Hanoi is a bustling city with delicious street food all over the place. You can’t walk more than 5 minutes without running into a vendor selling some kind of dish.
The street food scene in Hanoi is a wonderful, lively place with an assortment of flavors and textures. Whether it’s a savory bun cha or a sweet che, there are plenty of dishes to choose from. The 10 dishes below are some of the best that you should try if you’re in Hanoi for any length of time!
Pho has become popular all over the world recently, but it is still very much a Vietnamese dish. The broth of pho bo (beef noodle soup) starts with beef bones that are cooked for hours until they release their marrow and create a rich flavor base.
Then spices like star anise, cloves, coriander seeds and cardamom are added and simmered long with the marrow bones. The broth is then strained and served over rice noodles, thin cuts of beef (steak or brisket), scallions, onions and cilantro. This dish is definitely a must-try when you’re in Hanoi!
Bun cha is a dish of grilled pork patties and vermicelli noodles topped with herbs, bean sprouts and other vegetables. It’s usually served alongside a bowl of very sweet fish sauce for dipping the bun cha in before eating it.
The combination of flavors from the savory meat to the slightly spicy sauce to the sourness of the vegetables is delicious. You can find bun cha at just about every corner in Hanoi.
Banh xeo is a crispy crepe filled with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts. This dish originated in the south of Vietnam but you can find it all over Hanoi too! It’s also very common to get banh xeo as street food because it’s so easy to prepare.
People cook this on tiny grills with a pot of batter and a thin metal sheet to cook the crepe. The finished product is then rolled up into pieces that are easy to eat on-the-go.
Egg coffee is a specialty of Hanoi and it’s definitely an interesting combination. Egg yolks are whipped with condensed milk until they turn into a smooth, creamy mixture that is then poured over black Vietnamese iced or hot coffee. The egg mixes with the hot coffee to create this rich drink that has become very trendy all over the world recently.
Che is a traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage that is usually made with pandan leaves. It’s a common drink in the south of Vietnam, but it can be found all over Hanoi too!
The pandan leaf flavor mixes really well with creamy coconut milk and sweet sugar to create an incredibly refreshing beverage that is perfect for tropical weather like Hanoi has in summertime.
Bun Dau Mam Tom
Bun Dau Mam Tom is a dish of rice noodles with fried tofu, minced pork and a sweet fish sauce. The combination of textures from the soft vegetables, crunchy peanuts and crispy fried tofu to the chewy noodles makes this such an interesting meal. It’s not nearly as popular as other dishes on here but it should definitely be tried!
Pho Cuon is a dish of rice paper rolls filled with pho ingredients. This may sound weird to some people, but it’s incredibly delicious! The main part of the roll are slices of beef that have been cooked in pho broth so they have an intense flavor and tender texture.
Then there’s also fresh herbs like basil and mint, cucumbers and vermicelli noodles. The rice paper rolls are then dipped in a fish sauce mix before eaten, giving the dish even more flavor!
Cha gio is fried spring rolls with a filling of mixed vegetables, minced pork and thin vermicelli noodles. Spring rolls are popular all over the world but cha gio has to be one of the best variants out there!
It’s usually served alongside fish sauce that you can dip your roll in after taking it apart into bite-sized pieces. The mix of vegetables and vermicelli noodles with the crunchy outside gives cha gio an amazing texture that’s so delicious!
Com tam is a meal of broken rice topped with lots of different toppings like barbecued pork, pate and egg. This dish actually was popular in the Mekong Delta but you can find it all over Hanoi too!
There are tons of little com tam stalls that line the street so there’s always one close by if you’re walking around the city. The broken rice is nice and crispy, while also soft in some places to give it a textural variety that’s so good!
Banh Trang Tron
Bánh tráng trộn literally translates to “mixed rice paper” and it’s a popular dish in Hanoi. The rice paper is smashed into smaller pieces before being stir-fried with soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic oil, chillies and lots of other spices! It sounds so simple but the combination of flavors is so good. This dish isn’t nearly as famous but it should definitely be tried!
Hanoi is full of delicious street food that’s easy to find and incredibly tasty. These 10 dishes are just a few examples but they show how diverse the cuisine in Hanoi can be. The next time you’re travelling through Vietnam, make sure to try out some of these dishes for yourself!
Also, if you are planning to visit Phnom Penh after Hanoi, then we have a perfect list of 10 street foods you should try in Phnom Penh.