When visiting a country, trying the local food is a must. Vietnam has always been famous for the noodle soup – Pho or recently, Banh Mi – Vietnamese style sandwich. However, there are so many other amazing dishes that people don’t know about yet. In this blog, we’ll let you in on the top 3 must-try local dishes and the top 3 restaurants of each food. Let’s begin on the ultimate foodie journey now!


Pho – the world-famous Vietnamese noodle soup

1. Pho Bat Dan

| Address: 40 Bat Dan street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

 

 

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SO GOODAH!(@sogoodah)님의 공유 게시물님,

Ask any Hanoi local. Pho Bat Dan is well-known for its long waiting queue throughout the day. It may discourage you at first, but if queueing up can get you to try the best pho in Hanoi, then it’s definitely worth the wait! The beef in Bat Dan’s pho is fresh, cooked to perfection and well sliced. The broth is sweet, all thanks to the beef bones being carefully stewed for hours. It’s exactly how you would describe an authentic bowl of pho in Hanoi, hence what makes Pho Bat Dan a must-visit restaurant for any pho lover.

Established almost 70 years ago, Pho Bat Dan is known not only because of its excellent pho but also for its unique queueing culture, which has lasted for decades and was a part of popular culture during the ’80s. The most interesting point is that no one seems to become impatient but rather calmly waits for their turn. It’s a self-service restaurant, so you must wait for your turn and take your self-served food to your table. There’s no waiter to do it for you! Our tip from the locals is to always have at least one other person to go with you here. One will wait to order whilst the other goes inside the restaurant to reserve the seats for two.

2. Pho Thin

| Address: 13 Lo Duc street, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

 

 

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@s_yamm님의 공유 게시물님,

Serving equally appetising pho is Pho Thin. Though established later and located further from the city center than Bat Dan, Pho Thin has quickly risen to the top ranks. The most famous dish here is stir-fried medium-rare steak noodles. The steak is quickly stirred with ginger, tons of onion and garlic then added to the bowl with the noodles. The broth of Pho Thin is a bit fattier than that of some other restaurants but it is delicious in its own way. You should eat this with additional spices such as pepper, chili sauce, vinegar or fish sauce to make the bowl even more abundant in flavor. Lastly, let’s not forget eating pho with a few sticks of Chinese cruller, then you will definitely understand the way Hanoians eat pho as a culture.

3. Pho Ga Cham (Chicken noodle soup)

| Address: 64-68 Yen Ninh street, Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi

 

 

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Chicken noodle is favored by lots of people as it can be eaten all year round. For locals, Cham chicken noodle on Yen Ninh street is a dominant pho brand in Hanoi. Not only the excellent pho but also its exorbitant price will wow you. Many first-time visitors are shocked by the price here as it is double or even triple the price compared to other restaurants. Despite the high price, the generous bowl size and high-quality ingredients will help to make up for it! The noodles are much more tender and chewier. Usually, there will be 4-5 big pieces of chicken, meatballs and onions in your bowl Depending on your preference, you can order eggs, immature eggs, organs or Chinese crullers to add an extra tinge of deliciousness into your serving.


Cha Ca – a marinated fish dish, grilled on charcoal and stir-fried in a fat-grey-pan with tons of dill, onion and herbs. Usually served with peanuts, fish sauce and Vietnamese grilled rice cakes.

1. Nha Hang Cha Ca La Vong

| Address: 107 Nguyen Truong To street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi

 

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Visit one of the first Cha Ca restaurants in town, Nha Hang Cha Ca La Vong, named after one of the streets in Hanoi Old Quarter. This dish is one of the most popular dishes amongst Hanoi citizens and they are very proud of it. Well, they should be! Cha Ca La Vong gives the cha ca dish its unique taste by boiling it in a vegetable oil pan. Eating this special dish needs some techniques though. You can eat it with rice vermicelli, peanuts, coriander, dill, spiced fresh onion and an indispensable ingredient – fish sauce.

2. Cha Ca Kinh Ky

| Address: 104 Hoa Ma street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi

 

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Cha Ca Kinh Ky is another place in Hanoi that attracts a large number of international and local visitors. Each piece of fish is left to season for several hours and is then grilled on top of an opened coal oven. After receiving an order from a customer, the restaurant staff will bring a small stove, pour the vegetable oil in a pan and wait until the pan is hot enough. When the pieces of fish turn yellow, you can eat it with fresh green herbal leaves such as coriander, basil, onions, a bowl of peanuts and so on.

3. Cha Ca Lao Ngu

| Address: 171 Thai Ha street, Dong Da district, Hanoi

 

 

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This restaurant makes Cha Ca with catfish which is more tender and greasier than snake-head fish. Some people might find the taste a bit strange at first but it is definitely worth a try. We highly recommend this place to anyone who loves to try new things or is looking for a tastebud-tingling experience!

*Tip: We suggest you try the fish spring rolls here. It is one of the most unique dishes at the restaurant and is served with a very unique herb sauce that is worth trying!


Bun Cha – Vietnamese grilled fatty pork, served with white vermicelli, different types of herbs, bean sprouts and dipping sauce.

1. Bun Cha Huong Lien

| Address: 24 Le Van Huu street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi

 

 

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This bun cha restaurant is extremely famous because of its delicious soup and deep-fried crab-meat spring rolls. The restaurant is so famous that Anthony Bourdain once took former U.S. President Barack Obama here. You might have even heard that they have changed their menu to include the Obama set. The Obama set includes one drink of your choice, a bowl of awesome bun cha, fresh herbs and a big fat piece of the crab-meat spring roll. However, there’s going to be a long queue so, be ready to wait for about 10–15 minutes under the sun. Even if it takes longer, we assure you that it’s definitely worth the wait!

2. Bun Cha Dac Kim

| Address: No.1 Hang Manh street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

 

 

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Travelers can see Bun Cha Dac Kim at the end of Hang Manh street, in the middle of Hanoi Old Quarter. This place has particularly become a popular destination for many overseas tourists traveling to Hanoi. Due to its small space and good reputation, at peak hours, customers have to move to the second floor of the restaurant or sit on plastic stools along the sidewalk. The name “Dac Kim” originates from the owner in 1965, and future generations have preserved the special recipe and the careful process of choosing ingredients. Each set of Bun Cha Dac Kim is served with 3 different types of meat – grilled pork belly, Vietnamese meatball, and leaf-wrapped meatball. Nonetheless, it is quite affordable costing around 60,000-80,000 VND (about 3-4USD). Although the store may be small, its reputation flies far and wide as one of the symbols of Hanoi cuisine.

3. Bun Cha Ha Noi at 34 Hang Than

| Address: 34 Hang Than street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

 

 

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Devan(@devanx)님의 공유 게시물님,

This place is famous for the best “cha” which has been confirmed by those who have eaten at Bun Cha at 34 Hang Than before. What’s more, they’ve set the bar quite high for food presentation, serving a Bun Cha set – rice noodles, cha, herbs – on a tray making it 100 times more appetizing! A  Bun Cha Hang Than set is quite cheap, costing only around 35.000 VND (2 USD) and tourists can revel in a bowl full of grilled meat! There are 2 types of cha, but they are all grilled moderately so that they are fragrant, sweet and soft. The minced meat is wrapped in xuong song leaf – a kind of herb thus has a really strong taste to it. The restaurant is normally very crowded at noon so if you happen to drop by then, you will experience a whole meal on the sidewalk of Hanoi!


If you want to try more of the local food there, check out this Hanoi Old Quarter Street Food Walking Tour for a truly authentic foodie experience!

If you are a food lover, we assure you our top 3 picks above won’t let you down. Promise to swing by as many restaurants as you can and let us know what you personally think about each of the dishes!

Don’t forget to visit our website Trazy.com, Asia’s#1 Travel Shop, for more interesting information and helpful tips on your travel all the time!

[Photo Credits]

Buinguyencuong via Wikimedia Commons

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