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The 5 Spots That You Absolutely Need To Eat At In Hanoi


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Tammie Worsham



Welcome to Hanoi, the vibrant capital city of Vietnam known for its rich culinary traditions and delectable food. Exploring the local food scene in Hanoi is a must for any food enthusiast, as the city offers a plethora of mouth-watering dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.


Hanoi’s food culture is deeply rooted in its history and influenced by French, Chinese, and Vietnamese flavors. From street food stalls to bustling markets and cozy restaurants, there are plenty of options to indulge in authentic Vietnamese cuisine.


In this article, we will take you on a gastronomic journey through Hanoi, highlighting the top 5 spots that you absolutely need to eat at. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure and discover the unique flavors and aromas that define Hanoi’s food scene.


Whether you are craving a steaming bowl of pho, a crispy banh mi sandwich, or a sizzling plate of cha ca, Hanoi has something to satisfy every palate. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable food travel experience as we introduce you to the must-visit restaurants and street food stalls in the city.


Each of these spots has cemented its reputation as a culinary institution, offering not only exceptional food but also a glimpse into the local culture and way of life. From centuries-old recipes to innovative twists on classic dishes, these establishments showcase the diversity and complexity of Vietnamese cuisine.


So, without further ado, let’s dive into the first stop on our culinary adventure through Hanoi – Bun Cha Dac Kim.


Bun Cha Dac Kim

When it comes to iconic Hanoi dishes, bun cha is a must-try, and there’s no better place to sample it than Bun Cha Dac Kim. Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, this humble eatery has gained a reputation for serving some of the best bun cha in the city.


Bun cha is a traditional Vietnamese dish consisting of grilled pork patties, served with noodles, fresh herbs, and a flavorsome dipping sauce. The melt-in-your-mouth pork is marinated with a combination of spices and char-grilled to perfection, imparting a smoky and savory taste.


At Bun Cha Dac Kim, the dish is prepared with finesse. The pork patties are carefully grilled over a charcoal fire, ensuring that they are tender and infused with a smoky aroma. The noodles are cooked to perfection, providing a satisfying texture to complement the flavorful meat.


The highlight of the meal is the flavorful dipping sauce, made with fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and a medley of aromatic herbs. The balance of sweet, sour, and umami flavors creates a delicious harmony that elevates the entire dish.


One of the unique aspects of dining at Bun Cha Dac Kim is the communal experience. You’ll be seated at a crowded but vibrant space, where locals and tourists alike come to savor the delicious bun cha. The lively atmosphere adds to the authenticity of the dining experience.


So, if you’re in Hanoi, make sure to make a stop at Bun Cha Dac Kim to taste their renowned bun cha. Prepare for a flavor explosion as you indulge in this delectable dish that exemplifies the essence of Hanoi’s culinary scene.


Pho Gia Truyen

No visit to Hanoi is complete without trying the city’s most famous dish – pho. And for the best pho experience in town, head to Pho Gia Truyen.


Located in a small alley in the Old Quarter, Pho Gia Truyen is known for its authentic and flavorsome bowls of pho. The restaurant is always bustling with locals and tourists alike, a testament to its popularity and reputation.


Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of tender rice noodles, aromatic herbs, and a hearty broth. The broth is the star of the show at Pho Gia Truyen, as it is simmered for hours using a secret blend of spices, creating a rich and flavorful base.


What sets Pho Gia Truyen apart is the sheer quality of the ingredients. The beef used in their pho is sourced meticulously to ensure tenderness and flavor. Whether you order the rare beef, well-done beef, or a combination of both, you can expect each slice to be perfectly cooked and melt-in-your-mouth tender.


To enhance the flavors of the pho, a plate of fresh herbs is provided, including Thai basil, bean sprouts, and lime. These accompaniments add a refreshing and vibrant touch to the dish, allowing you to customize the flavors to your liking.


Once you take your first spoonful of the hot and comforting broth, you’ll understand why Pho Gia Truyen has such a loyal following. The balance of flavors, the aroma of the spices, and the tender meat create a bowl of pho that is simply unforgettable.


Remember to arrive early as the restaurant tends to get crowded during peak hours. There may be a short wait, but trust us, the delicious bowl of pho at Pho Gia Truyen is well worth it.


So, if you’re a pho lover or want to experience the quintessential Hanoi culinary delight, make sure to visit Pho Gia Truyen for an authentic and memorable pho experience.


Banh Mi 25

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious snack or a hearty lunch in Hanoi, Banh Mi 25 is the place to go. This charming street food stall is renowned for its mouth-watering banh mi sandwiches.


Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that beautifully combines French and Vietnamese flavors. At Banh Mi 25, you’ll find a wide variety of fillings to choose from, including grilled pork, pate, chicken, and vegetarian options.


What makes Banh Mi 25 stand out is the incredible balance of flavors and textures in their sandwiches. The baguettes are freshly baked, with a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior, creating the perfect base for all the delicious fillings.


The marinated and grilled meats are cooked to perfection, offering a smoky and succulent bite. Layered with pate, mayonnaise, pickled vegetables, and a medley of herbs, each bite of the banh mi is a delightful explosion of flavors.


One of the secrets behind Banh Mi 25’s popularity lies in the quality of their ingredients. The pickled vegetables are tangy and crisp, adding a refreshing crunch to every bite. The herbs, like cilantro and mint, bring a burst of freshness to the sandwich, balancing out the richness of the meats.


What’s more, Banh Mi 25 offers a customization option, allowing you to personalize your sandwich to your liking. If you prefer it spicy, they have an array of condiments and chili sauces available to give it an extra kick.


For a truly authentic experience, enjoy your banh mi on the go as you explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi. The convenience and portability of this iconic street food make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.


Next time you find yourself craving a tasty and satisfying sandwich, head to Banh Mi 25 for a fulfilling banh mi experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a happy belly.


Quan An Ngon

If you’re looking for a dining experience that showcases the diversity and flavors of Vietnamese cuisine all in one place, look no further than Quan An Ngon. This renowned restaurant in Hanoi is a haven for food lovers seeking an extensive menu of mouth-watering dishes.


Located in a beautifully restored French colonial building, Quan An Ngon offers a unique and charming ambiance. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the bustling open kitchen, where talented chefs prepare a wide array of Vietnamese specialties.


The menu at Quan An Ngon features a vast selection of Vietnamese classics from different regions of the country. From crispy spring rolls to grilled meats, aromatic soups to refreshing salads, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the variety of dishes available.


One of the highlights of dining at Quan An Ngon is the opportunity to witness the food being prepared in front of your eyes. You can see the skilled chefs grilling meats over an open flame, tossing noodles in woks, and delicately assembling intricate dishes.


Not only is the food at Quan An Ngon delicious, but it also showcases the cultural heritage and regional specialties of Vietnam. You can explore the flavors of the North, Central, and Southern regions, experiencing the unique taste profiles and culinary traditions of each area.


The ambiance of Quan An Ngon further enhances the dining experience. The spacious courtyard with its traditional Vietnamese architecture, complete with wooden furniture and lush greenery, provides a tranquil escape from the bustling streets of Hanoi.


Whether you’re a solo traveler or visiting with a group, Quan An Ngon offers something for everyone. It’s the perfect place to gather with friends, indulge in a flavorful feast, and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese cuisine.


So, if you’re looking for a one-stop destination to savor a wide range of Vietnamese delicacies under one roof, make sure to visit Quan An Ngon for an unforgettable culinary journey through Vietnam.


Cha Ca Thang Long

Prepare your taste buds for a unique and delicious dining experience at Cha Ca Thang Long, a legendary restaurant in Hanoi specializing in cha ca – a traditional Vietnamese dish that will leave you craving for more.


Cha ca is made from chunks of white fish, typically catfish or snakehead fish, marinated in turmeric, galangal, and other aromatic spices. At Cha Ca Thang Long, they have perfected this dish, making it their specialty for over a century.


When you step into Cha Ca Thang Long, you’ll immediately notice the sizzling pans of fish on every table, as the aroma of the spices fills the air. The waitstaff will bring a hot charcoal burner to your table, ensuring that the fish stays piping hot and retains its tantalizing flavors.


The highlight of the meal is the interactive cooking process. You will be provided with a plate of herbs, including dill, mint, and cilantro, as well as vermicelli noodles, peanuts, and shrimp paste. The waitstaff will guide you on how to assemble the perfect cha ca dish.


As you grill the fish at your table, you’ll be captivated by the tempting smells and the sizzle of the spices. The fish becomes tender and flaky, infused with the rich flavors of the marinade. The combination of fragrant herbs, crispy peanuts, and silky noodles creates a texture and taste explosion in every bite.


The experience of dining at Cha Ca Thang Long is not just about the food, but also about the ambiance. The restaurant exudes a sense of history and tradition, with its tasteful decor and attentive service. It’s an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Hanoi’s culinary heritage.


Prepare to be amazed by the symphony of flavors and textures that cha ca offers at Cha Ca Thang Long. Join the locals and tourists alike who have fallen in love with this iconic dish and experience a unique culinary adventure.


Remember to make a reservation in advance, as Cha Ca Thang Long tends to get crowded, especially during peak hours. This restaurant is a must-visit for anyone seeking an authentic and memorable dining experience in Hanoi.



Congratulations, you’ve now explored the top 5 spots that you absolutely need to eat at in Hanoi. From the famous bun cha at Bun Cha Dac Kim to the iconic pho at Pho Gia Truyen, the delicious banh mi at Banh Mi 25, the diverse Vietnamese cuisine at Quan An Ngon, and the unique cha ca experience at Cha Ca Thang Long, you’ve embarked on a culinary journey through the vibrant streets of Hanoi.


Hanoi’s food scene is a reflection of its rich history, cultural diversity, and culinary excellence. Each of these spots showcases the authenticity and flavors that make Vietnamese cuisine so special. From traditional street food stalls to well-established restaurants, there is something to satisfy every craving and cater to every palate.


While these spots have become renowned and popular among both locals and tourists, they continue to maintain the charm and authenticity that has made them so beloved. The dedication to quality ingredients, traditional cooking techniques, and unforgettable flavors is what sets them apart.


When you visit these spots, you’re not just indulging in delicious food; you’re also immersing yourself in the vibrant culture and history of Hanoi. From the communal dining experience at Bun Cha Dac Kim to the bustling atmosphere at Quan An Ngon, you’ll feel the pulse of the city and get a taste of its unique character.


So, whether you’re a food lover, an adventurer, or simply someone seeking to experience the true essence of Hanoi, make sure to add these 5 spots to your food travel itinerary. Let your taste buds guide you through the flavors and aromas that define Hanoi’s culinary scene, and create lasting memories of your food adventures in this captivating city.


Remember, this is just the beginning of your gastronomic exploration in Hanoi. The city has countless other hidden gems waiting to be discovered. So, grab your chopsticks, loosen your belt, and prepare for a culinary adventure that will leave you craving for more.