, also known as plain rice flan, is renowned for its simplicity. It is considered a staple dish in the Northern region of Vietnam. Made primarily from non-glutinous rice flour or corn flour and peanuts, banh duc has a jelly-like texture and a mild flavor. A hot bowl of plain rice flan is topped with ground pork, finely-chopped wood ears, fried onions, roasted sesame seeds, and fragrant herbs. 

Some of the best places to eat the delicious banh duc in Hanoi are:

  • Banh Duc Nong Co Noi: Alley 8, Le Ngoc Han Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
  • Banh Duc Nong Trung Tu: C4, Trung Tu Ward, Dong Da District, Hanoi
  • Oanh Hoe Nhai: 14C Hang Than, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

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1.2.7. Fried fermented pork roll (Nem chua ran)

Nem chua ran, a delightful deep-fried fermented pork roll, is just one of the many delectable fried delicacies you can find in Hanoi. Made from a mixture of flour, cured pork, and pork rinds, Nem chua ran undergoes a natural fermentation process for a short period to achieve the perfect balance of flavors without becoming overly sour. 

When it comes to the best Nem chua ran in Hanoi, be sure to visit:

  • Nem Chua Ran Tam Thuong: 36 Tam Thuong, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Nem Chua Ran Chi Hanh: 465 Doi Can, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
  • Nem Chua Ran Thuy Khue: 29/21/30 Thuy Khue, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
Hanoi street food tour

2. Best destinations for a Hanoi street food walking tour

2.1. Hanoi Old Quarter

To uncover the city's culinary treasures, a Hanoi street food tour around Hanoi Old Quarter is a must. The Old Quarter is a captivating area, with streets named after the goods traditionally produced there. Here, you will have an opportunity to sample Hanoi's specialties at various street food stalls and local restaurants. 

A highlight of the Hanoi street food tour around the Old Quarter is a visit to Dong Xuan Market, the largest Hanoi street food market in the city. From savory snacks like shrimp pancakes and green papaya salad to aromatic noodle soups like pho xiu and bun cha, there is something to satisfy every palate.

While you are in the Old Quarter, don't forget to explore Ta Hien Street, the liveliest dining and socializing hub in Hanoi. Ta Hien, also known as the beer street, is famous for its "bia hoi" (fresh beer) that both locals and visitors can enjoy. The street combines Eastern architecture with a touch of modernity and Western influence.

Hanoi street food tour

2.2. West Lake

Ho Tay, also known as West Lake, is a culinary paradise with diverse street food offerings. Here, treat yourself to the flavors of Hanoi while enjoying the tranquil ambiance of this enchanting lake.

Start your Hanoi street food tour at West Lake by sampling the famous shrimp cakes at local eateries around the lake. What sets this dish apart is the tangy and spicy dipping sauce, accompanied by a touch of pickled papaya and carrots to balance the richness of this fried dish.

In addition, there is another must-try dish here called banh gio (pyramid-shaped dumpling), made from glutinous rice flour, meat, mushrooms, and aromatic spices. For an authentic experience, find a spot with two plastic stools - one that serves as a table and the other as a chair - and savor banh gio just like the locals do.

Hanoi street food tour

To fully immerse yourself in the vibrant capital city of Vietnam, make sure to include attractions like Hoan Kiem Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in your itinerary. And for an unforgettable entertainment experience, don't miss out on VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium

VinKE offers a perfect getaway for families, where you can enjoy quality time together and explore various job simulation games that provide valuable guidance. Meanwhile, Vinpearl Aquarium offers visitors a mesmerizing journey into the underwater world. With its diverse marine life, this is a must-visit destination for families to explore the wonders of the ocean.

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Hanoi street food tour

Apart from Hanoi, Vietnam is home to many other captivating destinations, including Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and more, each showcasing its unique beauty waiting to be discovered. When planning your trip to any of these destinations, it is advisable to make accommodation arrangements in advance to ensure a memorable experience.

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Hanoi street food tour

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Experiencing a Hanoi street food tour is a must for any food enthusiast. By venturing off the beaten path and immersing yourself in the bustling streets and lively markets, you will uncover a captivating world of unique flavors that will leave a lasting impression. If you are planning a trip to Hanoi, make sure to arrive with a hearty appetite and a willingness to indulge in the city's finest street delicacies.

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