HANOI BEST STREET FOODS (Part 2)

We are continuing our street food adventure in Hanoi, exploring some of the lesser-known yet delicious dishes. From the autumn delicacy of young rice to the colorful and refreshing summer treats of mixed fresh fruit, Hanoi has an endless list of delectable food options to offer. So, if you're a food lover, Hanoi is the place to be!
From the autumn delicacy of young rice to the colorful and refreshing summer treats of mixed fresh fruit, Hanoi has an endless list of delectable food options to offer. So, if you are a food lover, Hanoi is the place to be!
Hanoians don't rush in their early morning, and that makes it their special lifestyle.

Young green rice cake “Bánh cốm”

Hanoi is a city with a rich culinary culture, and one of its most famous snacks is the “Bánh cốm” – a sweet, fragrant green rice cake that many visitors like to bring home as a traditional gift for their loved ones. This dish is seasonal, usually made in the autumn, and the main ingredient is a type of green rice called “Cốm”.

To make a delicious cake, it is important to choose the right type of rice, monitor the heat levels carefully, and roast and grind the rice to perfection. The ideal cake should have a fresh green color and a thin crust that reveals the yellow-green peas inside. This cake is a traditional gift offered to the bride’s family from the groom’s side during weddings. Over the years, “Bánh cốm” has become a popular souvenir for visitors to Hanoi. It is best enjoyed with hot green tea, which helps balance its sweetness and enhance the flavor.

Young Rice cake Ha Noi streetfood

Pate baguette “Bánh mì pate”

When you visit Hanoi, you will find numerous baguette shops, especially in the Old Quarter. This might leave you confused as to which one to choose. However, the best Bánh mì in Hanoi is similar to those in Saigon, but to find it, you would need to explore the alleys to reach a small corner where a simple stall sells only baguettes with pate. Despite its ordinary appearance, you might have to wait in line during rush hour to taste this pate baguette. The secret to its deliciousness lies in the pate, which is made using a family recipe passed down through generations.

Though pate has its origins in France, Vietnamese people have developed many types of pate that suit their taste. The small baguette is filled with pate, dried onion, cilantro, cucumber, and chili sauce. It has no meat or ham, yet it is still delicious enough to bring fame to its owner.

Crab noodle soup “Bánh đa cua”

Bánh đa cua is a popular street food in Hanoi, enjoyed by many people. It is easy to find a bistro or restaurant selling it at a reasonable price. The taste of Bánh đa cua is unforgettable, yet light enough to avoid making your stomach heavy. This soup is made with fresh crab and served with Vietnamese ham, boiled spinach, sprouts, and topped with mouth-watering fried shallots and roasted peanuts. The noodles used in Bánh đa cua are flat and thicker than other types of rice noodles. For an added kick, it is recommended to squeeze some lemon and add some ground chili to enhance the flavor of this delicious dish..

Banh da Cua hanoi street eat
It's most enjoyable to share a bowl of mixed fresh fruit with your friends while chatting about your favorite topics.

Egg coffee “cà phê trứng”

“Cà phê trứng” is a famous Vietnamese drink traditionally made with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and Robusta coffee. It was created by Mr. Giang Nguyen, a well-known bartender of Metropole, in the 1950s. The coffee is brewed in a small cup with a filter and then mixed with a well-whisked mixture of the yolk and other ingredients. The cup is then placed in a bowl of hot water to maintain its temperature. During the cold winter of Hanoi, it’s a pleasure to sit at a small corner in the Old Quarter, sipping the hot creamy egg coffee while watching people walking across the streets. Hanoians don’t rush in their early morning, and that makes it their special lifestyle.

Mixed fresh fruit “Hoa quả dầm”

Vietnamese people, especially those residing in Hanoi, love to consume fresh fruits. As a tropical country blessed with an abundance of fruits, it’s no surprise that fruits are a staple in their diet. They can be consumed fresh or cooked as desserts. Lately, mixed fresh fruits have become a popular dessert in Vietnam. You can easily find a dozen different mixed fruit shops crowded around To Tich street in The Old Quarter. This demonstrates the popularity of this delicious dish. Making a bowl of mixed fruits is quite simple. You can order to make one yourself at the stall. First, pick a bowl size, place some crushed ice in the middle, then add your favorite tropical fruits, and finally choose your desired topping, such as condensed milk, syrups, or jams. It’s most enjoyable to share a bowl of mixed fresh fruit with your friends while chatting about your favorite topics.

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Hanoi countryside tales by traditional crafts

Today, drive an hour along the Red River to Ha Noi’s neighboring countryside through immense rice fields and fruit farms. Visit the village that birthed Vietnamese incense upon arrival. This village’s incense, made from over 30 herbs with skills passed down from generation to generation, is known for its pure, light scent. A guided stroll through the hamlet with older residents will take you to various family-run workshops to see the entire incense-making process and hear about the glory days of this traditional craft. Help the host make incense.

Take another short drive to a rural community behind endless rice fields and duck farms. The locals’ 200-year-old fish-pot crafting heritage includes bamboo weaving. Walk around the village to see the typical Northern countryside architecture: dark brown tiled roofs, three-room houses with elders sitting in front weaving fish-pots and chatting. Visit a local artisan who rode his bike across Vietnam to proudly promote his village’s unique traditional craft. Create your own fish pot with his help and give it as a present.

Notes:

  • Availability: Morning
  • Suggested time: 08:00
  • Duration: 6 hours

*Optional to add Nha Xa silk village
*Incense making at Thon Cao, Hung Yen. Fish-pot making village at Thu Sy, Hung Yen.
*Possible to have lunch at Hung Yen