Let’s spend all day just wandering to enjoy best Hanoi’s Old Quarter foods from early morning until late night to have a wonderful eating experience.
Wandering in Hanoi, you can find a lot of vendors on the streets selling pyramidal rice dumplings (banh gio). Pyramidal rice dumplings are ranked as a famous snack in the capital with simple ingredients which are mainly made from rice flour, finely chopped lean meat, wood ear mushrooms.
A hot pyramidal rice dumpling costs at about 10,000 VND. You can eat at Kim Lien Street, Thuy Khue Street, Nguyen Cong Tru market, Hom Market, Dong Cac market, etc.
Going around Hoan Kiem Lake for sightseeing, you probably cannot help tasting Thuy Ta ice cream. Ice cream here is very diverse, soft and delicious. Mint lemon ice cream is the most popular.
Stuffed sticky rice balls in ginger syrup (che troi nuoc) are fatty and round, soft, added with delicious peanut sesame and sweet warm ginger syrup. The filling inside the ball is mung bean paste or black sesame and coconut or barbecue pork.
It is more delicious when you eat it in the winter. You can enjoy this Hanoi Old Quarter street food at Hang Bo, Hang Gai, Hang Dieu Street, etc.
Grilled pork with rice noodles (bun cha) in Hang Than is famous because it is both delicious and cheap. A normal serving of grilled pork with rice noodles often costs 35,000 VND (1.5 USD) with fully components, tasty smell of big grilled pork, and delicious betel leaf rolls
For a long time, mixed fruits (hoa qua dam) of To Tich Street partly have been a brand of Hanoi cuisine. Mixed fruits are put into a medium-sized glass bowl with the variety of fruits like watermelon, mango, jackfruit, strawberry, even durian and apples, etc. Sellers sprinkle a little condensed milk and coconut milk over them to increase the rich taste and add a little shaved ice. And then, this best street food of Hanoi’s Old Quarter is ready to serve customers.
Snail vermicelli soup (bun oc) is originally a typical dish of Hanoi by its subtle, sophisticated and special taste. The broth is slightly sour, added with a little spicy sweet chilli jam, blended with greasy taste of each snail and buttery taste of tofu.
Snail vermicelli soup has many kinds: cold snail vermicelli soup, crab paste vermicelli soup with snails and beef, snail vermicelli soup with green bananas and fried tofu, snail rice noodle with meat scraps, etc. You can enjoy this special Hanoi’s Old Quarter food at Hang Luoc.
In Hanoi, as sweet and sour grated salad is mentioned, people think of famous dried beef salad (nom bo kho) in Hoan Kiem Lake – the heart of Old Quarter. The salad here is quite full with grated papaya and herbs and a lot of components: dried beef, thin sliced boiled beef, beef tendon, burned gizzard, liver, etc. To enjoy this tasty food of Vietnam, just mix all things with sweet and sour sauce.
Passing Nguyen Sieu Street, you will be immediately attracted by the appeal taste of crab paste noodle soup (bun canh). After mixing all components in the bowl, you will immediately feel the sweetness of crab paste, the smell of fried onion, greasy taste of meat scraps and aromatic vegetables.
You can choose brassica integrifolia, water morning glory, water dropwort or mix all these three types. All vegetables are done to a turn to remain their green color.
Right near the intersection of Nguyen Bieu Street and Quan Thanh Street, there is a small noodle sidewalk stall. It serves crab paste vermicelli soup (bun rieu cua) and snail beef tofu rice noodle soup (bun oc dau gio bo) that are very well known for its delicious and affordable advantage.
Coming to Huyen lane, with just 15,000 VND (less than 1 USD), you can enjoy big and attractive baguettes stuffed with fried eggs, pate, spring rolls, ham, roasted pork, salted shredded meat, cucumber.
Not being eye-catching as frog porridge, fish porridge, or ribs porridge, any customers who have enjoyed a hot bowl of pork organ porridge on Hang Tre Street cannot forget its ecstatic taste. Delicious soft porridge with pork organs and crisp fried hollow breadsticks create an incredible taste of Hanoi’s Old Quarter street food.
The key makes this stall attractive is its cheap price. It costs 9,000 VND/ 10 pieces of shrimp and pork dumplings while the price of a shrimp fry-pancake is 4,500 VND.
Fried shrimp and pork dumplings here are pretty small, about twenty pieces are fitted in a medium plastic saucer. Dumplings are tiny with their thin crispy crust, the filling inside is full and fleshy so you can feel the buttery smell of meat in just a bite.
Stepping into Hang Dieu Street on the way of discovering Hanoi’s Old Quarter food, you will immediately smell the odor of eel broth from the pot and feel extremely excited with trays full of dried eels.
When eating eel vermicelli (mien lươn tron), you will feel vermicelli is cool and marinated dried eel is sweet, salty, soft but a little hard. A bowl of vermicelli always has aromatic flavor of fried onion, peanuts and vegetables with some pickles.
Stalls selling famous grilled fermented pork rolls in Au Trieu Street open from 14h to 0h am. Unlike fried fermented pork rolls which are dry with yellow color, grilled fermented pork rolls remain pink color of meat with an adhesive layer wrapping outside. In addition to grilled rolls, you can also choose other dishes here such as grilled snapper, grilled cutterfish, etc.
“Carried noodle soup” (pho bung) in Hang Trong Street has become the best Hanoi’s Old Quarter food although visitors have to queue, sit on plastic low stools and carry the bowl of noodle soup by hand while enjoying.
The noodle soup there is well-known for its delicious taste, sweet and fragrant broth, soft noodles and meat. Moreover, let’s try combining crispy fried hollow breadsticks with noodle broth because this way is excessively delicious.
Last but not least, egg fried rice with pig brain in Ma May Street has delicious pickle with large amount of beef while pig brain and egg are greasy. A serving is enough for a full stomach.