Hanoi Food Discover

Anthony Bourdain, the famous and respectful cook gave his best compliment to Vietnamese Cuisine when the first time he came to Vietnam: “Going to Vietnam the first time was life-changing for sure; maybe because it was all so new and different to my life before and the world I grew up in. The food, culture, landscape, and smell; they’re all inseparable. It just seemed like another planet; a delicious one that sort of sucked me in and never let go.” It is true that Vietnamese Cuisine is getting more influential and become popular worldwide. Nowadays, in any developed countries, we can run across an image of Vietnamese Restaurant. Vietnamese Cuisine is diverse, each region has a distinct cooking style. For new ones wishing to discover the food culture in Vietnam, Hanoi Cuisine should be the number one priority. In this article, I highlight the top 5 dishes you must eat in Hanoi.


Mentioning Vietnamese food, of course, we can not put Pho aside. This flavourful soup can be found in every corner of Vietnam. However, Hanoi Pho still brings a unique taste and is considered as the original one. The broth is sweet, all thanks to the beef bones being carefully stewed for hours. The beef is fresh, cooked to perfection and well sliced. Besides Beef Noodles, there is Chicken Pho, also. This soup is served with 4-5 big pieces of chicken, meatballs, and onions. Depending on your preference, you can order eggs, immature eggs, organs or Chinese crullers to add extra deliciousness into your serving.

A bowl of Pho

Where to eat

  1. Pho Bat Dan (40 Bat Dan street, Hoan Kiem district, price: 30,000 – 50,000vnd/bowl)
  2. Pho Thin (13 Lo Duc street, Hai Ba Trung District, price: 40,000 – 60,000vnd/person)
  3. Pho Li Quoc Su (10 Ly Quoc Su street, price: 60,000 – 85,000vnd/person)
  4. Vendor on 1 Hang Trong Street (Holding Pho, price: 25,000 – 30,000vnd/bowl)
  5. Pho Ga Ban ( 72 Ton Duc Thang Street, Dong Da street, price: 40,000/bowl)

Cha Ca La Vong

Cha Ca La Vong is a specialty of Hanoi. This dish is so popular that there is a street called Cha Ca. Back to more than 130 years ago, it was invented by local Doan Family.  The combination of ingredients are turmeric, dill, shrimp paste and fish sauce, delivers an intriguing muskiness bolstered with chilies, silky noodles and a thicket of other fresh herbs to season the chunks of moist fish. The taste of Cha Ca La Vong will make you go into ecstasy.

Tasty Cha Ca La Vong

Where to eat:

  1. Cha Ca La Vong (14 Cha Ca Street, price: 175,000/person)
  2. Cha Ca Thang Long ( 19, 21, 31 Duong Thanh Street,  price: 150,000/person)
  3. Cha Ca Anh Vu ( 120 Giang Vo Street, 130,000/person)

Banh Tom - Shrimp Cake

Banh tom was first made in Hanoi in the 1930s when street vendors along Thanh Nien (Youth) road introduced the simple but delicious cake made from the shrimp caught in West Lake. The dish has since grown in popularity and become a specialty of the West Lake area, which now boasts numerous shrimp cake restaurants.

The dish is simply made. Fresh shrimp is covered with wheat flour, and then deep- fried in oil. It is eaten with sweet, sour and spicy fish sauce, vegetable pickles for best taste. The cake is brittle, soft and sweet-smelling; therefore, it is really an appropriate dish for drinking beer.

West Lake Shrimp Cake

Where to eat: 

Banh Tom Ho Tay ( 1 Thanh Nien Street, price:  80.000 - 130.000/ person)

Bun Ca (Fish Noodles Soup)

A lunchtime staple in Hanoi, you can find bun ca (fish noodle soup) just about anywhere.

The broth for bun ca is made from simmering fish scraps (bones or heads) of mild and white-fleshed fish. It is light, delicate and not overly fishy though you can still smell and taste the flavors of the sea. Like other soup dishes, Bun Ca is also eaten with fresh vegetables and herbs. The cuisine of Vietnam is so healthy.

Fish Rice Noodles Soup

Where to eat:

  1. Bun Ca Sam Cay Si (: 5 Trung Yen Lane, Đinh Liệt, Hoan Kiem district, Price: 30,000 - 45,000/bowl)
  2. Hanh Beo Bun Ca ( 30 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh District, price:25,000 -30,000/bowl)

Bun Thang

Another delicious noodle soup in Vietnam that is not well-known abroad, just like bun ca: Bun Thang Hanoi vermicelli noodle soup with chicken, egg, and pork)

Thang means “ladder” in Vietnamese, but since that doesn’t translation make much sense with regards to broth and noodles, some historians are inclined to think that it’s a translation of the Chinese word for soup, spelled tang.

Best known in northern Vietnam, it’s a fortifying, soulful dish that truly exemplifies the principle of the five elements through sight, sound, and smell. The broth is prepared from a combination of chicken and pig bones, with shrimp added in early on or stirred in later as a paste, while toppings include a multi-colored spread of julienned egg, Vietnamese ham, chicken, and green onions.

Colorful Bun Thang

Where to eat:

  1. Bun Thang’s Duc Granma ( 48 Cau Go Street, price: 30,000-55,000/bowl)
  2. Bun Thang Thuan Li ( 33 Hang Hom Street, Hoan Kiem District, price: 20,000-35,000/bowl)
  3. Bun Thang Hang Hanh ( 29 Hang Hanh Street, price: 20,000-33,000/bowl)

Food is a feature of a city. Discovering food culture means learning more about where it was invented. Hanoi has countless dishes to indulge in. Our Hanoi Food Discover Tour will take you to the best place to eat and discover Hanoi via your stomach!

From VietlandJourney