Street food is an inseparable part of cuisine in Hanoi. So when in Hanoi, do as Hanoians do. This traveling motto sounds very easy to follow, but for those who are newcomers in the ancient capital city, finding the best street food can be a tricky venture.
However, you’re a smart one, and you’re reading this post. So let me divulge the best places to go and what to devour when you discover them.
Known as Hanoi street food heaven, the Hanoi Old Quarter showcases the best street food the city has to offer. Here you will find an offering of yummy street food that every eater, including the locals, have visited at least once. With a budget of $5 let’s see how many dishes we can devour.
Salad with dried beef (nộm bò khô):
When wandering around the social street of Ho Hoan Kiem – the shortest street in Hanoi, you’ll be missing out if you don’t try the famous salad with dried beef. The main ingredients are sliced green papaya, dried beef, thinly sliced-fried meat, local herbs, and roasted peanuts. When you order one helping of this dish, the seller will pour some sweet and sour fish sauce onto your meal – now the yummy dish is ready for you to enjoy. When in the food stall, you can try other scrumptious dishes like rice dumpling cakes (bánh bột lọc) or spring rolls (nem cuốn).
Address: 25 Ho Hoan Kiem Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Price: 35.000 VND / pax (about $1.5)
Jelly yogurt (sữa chua dẻo):
This is a perfect dish for the hot days in Hanoi. Each scoop of the yogurt slowly and you will gradually feel the taste of cocoa and yogurt blending and melting in your mouth.
Address: 12 Hang Non Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Price: 25.000 VND / pax (about $1.07)
Grilled fermented pork rolls (nem chua nướng):
Surprisingly, Hanoi also has its cold days, and the perfect antidote to the cold is this delicious grilled fermented pork roll. You will find it in plenty of shops dotted around the winding streets of the Hanoi Old Quarter. Its main ingredient is fermented pork which is grilled on red coal. After this is cooked, it is wrapped in banana leaves – a traditional way of wrapping food in Vietnam. Once served, dip each hot delicious roll into chili sauce for the final touch.
Address: Food stalls near Hanoi Cathedral
Price: 50.000 VND / pax ($2.15)
Fried pastry (quẩy nóng):
Locals often have fried pastry as a side dish when eating noodles or pho. But you can also enjoy fried pastry as a separate dish with sweet and sour fish sauce.
Address: Streets of Hang Dieu, Hang Bong, or Dao Duy Tu
Price: 20.000 VND / pax ($1)
Yogurt with pandan-leave jelly (sữa chua thạch lá nếp):
This dish is perfect to cleanse the pallet after eating many of the various meaty dishes in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. A glass of pandan-leave jelly yogurt consists of a yogurt box, various pieces of green jelly made from aromatic fragrant sticky leaves which are then covered with a layer of condensed coconut milk.
Address: Dinh Liet Street, Hanoi
Price: From 18.000 – 25.000 VND / pax ($0.77 – $1.07)
Girdle-cake (bánh tráng trộn):
Girdle-cake is a popular dish in Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City), but Hanoians also love this yummy dish. A full helping of girdle-cake includes the main ingredient of girdle-cake, dried squid, dried beef, one or two quail eggs, and sliced green mango. This all helps bring about the traditional Vietnamese spice in this scrumptious dish.
Address: You can easily find the food stalls selling girdle-cake at Hang Tre, Hang Trong or Ly Quoc Su Street.
Price: 20.000 VND / pax ($0.86)
Dried chicken-mixed noodles (phở gà trộn):
This dish is ideal to enjoy in the late afternoon if you are looking for something light to satisfy your hunger. A bowl of dried chicken mixed noodles includes the main ingredient of boiled chicken eaten with various local herbs like cilantro and balm-mint dipped into the delicious broth of meat bone.
Address: Lan Ong Street
Price: 35.000 VND ($1.5).
Pyramidal rice dumpling cake (bánh giò):
This dish can be eaten at any time in the day as a perfect breakfast full of energy, a snack in the afternoon, or as a light meal in the evening. The cake is made of rice flour, minced meat, wood ear fungus, and mushroom.
Address: The streets of Hang Than and Dao Duy Tu.
Price: From 12.000 VND / pax ($0.52)
Now you’re equipped with the knowledge of what to eat in Hanoi and where to find it, go out and eat your way through the city!