Best Local Food in Hanoi Only The Locals Know

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, there are so many local food and restaurants for you choose from. Very often, travellers find themselves lost in choices. Luckily, when we visited Hanoi this time, our local friend Ha Linh brought us around to eat the best local food in Hanoi. If the food is recommended by locals like Ha Linh, where else can you find better food guide? So in this post, I’m going to show you the best local food in Hanoi, guaranteed and highly recommended by the locals!

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
Address: 10 Lý Quốc Sư, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

When it comes to Vietnam food, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? Pho! I guess that’s most people’s answer. Pho is a noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, a few herbs, and meat, primarily made with either beef or chicken. In my opinion, beef is so much better than chicken in general, as beef tends to be tender and chicken tends to be tough. The chef in the restaurant used fresh raw beef to cook, so the meat is very tender.

However, as the restaurant is so popular among the locals, it’s constantly crowded. We had such a hard time finding a table and eat together! And the place is not very clean…Well, we will just have to make do with that, if we want to try authentic good Pho in Hanoi.

Cafe Tra Chanh
Address: 26 Nha Tho Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

There’s no better way to chill and quench your thirst than a nice cup of ice tea. Ha Linh brought us to a small cafe right opposite of St Joseph Cathedral. The café was very different from what we expected. Instead of nice sofa, the shop only provides plastic stools.

Sounds strange? That’s café in the local way! The Green Lemon Iced Tea is pretty delicious. While enjoying your tea here, you can spend time admiring the St Joseph Cathedral and chatting with your friends!

Square Cake (Bánh Chưng)
Address: Along the street of the Old Quarter

Packed with charming colonial architecture, Buddhist temples and pagodas, the Old Quarter, located near Hoan Kiem Lake, is Hanoi’s most popular district. There are so many street stalls around selling different kinds of local delights. We tried out a few and Square Cake (Bánh chưng) is the best in my opinion.

Bánh chưng is a traditional Vietnamese rice cake which is made from glutinous rice, mung bean, pork and other ingredients. After deep frying it, the skin of the rice cake becomes very crispy and fragrant, while the inner ingredients remain soft and tasty. Try it out and let me know if you agree with me.

Crab Noodle Soup (Bún riêu)
Address: 15 Hàng Chĩnh. Hanoi

Don’t be mislead by the Korean BBQ sign. The shop actually sells Crab Noodle Soup (Bún riêu) in the morning till afternoon, and Korean BBQ in the evening. Bun rieu is a northern crab and tomato noodle soup made with thin round rice noodles (instead of wide & flat like pho). There are no real crab meat pieces in there, but rather small clusters of crab egg. The sweet and sour taste makes it really delicious!

Hang Che Ngon Huong Hai 93
Address: Same as its name >o<

According to Ha Linh, it’s the best dessert shop in Hanoi. And indeed it lives up to its name! This small dessert shop offers a variety of dessert at a super cheap price. I especially like its Green Bean soup!

Cong Caphe
Address: 54 Hang Dieu, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam

Cong Caphe is a popular coffee chain with its rustic, military chic decor. We tried the coconut milk coffee which is recommended a popular kind of drink in Cong cafe. The coffee is great but it’s a little expensive. The price is almost the same as coffee from Starbucks. But it’s nicer in my opinion.

Fragrance Café & Restaurant
Address: 35 Gia Ngu Street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem Distr

We stopped by this café a couple of times as our Halong bay and Sapa tour pick up point was here. We tried the Egg Coffee and really liked it! The staff genearlly take close to 10 mins just to make the coffee. It is so thick and fragrant and I highly recommend you to give it a try! I don’t quite like the western food here though. If you really want to dine in, you can consider trying the Vietnamese hotpot. The cafe owner said they are famous for it.

Hanoi is my favorite Vietnam city so far to eat in. It offers the great variety and the best value. I’m dreaming of when I can go back to Hanoi just to eat all of this food again. If you have been to Hanoi and tried very good food, share with us by commenting below! When it comes to food recommendations, the more the merrier.

Check out the video below for Best Local Food in Hanoi! I made it specially so that you can have a better feel of the food and the atmosphere. Like it if you enjoy watching it! 🙂

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