The Ultimate Hanoi Food Guide
Being British born Vietnamese has a lot of perks, one of them being the constant exposure to Vietnamese food. I learnt on my trip to Vietnam a few years ago, that the variety of all the food options in Vietnamese is massive.
My family are from the North of Vietnam, so I pretty much have Pho all the time. Fun fact is that pho varies between areas – in the south of Vietnam they have beansprouts with their Pho! The thought of this is still completely strange to me.
In Hanoi, there is a very popular area called the Old Quarter. Where you can find all the most common dishes in Vietnam from Pho to my favourite bun cha. Here is my list of the must-try dishes in Vietnam hope you enjoy.
Essential Vietnamese Dishes
- Pho – Pho is a must-have in Vietnam! If you’re looking for something healthy and fresh, Pho is the way to go. For those who don’t know what Pho is, Pho is a traditional rice noodle soup dish which is traditionally made from a beef or chicken stock. I would personally recommend trying Pho Tai. This is a type of pho that comes with raw, thinly sliced pieces of beef and left on top of the noodle and cooked slightly when the boiling hot broth is poured over it.
- Bun Cha – This is by far my favourite dish in Vietnam. This is essentially juicy BBQ grilled pork with rice noodles and a dipping fish sauce. The pork in the Bun cha comes in 2 forms – mini patties or grilled slices. I prefer grilled slices mainly because it has a better texture.
- Bun Bo Hue – Another noodle broth base dish. For the spicy lovers out there, this is for you. Vermicelli Soup with a beef brisket that melts in your mouth.
- Com Tam – You can never go wrong with rice right? Broken rice with a side of a lot of vegetables
- Banh Cuon – A steamed rice roll that normally comes with a pork filling and a fish dipping sauce.
Light delightful Vietnamese Bites
- Banh Mi – inspired by the french baguette, banh mi normally comes in a fresh baguette roll with picked carrots and barbecued pork.
- Xoi – Sticky Rice cooked in with pork and vegetables perfect for a home cook food vibe.
- Nem Ran – aka Fried Spring Rolls
- Banh Xeo – A Vietnamese crepe with the options of prawns or pork with a side of fresh vegetables and fish sauce.
- Bun Thit Nuong – A mix of barbecued beef and vermicelli.
- Goi Cuon – Summer rolls – Light rice cake rolls with prawns/pork and vermicelli wrapped into a neat and tidy roll.
Classic Vietnamese Desserts & Drinks
- Che Ba Mau – The three coloured Dessert, great for cooling you down on a nice hot day. This dessert has 3 distinct layers composed of Red bean, Pandan Jelly and mungs beans which comes with ice and coconut milk.
- Banh Flan aka Caramen (A creme Caramel Pudding) – A classic dessert that is like a flan! It’s soft and very sweet and hits the spot for those with a sweet tooth.
- Banh Tieu – Vietnamese Doughnuts – This hollow Vietnamese doughnut, is both sweet and savoury and is completely covered in sesame seeds.
- Dua Tuoi (Fresh Coconut) – I’m not normally a fan of coconut water but in vietnam its so fresh and light and something I can drink all day. The street venders will cut the one for you right there and then for you to drink
- Ca Phe sua nong- I’m not normally a coffee fan but in asia the coffee is alot lighter and alot sweeter which I love. This is a rich and flavourful coffee that is combined with condensed milk.
Considering all of the above and if this list was not long already, there are so much more Vietnam has to offer on food. I’ll definitely write more about Vietnam in later posts feel free to drop me your opinion on your favourite Vietnamese dishes.