What to eat around Hoan Kiem lake
Being in the heart of the thousand-year capital, Hoan Kiem Lake is an impressive tourist destination, attracting a large volume of tourists. The area around Hoan Kiem lake is supposed to be the cuisine center of Hanoi since many of the most famous food stores in the city are located here. Here are some dishes that you can’t miss if you like to have an authentic culinary experience as the local.
Beef jerky salad
It’s greatly faulty to talk about The Old Quarter cuisine without mentioning the beef jerky salad. Despite being tens of meters in area, the location around Hoan Kiem lake has lots of pristine stores selling the beef jerky salad. A dish of salad consists of beef jerky, shredded papaya, thinly sliced boiled beef, beef tendon, roasted gizzard, dried liver, roasted peanut and herb; all of which are mixed with the dressing that is spicy, sweet and sour. However, the dominant taste is the sourness that truly stimulates your appetite. The beef is incredibly chewy while the stripped mangos are crunchy. Therefore, the beef jerky salad is varied in texture. The peanut and organ add the creaminess to the dish. Marjoram (Rau kinh gioi) which is a common herb in Vietnam is added to the dish for the fragrance. Why don’t you sit in an eatery, have a dish of the beef jerky salad among the cool weather of Hoan Kiem lake and witness the joyful activities that are taking? It’s stunning, right?
Beef jerky salad
Roasted chicken foot
The roasted chicken foot has become the common snack of Hanoi people for a long time. Although there are various the stores of roasted chicken foot in Hanoi, the most famous one may be in Gach alley. The remarkable thing about this store is that at the time of the guest’s arrival, the cook starts to grill the food on the pink coal, instead of that the food is prepared previously and taken to the customers. Therefore, the roasted chicken foot is always warm. However, due to that, sometimes, the service may be a little slow. The chicken foot is seasoned flavorful with honey, both salty and sweet. The dish is not dry and especially the chicken skin is crispy. You can dip the chicken in the mixture of pepper powder, salt, pepper a or the sour-sweet dressing made of nuoc mam (fish sauce). At the first bite, you will be surely addictive to this tasty dish. The roasted chicken foot is served with jicama, the water spinach pickle, mango, cucumber, bread and some types of herb. The average price for a person is about 40,000-50,000 VND ($2-2.5)
Roasted chicken foot
The most well-known store of rib porridge may be the one near Dong Xuan market. Hanoi rib porridge is cooked in a unique way. The porridge is made from the fine rice flour that is used to feed the baby. However, the porridge is entirely greasy but has the sweetness from the quintessence of rib stewed for hours. The porridge which includes pork cartilage that is super crunchy is eaten with quay (youtiao). It’s advisable for you to sprinkle some pepper and the dish will be much more aromatic. The price of a full bowl of porridge with the large cartilages and the youtiao is 30,000 ($1.5). Most of the customers assume that this price is quite fair. The good point is that the store still sells after 1 pm. Therefore if you hang out late, you can visit the store to satisfy your gastric. Do not hesitate to put this stunning dish on your list of Vietnamese street food.
Sticky rice over glutinous rice dumpling (Banh khuc)
In Cau Go street, there are two famous stores, which are Lan and Quan store located next to each other and selling this traditional food. If you like to find adequate gourmet cheap food, you are highly recommended to visit one of the two above stores. The cake is covered by the thick soft glutinous rice layer while the filling of the cake has the aromatic smell of the fresh leaves, is creamy with the mung bean and fat meat; and little spicy with pepper. Because Lan and Quan are the small eateries, most of the guests buy a pack of sticky rice and take it away. The price of a serving may be about 15,000 VND (approximately $1).
Trang Tien ice-cream
Being one of the oldest snacks in Hanoi, Trang Tien ice-cream is one of the most famous brands of ice-cream in Vietnam. Several years ago when the snacks in Hanoi is not various, Trang Tien ice-cream is the favorite food of most of Hanoi people who come from all parts of the city coming to the Old Quarter just to have an ice-cream. Nowadays, the stores of Trang Tien ice-cream are jam-packed with the customers. Trang Tien ice-cream attracts the eaters by the fresh natural sweetness and exquisite flavor. All the ice-cream are made and consumed in a day for keeping the freshness. The ice-cream has several flavors such as com (immature rice kernels), coconut, chocolate, mung bean. You can choose a popsicle or cinnamon ice-cream cone. The price for an ice-cream is about 10,000-20,000 VND (approximately $0,5-1).
The area around Hoan Kiem lake completely deserves to be called The cuisine center of Hanoi. The exquisite flavor of these above dishes will surely linger long in your mouth. Let’s try the beef jerky salad, the grilled chicken foot, rib porridge, sticky rice over glutinous rice dumpling, Trang Tien ice-cream and your taste will be woken up. Why don’t you take Vietnam package tours to get more information about the best times to visit Vietnam? Vietnam is waiting for you. Share the post if you find it useful.