The food in Hanoi has always been a darling for countless international gastronomes, and among various local food, the name that stands out the most must be “Bun Cha” – a savory yet traditional specialty in Hanoi that holds the souls of every Hanoian and tourist. If you're interested, continues reading for the best places to try Bun Cha in the city.
Bun Cha is widely adored because of its striking and flavorful taste comes from simple and cheap ingredients. It is basically vermicelli eaten with pork and fresh herbs as the name suggests. One serving has a plate full of vermicelli, a bowl of wonderful broth made from fish sauce with grilled pork, and Vietnamese herbs. It is the coordination of savory meat and fresh vegetables that creates the specialty and exclusiveness to this dish.
The broth is the most vital element that decides the taste of Bun Cha. It is made from fish sauce, sugar and vinegar and you can sometimes taste the smokiness from grilled pork. The broth also contains pickled papaya and carrot.
The “Cha” part is pork already dipped in the broth. There are two types of pork in “Bun Cha” which are rounded pork and pork belly. The meat has to be grilled to the right temperature, at which it is still moist but smoky enough to give off the scent and distinctive flavor.
Hanoians always want their vermicelli to be thin, soft, but chewy. And, without herbs and fresh vegetables, “Bun Cha” is incomplete. The basket of herbs on the table has to contain lettuce, basil, cilantro, and fish mint.
If you're in Ho Chi Minh, read Where to Try Bun Cha in Ho Chi Minh.
The Hanoians have an easy way to eat Bun Cha. If you want to eat like them, simply dip the vermicelli and herbs into the broth and then put everything into your mouth and chew. This can be a true challenge for new chopstick-users.
This way of eating makes sure that every element in the dish is covered with the broth
You can find delicious Bun Cha anywhere in Hanoi, from street vendors to high-quality restaurants. There have been many blogs that show you where to try Bun Cha in Hanoi but below are the most recommended locations by the locals.
Location: 24 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 10 AM – 7 PM
Price: VND 40,000 - VND 60,000
If you have looked for information about Bun Cha in Hanoi at home, you must know that this is the place where the Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, used to have dinner. He was also lavish with his compliments for the flavor here, making its name appeared on many famous magazines such as CNN, Dailymail, Telegraph, …
With more than 25 years making Bun Cha, Huong Lien has become a familiar and trustworthy address for locals and tourists
Location: 41 Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 10.30 AM – 8 PM
Price: VND 50,000 – VND 60,000
The CNN has included this place in one of its articles featuring Bun Cha as a top address for where to try Bun Cha in Hanoi. At lunchtime, Bun Cha Cua Dong is crowded with a lot of eaters, and the aroma of grilled pork always lingers in the air, makes anyone passing by hungry.
Eating Bun Cha with seafood spring rolls will add more flavor to your meal
The smokiness from grilling pork along with the appealing scent makes this place so special
Location: 34 Hang Than, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8.30 AM – 5 PM
Price: VND 40,000
This is also an address that has been well-known for a long time. Although the space is rather small and closed, if you are the one that likes your pork to be a little bit over-grilled, this is the place for you.
The pork here is different since it is wrapped in betel leaves and the broth is already mixed with chili and garlic
Location: 74 Hang Quat, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 10 AM – 2 PM
Price: VND 40,000
If you ask any Hanoian where to eat Bun Cha in Hanoi, the answer will mostly be Bun Cha Hang Quat. This address hides in a small valley, but during lunchtime, the valley is always full of locals and tourists who come to have a taste of the wonderful dish here although after finishing the meal, they will be likely to be covered in grilled pork smell.
Due to the short working time and a high number of customers, you will have to wait for at least 10 minutes to be served
- 452, Tran Khat Chan, Hai Ba Trung District
- 212, Pho Hue, Hai Ba Trung, District
- 44, Dao Tan, Ba Dinh District
Opening hours: 8 AM - 2 PM | 5 PM - 9 PM
Price: VND 45,000 – VND 60,000
Cannot get used to the heat in Hanoi at lunchtime? Don’t worry! Bun Cha Sinh Tu is a suitable place for any of you who do not want your clothes to be covered in grilled-meat smell and be sweaty after eating Bun Cha since the restaurants do have air conditioners.
Beside Bun Cha, you can try to taste Spring-roll noodles here as well
Bun Cha is one of the dishes that symbolize Hanoi the most with its striking flavor yet familiar ingredients. The smoky taste of pork, the savory broth and the feeling of being sweaty will be a notable highlight in your Vietnam food trip.
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© Written by Giang Le for itourvn.com
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I love to come across these streetside stalls on the streets of Hanoi. The barbecue smokes and the aroma just make it impossible to say no to this amazing dish