vietnam travel covid 19 updates

Stay updated with the latest news of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and information for traveling to Vietnam. Read more here.

Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

Exotic Foods in Hanoi

exotic-foods-in-hanoi-cover-original Trying fried insects in Vietnam

Being situated in the northern part of Vietnam, Hanoi has access to the mountainous regions as well as the sea. This gives Hanoi an advantage when it comes to exotic foods when compared to the rest of Vietnam. Discover some exotic foods in Hanoi that can surprisingly turn out to be quite delicious more often than not.

Exotic Foods in Hanoi

Banh Cuon with Giant Water Bug Essence

exotic foods in hanoi banh cuon original

Banh cuon

Banh cuon is a common breakfast favorite in Vietnam made of thinly spread rice batter flour rolled with minced meats and mushrooms dipped in a sweet fish sauce. However, in Hanoi, you can find a peculiar addition to this dish that is quite unusual.

exotic foods in hanoi giant water bug 1

Giant water bugs

exotic foods in hanoi giant water bug 2

Fish sauce infused with giant water bugs

Some banh cuon restaurants in Hanoi will offer an option to add the essence of giant water bugs in your fish sauce. Some will already have giant water bug infused fish sauce ready to go. Experienced locals will even ask for freshly boiled whole giant water bugs to cut into smaller pieces to be added to their dip!

Cha Ruoi

exotic foods in hanoi cha ruoi 1

Cha ruoi

This dish is served in the form of a pancake with a batter typically consists of minced meats, egg, orange peels, dills, and other Vietnamese herbs. The shocking ingredient, however, is the sandworm!

Usually, the sandworms are already incorporated into the batter so you would not even notice them. If you can find the street food version of this dish, you might be able to have fresh live sandworm added right onto the batter as it cooks in the pan.

exotic foods in hanoi cha ruoi 2

Cha ruoi raw ingredients

Insects Delicacies

Insects are perhaps the most native of all exotic foods in Hanoi. Most of the insects are sourced from the Northwestern mountainous region of Vietnam. When starting with insect sampling, it is best to go for the fried version when possible as this will make it easier to enjoy.

Stink Bugs

exotic foods in hanoi stink bugs

Stir-fried stink bugs

Stink bugs are surprisingly among the most favorite of all insect dishes. With a crunchy texture and a meaty abdomen, the stink bug carries a slightly bitter taste that most locals seem to enjoy. They are mostly in season from January to February.

Bamboo Worms

exotic foods in hanoi bamboo worms

Deep-fried bamboo worms

Bamboo worms are typically served deep-fried or stir-fried and are commonly eaten as appetizers. They are more widely available from March to May and especially from September to October during their peak breeding season.

Bee Larvae

exotic foods in hanoi bee larvae

Stir-fried bee larvae

Fried bee larvae are said to be crunchy and similar to french fries. Most people prefer the larvae in this form as it's easier to enjoy. Those who are extra-adventurous can also try the steamed version. They are in season from September to November.

Ant Eggs Sticky Rice

exotic foods in hanoi ant eggs sticky rice

Ant eggs sticky rice

Ant eggs sticky rice is probably an easier introduction to insect cuisine if you are hesitant about eating insects. The ant eggs have a texture similar to that of fish roe. This dish is usually available all year round.

Trung Cut Lon

exotic foods in hanoi trung cut lon

Trung cut lon in tamarind sauce

Very similar to balut, trung cut lon is the same but with quail eggs. If you have never tried balut ("trung vit lon" in Vietnamese) before, the quail egg version may prove to be an easier gateway to the full-on larger duck egg. The eggs are popularly enjoyed in a tamarind-based sauce or on its own just like balut with salt and black pepper as a seasoning dip.

Being adventurous can be fun and thrilling, but do consider your health seriously when deciding to try these exotic foods in Hanoi. Make sure you know about these Food Safety Tips in Vietnam, and sign up for a quality plan of travel insurance to protect yourself on your travel:


Conclusion of Exotic Foods in Hanoi

Whether you are an adventurous foodie or not, if you keep an open mind, most often then not you will be pleasantly surprised. Even if the specified exotic foods in Hanoi aren’t to your liking (don’t worry everyone has different taste!), think of it this way, you at least now know and can say that you have tried it.

If the unusual dishes above aren’t for you, you can always choose another route of exotic foods in Hanoi - fruits! Explore and sample the many varieties of exotic fruits that Vietnam has to offer, which are just as interesting as any dishes in Hanoi. To search for those fruits, start with local markets in Hanoi.


© Written by Long Tran for



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Friday, 22 October 2021

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to



This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Private Ho Chi Minh Tours

private ho chi minh tours

All tours are private, customizable, and led by professional English-speaking guides. For more reference, read our customer reviews or see below for the tour package in Ho Chi Minh that works for you.

Half-day City Tour

Night Tour

Food Tour

Saigon's Other Side

Shore Excursions

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Adaptors

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Responsible Travel in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Holiday Dishes to Try during Tet Holiday

Chinese Dishes in Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Northern Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Central Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Southern Vietnam

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What to Eat in Hanoi

What to Eat in Hue

What to Eat in Hoi An

What to Eat in Da Lat

What to Eat in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing your Motorbikes on Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

How to Travel from Hanoi to Da Nang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Hue

How to Travel from Hanoi to Sa Pa

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

How to Travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island

How to Travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

How to Travel from Hue to Phong Nha

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Where to Stay in Moc Chau

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

Where to Stay in Lang Son

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Mu Cang Chai

Where to Stay in Kon Tum

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:


Ho Chi Minh Travel Guides

First Time in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City Districts

Local Activities in Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi Travel Guides

First Time in Hanoi

Hanoi Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink in Hanoi

Shopping in Hanoi

Hanoi Districts

Local Activities in Hanoi

North Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Ninh Binh

First Time in Ha Giang

First Time in Ha Long Bay

First Time in Sa Pa

First Time at Yen Tu Mountain

First Time in Moc Chau

First Time in Mai Chau

First Time in Hai Phong

First Time in Cao Bang

First Time in Lang Son

First Time at Bai Tu Long Bay

Central Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Hue

First Time in Hoi An

First Time in Da Nang

First Time in Nha Trang

First Time in Da Lat

First Time in Mui Ne

First Time in Buon Ma Thuot

First Time in Kon Tum

First Time in Phu Yen

South Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in the Mekong Delta

First Time at Con Dao Island

First Time in Vung Tau

First Time at Phu Quoc Island

First Time in Ca Mau

First Time in Can Tho

Powered by 12Go Asia system