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Hanoi Delicacies: Exploring the Exquisite Flavors of Traditional Ha Noi Cuisine

Posted By: Christina Lee / Vietnam Travel Guides
Hanoi foods, also known as Ha Noi cuisine, refer to the famous and traditional dishes that are must-try in Hanoi, Vietnam. These Hanoi food specialties include popular local delicacies and are considered the best dishes in Hanoi. From traditional Vietnamese food to unique Hanoi specialties, the top food in Hanoi showcases the rich culinary culture of the city.


Pho noodles

Pho noodles - (Source: Collected) 

The Iconic Vietnamese Dish

Pho is undoubtedly one of the most famous and beloved dishes in Vietnam, and its birthplace is Hanoi. This traditional Vietnamese noodle soup combines a flavorful broth, tender rice noodles, and various toppings such as sliced beef, chicken, or even tofu. It is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine and a must-try when visiting Hanoi.

Where to Find the Best Pho in Hanoi

When in Hanoi, there are a few places that are renowned for their mouthwatering pho. One such place is Pho Gia Truyen, a small and humble eatery tucked away in a narrow alley. The restaurant is known for its delicate broth and tender, flavorful meat. Another popular spot is Pho Thin, which has been serving their signature pho since the 1950s. The secret to their delicious dish lies in the fragrant beef bone broth and their paper-thin slices of beef.

Bun Cha

Bun Cha

Bun Cha - (Source: Collected) 

A Grilled Pork Delight

Bun Cha is a local specialty that originated in Hanoi and has gained popularity worldwide. This dish features grilled pork patties and slices of succulent pork belly, served alongside a bowl of vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and a sweet and tangy dipping sauce. The combination of smoky flavors from the grill and the freshness of the herbs creates a delightful culinary experience.

The Best Places for Bun Cha in Hanoi

For an authentic Bun Cha experience, make sure to visit Bun Cha Dac Kim, a humble eatery that has been serving this dish for over 50 years. Their succulent grilled pork and perfectly balanced sauce make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Another popular spot is Bun Cha Ta, where the atmosphere is buzzing and the flavors are truly unforgettable.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi - Vietnamese sandwich

Banh Mi - Vietnamese sandwich - (Source: Collected) 

A Vietnamese Twist on the Classic Sandwich

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that combines French influences with local flavors. A crispy baguette is filled with a variety of ingredients such as pate, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and a choice of proteins like grilled pork, chicken, or even tofu. This explosion of flavors and textures makes Banh Mi a popular street food choice in Hanoi.

Where to Get the Best Banh Mi in Hanoi

When it comes to finding the best Banh Mi in Hanoi, Banh Mi 25 is a must-visit. Located in the Old Quarter, this small shop is known for its generous portions and diverse range of fillings. The Banh Mi at Banh Mi P is also highly recommended, with its perfectly crispy baguette and flavorful fillings.

Cha Ca

Cha Ca

Cha Ca - (Source: Collected) 

A Unique Fish Dish

Cha Ca is a specialty dish from Hanoi that features grilled or fried fish, typically served on a sizzling hotplate. The fish is marinated in turmeric and galangal, giving it a distinct flavor. It is then cooked tableside and served with a variety of accompaniments such as rice noodles, herbs, peanuts, and fish sauce.

The Best Places for Cha Ca in Hanoi

When in Hanoi, head to Cha Ca La Vong, a restaurant that has been serving their famous Cha Ca for over a century. The dish is cooked at the table, allowing you to fully experience the sizzling flavors. Another great option is Cha Ca Thang Long, where you can indulge in this unique fish dish in a cozy and authentic setting.

Bun Bo Nam Bo

Bun Bo Nam Bo

Bun Bo Nam Bo - (Source: Collected) 

A Flavorful Beef Noodle Salad

Bun Bo Nam Bo is a delightful dish that combines stir-fried beef, vermicelli noodles, and an array of fresh vegetables and herbs. The dish is topped with roasted peanuts and served with a sweet and savory sauce. The combination of flavors and textures creates a refreshing and satisfying meal.

Where to Find the Best Bun Bo Nam Bo in Hanoi

In Hanoi, visit Bun Bo Nam Bo Ba Hoanh, a popular eatery that specializes in this dish. Their flavorful marinated beef and vibrant herb selection make it a go-to place for Bun Bo Nam Bo enthusiasts. Another popular spot is Bun Bo Nam Bo Hang Dieu, where you can enjoy this delicious dish in a bustling atmosphere.

When exploring Hanoi, make sure to embrace the vibrant street food culture and indulge in the local culinary delights. From the iconic Pho to the flavorful Bun Cha and Banh Mi, Hanoi offers a wide range of delicious options for foodies. Don't miss the opportunity to embark on a Hanoi street food tour to sample the city's culinary treasures and experience the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.

Goi Cuon

Goi Cuon

Goi Cuon - (Source: Collected) 

Goi Cuon, also known as Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, is a popular dish that you must try when visiting Hanoi, Vietnam. These light and refreshing rolls are made with rice paper wrappers filled with a variety of ingredients.

Traditional Ingredients

The traditional Goi Cuon consists of vermicelli noodles, cooked shrimp, fresh herbs such as mint and cilantro, lettuce, and a protein like pork or tofu.


To make Goi Cuon, the rice paper wrappers are softened in warm water and then filled with the ingredients mentioned above. The wrapping technique involves folding the sides in, then rolling up tightly to create a cylindrical shape.

Dipping Sauce

No Goi Cuon is complete without a delicious dipping sauce. The most common dipping sauce for this dish is made from a combination of fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and garlic. This sauce adds a tangy and savory flavor to the rolls.

Where to Find

When in Hanoi, you can find Goi Cuon at various restaurants and street food stalls. Some popular places to visit for this dish include Nha Hang Ngon, Quan An Ngon, and Bun Cha Huong Lien.

Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo, a savory Vietnamese pancake, is another must-try dish in Hanoi. This crispy pancake is made with rice flour batter, filled with a combination of meats and vegetables, and often enjoyed with fresh herbs and dipping sauce.


The main ingredients used to make Banh Xeo include rice flour, turmeric powder, coconut milk, and water. The filling typically consists of pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Vegetables like onions and mushrooms can also be added.

Cooking Process

To create a crispy texture, a hot pan is used to cook the Banh Xeo. The batter is poured into the pan and swirled around to thinly coat the bottom. The filling is then added, and the pancake is folded in half before being served.

Serving Style

Banh Xeo is often served with a plate of fresh herbs such as mint, lettuce, and perilla leaves. These herbs can be wrapped around a piece of Banh Xeo to add a burst of freshness to each bite. Additionally, a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chili is commonly served alongside the pancake.

Where to Try

If you're looking to try Banh Xeo in Hanoi, head to Banh Xeo Zon. This small and cozy eatery is known for its crispy and flavorful pancakes. Another recommended place is Banh Xeo 46A, which has been serving this dish for over 30 years.

Nem Ran

Nem Ran

Nem Ran - (Source: Collected) 

Nem Ran, also known as Vietnamese fried spring rolls or crispy spring rolls, are a favorite street food snack in Hanoi. These golden rolls are filled with a delectable mixture of minced meat, vegetables, and vermicelli noodles.


The filling for Nem Ran typically consists of ground pork, shredded carrots, sliced black mushrooms, and vermicelli noodles. Seasonings such as fish sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper are added for flavor.

Rolling and Frying

To make Nem Ran, a rice paper wrapper is placed on a flat surface, and a small amount of filling is added in the center. The sides of the wrapper are then folded over the filling, and the roll is tightly wrapped. The rolls are deep-fried until they turn golden brown and crispy.

Serving and Dipping

Nem Ran is typically served with a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili. These crispy spring rolls can be enjoyed on their own or wrapped in lettuce leaves along with fresh herbs for added crunch and flavor.

Where to Find in Hanoi

If you're looking for places to visit in hanoi to try Nem Ran, head to Bun Cha Huong Lien, where you can find both Nem Ran and Bun Cha on their menu. Additionally, Quan An Ngon and Nha Hang Ngon also serve delicious Nem Ran as part of their extensive street food offerings.



Xoi - (Source: Collected) 

Xoi, a popular Vietnamese sticky rice dish, is a staple breakfast option or snack in Hanoi. This flavorful dish can be enjoyed plain or with various toppings for added taste and texture.

Classic Preparation

The traditional Xoi is made by steaming glutinous rice until it becomes sticky and chewy. The rice is then topped with a generous amount of mung bean paste and sprinkled with fried shallots for a savory touch.

Optional Toppings

Although Xoi can be enjoyed on its own, there are several toppings that can be added for extra flavor. These include shredded chicken, fried or grilled pork, Chinese sausage, or salted shredded pork. Some vendors also offer toppings like pickled vegetables, fried eggs, and roasted peanuts.

Where to Enjoy Xoi

Hanoi is well-known for its street food scene, and you can find delicious Xoi in various locations throughout the city. A favorite spot among locals is Xoi Yen, where you can find a wide range of Xoi options to satisfy your cravings. Xoi Ga is another popular street food stall where you can try Xoi topped with chicken and other accompaniments.

Bun Thang

Bun Thang

Bun Thang - (Source: Collected) 

Bun Thang is a traditional noodle soup dish that originates from Hanoi. Renowned for its delicate and harmonious flavors, Bun Thang is a must-try dish for those exploring the vibrant street food culture of Hanoi.

Ingredients and Preparation

Bun Thang is made with thin rice vermicelli noodles, which are cooked and then topped with a variety of ingredients. These ingredients typically include shredded chicken, thinly sliced omelet, dried shrimp floss, Vietnamese ham (cha lua), and herbs such as cilantro or lettuce. The soup is then ladled over the top.

Flavors and Garnishes

What sets Bun Thang apart is its harmonious blend of flavors. The broth is typically made from chicken or pork bones, creating a light and flavorful base. The soup is then garnished with crispy fried shallots, sliced scallions, and a drizzle of fish sauce for added depth of taste.

Where to Find Bun Thang

When it comes to places to visit in Hanoi for Bun Thang, consider stopping by Bun Thang Ba Duc, a small family-run business that has gained a reputation for serving excellent Bun Thang. Additionally, Bun Thang Cau Go is another popular spot known for its authentic flavors and comforting bowl of Bun Thang.


When it comes to Hanoi foods and cuisine, the vibrant capital of Vietnam offers an enticing array of flavors and dishes that are sure to satisfy any food lover. Whether you embark on a Hanoi street food tour or explore the local markets and eateries on your own, you will discover an abundance of mouthwatering options.

Hanoi, Vietnam lures visitors with its rich culinary heritage and traditional food that showcases the cultural diversity of the region. From the famous Pho and Bun Cha to lesser-known dishes like Banh Cuon and Cha Ca, Hanoi offers a variety of must-try specialties.

Hanoi street food tours are a popular way to delve into the city's culinary scene. These tours allow you to sample an assortment of local delights, from street-side stalls to hidden gems, while getting an authentic taste of Hanoi's food culture. Hanoi foodie experiences are abundant, offering opportunities to discover the best dishes in Hanoi and connect with fellow food enthusiasts.

The city is known for its iconic dishes such as Bun Cha, a grilled pork and noodle dish, and Pho, a flavorful noodle soup. However, Hanoi is also celebrated for its unique delicacies, such as the famed egg coffee, which combines the richness of coffee with the creaminess of egg yolks. Other traditional Hanoi foods include bánh mì, com rang, and nem ran.

Whether you prefer a comforting bowl of Pho or an adventurous taste of Hanoi's street food, the culinary offerings in this city are sure to leave a lasting impression. The combination of fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and unique cooking techniques makes Hanoi cuisine a truly unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam is incomplete without indulging in the city's diverse food scene. From traditional Hanoi dishes to the bustling street food culture, there is a wide range of options to satisfy every palate. Explore Hanoi's culinary delights, uncover the city's specialties, and immerse yourself in the flavors of this gastronomic paradise.

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