Have the enjoyable experiences with Hanoi's street food

Have the enjoyable experiences with Hanoi's street food

Hanoi is well-known for street cuisine with tasty and flavorful dishes. If you like to mingle with the resident’s lives, you can’t miss these foods. There are too many dishes for your choice that you may be confused. Here is our guide to Hanoi City's street food that may be useful to you.

Street food is an indispensable part in Hanoi culinary map. In fact, the flavor of dishes served in the upscale restaurants may not be as attractive and impressive as the taste of street foods. Street dishes are mostly sold in the small stores or vendors which are propped up with few tables and desks simply.

However, you will see the long lines of motorbikes of customers outside the famous stores, which is rarely noticeable in the high-end restaurants. Many local people choose the street food because of the authentic flavor and the reasonable price. Many of them eat in their favorite stores for years. Here are some must-have dishes when coming to Hanoi if you wish to experience the local cuisine as an authentic resident.

The beef noodle soup (pho bo)

Beef noodle soup of Hanoi

Beef noodle soup of Hanoi

It seems not to be convincing if you tell someone that you set foot on Hanoi without having a bowl of the beef noodle soup that is the first thing coming to the mind of the hearer when Vietnamese cuisine is mentioned. Hanoi is supposed to be the place having the most delicious beef noodle soup in Vietnam.

The noodle which is used to cook the beef noodle soup must be soft and full of rice fragrance.  To make the broth, beef bones are simmered for hours so that only quintessence is kept. The cook also adds some herbs such as "thao qua, hoa hoi", etc to cause the dish to be more aromatic. The beef is boiled or poached directly in the broth pot before the dish is taken out to serve the customer.

In Hanoi, the most famous the beef noodle soup store may be "Pho gia truyen" in 49 at Dan street. This store has operated for over 60 years and the secret recipe is passed down from generation to generation. In the early morning, the store is extremely crowded with the eaters who often have to queue up a long line to wait for their turn. The customers will have to carry their serving to the table by themselves. The price for a bowl of pho bo is 40,000-50,000 VND ($2-2.5). If preferable, you can ask the cook to poach an extra egg.

The snail vermicelli soup (Bun oc)

The snail vermicelli soup

The snail vermicelli soup

This dish originates from the area around West lake so the brand “West lake snail noodle” has emerged. However, nowadays, the most well-known store of the snail vermicelli soup is a vendor in 40 Luong Ngoc Quyen street, Hoan Kiem district. The store is named after the name of the owner, Ms. Giang who has sold this dish for over 13 years. The store has been more famous when the late American celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain came here and uttered: “It’s miracle, the spicy broth with tomato, herb, vermicelli, and fresh snails”.

The outstanding thing about the store is that the owner likes to keep the traditional taste of Hanoi snail noodle. According to that, a bowl of the snail vermicelli soup consists of vermicelli, snails, tomato, green onion, perilla leaves and the broth that have the fragrance of the Vietnamese traditional rice vinegar (dam bong). The dish is served with the special handmade chili paste.

If a customer brings the beef and has the owner poach, Ms. Giang will refuse because she assumes that beef will make the broth lose the initial elegant flavor. However, the owner serves the snail vermicelli soup with the boiled edging pork that is quite crunchy. This seems to be strange but in fact, many customers agree that this extra ingredient gets on well with the snail vermicelli soup. The vendor is set up simply with a steaming pot of broth, few low plastic chairs but it’s quite crowded. The price of a bowl of the snail vermicelli soup is 30,000-40,000 VND ($1.5-2).

The vermicelli with the grilled pork (Bun cha)

Bun cha is a popular dish of Hanoi capital

"Bun cha" is a popular dish of Hanoi capital

Another amazing dish comes from Hanoi. This famous dish is the vermicelli served with grilled pork, the dipping sauce, and herbs. Hanoi the vermicelli with the grilled pork has its own distinctive taste that can’t nearly be found outside the Vietnamese capital. For the vermicelli with the grilled pork, the vermicelli is eaten with porks that are grilled directly on the pink coal, the dipping sauce made of nuoc mam (Vietnamese traditional fish sauce) and various types of herbs such as lettuce, perilla, marjoram, mint, bean sprout and the tree-trunk of banana.

The address for cuisine lovers wanting to try this dish is the store of Huong Lien in 24 Le Van Huu street. The former American president Barack Obama used to have a meal here with the late chef Anthony Bourdain. Then, the dishes which were eaten by president Barack Obama becomes a combo named after his name. The combo includes a serving of the vermicelli with the grilled pork, a seafood spring roll and a bottle of beer.

Moreover, in 34 Hang Than street, there is another store of the vermicelli with the grilled pork which is worth trying. Being a small eatery, Hang Than the vermicelli with the grilled pork is famous for the low price. People wonder “Why is there a cheap store in the expensive central area?”.

Obama used to have a chance to try it in Hanoi

Obama used to have a chance to try it in Hanoi

The price for a serving of bun cha is 35,000 VND (nearly $2) however a serving includes a large volume of meat. The piece of grilled pork is large and thick. Your stomach will be surely full after you finish the dish while with that price, you will get a small serving of the vermicelli with the grilled pork in other stores in the city center. Moreover, the staffs are smart and enthusiastic.  Therefore, it’s not difficult to explain why the store is densely crowded, especially in the noon.

Once you have arrived in Hanoi, you can’t say no to the tasty local dishes. Let’s try the beef noodle soup, the snail vermicelli soup and the vermicelli with the grilled pork; and the taste of these dishes will certainly linger in your mouth for a long time. Hopefully, the guide to Hanoi City's street food is helpful to you. Be ready for the authentic local culinary experiences!

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