Once again I was drawn back to Ha Noi and its wonderful street food. Just a 1.5 day trip this time, but as long as you’re in Viet Nam generally or Ha Noi specifically, time shouldn’t be much of a problem for food discovery (your stomach does). Hidden in the little corners of the Ha Noi food maze are countless food treats to explore. Let’s see what I found out this time.
1. Mì vằn thắn (Wonton noodle soup)- 125 Mai Hắc Đế, Hai Bà Trưng district
This noodle soup is believed to originate from Guang Dong, China. Main ingredients include egg noodle, vằn thắn or hoành thánh (wonton), char siu, pork liver, boiled egg, leafy vegetables… Very clear and subtle broth made from chicken and pig bones, shrimps, fish…
Note: Opposite this restaurant is a very impressive white building in the heart of Ha Noi!
2. Phô mai que (Cheese stick) – 15 Tạ Hiện
A new-found snack of Ha Noi youngsters. Crunchy outside, hot and soft inside… a fun and kinda unusual snack for Vietnamese. Go to Tạ Hiện street, you’ll find plenty of shops selling these cheese sticks along the pavements. Tạ Hiện is such a beautiful little street in the old quarters of Ha Noi (first photo), quite similar to Hoi An ancient town. Munching cheese sticks while enjoying the picturesque view in the awesome weather of Ha Noi autumn was not a bad idea.
Bún riêu is a popular Ha Noi dish, normal ingredients being crab paste, tofu and noodle in tomato broth. Beef and giò is optional. I find bún riêu quite similar to bún ốc (snail noodle soup), and prefer the latter. Thanh Hồng is among the popular bún riêu addresses in Ha Noi, I liked this shop because it offered proper seating and aircon, a luxury you don’t often come across in Ha Noi street food culture.
4. Outdoor BBQ – 78 Nguyễn Thái Học
Tell me what could be better than outdoor BBQ, Ha Noi style dining and chilly weather? Expect to spend hours in front of a tiny charcoal bbq to finish all kinds of perfectly marinated meat, fish, prawns, mushrooms, sausages, greens… Delicious!
5. Dried fruits – Tiến Thịnh – 21 Hàng Đường, q. Hoàn Kiếm
Enough with eating (well, not really), let’s not forget souvenirs to bring back home. Ha Noi’s ubiquitous dried fruits can be found at 21 Hang Duong. 10+ different types of dried apricot (mơ) alone! Also: dried plum, tamarind, lemon, táo mèo (Docynia indica), sấu … I’m not a fan of sour and sweet jams, but why is my mouth watering?
Not to mention re-visits to some of the must-have dishes, that was not bad for a 1.5 day trip huh! I hope you are looking forward to Part 3 like I already am.
Summer created Danangcuisine.com in 2010 to share her eating experience in her hometown Da Nang and other cities around Viet Nam and Asia. She also runs the Funtastic hostels, Food tour and Cooking class in Danang.