If you’re visiting Hanoi to explore & taste the culinary scene, you’ll definitely be overwhelmed by the massive & variety of choices available. I was the one tasked to create our DIY FOOD TRIP and oh wow! I always made sure that I had a snack on hand because the endless images and descriptions of Hanoi food articles and blogs made my mouth water.
I made a list of all the food we wanted to try in Hanoi and just winged it when we got there. We ate at popular food stalls & restaurants and along the way, discovered treats that positively surprised us!
Hanoi Food Trip Guide: What & Where to Eat in Vietnam
Check out all the food we tried during our Hanoi trip:
- I found most of these establishments through travel guides, articles, and blogs.
- My (our) taste preferences may differ from yours and the writers who recommended these food places. Some were loved by many food bloggers & writers and might have been a bust for us & vice versa. At times, my family didn’t even have the same feedback on taste. It’s really trial and error to find out what satisfies your taste buds. If you’re going to take my (our) word for it, INDULGE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
- Before visiting, please check ingredient specifics beforehand or ask upon arrival at the restaurant especially if you’re prone to allergies.
- Prices/Exchange Rates may have changed from time of writing. As of November 2018, ₱1 = VND0.0023
- WARNING! You might get hungry after this post! HAHAHA!
BEST STREET FOOD IN HANOI?
BEST RESTAURANTS IN HANOI?
BUN CHA AT BUN CHA DAC KIM (1 HANG MANH) & BUN CHA HANG QUAT (74 HANG QUAT)
BUN CHA wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
BUN CHA wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?
HAHAHAHAHA! Our most favorite dish during our trip to Hanoi was BUN CHA (BBQ Pork served with Rice Vermicelli, Dipping Sauce with Sliced Carrots & Papaya, and Fresh Herbs)! We had it 5 TIMES! Yes 5! In 4 days? YESSSSSS! We had it twice at Bun Cha Dac Kim, once each at Bun Cha Ta, Truly Viet at Lotte Mall, and Bun Cha Hang Quat.
Our favorite version was at Bun Cha Dac Kim because of its distinct smoky flavor and tasteful meat.
Make sure you eat at the right Bun Cha Dac Kim as there is a FAKE/imitation one in front of it! A few locals will also push you to eat at this imitation once you arrive at the curve of Hang Manh street. Don’t be fooled!
Even though Bun Cha Dac Kim is our favorite, Bun Cha Hang Quat is worth the #MustEat too! It is situated inside an alley where you can choose to eat at their provided seating area or get a comfier Harry Potter atmosphere at The Burrow nearby. You can buy drinks from The Burrow and devour the Bun Cha from Hang Quat.
Bun Cha Hang Quat is only open from 10 AM – 2 PM or until supplies last! We arrived at around 10 AM and it wasn’t filled at all but after we left, the traffic of Bun Cha eaters picked up.
Having fallen in love with Bun Cha, we decided to try another restaurant at Nguyen Huu Huan Street. It’s way different from the interiors of Dac Kim & Hang Quat and much more comfortable but the food was way below par than our 2 favorites. The only favorable factors at Bun Cha Ta were the seating set-up and noodles.
The meat serving was small and the sauce was a bit bland. We recommend eating at Bun Cha Dac Kim & Hang Quat! BIG THUMBS UP! ALL PRAISES!
CHE AT HOA BEO (17 TO TICH)
Che or Vietnamese Sweet Soup is a famous street food in Hanoi. It’s similar to our Halo-Halo and fruit salads. My mom, in particular, loved the Che food stall near our accommodation.
She ate at Hoa Beo during our 2nd day and couldn’t stop raving about it so on our last night, we caved in and tried it with her!
She was right! It was delightfully rich and refreshing! We ordered Hoa qua dam (Mixed Fruit served with Condensed Milk & Crushed Ice) and Mixed Bingsu.
I loved the Mixed Bingsu because of its sweet and creamy coconut ice cream. I’m not usually a fan of anything coconut but their version was just the right amount of cream with a hint of coconut. It was so good together with all the mixed fruits especially the sweet mango and green jelly! MUST TRY! I concur with my mother that this is an amazing place to have dessert!
Based on blogs and articles, Lutu Lata is one of the best Che dessert places in Hanoi. It was quite a walk going there from our hostel.
We ordered the Meat Floss Salted Yolk Sponge Cake , Lutu Lata’s Special Sweet Soup , and Mung Bean/Water Chestnut/Various Kinds of Jelly/Tropical Fruits Sweet Soup. All are VND35,000 or ₱79 each.
The cake was surprisingly more savory than sweet. It is comparable to a mamon but not really something we’d prefer to have for dessert. The special sweet soup was our favorite! The bananas complimented the coconut cream very well. It was reasonably satisfying.
The soup with water chestnut was bland. We had to transfer some of the special sweet soup to it to add more flavor. Hoa Beo was way better! I’d pass on Lutu Lata and eat more dessert varieties at Hoa Beo! I want to try the caramel flan next time!
PHO AT PHO 10 (10 LY QUOC SU)
Whenever one hears Vietnamese food, PHO (Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat – beef or chicken) or pronounced FUH HAHAHAHA! is a local dish that always comes to mind.
I really thought Pho was going to be our main favorite while in Hanoi but the country had other plans for us. BUN CHA? HAHAHAHA! Since our accommodation already provided breakfast that served good Pho, the Pho places listed in my research weren’t a priority.
We did try one of the most popular ones when we visited St Joseph’s Cathedral. It couldn’t be missed because it was an orange building with a big sign of Pho 10. The line made us curious as well. Other guests even had their luggage with them and just deposited it at the baggage area. I thought to myself, galing sa airport? Pho agad agad? HAHAHA!
Even though there was a queue, the turnover was quick. We ordered 2 kinds of Pho – Bap Nam Gau (Brisket with Flank & Fillet Beef) and Tai Chin (half done with well done beef). The soup base tasted the same and the meats were appetizing. I couldn’t distinguish the half done beef with the well done beef though. The Pho was tasteful and worth a try. I really loved slurping the thick noodles!
CHA CA AT CHA CA THANG LONG (19-21-31 DUONG THANH)
MY FAVORITE! or what my sister calls, CHACABELS! HAHAHA! I really wanted to try this ever since I tasted the Cha Ca (Grilled Fish served with Dill & Turmeric, Herbs, Dipping Sauce, and Rice Noodles) at Countryside Restaurant during my first Hanoi trip.
I loved this version at Cha Ca Thang Long too! The fish had that smoky and tasteful flavor that I like! The fish sauce didn’t have the zing I was yearning for but the fish was already exquisite on its own! I LOVE THIS! It’s healthy yet indulgent!
HOKKAIDO CREAM PUFF & MILK TEA AT LAETITIA (86 NGVUYEN HUU HUAN)
I found out about this dessert place through my mom’s badminton group as they traveled to Hanoi a few weeks before us. When I heard that Laetitia served desserts with Hokkaido cream, I WAS SOLD! Hokkaido cream or milk is my JAM and I always want try anything that has this ingredient! HAHAHA!
We visited Laetitia twice. During the first time, we tried the Hokkaido Vanilla & Earl Grey Cream Puffs and the Hokkaido Ice Cream filled puff.
I didn’t like the ice cream puff! The puff pastry was too frozen along with the ice cream. It wasn’t worth the price. The Hokkaido cream was relatively better. We would have preferred if the puff was freshly baked. Its texture and mouthfeel was like a cream puff you placed in a refrigerator overnight. But the cream was GOLD! If they only served the cream, I would definitely buy!
Knowing that the cream was good, we decided to try the milk tea during our second visit. My mom ordered the Hokkaido vanilla and valrhona cream puff too. The cream puff was better. My sisters loved the vanilla one as well.
I loved the Light Bubble milk tea! The milk was so fresh and creamy. It had that wonderful after taste too! It was very addicting! I couldn’t stop slurping! If you like creamy milk teas, you should try Laetitia!
ICED EGG CHOCOLATE/COCOA AT CAFÉ PHO CO (11 HANG GAI)
During our Hanoi visit, my family was most excited for Egg Coffee. I just told them that it’s just like regular coffee but with a creamy leche flan-like thing on top. HAHAHA!
My mom and I visited Cafe Giang first because this is the one I tried back in 2014. My mom said that the Egg Coffee was too bitter and my Iced Egg Chocolate tasted like Ovaltine. Cafe Giang was very dirty. There were nut shells scattered all over the floor, the chairs were disorganized, and there was only one staff attending to everyone.
The atmosphere wasn’t like that back in 2014. My mom didn’t like it.
We tried Cafe Pho Co the next day and loved the view there! I liked the Iced Egg Cocoa too! It didn’t taste like Ovaltine. It was made of genuine and quality chocolate. My mom said the Egg Coffee was still bitter but a bit better than the one at Cafe Giang.
The stairs to the top floor are a bit steep but the atmosphere is very relaxing and perfect to have that iced cocoa or hot egg coffee. MUST TRY!
BANH MI AT BAMI BREAD (98 HANG BAC)
If you’ll walk around Old Quarter, you’ll see a lot of vendors selling this popular street food snack. Surprisingly, I only had the chance to try Banh Mi once! ANG DAMI KASING ITEMS SA FOOD TRIP LIST! HAHAHA!
I tried the selection at Bami Bread. The fillings were just okay for me but the bread was really good. It tasted like quality french bread! I definitely want to buy more of that bread and spread it with my favorite fillings like Nutella or Strawberry Jam & Cheese!
DRINKS AT TOP OF HANOI (LOTTE CENTER HANOI)
The view at Top of Hanoi is breathtaking! Make sure to have drinks there during sunset! The food was mediocre but the drinks were good. It is a bit pricey but I feel the view is worth the price. Just order drinks and eat back at Old Quarter or the restaurants at the Lotte Hotel or Mall.
MIEN TRON AT MIEN LUON DONG THINH (87 HANG DIEU)
After a very filling Bun Cha meal, we went to this food stall to try the crunchy eel. A lot of travel writers rave about this and include this in their top things to eat in Hanoi.
We ordered Mien Tron – Vermicelli Blend (VND50,000 or ₱113 per bowl) and Cha Luon – Fried Eel (VND25,000 or ₱56 per bowl). The Mien Tron is a must try! It’s like Pho but more sour. The eel stays crunchy all throughout too. It does not easily get soggy in the soup. I also like the rice noodles. It’s Sotanghon as compared to the rice noodles of Cha Ca, Bun Cha, or Pho. Pass on the Cha Luon! My sister said it was Yuck!
CRUNCHY CREAM PUFFS AT MIHIMIHI (10 HANG BONG)
ONE OF THE BEST CREAM PUFFS I’VE EVER TRIED! This isn’t included in any Top Desserts in Hanoi articles or hasn’t been recommended by any writer I’ve read. THIS IS A MUST TRY! SOBRANG SARAP!
The cream inside the puff and the crunchiness of the nuts & cream on top of the puff was OMG! SUPER LOVE! We bought from Mihimihi 3 times! That’s how awesome it was! All of us LOVE THIS! If you’re choosing between the Hokkaido cream puffs at Laetitia or crunchy cream puffs at Mihimihi, PICK MIHIMIHI!
If you read a lot of “Thing to Eat in Hanoi” articles, you’ll find that King Roti Bun (34 Hang Gai) is often included. We tried this & didn’t like it. I expected more from the dough. It is comparable to a pandesal with filling. That’s it! Nothing really special for us. I would definitely go for these Mihimihi crunchy cream puffs more!
KEM TRAI DUA AT BAO OANH CAFÉ (WEST LAKE 7 THANH NIEN)
If you’re visiting the West Lake or Tran Quoc Pagoda area in the afternoon, check out Bao Oanh. According to articles, it is one of the best cafes that serve coconut ice cream in Hanoi. My sister loved the coconut ice cream! We liked it too. But she devoured it! HAHAHA! The view of the West Lake and Pagoda from the cafe is beautiful as well.
The heaven cream was just okay. Order the coconut ice cream if you’re in the area! It’s nice to try especially on a hot afternoon. But if I were to choose this or the coconut ice cream topped on the Mixed Bingsu from Hoa Beo, I prefer Hoa Beo.
STICKY RICE AT XOI YEN (35B NGUYEN HUU HUAN)
This is a very popular food stall in Hanoi. When we visited, almost all the floors were full so we had to settle at the very top. We ordered Xoi Ngo – Steamed Sticky Rice with Corn (VND15,000 or ₱34), Xoi Xeo – Sticky Rice with Dry Onion & Fat (VND15,000 or ₱34), Chinese Braised Pork (VND18,000 or ₱41), Char Siu (VND18,000 or ₱41), and Chinese Sausage (VND8,000 or ₱18).
The serving of the meats are small while the sticky rice was just right. My family didn’t like the sticky rice but I loved it! Especially the one with corn. It tasted like a cross from rice, mashed potatoes, and corn! I love all those things! The meats are forgettable especially after having the best bun cha. The Chinese sausage was good with the sticky rice.
STREET FOOD AT HANOI NIGHT MARKET (HANG DAO STREET) & DINH TIEN HOANG
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7PM onwards, Hang Dao Street and Dinh Tien Hoang roundabout is closed to motorists. So it’s a free space where locals and tourists can walk around. There’s a lot of sellers of street food – from ice cream to BBQ to fresh fruits & juices and many more!
FRESH SPRING ROLLS, GRILLED STUFFED CHICKEN THIGHS, & SPECIAL VIETNAMESE PANCAKE AT DUONG’S RESTAURANT (17 NGO HUYEN)
On our last day in Hanoi, we ate at Duong’s, one of the most popular Vietnamese restaurants. It was really a different experience to eat there because during our first 3 days, we mostly ate at food stalls and restaurants that had plastic chairs.
Duong’s was a fine dining like experience where each order is served one after the other and not all at once. My youngest sister and I loved the traditional fresh spring rolls with prawn & meat (VND100,000 or ₱225). It lives up to its name, it’s FRESH! All the ingredients are bunched up together in a rice paper and the bite was definitely to die for! One of the best fresh spring rolls we’ve ever had!
My mom loved the Special Vietnamese Pancake (VND100,000 or ₱225). It was comparable to the fresh spring rolls but the crunch of the pancake wrapped in rice paper made all the difference for my mom. The infusion of flavors of the sprouts, peanuts, dipping sauce, vegetables plus the crunch made my mom a very happy mom!
We were all surprised by how much we loved the grilled stuffed chicken thighs (VND180,000 or ₱405)! The coconut cream sauce complimented it and the fried sticky rice so well. That’s a lux take on a local Vietnamese dish. So good!
Aside from these favorites, we also had Fresh Noodle Rolls with Beef & Mushroom (VND100,000 or ₱225), Chicken Noodle Soup (VND110,000 or ₱248), and Panna Cotta Dessert du Chef (VND120,000 or ₱270).
OTHER FOOD ITEMS, STALLS, & RESTAURANTS WE WANTED TO TRY…
…But couldn’t because we only had 4 days in Hanoi! It wasn’t enough to try everything that was on our food trip list! HAHAHA! If you’ve tried any of these, let us know your thoughts on them in the comments! Thank you!
- Banh Cuon or Steamed Rice Rolls at 14 Hang Ga
- Banh Mi at Banh My P 12 Hang Buom
- Pho at Pho Gia Truyen 49 Bat Dan
- Bun Cha at Bun Cha Haong Lien 24 Le Van Huu (This is where Obama & Bourdain ate)
- Catfish Spring Rolls at Highway4 25 Bat Su
- Spring Rolls at Noodle & Roll 39C Ly Quoc Su
- Cha Ca at Countryside Restaurant 29 Bat Dan
- Com Ga Food Corner at Nguyen Huu Huan Road
- Beef Noodles at Bun Bo Nam Bo 67 Hang Dieu
- Xeo Vietnamese Pancake at Banh Xeo 22 Hang Bo
- Panna Cotta at Angelina 56 Pho Ly
- Chocolates at Maison Marou 91A Nhuom Tran
- Cookies at 18 Hang Cot
- Deep Fry Potato & Shrimp at Banh Tom Ho Tay West Lake 1 Thanh Nien
- Fried Pho at Pho Chien Phong 40 Ngu Na Dinh
- Duong’s 2 101 Pho Ma May
- Spring Rolls at New Day 72 Pho Ma May
- Blue Butterfly 69 Ma May
- Quan An Ngon 16 Phan Boi Chau
- Creme Caramel at Duong Hoa Kem Caramen 29 Hang Than
My First Hanoi Trip (Dec 2014): VIETNAM: Hanoi-tastic’s Crazy Streets & Awesome Food
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Back in 2014, I booked tours in advance so my food tours were pre-set. I just followed our guide and their itinerary and that’s all the food I tried. For this trip, it was ALL DIY.
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