Anywhere else, a burger can be your breakfast, lunch, or even dinner, but in Hanoi, you will be amazed at the culinary culture here. And to spend a day eating like a real Hanoian, one must take to the street eats.
Although Pho has entered the Oxford dictionary and gained international fame, this is no more than a casual street food to locals in Hanoi. A bowl of Pho that meets the standard must have noodle which is neither too chewy nor soft. Most importantly, the broth must be cooked with a sweet taste from stewed bone, not from sugar or umani seasonings. And keep this in mind, as Pho is mainly for breakfast, do go out early so you can enjoy a delicious bowl of Hanoi pho.
Pho is the signature dish when it comes to Hanoi’s culinary culture
+ Local recommendations for Pho: Pho Tu Lun (34 Au Trieu), Pho Ly Quoc Su (10 Ly Quoc Su), Pho Lam (48 Hang Vai)
+ Price range: VND 40,000 - VND 80,000
Sticky Rice is a type of popular Vietnamese street food and only Hanoi offers the most unique Sticky Rice, namely Xoi Xeo. Instead of having lots of meat on like the typical Sticky Rice, the traditional one Hanoi only consists of soft and fragrant sticky rice with soft green beans on top. The crispy fried shallots sprinkled on top can wake all your senses. With a little pork pemmican on top, the traditional sticky rice easily tops the list of Hanoians' favorite dishes.
Traditional sticky rice can be found on every street in Hanoi
+ Local recommendations: Xiu May (Hang Bai - Ly Thuong Kiet), Quan Su - Da Hang crossroad
+ Price range: VND 10,000 - VND 25,000
Speaking of Vietnam culinary culture, it is impossible not to mention Banh Mi. Banh Mi can be found almost everywhere in Vietnam, and in each locality, Banh Mi has a different characteristic. A Hanoi-style Banh Mi just needs a little pâté with Vietnamese sausages or fried egg, a few slices of cucumber and sauce added on to it to make a perfect bite.
A true Hanoi-style Banh Mi with Vietnamese cold cuts
+ Local recommendations: Gio Cha Dung Hanh (20 Le Dai Hanh), Banh Mi Pho Hue (118A Pho Hue), Banh Mi Huong Lan (513 Kim Ma)
+ Price range: VND 15,000 - VND 30,000
Seemingly an extreme food in Vietnam for tourists but it is a legendary kind of street food in Hanoi. Each snail is boiled perfectly to conserve the fat, raw, and crunchy taste when chewing. The most important part of Oc Luoc is the sauce, which must be sour and spicy, slightly sweet at the same time to meet the standard. Oc Luoc can be enjoyed in almost every season of the year, but ideally in the winter.
When it comes to street food, Oc Luoc is something you should try for once
+ Local recommendations: Oc Hanh (38 Ngo Si Lien), Oc Chi Le (88 Cua Bac), Oc Ba Gia (172 Trich Sai)
+ Price range: VND 50,000 - VND 100,000
After a hard day of work, Hanoians often go for a snack before going home and Banh Gio is always an attractive option. Wrapped on the outside with a layer of white, greasy rice, and minced meat, Vietnamese sausages, chili paste... on the inside.
Banh Gio is appealing from its look to the wonderful taste
+ Local recommendations for Banh Gio: 33 Dong Cac, Banh Gio Co Beo (3 Thuy Khue)
+ Price: VND 15,000 – VND 25,000
When the lights are on, you absolutely shouldn’t miss the special dish that is extremely pleasing to both Hanoi and tourists – grilled meat. A serving usually includes beef and pork in a boiling-butter pan, which is extremely delightful to enjoy in a winter evening.
Read more on Vietnamese Grilled Dishes
Enjoy the night just like a Hanoian with grilled meat
+ Local recommendations: Bo Nuong Xuan Xuan (47 Ma May), Nam bo nuong me (90 Tran Hung Dao), ...
+ Price range: VND 120,000 - 200,000 (1 serving)
Hanoi street food is not only great in variety but also wonderful in taste. Although some of them are not really impressive in the first try, from time to time, you will get addicted to them, just like all Hanoians.
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© Written by Emily Le for itourvn.com