Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, home to many different culinary cultures. With typical dishes inherited from generation to generation, Hanoi has quickly become an attractive destination for those who love food. In particular, enjoying Hanoi’s specialties also carries a part of the spiritual content of Vietnam’s culinary culture. You will feel the connection between people and country through these typical dishes. If you are a food lover and want to discover new and unique experiences, then Hanoi is a destination not to be missed.
In this article, Golden Lotus Travel will introduce to you the 10 most famous Hanoi specialties that tourists must try when visiting this capital.
Pho is a typical Vietnamese dish and considered one of the most delicious and popular dishes in Hanoi. Hanoi’s phở has a unique flavor, different from phở in other regions in the country.
Pho Hanoi is made from a broth cooked from pork or chicken bones, combined with spices such as star anise, cinnamon, black pepper, purple onion, and garlic. Beef or chicken meat is sliced thinly, then cooked in boiling water to retain its flavor and tenderness. When eating, add some green onion and herbs, pour the broth into the bowl of phở, and you will taste the fantastic flavor of Hanoi’s Pho.
Some famous Pho restaurants in Hanoi:
Pho Bat Dan: 49 Bat Dan
Pho Thin: 13 Lo Duc
Pho Ly Quoc Su: 10 Ly Quoc Su
Pho Hoe Nhai: 5 Hoe Nhai
- Bun Cha
“Bun Cha” is a typical dish of Hanoi, considered one of the best dishes of the country. It consists of rice vermicelli noodles, grilled pork patties, and grilled pork, often served with fresh herbs and a sweet and sour dipping sauce.
The pork patties are made from ground pork mixed with spices such as onions, garlic, pepper, fish sauce, and cornstarch, then cut into small pieces and grilled over charcoal. The grilled pork is made from pork that is marinated in a mixture of honey, fish sauce, garlic, and chili.
“Bun Cha” is usually served in separate bowls for each type of food, creating a colorful and flavorful dish that is characteristic of Hanoi.
In 2016, when Barack Obama was still the President of the United States, he visited Vietnam and enjoyed “bún chả” at a small restaurant in Hanoi with Vice Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at Huong Lien Restaurant on Le Van Huu Street, Hai Ba Trung District. After Obama ate “Bun Cha” here, the restaurant became famous and attracted many tourists to enjoy this dish.
Some famous “Bun Cha” restaurants in Hanoi are:
Bun Cha Hang Than: 34 Hang Than, Ba Dinh District
Bun Cha Hang Manh: 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem District
Bun Cha Hang Quat: 74 Hang Quat, Hoan Kiem District
- Banh Cuon
Banh Cuon is a traditional Vietnamese dish, particularly popular in Hanoi. Hanoi-style Banh Cuon is made from rice flour, with a filling of minced pork, mushrooms, shallots, and spices, rolled thinly and served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce and fresh herbs.
Banh Cuon is not only a delicious dish, but also embodies the cultural, historical, and culinary essence of the country. If you have the opportunity to visit Hanoi, do not forget to try this specialty dish.
The filling of the Banh Cuon can include minced pork, eggs, and fried shallots. The dipping sauce is perfectly balanced, and when paired with Vietnamese sausage, it’s absolutely delicious.
Here are some recommended places to try delicious Banh Cuon in Hanoi:
Ba Hanh Banh Cuon: 66 To Hien Thanh Street
Banh Cuon 17: 17 Cha Ca Street
Vegetarian banh cuon: 19 Nguyen Che Nghia Street
- Bun Thang
“Bun Thang” is a sophisticated and delicate dish that showcases the elegant style of Hanoi cuisine. It is a perfect combination of colors, aromas, and flavors. Often described as a “five-color flower,” “Bun Thang” immediately captures diners’ attention with its appearance. The ingredients of “Bun Thang” are usually prepared with great care and require skilled and experienced chefs to create a perfect dish. The dish is typically white in color with a rich, aromatic, and delicious flavor. It is served with various herbs, such as fried shallots, cilantro, Vietnamese mint, and green pepper, to enhance its flavor and aroma. “Bun Thang” can be enjoyed at any time of the day, but it is particularly popular for breakfast and lunch.
Here are some popular places to try “Bun Thang” in Hanoi:
Bun Thang Bà Đức: 48 Cau Go, Dong Da, Hanoi
Bun Thang Hang Hanh: 29 Hang Hanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Bun Thang: 144 D2 Giang Vo
- Cha ca La Vong
“Cha ca La Vong” is considered a signature dish of Hanoi with a delicious and rich flavor. The dish is often served with “Banh Da” (rice noodles), raw vegetables, and sweet and sour fish sauce, creating a perfect combination of taste and appearance. Traditionally, “Cha ca La Vong” is made from fresh sardines , which has sweet meat and few bones. After deboning and seasoning the fish with traditional recipes, it is grilled on a charcoal stove until golden brown on both sides. The dish is typically served with “bánh đa,” raw vegetables, and sweet and sour fish sauce, creating a perfect combination of taste and appearance.
Here are some famous places to try “Cha ca La Vong” in Hanoi:
Cha Thang Long: 6B Duong Thanh, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Chả cá Vọng Ngư: 29 Nguyen Chi Thanh, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Cha ca La Vong 18 Lo Su: 1st floor, Hanoi E Central Hotel, 18 Lo Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
See more: If you are a foodie, click here to learn more about food in Phu Quoc:
EXPLORING THE CULINARY PARADISE OF PHU QUOC
- Bun Dau Mam Tom (Fermented Shrimp Paste with Rice Vermicelli and Fried Tofu)
“Bun Dau Mam Tom” is considered a very popular and beloved dish in Hanoi. You can find it in many eateries and restaurants throughout the city. Its delicious taste is created by a unique combination of soft and smooth rice vermicelli, crispy peanuts, tasty shrimp patties, and a bowl of fermented shrimp paste with a distinctive flavor. It is a harmonious blend of Vietnamese culinary essences that brings you an unforgettable taste experience from the first bite.
You can try “Bun Dau Mam Tom” at these locations in Hanoi:
Trung Huong Bun Dau: 49 Phat Loc Alley, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Goc Da Bun Dau: No. 4 Gach Lane, Hang Buom Street, Hanoi.
Haianh Bun Dau Met: No. 40 Bui Ngoc Duong Street, Hai Ba Trung
- Shrimp Cake (Banh Tom)
Shrimp Cake is a famous specialty dish of Hanoi. This cake is made from fresh shrimp, wheat flour, purple onions, shiitake mushrooms, and other spices, which are fried until crispy and fragrant.
When enjoying the Shrimp Cake, you will feel the crispy and delicious taste of the cake combined with the rich and flavorful taste of shrimp and mixed spices. It is a satisfying and highly attractive dish.
Some places to try Shrimp Cake in Vietnam:
Ho Tay Shrimp Cake: No. 01 Thanh Nien, Yen Phu, Tay Ho, Hanoi
Nong Thi Nep Shrimp Cake: No. 19 Hang Be Street, Hanoi
Ba Nga Shrimp Cake: No. 10 Hong Phuc, Nguyen Trung Truc, Hanoi
Com is a specialty dish of Hanoi, made from young sticky rice that is cooked but not yet fully dried. The rice grains are roasted and ground into small pieces, then rolled in dong or lotus leaves and steamed until cooked through.
Com has a characteristic aroma of young sticky rice and a mild sweetness. It is a simple yet delicious and nutritious dish, often served with sweet accompaniments such as sugar, coconut, or alongside other dishes like roast chicken, banh da, fried spring rolls, and raw vegetables.
Com is only available in the autumn when the young sticky rice is in season, so if you want to taste this dish, you should visit Hanoi around September or October in Vietnam.
Some recommended places to enjoy Com in Hanoi include:
Bat Dan Restaurant – 34 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem
Dong Xuan Market – 15 Hang Dau, Hoan Kiem
Mai Dich Market – 36 Dang Thuy Tram, Cau Giay
Com Vong Village – 42 Cau Den, Duc Thang Ward, Bac Tu Liem.
- Trang Tien Ice Cream
Trang Tien Ice Cream is one of the most famous ice cream brands in Hanoi, with a delicious and unique flavor. The ice cream is made from fresh milk, sugar, eggs, and various fresh fruits such as coconut, durian, mango, green beans, peanuts, and lotus seeds. It is usually served in cups or bowls, decorated with ice and topped with a little fruit jam.
Trang Tien Ice Cream has been in existence for over 60 years and has become one of the most famous ice cream brands in Hanoi. The special feature of this ice cream is its delicious flavor, smooth texture, and good quality.
The main place to eat Trang Tien Ice Cream is at 35 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Che is a popular dessert and specialty dish of Hanoi. There are many types of chè with different flavors, from floating cake Che, Che Banh Lot, lotus seed Che, green bean Che, black bean Che, grapefruit Che, peach Che, jelly Che, to fruit Che. Most Che types are made from natural ingredients such as beans, seeds, fruits, agar agar, sugar, and fresh milk. With its delicious and refreshing flavor, Che is a favorite dessert of many people.
If you visit Hanoi, you can find Che in many restaurants and shops throughout the city.
Some famous places to enjoy Che in Hanoi include:
Che Ba Thin – 25 Hang Giay, Hoan Kiem
Che Tam Phat – 2 alley 9, Dao Duy Tu, Hoan Kiem
Che Moc – 38 Hang Vai, Hoan Kiem
To conclude, Hanoi is a fascinating destination for those who want to discover Vietnamese cuisine. The city offers a wide range of delicious and unique dishes that can satisfy any food lover’s palate. From street food stalls to fancy restaurants, Hanoi has it all. Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, hot or cold, Hanoi has something for everyone. So if you’re planning to visit Vietnam, don’t forget to try these local specialties and have a taste of the vibrant and diverse food scene in Hanoi.