Top 10 MUST-TRY dishes that you can’t miss when in Hanoi

1. Phở 

The first character mentioned in this list is Hanoi noodle soup. This is one of the most familiar and popular dishes in the whole country. You can easily enjoy a bowl of pho at fancy restaurants or simply stop at a small streetside shop.

Pho Hanoi is more special than pho in other places because of its large, white noodles. Pho broth has the aroma and sweetness of beef bones. For that reason, many gourmets often come to the pho restaurant from 9 am onwards, because from this point, the broth of the pho becomes really rich. Enjoying a bowl of beef or chicken noodle soup in the morning is something that many people enjoy, especially when the weather in Hanoi turns cold. When enjoying Pho Hanoi, you should add a little more herbs, add a little pepper, squeeze more lemons and order a few more quarts, it’s really exhausting.


A noodle shop in Hanoi usually has a variety of prices, ranging from 30,000VND to 90,000VND. Normally, foodies often enjoy pho every other day or on the weekend.

Where to enjoy Pho in Hanoi?

In Hanoi, pho is a popular dish so you can easily find it anywhere. However, if you are a fastidious diner, you can refer to the following addresses:

For Pho with beef:

  • Pho Bat Dan: 49 Bat Dan St., Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
  • Pho Thin: 13 Lo Duc Street St., Hai Ba Trung, Ha Noi
  • Pho Ly Quoc Su: 10 Ly Quoc Su St., Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi

For Pho with chicken:

  • Pho Huyen Huong: 20 Bao Khanh Alley, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
  • Pho Nguyet: 5B Phu Doan St., Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi


2. Bún Riêu (Fresh- water Crab noodle soup)

The second character appearing on this list is Hanoi crab noodle soup. When it comes to popularity, bun rieu can be confidently compared to pho. Compared to the Southern version, bun rieu Hanoi will have less topping.

Bun rieu is usually served with vermicelli. The main materials of crabs are bricks and crab bodies. After preliminary processing, the chef will pound the above ingredients, filter them with some other spices such as: vertical fruit, tomato, water fat, gooey batch, fish sauce, salt and scallions. Depending on the place of sale, a serving of bun rieu will often be added with spring rolls, fried tofu, shrimp paste and a bowl of raw vegetables to enjoy.

The price of a bowl of bun rieu varies from 30,000VND to 50,000VND with shops in the old town area. In other places, the price of a bowl can range from 25,000 VND.

Where to enjoy bun rieu?

Bun rieu is a popular and easy-to-find dish. Due to the characteristics of the location, the shops in the old town or the central area will usually cost 5,000 – 10,000 VND more than in other areas, although the quality is somewhat similar. If you are a fastidious diner, you can refer to the famous addresses selling vermicelli noodles below:

  • Bun rieu Quang Trung: 41 Quang Trung St., Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
  • Bun rieu Hong Phuc: 23 Hong Phuc St., Ba Dinh, Ha Noi


3. Bún Chả (Rice noodles with barbecue pork)

Bun Cha has become an indispensable Hanoi culinary culture for the capital’s children. Especially after the visit of world-famous president Obama in 2018, this dish is even more honored on many food forums around the world because of its unique taste and way of eating.

No one can answer the exact history of bun cha in Hanoi, nor know by whom this dish was created. Only know that for a long time, from generation to generation, people in the capital are still familiar with bun cha and consider it an indispensable dish in daily culinary life. Those who go far from Hanoi are also looking forward to returning to enjoy the unique taste of this dish.

The ingredients for making bun cha are very simple with ingredients such as vermicelli, grilled meat, grilled pork rolls, but it is the ingenuity in processing that has made the name for this dish. The unique feature of Hanoi bun cha is the dipping sauce. The bun cha dipping sauce is mixed with sour, spicy, salty and sweet with fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, chili with the right amount depending on the bartender. In the bowl of dipping sauce, there is always a mannequin including green papaya, carrots or many places that have bean sprouts. Accompanying will be raw vegetables, perilla, parsley to add freshness.

Because of this uniqueness, many people argue about how to eat bun cha in Hanoi is the right way. People in the capital often say that eating vermicelli in the right way is to eat with a variety of green vegetables such as lettuce, herbs, perilla… Pick up a chopstick of vermicelli and dip it into a bowl of sauce filled with grilled meat, add raw vegetables. Enjoy the delightfully diffused harmonious flavor.

Hanoians eat bun cha at any time of the day because the dish is not only delicious but also provides enough energy for everyone to work and work throughout the day. Currently, there are more variations for bun cha such as bun cha wrapped in banana leaves, bun cha for breakfast, …

A serving of bun cha usually ranges from 30,000VND – 50,000VND only. If you have the opportunity to go to Hanoi, you can enjoy the taste of food at some of the following places:

  • Bun Cha Dac Kim: 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Bun Cha Huong Lien: 24 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi (This is also the restaurant where President Obama used to eat)
  • Bun Cha Hang Than: 34, Hang Than, Ba Dinh, Hanoi


4. Bánh Mì 

There have been many times, Vietnamese bread in general and Hanoi bread in particular have been honored by world food connoisseurs as the “best in the world”.

Along with phở, people favorably call it by a separate name, that is: “Bánh Mì”, not Vietnamese baguette, nor Vietnamese sandwich, it’s a name full of admiration, but every time you order, no matter who you are, you must speak Vietnamese.

Banh Mi Hanoi. It’s not banh mi with a hard crust so that it won’t stale all day like Banh Mi Saigon. Nor is it a small and long banh mi like the one sold in Da Nang. Not even the tiny banh mi stick of Hai Phong. Banh Mi is characterized by a moderately thin crust, crispy on the outside but soft, supple, moist and especially fragrant on the inside.

In Hanoi, banh mi is sold all over the streets. Briefly mention a few famous brands and already have dozens of names. Needless to say, the people in Hanoi are all “familiar” with hot burgers, eggs, pâte … for every breakfast. It is a favorite dish of many people, just like the rice on the dining table of every Vietnamese family. But for foreigners when coming to Thang Long land, this is a great discovery. They feel jealous and “crazy” because every day, people here can enjoy “great” bread at such a cheap price. What expats find is the culinary mix with many ingredients combined.

A serving of banh mi usually ranges from 20,000VND – 50,000VND. If you have the opportunity to go to Hanoi, you can enjoy the taste of banh mi at some of the following places:

  • Banh mi Ba Dan: 34 Lo Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Banh Mi Nguyen Sinh: 19 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Banh mi 25: 25 Hang Ca, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi


5. Nem rán (Fried Spring rolls)

Nem ran is a dish that has both an attractive taste and a full balance of ingredients from starch – vegetables – meat at a sufficient level, helping Tet holiday to still be nutritious without being monotonous. Nem ran is also loved by many foreigners and is often processed by overseas students and Vietnamese to introduce to international friends. Each region has its own style of making nem ran, which it is impossible not to mention Hanoi’s version, once eaten, it will cause nostalgia.

In the traditional tray of Hanoi people, it has long been indispensable for nem ran filled with shrimp and meat. The skin of spring rolls used is rice paper (rice paper rolls) made from rice, thinly coated, when eating, you just need to bite lightly to reach the delicious hot spring rolls inside, extremely attractive.

Because the crust is so thin, the process of mixing and rolling the spring rolls requires the chef to have ingenuity, careful calculation so that the filling is both delicious and rich without being too wet to damage the rice paper. Nem ran usually have fresh peeled shrimp and minced meat, wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, vermicelli, beans, carrots… and seasonings to taste.

The step of frying nem is also an art, they need to be golden crispy on the outside but also cooked inside, not raw. The evenly cooked spring rolls, not scorched corners, not soft shells are delicious standard fried spring rolls.

Nem ran is often eaten hot, served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce with pickled vegetables such as kohlrabi, green papaya, carrots and fresh vegetables… to not get boring.

Normally, a serving of fried spring rolls costs from 30,000VND – 40,000VND/ set or 7,000VND – 10,000VND/ each, you can easily find it in Vietnamese restaurants, however, here are some places that serve delicious fried spring rolls that you want to try.

  • Nem ran Hang Quat: 74 Hang Quat, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Nem ran Hang Be: 21 Hang Be, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi


6. Gỏi cuốn (Fresh Spring rolls)

Goi cuon is a favorite dish in Vietnam, a delicious, nutritious, cheap dish that is easy to enjoy and make. It doesn’t take much time, you don’t need a luxurious place, you don’t have to search or worry about the price, you can enjoy the attractive spring rolls.

Due to the fresh nature of vegetables, it is also easy to eat, as an appetizer and a very good snack. Bite a piece of spring roll, feel the chewy taste of rice paper, the rich fatty taste of pork belly mixed with the sweetness of boiled shrimp, add a bit of saltiness to the dipping sauce, and the cool and spicy taste of the vegetable’s tongue. life forms a symphony that awakens the levels of taste.

Goi cuon can be used as breakfast, can be a lunch snack… From the elderly to the young, anyone can enjoy this dish.

Although there are many variations, the presentation is the same: the ingredients to roll (vermicelli, meat, vegetables, shrimp, fish…) are presented separately on each plate, accompanied by a deep plate (or bowl) containing warm water. to dip the rice paper to soften. A large flat plate for each diner to make their own rolls: put rice paper rolls (rice paper) dipped in water on the plate, reduce the ingredients and roll them up. The dipping sauce for the dish is also very diverse, with the preparation technology also an art, although it still depends on the local raw material conditions. The most common is fish sauce mixed with chili garlic vinegar, soy sauce.

Normally, a serving of spring rolls costs from 30,000VND – 40,000VND/ set or 7,000VND – 10,000VND/ each, you can easily find it in any Vietnamese restaurants, however, here are some places that serve delicious fried spring rolls that you want to try:

  • Cuon N roll: 3rd floor, D2 Giang Vo, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
  • Goi cuon Phung Hung: 11 Phung Hung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi


7. Chả cá (Grilled fish cake)

Ha Thanh cuisine has long been very famous with foreigners, such as pho, bun cha, fried spring rolls… any foreign visitor coming to Hanoi wants to enjoy it. CNN – a famous American TV channel has introduced a new dish in Hanoi that surely, when hearing the name, everyone wonders why this special delicacy has only been noticed by the world until now.

Cha ca is a specialty of Hanoi. This is a marinated fish dish, grilled over charcoal and then sautéed in a greased pan. Cha Ca is so delicious that people have taken its name to name a street (Cha Ca street). Perhaps anyone who has eaten grilled fish can’t forget the unique flavor of this delicious dish and because of that, this is a specialty that is being loved by friends around the world who always wishes to try it once.

Cha ca is a very sophisticated dish from ingredients to processing. Fish to make fish cakes are usually delicious catfish. The fish is filtered, preliminarily processed and then marinated with a mixture of turmeric, garlic, galangal, salt, sugar and fish sauce. After marinating for about 1 hour, the fish will be briefly grilled and then sautéed in an oil pan to serve diners.

Cha ca is a hot dish, both eaten and processed directly on the table. This dish is served with shrimp paste, dill and scallions, white vermicelli and roasted peanuts. When eating, people slowly add dill and onions to the pan to cook until cooked, then pick up fish, vegetables with shrimp paste, and serve with white vermicelli. Although a bit fussy, but with that, the dish is hot and delicious. Currently, Cha Ca is on the list of dishes that many tourists want to try when coming to Hanoi.

The price of a Cha ca meal is quite variable, but usually will range from 200,000VND to 400,000VND per person. Here are some famous grilled fish restaurants in Hanoi that you can refer to:

  • Cha ca La Vong: 14 Cha Ca, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Cha ca Thang Long: 6B Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Cha ca Anh Vu: 120 Giang Vo, Ba Dinh, Hanoi


8. Xôi (Steamed sticky rice)

Hanoi sticky rice is a simple but elegant dish. For a long time, sticky rice was a rustic dish, cheap, but very delicious. Sticky rice is available everywhere, but sticky rice in Hanoi still has its own flavor, is delicious, and forever be remembered.

Hanoi sticky rice is colorful and diverse. Popular people have white sticky rice, xeo sticky rice, flower areca sticky rice, peanut sticky rice, green bean sticky rice, cassava sticky rice, black bean sticky rice… More advanced, there are sausage sticky rice, chicken sticky rice, braised pork sticky rice with rimmed egg, and Gac sticky rice…

Each type of sticky rice has a different flavor and is served with its own food. White sticky rice can be eaten with sesame salt, shrimp paste, braised meat, spring rolls, sausages… both fragrant and soft. Sticky red sticky rice with attractive red color, sweet taste, is served with fatty rolls. Peanut sticky rice, green bean sticky rice are pure and grounded by the purity of color: white peanut sticky rice sometimes emerges with a few peanuts; Green bean sticky rice, the white color of sticky rice mixed with the yellow color of beans, is often eaten with sesame salt to create a unique look.

Sticky rice is usually cooked by steam. Previously, cooked sticky rice was carefully incubated in a bamboo basket, sedge, in the middle, lined with dried banana leaves or fried blankets to keep heat. Nowadays, to save time, many places have omitted a few complicated stages but still retain the characteristic flavor.

Sticky rice must always be warm and delicious to eat, wrapped with fresh lotus leaves, if not, use eagle leaves, banana leaves, and dong leaves instead. The packaging of the leaves is rustic, elegant, clean and beautifies the package of sticky rice, making the dish more delicious.

Sticky rice has entered each of our lives as a symbol, simple and intimate, but very sacred. For those who are living or have had time to stick with the capital land, there are certainly a few times in their life to enjoy sticky rice in the street, a delicious gift, once eaten, they will remember forever.

Sticky rice can be very cheap, maybe only 10,000VND with small packages of sticky rice peddling, but it can also cost 60,000VND – 90,000VND with hot packs of sticky rice full of toppings in famous shops. Here are some delicious sticky rice shops in Hanoi that you must try

  • Xoi Yen: 35B Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Xoi Madame Thu: 57 Tho Nhuom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Xoi Cat Lam: 24B Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi


9. Bánh cuốn (Rolled Cake)

People often say to each other: “Hanoi’s Rolled Cake, you know it when you eat it”. Indeed! Tasting a piece of Hanoi roll cake, we can feel all the unique beauty of the capital land, both elegant, gentle, fragrant and rich that no other land can have. Okay. Hanoi’s Rolled Cake has its own charm, making it long lasting, loved from generation to generation, becoming an indispensable dish of the people of Ha Thanh.

Hanoi is entering the cold, cold winter days. And Hanoi winter will be longer and colder without a familiar dish, which is rolled cake. Coming to the capital on this occasion, you will not find it difficult to see the image of smoky rolled cake shops, bustling with people going back and forth. Rolled cake has long been a typical and famous breakfast food of the people of the land period. Ever since then, the image of women with headscarves and hands quickly coated with cakes in a corner of the sidewalk has become familiar to many generations of people in the capital.

Rolled cake is not food for people in a hurry. People make rolled cake by hand, making it wherever they go, requiring the eater to wait patiently. However, absolutely no one grumbles or gets upset, because their wait is always rewarded with a plate of hot, smokey rolls, satisfying their efforts.

Rolled cake Hanoi has quietly and quietly existed for many generations, becoming an indispensable dish, filled with memories of generations of children of the thousand-year-old capital. Not luxurious, fussy, Hanoi rolled cake captures the hearts of diners of all ages, all positions and classes because of its inherent rustic and elegant appearance, becoming a specialty that cannot be missed. indispensable to the capital Hanoi. Hopefully, through the above article, you have gained more useful information about a familiar dish with a long tradition of Ha Thanh land, and do not forget to taste this dish when you have the opportunity to come. with the capital.

Plates of rolled cake are very affordable, usually only from 20,000VND – 30,000VND and you can find it anywhere in Hanoi, however, to experience the best plate of rolled cake, you have to go to places after

  • Banh cuon Madame Hoanh: 66 To Hien Thanh, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
  • Banh cuon Thanh Van: 14 Hang Ga, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

10. West Lake Shrimp Cake

Not a delicacy, but shrimp cake has entered the subconscious of many generations of Hanoians with the saying “West Lake shrimp cake”.

West Lake shrimp cakes have been popular in Hanoi since the 30s of the 21st century. At that time, along Thanh Nien Street running between Truc Bach Lake and West Lake, many street vendors gathered.

The ingredients for making shrimp cakes are not too picky. Shrimp cake has only 3 main ingredients: shrimp, flour and eggs. Instead of grinding shrimp into a paste like fish cakes, this shrimp cake uses whole shrimp.

The shrimp cake is made from golden fried dough, one bite is crispy in the mouth, the shrimp is not too big but it is very sweet and firm. Eating shrimp cakes is indispensable for a bowl of sweet and sour sauce along with pickled vegetables and raw vegetables.

Ho Tay shrimp cake is best eaten when the cake has just been taken out of the pan to drain the fat and then immediately cut into a plate, the shrimp shell and dough are crispy, and the shrimp meat is sweet. This is a dish that anyone coming to Hanoi wants to taste once because of its deliciousness to satisfy other people from old to young and the price is affordable.

Perhaps the most famous one that no one does not know is the West Lake shrimp cake restaurant opposite the sacred Tran Quoc Pagoda. The restaurant, which has been in operation since 1956, has a super nice view of the windy West Lake. So far, this has always been the most famous shrimp cake shop handed down to this day and preserves the history of unique Hanoi cuisine.

The shrimp cakes here are pre-fried, stacked on the rack to drain the fat and quickly cut onto a plate to serve diners, so the cakes here are always hot. Because of its rare popularity, the shop is always crowded, especially with foreign guests.