Hanoi has a long list of sights to appeal to tourists – the Old Quarter with its bustling streets, One-Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – but to really appreciate the local culture and people; you will want to experience the street food scene.
Vietnam's capital has a food scene that completely overwhelms with its mix of tastes and smells, and it is among the most flavourful, healthiest and freshest cuisines in the world. Many of the dishes are fresh and light and draw heavily on chilli, lime juice and herbs.
Top spots for pho
The most famous Vietnamese dish is certain to be the iconic pho. This delicious noodle dish is available in two main varieties: pho ga (chicken pho) and pho bo (beef pho). Both of these dishes are widely available through the city for travellers to experience on the Vietnam tours, especially for breakfast or a midday snack. Great spots to taste a bowl of pho in the capital city is Pho Lam Nam Ngu (7 Nam Ngu) and Pho Gia Truyen (49 Bat Dan). Eating at the best spots is a little more expensive than elsewhere, such as the street stalls, but the high-quality food makes it worth it. Pho Thin (13 Lo Duc) is a further option for the travellers interesting in tasting the classic pho.
Top spots for bun cha
Bun cha is a further popular food in the capital. It is found across the country, but is likely to taste different to the southern version. A great spot for this grilled pork and noodle dish is 34 Hang Than which is a very cheap eatery that serves dishes rich in flavour. Also, a visit to 12 Dinh Liet is another option for this dish and is located relatively close to local lake. This eatery is popular for tourists relaxing on the holiday to Vietnam, and also serves plenty of other northern specialities, such as pho.
Top Spots for bun bo nam bo
Bun bo nam bo (vermicelli noodles with beef) is certain to be well experienced at 67 Hang Dieu. This restaurant is quite skinny, but is still able to provide plenty of seating for dinners interested in this delicious meal.
Top spots for bun ca
Bun ca (fish noodle soup) is a well liked dish in the capital. One of the best places to visit in Vietnam to trial this dish is Bun Ca Sam Cay Si (5 Ngo Trung Yen) which is in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
Top spots for com binh dan
Com binh dan is a great street food meal that is very filling and cheap. It is a go-to lunch for many local people. This meal is based on steamed white rice with a variety of side dishes, such as vegetables, port chops, fish and chicken. The lively street food scene has stalls across the city, but a great destination for this dish is 14 Ly Thuong Kiet. The food stalls can appear quite load and rowdy to the tourists, but simply pointing to the dish you want is enough to get what you want.
Read more: The best Vietnam food on your organised tour