What to eat in Hanoi? : 10 Cheap and delicious dishes!

What to eat in Hanoi?: Cheap and delicious!

After spending one month in the "Paris of the Orient", it's time to leave Hanoi. In the past four weeks we've seen so many beautiful and amazing sights, learned a lot about the history and culture of this incredible old city, gotten just a bit frustrated and annoyed by all the motorbikes, and made so many great memories. We've had more cups of that world-famous Vietnamese coffee than we can count, and eaten some incredible food from tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants and stalls set up right on the roadside. Here are some of our favorite dishes that we've had in Hanoi:

 1. Bánh mi

A banh mi is a foot-long baguette sandwich stuffed with delicious ingredients. This popular lunch dish has an influence from the French, as Vietnam used to be a part of French Indochina from the 19th to 20th century. These hot, freshly-baked, and super crispy baguettes can be stuffed with any filling that you choose, such as pork, chicken, egg, cheese, veggie, etc. 
You can also find vegetarian varieties too. The most common and popular filling, though, is pate! These baguettes are served warm, so that you when you bite down, you will enjoy the crispy outside and the soft inside. The best part is, it's cheap, delicious and filling! Banh mi is one of the cheapest street foods you can find in Hanoi. You can find one for as low as 15,000d. I enjoyed so many amazing and delicious banh mi at so many places in Hanoi, and you can check them out here on our blog.

Pate, Egg, and Cheese + Vegetarian Option Banh Mi
Pork Banh Mi
Duck Pate and Egg Banh Mi
Banh Mi Pate

2.Bún chả: Grilled pork with noodles


I highly recommend this dish in Hanoi. This delicious fatty grilled pork is served in a sweet and mellow broth along with pickled veggies which give a little sourness to the soup.

I went to several places and I have to admit that the restaurant where Barack Obama ate at is the best (Obama bun cha). I like to add lots of herbs, vegetables, garlic, and chili into my bun cha.

The "Combo Obama" set comes with a big bowl of soft and tasty grilled pork served in a sweet soup full of pickled vegetables and plates full of rice noodles, herbs, and veggies to dip into your broth. It also comes with a huge fried seafood roll on the side which was stuffed with shrimp and crab. The Combo Obama is also served with one ice-cold bottle of Hanoi Beer. And the best part? This presidential dish costs about the same as any other bun cha shop in Hanoi!

3.Bún Đậu Việt: Vietnamese mixed tofu platter

One popular Hanoi dish that isn't so easy to find is this delicious tray of fried tofu, spring rolls, and more! The food comes on a big leaf piled high with noodles, sliced pork, SUPER DELICIOUS FRIED TOFU (warm, crispy on the outside and so soft on the inside), fried spring rolls, herb-stuffed sausage, and some fried stuff that I'm not quite sure whether it is fish cake or pork cake (doesn't matter - it's tasty!). Dip everything into a bowl of fish sauce (squeezing a lime or to into the sauce is recommended for an extra yummy taste) and you will find that you can't stop eating! Reasonable price and super filling.

Tofu Platter

4.Bánh tráng trộn or Vietnamese mixed rice paper

This bánh tráng is very popular among locals and foreigner. Many corner of the streets have a shop that sells this. It's especially popular as a street food in the evening and after dark. People pull up tiny plastic stools  to sit down and enjoy this dish on the side of the street. The dish is a mix of shredded rice paper, quail eggs, thin slices of mango, vegetables and herbs, dried shredded pork, and peanuts. It is topped with a sweet and sour dressing. It's great for a meal or for snacking.

Rice Paper Snack

5.Phở Gà: Chicken Pho

Well, of course! Pho is the number one food that everyone would think of when it comes to Vietnamam. I found a local shop that makes an excellent and cheap bowl of hearty chicken pho. It's a healthy dish that contains rice noodles, chicken, and lots of veggies. I like it best with a bit of lime and chili. Soft chicken with rich warm soup are always good, for any meal of the day.

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

6.Cơm gà: Chicken rice

Cơm gà, or chicken rice, is pretty famous here. However it can look and taste different from place to place. The restaurant where I had it is a very good one. The yellow rice is well-cooked and topped with soft chicken. This dish is served with a fresh and tasty raw papaya salad. So yummy, filling, and healthy.

Com Ga

7.xôi gà: Chicken sticky rice

Xôi means sticky rice, and gà means chicken. I love sticky rice and I love chicken, so of course there is no way I would say no to this combination! Soft and chewy sticky rice is topped with chicken breast and sprinkled with a salty dressing sauce. Additional sweet and spicy sauce can give this dish a little extra punch. Where I had xoi ga, they sprinkled it with fried onions on the top, making it crunchy and adding extra flavor.

Xoi ga

8.Bún Thung: Rice noodles with egg, mushroom, pork pie, and chicken

Another delicious healthy dish is this Bun Thung. This dish is a big bowl full of rice noodles, chicken, mushrooms, and shredded omelette. This dish is very hearty and filling, and is good for any  meal. I found it to be especially great as a breakfast! After eating this to start my day, I  could spend the whole day sightseeing without feeling tired or hungry for a while.

Bun Thung

9.Bún dọc mùng or Pork noodles

Delicious super soft sliced pork and ribs served with chewy white noodles. The broth is an umami-rich soup that you can tell had been boiled with pork bones for hours and hours. I love having lots of veggie in my noodle as in the picture. You can always find a great bowl of noodles in Hanoi, no matter the time of day or night.

Pork Noodles
Phnom Penh Noodles
Chinese-Style Ravioli Soup

10.Delicious Vietnamese dessert: Chè Bốn Mùa

Delicious healthy Vietnamese dessert

It's a cup of delicious! This popular roadside dessert is served in a plastic cup and eaten with a spoon. The main part is sticky black agar (black jelly that is make out of some sort of grass that is famous in Asian desserts), lotus seeds, water chestnut, coconut milk, ice, and the rest... I don't know! It's very refreshing in this kind of heat, and it really cooled me off.

Vietnamese Dessert 


When you are in Hanoi, don't miss ordering a cup of EGG COFFEE!

Cafe Giang is the place where the creator of egg coffee opened the very first shop! The cafe is run by his son now, and it's been open since 1946. What is egg coffee like? Without knowing that it's served with whipped egg instead of cream in your coffee, you might have guessed that it's a milkshake or maybe even some sort of melted ice-cream! It's so rich, sweet, and thick. This Hanoi specialty was created at a time when Vietnam had a shortage of milk. You can choose to have your egg coffee cold or hot. You can even choose what to have with your egg instead of just coffee. I tried coffee and chocolate, but they serve other drinks as well, such as with rum, with cinnamon, with beer, etc. I would love to try more!

Cafe Giang Original Egg Coffee