Hanoi is a city of great diversity when it comes to food. In the same street where fine dining is offered, there are affordable treats from local vendors tucked in a corner. If you are enthusiastic about exploring the vibrant culinary of Vietnam's capital city, then join us as we unveil the best Hanoi cheap eats!
The basis of finding Hanoi cheap eats is to locate streetside vendors or everyday family-run eateries. Unlike glamorous restaurants who charge you for over-heads, these sellers give you bang for your bucks.
The eateries are often establishments set up and run by a family, and they serve certain dishes only. You'll find plastic tables and chairs laid out on the street or inside (the sellers') home, where food is prepared then served right on the spot.
Makeshift food cart in Hanoi
Smaller vendors who can't afford much space for business will usually start with mobile food stalls. They stroll around and tend to stop where it sells well. Many of these are for takeaways only, but some can provide plastic stools for customers on the pavement.
Don't know where to start your budget adventure yet? We've got you covered. Here are our top picks to get tasty, affordable treats in Hanoi:
Coming first on our Hanoi cheap eats list is "bun oc" (snail noodles), one of the legendary Hanoi breakfast items. The ingredients are simple: blanched vermicelli noodles, snail and pork broth, tomatoes, herbs, and seasonings, but when combined, they're exceptional. At only VND 40,000 per bowl, it's a deal that you should not miss.
The legendary Bun Oc (Snail Noodles)
Address: 36 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 7:30 AM - 3 PM; 5 PM - 11 PM
Price: VND 40,000 (USD 2)/bowl
Next on our list of Hanoi cheap eats is another Vietnamese staple: banh mi. You can find banh mi stalls anywhere in the city. But Banh mi 25 is a new business that serves mouth-watering bread for just over a dollar. We highly recommend the char siu and paté combination here.
The number 25 stands for the house address: 25 Hang Ca street
Address: 25 Hang Ca Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 7 AM - 8:15 PM
Price: VND 20,000 - 25,000 (USD 1)
This dish is Hanoi's all-time favorite, but it's not for the faint of heart. The fermented shrimp paste (mam tom) packs quite a pungent smell. However, once you get used to it, you'll be addicted. Bun Dau Mam Tom is served with vermicelli noodles, fried tofu, and different types of pork sausages dipped in fermented shrimp paste.
Bun Dau Mam Tom - Fermented Shrimp Paste Tofu & Noodles
Address: 11 Dong Thai Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 7:30 AM - 11 PM
Price: VND 30,000 - 40,000 (USD 1.5)
Not many foreign travelers know these delicious Vietnamese fried cakes. They are all deep-fried; the shrimp cake goes with a shrimp, and the pillow cake has a filling of minced pork and wood-ear mushrooms. Just dip them in sweet and sour fish sauce and enjoy!
Address: 57A Hang Bo Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Price: VND 13,000 (USD .5)/shrimp cake; VND 8,000 (USD .4)/pillow cake
This establishment has been dishing out the tasty, crispy fermented pork cake for years. Find yourself grabbing a seat with locals, enjoy the good deep-fried eats then clean your palette with a cup of lime ice tea.
Fried pork cakes are perfect for sharing with friends
Address: 10 Au Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 3:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Price: VND 50,000 (US$ 2.14)/serving
The egg coffee is an original Hanoi creation, and it was created here at Giang Coffee in 1946. Now, there are thousands of joints selling this wonderful treat.
The famous Egg Coffee at Giang Coffee shop
Address: 106 Yen Phu, Nguyen Trung Truc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Opening hours: 7 AM - 10:30 PM
Price: VND 40,000 (USD 2)/cup
Another staple of Hanoi breakfast item - Xoi Xeo. This appealing yellow treat is made of sticky rice, green beans dough, fried shallots, and finished with a splash of chicken fat. Locals usually have it for breakfasts, but some love it so much that it is sold throughout the day.
Xoi Xeo, a common breakfast item for Hanoians
Address: 573 De La Thanh, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6 AM - 11:30 PM
Price: VND 15,000 - 50,000 (US$ 0.6 - 2.14)
Banh Gio started as a filling dish for common workers, then became one of the most adored foods of the city. It's a rice dumpling stuffed with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms, boiled and served in a banana leaf.
A perfect item to enjoy during winter in Hanoi
Address: 3 Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6 AM - 9 PM
Price: around VND 25,000 (USD 1)
This food is ubiquitous in Vietnam, made by rolling freshly steamed rice cakes with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms. Banh Cuon is paired with sweet and salty fish sauce. At this restaurant, you can also order a drop of water bugs extract for more adventurous eating.
Hanoi Banh Cuon
Address: 12 Hang Ga Street, Hang Bo, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 7 AM - 1 PM, 5 PM - 10 PM
Price: VND 50,000 (USD 2.5)
Tired of the original pho with beef broth? Come here and try their signature dry chicken for a change. The dish is made with shredded chicken, pho noodles, herbs, and a secret in-house sauce.
Dried Chicken Pho, a different way to eat Pho
Address: 65 Lan Ong Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6 PM - 11 PM
Price: VND 35,0000 - 55,000 (USD 1.5 - 2.5)
Hanoi is the perfect destination for budget eating. It offers affordable meals with quality that will satisfy not only your taste buds but also your wallet. Stay tuned for more of our in-depth local guide into everything Hanoi and Vietnam!
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© Written by Dung Tran for itourvn.com