Recommended long-standing food vendors in Hanoi Old Quarter
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You might think of Hanoi as an utterly mind-boggling cacophony of traffic, noise, and scents but there should be a reason for people to go on their Hanoi day tours! And Hanoi’s food is one of the key attractions.
Situated in the heart of Vietnam’s chaotic capital city, the Old Quarter serves up a taste of Vietnam’s best street food. At any time of the day, there is a meal awaiting on your food tour in Hanoi. Expect everything from all kinds of noodles from pho, banh da (rice noodles) through to porridge. Just wander around to see what takes your fancy and happily enjoy a taste of Northern Vietnam.
Phở gánh (Pho ganh)
Pho ganh Hang Chieu
Indisputably one of the most iconic Vietnamese foods on an international level, pho is everywhere you go in Vietnam. But not all restaurants in the capital city offer the same flavor. Pho ganh, whose only star is Vietnam’s national noodle soup, is thought to serve the authentic flavor of Hanoi’s style pho. The open kitchens allow diners to admire the cheap bowls of soup with ultra-fresh ingredient and slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth slices of beef are prepared before being brought to the table and served hot with chili and lime juice.
The vendor boils her noodle broth only a few hours from 3-4.00.A.M. to 7.00.A.M. making it a popular address among the city’s late eaters and Hanoians who wake up early to do exercises. If you want to try, make sure to get up early or stay up late! Here, you can slurp down your own hot bowl of pho without concern about table manners. Just grab yourself one paper napkin or two to mop up any ensuing mess, swirl on your chopsticks and chow on down. A Hanoi classic dish, pho is what you should not miss on any food tour in Hanoi.
- Address: Hang Duong – Hang Chieu Intersection
- Operating hours: 3.00.A.M – 7.00.P.M.
- Average cost per person: VND 25,000 – 40,000
Bánh đa trộn (Mixed rice noodles)
Banh da tron
If you do not like pho, no worries! Head over to 42C Ly Thuong Kiet Street. A popular lunch staple among not only local senior citizens but also teenagers and food lovers, the bowl itself embraces a staggering choice of fresh vegetables, meat, lean pork paste, fried fish, tofu, bean sprouts, tasty sauce, roasted peanuts, and fried onions that the vendor prepares and serves herself right on the pavement. That’s why we call it Hanoi street food! The fantastic variety of ingredients is sure to make connoisseurs please. Avoid lunchtimes unless you particularly crave the crush of hungry crowds.
- Address: 42C Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Operating hours: 11.00.A.M. – 06.00.P.M.
- Average cost per person: VND 30,000 – 50,000
Cháo sườn cô Là – rice porridge with pork spare ribs
Rice porridge with pork spare ribs is Hanoian’s favorite snack food and everyone in the capital city has an opinion about where the best cháo sườn in town can be found. There are many excellent options around town, but a very respectable example of the specialty can be had from the stall of Ms.La on Quan Su Street, in the Old Quarter.
Popular with locals for more than 20 years, Cháo sườn cô Là is perpetually busy with a queue of hungry diners ordering cháo sườn to eat on the plastic chairs or even to take-away. Pretty healthy and packed with loads of nutrition, a bowl of porridge topped off with quẩy – a kind of fried breadstick is heartwarmingly good, especially during winter!
- Address: Quan Su, Hoan Kiem District
- Operating hours: 3.30.P.M – 5.30.P.M.
- Average cost per person: VND 25,000 – 30,000
Although touristy, Hanoi Old Quarter has some lovely food stalls selling a diverse range of authentic treats and delicious snacks, from noodles to porridge, and more. Arrive feeling adventurous… and hungry. Vendors are packed close together promising you an unforgettable Hanoi food tour. All you need to do is follow your nose, wander and graze on whatever takes your fancy, and eat where the locals eat.