What to Eat in Hanoi Vietnam – A Hanoi Food Guide

What to Eat in Hanoi Vietnam – A Hanoi Food Guide

Wondering what to eat in Hanoi Vietnam? Our Hanoi food guide showcases the best food that we ate in Hanoi over five weeks in Vietnam’s chaotic capital city. Check out our favorite Hanoi restaurants, cafes, bars and street food because you won’t want to miss a thing during your visit.

Stepping into the chaotic streets of Hanoi can be scary. Wherever you are, motorbikes and cars whiz by haphazardly. There aren’t many crosswalks, and the relative few in the city are more suggestive than heeded. In fact, we jokingly refer to these walkways as suggested crossings! Yes, pedestrian conviviality has never been a Hanoi strong suit.


Bun Cha (Vietnamese Pork Meatball and Noodle Salad

Bun Cha (Vietnamese Pork Meatball and Noodle Salad

Bun Cha (Vietnamese Pork Meatball and Noodle Salad)


Bun Cha (Vietnamese Pork Meatball and Noodle Salad)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 5 tablespoons water 
  • 1 lb ground pork 
  • 1 large shallot, minced as small as possible 
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 
  • SAUCE 

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
  • 1 -2 teaspoon brown sugar 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic (or grated) 
  • 1 red Thai chile, minced 
  • 1 lb thin rice noodles 
  • 1⁄2 head lettuce, torn into small pieces (use soft leaf lettuce, red adds more color, but green is fine) 
  • 2 cups loosely packed of a mixture of asian herbs (such as cilantro, mint, shiso, Thai basil, etc.) 
Bun Cha (Vietnamese Pork Meatball and Noodle Salad)


In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 3 tablespoons water and cook over high heat until a dark brown caramel forms, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons cold water, swirling the pot.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, shallot, fish sauce, caramel sauce, and pepper, and marinate in the refrigerator for 90 minutes to six hours.
Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a large mixing bowl.
When the pork is through marinating, remove from the refrigerator and shape into small patties, about 15 to 20 in all. Heat a charcoal grill or a broiler to high. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the directions on their package. Drain, then rinse under cold water to halt the cooking process.
Meanwhile, grill or broil the pork patties until fully cooked and slightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.
Spoon the sauce into four bowls, then place the pork patties over the sauce. Place the herbs and lettuce in one large communal bowl and the noodles into another large communal bowl. To eat, dip some of the noodles into the sauce and eat with the patties and herbs.

Hanoi Breakfast - an essential part of the Vietnamese cuisine

N o matter how busy and modernized Hanoi has become, the Hanoi food and the traditional breakfast habit of the Hanoians have been well preserved. Their breakfast menu is quite diversified with dried food, including rice, bread or pastries, and many different types of noodles and noodle soup. The Hanoians make their breakfast at home or go to a small restaurant on the street - some prefer to buy the food on the street and eat it at home.


Vietnamese Lemon Grass Chicken Curry

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon grass, minced
  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the lemon grass, cooking until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Place the chicken into the skillet. Cook and stir the chicken until no longer pink in the center and the skin is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the water, fish sauce, and curry powder. - Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the curry sauce in a small bowl, until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into the skillet and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving.


Quick Bun Rieu (Crab Meat Ball Noodle Soup)

6 Servings
1 Hour

Traditional bun rieu is very time consuming. Getting bun rieu at the restaurant pretty much guarantees that you will not be getting real crab. This quick version takes the work out of it but still maintains the authentic taste with real crab meat. It's not cheap to make, but the perfect treat- yourself-dinner for a cold night.

Ingredients :

  • meat balls
  • 1 lb shrimp (shell, devein and finely chop)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp black pepper and salt
  • 3 scallion (finely chop)
  • 1 tbsp red boat fish sauce
  • 1 can fresh crab meat (prefer lump)
  • soup
  • 2 lemon grass, discard green part. Use white part and cut into 3 inch stalks and bruise
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 can chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 1 cup dried shrimp broth (made by boiling and seeping dried shrimp for 10 min) this is optional as it provides a very intense flavor
  • 4 cup water
  • 10 piece fried tofu
  • 3 Shallots chopped finely
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 bay leaf
  • bowl
  • 1 packages Rice noodles boil until tender and drain
  • 1 cup bean sprout
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 Lime cut into quarters

Instruction :
1. Combine all ingredients for the meat ball and set aside.

2. In a stock pot sautee Shallot and chopped garlic until aromatic.

3. Add tomatoes and lemon grass and sautee until tomatoes are soft. add tomato paste and then bay leaf.

4. Pour in chicken stock, fish sauce, shrimp broth, water and bring to a boil for 10 min. Skim off foam from top

5. With two spoons, form small meatballs with crab-shrimp-pork mixture and place into boiling soup
6. Add fried tofu, let boil until meatballs and tofu float to the top

7. Cook rice noodles until tender. Drain water. Place rice noodles in a bowl, arrange meatballs and tofu and garnish with basil, bean sprout, cabbage and cilantro. Squeeze 1 wedge of lime into bowl. Pour in hot soup last.


Hanoi noodles ( Bun Thang Hanoi) traditional and tasty

Bun Thang (Hanoi Vermicelli) is a familiar dish of Hanoians. Many people love this dish because the taste of the soup is very tasty with the aromatic smell of dried shrimp which makes the dish very specific and delicious. Many people think that it will be difficult to make this dish, however, with the recipe below, we will easily enjoy the Bun Thang right at home.

  • 100g silk rolls -
  • 500g bone cuttings or pig bone -
  • ½ chicken -
  • 2 duck eggs -
  • 1.5 kg of noodles -
  • 200g of black tiger shrimp -
  • 100g dried shrimp, 2-3 dried squid (or wand) -
  • Onions, leafy vegetables, dried onion and ginger, mushrooms, dried radish -
  • Shrimp sauce, spices, fish sauce, a bia bit sugar, vinegar, white sugar -t sugar, vinegar, white sugar



  • Cut pork bologna into small sticks. 
  • Wash the vegetables carefully, then let them drain and then chopped. 
  • Wash the gingers, let them drained. 
  • Clean the Green onions, after that chopped, and keep separatedly. 
  • Soak the radish in warm water for 30 minutes and then rinse with clean water. 
  • Next, cut the pork bologna into small pieces and mix with 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of white sugar, mix well and leave for 30 minutes. 
  • Clean mushroom and cut off the bad part. 
  • Remove dirt from dried shrimp, leave it separately. 
  • Remove black head, tail of the raw shrimp and then peel off and crush it. 
  • Beat the egg into the bowl, add a little wedge seeds, stir and set aside. 
  • Wash the chicken with salted water, rinse with clean water and then drain. 
  • Thoroughly wash the hog with diluted salt water, rinse with clean water and drain.

Step 1: Ginger is washed and baked until ripe and fragrant. Next, put the cuttle tails on the grill to cook, wait until cool, tear them into the small stick.

Step 2: Put the chicken in a boiling pot, add a little spice. 1 tablespoon of seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and dried onions, ginger. After that wait until it is cool, the chicken is served by tearing in to yarns.

Step 3: Put Pork bones into the pot and boil, then clean them in cold water. Then put the bones into a saucepan and stew (about 2 - 3 hours) to make the broth.

Step 4: While the bones are being stewed, turn on another stove, When the pan is hot, add the dried shrimp to the roasted and then put them on the plate. Next, add a little oil to cover the surface of the pan, until the oil is hot, then put the crushed prawn in, add a little fish sauce and then cook until the it is dry. put the prawn on the dish to be served.

Step 5: Fry the eggs, after that slice in to small sticks.

Step 6: When the broth is boiled for about 50 minutes to 1 hour,add roasted dried shrimp, mushrooms, sugar, seasoning, 1 tablespoon of salt and a little fish sauce. Cook for another 1 or 2 hours, add scallions and chopped vegetables, then turn off the stove.

Step 7: Put boiled vermicelli into the bowl, add spice and other food prepared in above steps then put the broth into the bowl. Served

In order to cook this kind of noodles, it takes a lot of time. This is a picky dish, and need to be meticulous. 


Vietnamese Chicken Congee (Chao Ga)

Vietnamese-style rice congee cooked in a flavoursome chicken broth. Get this recipe for authentic Vietnamese Chicken Congee (Chao Ga).

Cooking Time: 30mins - 60mins

Serves: 3 to 4

Total time: 60mins - 120mins

Marination/Stand time : < 1 hour

Course: Lunch

Cook Method: Boil

Cuisine: Vietnamese


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 whole onion (skin removed)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ cup jasmine rice (rinsed and soaked in water for 1 hour)
  • ½ cup glutinous rice (rinsed and soaked in water for 1 hour)
  • 1 piece 5cm ginger (smashed)
  • 1 shallot (smashed)
  • Fish sauce (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Chicken stock (to taste)
  • Spring onions (finely chopped)
  • Coriander (finely chopped)
  • Vietnamese mint (finely chopped)
  • Fried shallots


  • In a large stock pot, place the chicken in and fill with enough water to cover the chicken. Add 1 peeled whole onion and 1 tbsp salt to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. And then turn the heat down to medium and let chicken cook for a further 30-45 minutes, or until tender. Remove any froth or foam that appears on the surface.
  • Retain liquid in the stock pot and remove chicken from the pot and rinse under cold water to cool down and avoid discoloring. Shred the chicken meat and set aside.
  • Drain soaked rice and glutinous rice, adding them along with the ginger and shallot to the broth in the stock pot. Let it sit for 45 minutes untouched.

After 45 minutes, give the rice a stir and bring to boil over medium high heat for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then season to taste with salt, fish sauce and chicken stock.
Transfer and serve in individual serving bowls. Top with the shredded chicken and. garnish with chopped spring onion, coriander or Vietnamese mint, and fried shallots.

By Lam Nguyen


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