- Hanoi Food Guide
- Hanoi Food Favorites
- Pho (Noodle Soup)
- Cha Ca (Grilled & Fried Fish with Rice Noodles)
- Bun Cha (Grilled Pork & Noodles)
- Xoi (Sticky Rice)
- Bun Bo Nam Bo (Beef & Noodles)
- Bun-Mien Ngan (Rice Noodles with Muscovy Duck)
- Banh Mi (Baguette Sandwich)
- Pho Cuon (Rice Noodle Rolls)
- Pho Chien Phong (Fried Pho Noodles)
- Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)
- Ôc Len Xào Dùa (Sea Snails in Coconut Milk)
- Che (Sweet Dessert Soup)
- Worth a Splurge
- Hanoi Food Favorites
- Get Your Vietnam Visa without Hassle
- Research Hanoi Hotels
- Book a Tour
- Buy a Travel Guide
Wondering what to eat in Hanoi Vietnam? Our Hanoi food guide showcases the best food that we ate in Hanoi during five weeks in Vietnam’s chaotic capital city. Check out our favorite Hanoi restaurants, cafes, bars and street food because you won’t want to miss a thing during your visit.
Stepping into the chaotic streets of Hanoi can be scary. Wherever you are, motorbikes and cars whiz by haphazardly. There aren’t many crosswalks, and the relative few in the city are more suggestive than heeded. In fact, we jokingly refer to these walkways as suggested crossings! Yes, pedestrian conviviality has never been a Hanoi strong suit.
And let’s not even get into the hawker ladies aggressively selling their wares on shoulder poles that are also used to trap tourists. Sounds awful, right? Wrong! Hanoi’s chaos is part of what makes the city uniquely wonderful. The other part is the food.
Hanoi street food is for real and is something you must eat in Hanoi Vietnam. This is a city that takes the phrase “street food” seriously – food is literally everywhere. Each block has dozens of cafes, with diners spilling on to sidewalks littered with tiny plastic chairs representing every primary color of the rainbow and similarly sized tables. What about the prices? Street food is the answer if cheap eats Hanoi is the question.
Day or night, a stroll easily becomes a Hanoi street food tour. During the day, Old Quarter Hanoi street vendors sell fruit and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. It’s nighttime though when these streets really come alive with the kinds of food that Hanoi residents love most including our personal favorite – meat on a stick.
You do not have to worry about being hungry during your visit. Long story short – there’s lots of great street food to eat in Hanoi with or without a Hanoi street food guide.
Hanoi Food Guide
Finding good food in Hanoi is the opposite of a challenge. Instead, at least for visitors, the challenge is knowing what and where to eat in Hanoi Vietnam. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with our picks for the best Hanoi food.
Use our Hanoi guide to find the best places to eat in Hanoi as well as a variety of yummy things to eat in Hanoi during your visit. There’s no shortage of wonderful food to eat in Hanoi, and we’re happy to share some of the best food in Hanoi Vietnam here.
Hanoi Food Favorites
Any visitor to Hanoi will quickly find out that the number one thing to do in Vietnam’s capital city is to eat. The city has over 7.5 million residents, many of whom eat out on a daily basis. Though Hanoi food options run the gamut, most diners choose from the following classics:
Pho (Noodle Soup)
Oh, Hanoi Pho, how do we love you? Let us count the ways. We love you for your savory broth and your slow-cooked meat, both beef and chicken. We love you for your reasonable price of around $2 US. We love you for your condiments, especially the small but potent red peppers. Most of all, we love you for your freshly made rice noodles that we always swirl on our chopsticks before slurping into our mouths. We hate to pick favorites, but we think you’re the best food to eat in Hanoi.
Pho originated in Hanoi and is arguably the national dish of Vietnam. We could eat this soup morning, noon and night. In fact, that’s what we do whenever we’re in Hanoi. Any time we wonder what to eat in Hanoi, the answer is almost always Pho. Watch our Hanoi Pho Video to see us in action eating some of the best Pho in Hanoi.
Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup)
We’ve eaten Beef Pho many times before, but never like in Hanoi. We stumbled into Pho Bat Dan on our first night in town and ate there another half dozen times over the next three weeks.
The lines may often be long (a good sign) compared to other Hanoi pho shops, but the wait is well worth it when the reward is cheap bowls of soup with ultra-fresh ingredients and slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth slices of beef. Though super casual, Pho Bat Dan is one of the best restaurants in Hanoi.
Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup)
Tucked away on an alley near the Hanoi Hilton, Pho Lam serves the kind of Chicken Pho that we could easily eat every day without getting bored. Eating here is a full-on experience starting with the women cooking the soup over coals and continuing inside the bare bones restaurant with long community tables and wooden benches.
It’s the soup, though, that steals the show with its clear broth and tender chicken. Don’t even get us started on the condiments…
Phở Lâm is located at 7 Nam Ngư, Cửa Nam, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Cha Ca (Grilled & Fried Fish with Rice Noodles)
We fell in love with the Hanoi food scene while eating Cha Ca at our first lunch at non-touristy Cha Ca Phan. Cha Ca, a Northern Vietnamese specialty involves pan-fried chunks of meaty, fatty skinned fish, turmeric, dill, peanuts, shrimp paste and rice noodles. Check out our Cha Ca Hanoi Video to see what it’s like to make and eat Cha Ca. If you haven’t tried it before, then Cha Ca may be the most unique food to try in Hanoi
Cha Ca Phan is located at 84 Trần Quốc Toản, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Chả Cá Lã Vọng is located at 107 Nguyen Truong To, Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Bun Cha (Grilled Pork & Noodles)
If Pho is Hanoi’s number one dish, then Bun Cha is easily number two when it comes to being a Hanoi local food favorite. And who can blame the locals for loving this dish where grilled pork and rice noodles are the stars and fresh herbs, sliced papaya, red chili and garlic are the supporting players?
If these ingredients aren’t enough for you, then add fried spring rolls called Nem to the mix. If you’re new to Bun Cha, check out our Bun Cha Hanoi Video to see the full Bun Cha dining experience.
Similar to Pho, you will find Bun Cha restaurants all over the city. After eating at several all over the city, we consider Bun Cha Hang Quat our favorite. Though somewhat hidden in an alley, the Old Quarter restaurant does a brisk business of serving freshly made bun cha to the starving masses for just four hours a day from 10 am to 2 pm. Go early to get a good seat and beat the crowd.
Bun Cha Hang Quat is located at 74 Hàng Quạt, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Bún Chả Hương Liên is located at 24 Lê Văn Hưu, Phan Chu Trinh, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Xoi (Sticky Rice)
Sticky rice may be the ultimate Hanoi comfort food. We especially like the version at popular Xoi Yen, where they flavor the glutinous rice with green mung bean paste and lots of chicken fat. Topped with meat and paired with a cheap bottle of beer, Hanoi sticky rice is a true guilty pleasure.
Xôi Yến is located at 35B Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Bun Bo Nam Bo (Beef & Noodles)
No worries if you don’t eat pork, head over to Bun Bo Nam Bo for the Southern Vietnamese dish of the same. Unlike Pho and Bun Cha, this dish is not a Hanoi creation, but it’s still worth eating in Hanoi at Bun Bo Nam Bo for the melange of ingredients (grilled beef, veggies, herbs, peanuts and crispy onions) artfully served together in one big bowl. When you eat Bun Bo Nam Bo, be sure to add fresh lime juice and chili sauce for maximum flavor.
Bun Bo Nam Bo is located at 89 Hàng Điếu, Cửa Đông Hoàn Kiếm Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Bun-Mien Ngan (Rice Noodles with Muscovy Duck)
For the uninitiated, Muscovy ducks are indigenous in the Americas and can be found in countries as far away as Australia and New Zealand. We don’t know why the large, meaty ducks are so popular in Vietnam, but curious diners can enjoy Muscovy duck at eateries around town in versions ranging from soups to noodle dishes. Pick your passion. As for us, we like to eat ours with cellophane noodles.
Hạnh Ngan Dé is located at 63 Cửa Bắc, Quán Thánh, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Banh Mi (Baguette Sandwich)
As hard as we tried, we never found the best Banh Mi in Hanoi, though we ate several in our quest. They were all good but not great. Though our quest continues for Banh Mi greatness, we can’t neglect including the Vietnamese staple in our Hanoi eating guide.
Ironically, our favorite Banh Mi sandwiches in Hanoi were at nameless stands including the one outside our Airbnb apartment. We also enjoyed a decent Banh Mi with paté at Bánh Mì Bà though the flavor profile oddly skewed sweet over savory.
Bánh Mì̀ Bà Lan is located at 8 Chả Cá, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Pho Cuon (Rice Noodle Rolls)
If you love rice noodles, then you will love Pho Cuon where big rice noodles are rolled around beef and green herbs to create a delightful finger food. If the delicate flavors aren’t enough for you, then ramp it up by dipping the Pho Cuon into Nuoc Cham, a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, vinegar and chili. Check out our Pho Cuon in Hanoi Video to learn more about Pho Cuon and why it’s one of our favorite Hanoi foods.
Phở Cuốn Hương Sơn is located at 19 Ngũ Xã, Trúc Bách , Tây Hồ, Ha Noi, Vietnam.
Pho Chien Phong (Fried Pho Noodles)
We discovered Pho Chien Phong in the Truc Bach neighborhood, the same neighborhood where we ate Pho Cuon. In this dish, the pho noodles are cut into squares, deep fried and then topped with beef and sautéed green vegetables. Considering that we previously dubbed these squares as “little pillows of yumminess”, it’s fair to say that we highly recommend this dish.
Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)
When we think about our time in Hanoi, a key memory will likely be sitting on small plastic chairs and eating Banh Cuon for the first time at Banh Cuon Ba Hoanh. We had never eaten this dish before, and we immediately fell in love with the big pieces of fermented rice noodles served with fresh herbs and bowls of pork, mushroom and minced shallots.
Our love for Banh Cuon did not fade when we later heard a rumor that the dipping sauce may have been flavored with ca cuona, the essence of a giant water bug. If the rumor is true, then we got some extra protein.
Bánh Cuốn Bà Hoành is located at 66 Tô Hiến Thành, Bùi Thị Xuân, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Ôc Len Xào Dùa (Sea Snails in Coconut Milk)
Diners can be separated into two groups – those who love snails and those who don’t. We get that some people don’t feel comfortable eating the little mollusks. As for us, we love them.
In Hanoi, adventurous food travelers can eat snails bathed in coconut milk and lemongrass and then wash their hands in lemongrass-infused water. At least that’s what we did at Ốc Lan Béo Hải Phòng. See photo of our snail feast above.
We recommend eating Hanoi snails at your own risk since we can’t vouch for the cleanliness of the snails or the water where they live. Interestingly, our Vietnamese friend confided that she had never see foreigners eat local snails until she saw us suck down the little critters.
Ốc Lan Béo Hải Phòng is located at B1 Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Trung Tự, Đống Đa, Hà Nội.
Che (Sweet Dessert Soup)
Che is a Vietnamese dessert that we had not tried prior to our Hanoi visit, and we were unclear what it was until we tasted the sweet dish in Hanoi. Che can be either hot or cold, and it can have a wide range of ingredients like mung beans, red beans, fruit and tapioca beads.
Visitors can sample different varieties at decades-old Che Ba Thin in the Old Quarter. Our favorite is a hot sugar cane brew with a porridge-like texture and a strong ginger taste. You can find che at many eateries in the Old Quarter as it is a popular local Hanoi dessert.
Che Bà Thìn is located at 1 Bat Dan and Hang Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Worth a Splurge
Traditional Hanoi food is as cheap as it is good, but sometimes we like to treat ourselves to something different. Plus, we occasionally like to eat in a dining room with proper chairs and air conditioning even on holiday.
Hanoi restaurant food options range from elevated Vietnamese classics to global food from around the world. If you stay in Hanoi for more than a few days, you should check out one or more of the following restaurants:
Highway4 was double recommended to us, first by a friend of a friend who previously lived in Hanoi and then by our local fixer. With two trusted recommendations, we just had to check out this relatively fancy Old Quarter spot for a different take on Hanoi cuisine.
We relaxed during our meal while we sipped rice wine and feasted on a variety of Northern Vietnamese dishes. Though the owner originally hails from the UK, the innovative dishes are authentically Vietnam.
We especially enjoyed Highway4’s version of catfish spring rolls. This modern take on a traditional spring roll packs gently fried catfish and herbs inside a clear rice wrapper, but the real star of the dish is the flavorful wasabi soy sauce served on the side.
Highway4 has multiple locations in Hanoi. We recommend the location at 25 Bát Sứ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Delivering Wow, Sharing Happiness
Pizza 4P’s is a Vietnam-based Japanese run Italian pizza restaurant that serves Neapolitan pizza in three Vietnamese cities including Hanoi. Neapolitan pizza in Vietnam? Yep, after eating some of the best pizza in Naples and Caiazzo, we were skeptical too – until we took our first blissful bite.
Beyond its impeccable service and open kitchen concept, 4P’s serves pizzas that expertly blend Neapolitan techniques with Vietnamese ingredients. Yosuke and Sanae Masuko, the pizza chain’s Japanese owners, have introduced a farm to table concept that shines brightest with their housemade burrata. But the Japanese perfectionists don’t stop there. They even make their own chili sauce.
Eating authentic Neapolitan pizza with the best Vietnamese ingredients has a cost, with a pizza at 4P’s easily costing ten times the cost of a bowl of Pho. However, when it comes to value, 4P’s delivers.
Pizza 4P’s has multiple locations in Hanoi. We recommend the Old Quarter location at Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, Vietnam.
We don’t normally consider diner fare to be a splurge, but western food comes at a premium in Hanoi. This is a city where Vietnamese food reigns supreme, but there’s only so much Pho that a traveler can eat. If you stay in Hanoi long enough, you will eventually crave familiar foods like burgers and fries. It’s inevitable.
Owned by American expat Steven Kackerski originally from our home region of Philadelphia, S&L’s Diner has a menu filled with American comfort food favorites like chicken & waffles and macaroni and cheese. For the ultimate splurge, diners can wash their meals down with American-style milkshakes. The diner is open nightly until midnight, making it a great western way to start or end a night on the town in Hanoi.
S&L’s Diner is located at 22 Phố Báo Khánh, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Maison Marou Hanoi
We first discovered Marou Chocolate in Saigon and were so impressed that we filmed a video about the chocolate lover’s heaven. Needless to say, we were beyond ecstatic to discover that Marou now has a location in Hanoi.
Similar to the flagship Saigon location, Hanoi’s Maison Marou serves a variety of sophisticated pastries and beverages. Featuring the company’s farm-to-bar chocolate, these pastries and drinks are exquisitely composed and bursting with chocolate. Popular items include the signature chocolate tart and Paris-Saigon, a chocolate take on the French Paris-Brest.
Though you can’t make a bad selection at Maison Marou, we must insist that you order a chocolate egg cream. After sharing three on three separate visits, we affectionately nicknamed them egg coffees on steroids. To say we love this drink is an understatement.
Maison Marou Hanoi is located at 91A Thợ Nhuộm, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Drinks are a very important part of life in Hanoi since it’s important to stay hydrated in the hot climate. Our drinks of choice skewed toward the local Hanoi beer (Bia Ha Noi) and an old standby (Coca Cola). As beer drinkers, we’re happy to see a burgeoning craft beer scene in Hanoi with new beers like Saigon’s Pasteur Street sprouting up in the city.
Sometimes, though, we wanted something different to drink in Hanoi. When we did, here’s what we drank:
Ca Phe (Coffee)
We always seek out coffee shops when we travel, both for the caffeinated elixir as well as for workspaces with wi-fi. Though we weren’t sure what to expect in Hanoi in this regard, we found a thriving coffee scene with a wide range of coffee shops serving both traditional Vietnamese coffee drinks with sweetened condensed milk and western coffee drinks with espresso and steamed fresh milk.
Exploring the Hanoi coffee shops is fun. Some cafes are hidden, some double as art galleries and others serve their coffee with a view.
Kafeville is our favorite coffee shop in Hanoi for both drinking and working. This cozy cafe features beans from around the world including countries in Africa and South America as well as locally sourced Vietnamese beans.
Beyond the high quality of the coffee itself, Kafeville is also a great spot to work at a table or chillax on the cafe’s blue sofa. The staff is both professional and friendly, internet is fast and the latte art is photo-worthy.
Kafeville is located at 22 Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ba Đình, Nguyễn Trung Trực Ba Đình Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Situated across from Hoan Kiem Lake, recently renovated Haka Coffee serves third wave coffee drinks in a comfortable space with plenty of seating and free internet. Prices are higher here compared to other coffee shops, perhaps due to the cafe’s prime location. At least the drinks are generously sized, which helps justify the higher prices.
Haka Coffee is located at 39 Hàng Dầu, Hà Nội, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Cafe Pho Co
Hidden behind a boutique and accessed by winding, spiral staircases, Cafe Pho Co is worth the extra effort for the view alone. Add intriguing drink options like Yogurt Coffee and Egg Coffee (see below), and this cafe is not to be missed, In other words, go the view of Hoan Kiem Lake but stay for the coffee.
Cafe Pho Co is located at 11 Hàng Gai, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Tranquil Coffee and Books
Working at the original Tranquil Coffee and Books makes us feel tranquil. Dedicated to lovers of coffee and books, the quiet bi-level cafe is a great place to work while enjoying crafted coffees and fruity concoctions.
Tranquil comes alive at night, especially on open mic nights when musicians and other artists perform to a friendly crowd. Check the cafe’s calendar for open mic nights and other special events.
The original Tranquil Coffee and Books is located at Cửa Đông Hoàn Kiếm Vietnam, 5 Nguyễn Quang Bích, Cửa Đông, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Gấu Coffee differentiates itself from the pack by offering a tempting selection of croissants and bread in addition to excellently prepared cappuccinos, flat whites and lattes. With a second floor balcony overlooking the Old Quarter, Gấu is a great spot to develop a second wind during a day of sightseeing in Hanoi.
Since there’s only so much coffee even we can drink, we also enjoy exploring the Hanoi tea houses. In addition to offering a herbal alternative to coffee, Hanoi tea houses provide zen retreats from the busy citiy.
Thưởng Trà Quán
Proving that coffee shops are not the only secret spots in Hanoi, Thưởng Trà Quán is a hidden oasis in the center of Hanoi. This traditional tea shop serves a variety of traditional tea leaves that customers can brew at the table.
If you’re lucky, one of the staff will conduct a tea ceremony at the table. The traditional service is icing on the tea cake. Speaking of cake, they have that too.
Thưởng Trà Quán is located at 2E Tông Đản, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Truong Xuan Teahouse
It turns out that milk tea doesn’t actually have any milk in it, at least not at Truong Xuan Teahouse. We enjoyed a pleasant break here after touring the Temple of Literature. Like most drinks in Vietnam, milk tea is sweetened. Other tea options at the chill teahouse include jasmine, lotus and ginger.
Truong Xuan Teahouse is located at Ngô Tất Tố, Dong Da, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Ca Phe Trung (Egg Coffee)
At Giang Cafe, second-generation owner Tri Hoa Nguyen makes decadent egg coffee by adding a sweet topping of whisked chicken egg yolk, Vietnamese powder, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese over a base of strong coffee. Crowds flock for the chance to drink Nguyen’s concoction even though imposters line the street in an attempt to entice travelers into their shops.
Is egg coffee a coffee or is it a dessert? The answer is “yes” to that question, but the bigger question is when can we drink it again. Check out our Egg Coffee Hanoi Video to find out more about this unique Hanoi coffee dessert.
Giảng Cafe is located at 39B Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
We weren’t impressed by the Hanoi beer scene during our visit in 2016. Unlike Saigon, craft beer hadn’t hit the city yet. Fast forward to the present and thing have changed in a big way.
Hanoi now has an active craft beer scene with breweries like FURBREW, busy brewpubs and bustling bars. We taste tested a good bit of beer for ‘research purposes’ and these are our places to drink beer in Hanoi:
Pasteur Street Brewing Company
We liked the beer at Pasteur Street’s flagship Saigon location so much that we produced a video about the brewery and its unique beer flavors. After multiple visits at the Hanoi brewpub, we’re pleased to report that Pasteur Street has another winner in the northern part of the country.
Bigger and brighter than the original Saigon location, Hanoi’s Pasteur Street brewpub offers a comprehensive selection of the Vietnam brew including IPAs, Saisons and specialty beers with Vietnamese ingredients like Marou Chocolate (see above), coffee, lemongrass and dragon fruit.
The brewpub also serves a selection of bar food like chicken wings and chips. For day drinkers, snacks are free for those who order full pours, pints and flights between 3pm and 7pm.
Pasteur Street Brewing Company is located at 1 Ấu Triệu, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
Overlooking Truc Bach Lake, Standing Bar is a full-service bar with an admirable selection of local beers and ciders. Opened by the owner of Highway4 (see above), Standing Bar has 19 taps, each serving a different Vietnamese beer or cider.
The tap room also offers small plates like fat chips and yakitori for those who prefer to eat while they drink. We shared an order of fat chips and found them to be tasty as well as fat.
Standing Bar is located at 170 Trấn Vũ, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
New Hanoi bars are embracing the global cocktail movement and adding local twists. Though not as popular as other beverages yet, cocktails are definitely up and coming in the city that rarely does things part way. If you only visit one cocktail bar in Hanoi, go here:
Nê Cocktail Bar
At first glance, the menu at Nê looks ordinary with drinks like margaritas and daiquiris. But keep reading the expat-friendly bar’s menu to see an exciting selection of creative cocktails including the signature Pho cocktail which features ingredients like gin, Cointreau, star anise, cardamon and cinnamon. This drink alone is worth a special trip to the shabby chic pub located on a block littered with cheap Hanoi food stalls.
Seriously, the Pho cocktail is not to be missed. Half the fun of mixologist Pham Tien Tiep’s unique beverage is watching its fiery creation while the other half is imbibing the drink that actually tastes like its soupy namesake. We also recommend the O Mai made with gin, apricot, vanilla, apple, ginger and honey.
Nê Cocktail Bar is located at 3B Tống Duy Tân, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
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We thank Mai Nguyen from the Hanoi food blog Tho Loves Food. Our visits to Hanoi would not have been the same without her friendship and guidance.
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