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The best noodle dishes in Hanoi

Hanoi is a great land for those who want to discover Vietnamese food. Below are the top ten noodle dishes that tourists should try when they come to the city.

Pho (Vietnamese noodle)

Throughout the country, you can easily find yourselves a hot bowl of pho. Yet if you are a food expert or you are acquainted with the taste of Hanoi pho, you will find that there is no pho that can have the flavor of the one served in Hanoi. The light sweetness of the hot broth which floods the white rice noodles having particular flavors of Hanoi will bring you the most satisfying feeling.

Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef or chicken. The soup consists of noodles made from rice flour. This dish is often served with Asian basil, saw tooth herb, rau om (rice paddy herb), cilantro, thinly sliced green onion, lime juice, and bean sprouts that are added to the soup by the person who is dining. 

The dish is associated with the city of Hanoi in which the first Pho restaurant opened in the 1920s. 

Pho is a popular street food, and night-food. Alongside gỏi cuốn, “Pho” is one of “the world’s 50 most delicious foods,” according to CNN. There are a large number of famous pho restaurants in Hanoi, such as Pho Co Cu on Lieu Giai Road, Thin restaurant on Lo Duc Street, Suong restaurant on Dinh Liet Street, etc. 


Pho tron (Mixed pho) 

One of the favorite foods in Hanoi is pho tron. This dish is popular and delicious. 

It’s a dry type noodles dish that includes dried beef, bean sprouts, dried onion and other raw vegetables; served in sour and sweet sauce made from fish sauce.

The noodles are added into the bowl and then some pork chop, herbs, peanuts and dried scallions. 

Next, the cooks will add sour sauce,the most important ingredient to make this dish delicious. 

Each shop has a different way of making this sauce and they keep it as a secret. Therefore, you may enjoy different tastes in different restaurants. 


Bun cha (vermicelli with grilled pork)

Bun cha is the signature dish of Hanoi. 

At lunchtime you’ll find just about all of Hanoi sitting on kid-sized stools and slurping down this combination of grilled pork, salty-sweet broth, slices of green papaya, rice noodles, and fresh herbs. 

Every neighborhood in Hanoi has a bun cha place — just follow your nose to the smoky street-side grill.

Where to try: The ideal place to enjoy the specialty is the old-established restaurant at No.1, Hang Manh Street, Old Quarter Hanoi. But you can’t walk far without stumbling on bun cha anywhere in Hanoi.


Bun dau mam tom

(vermicelli served with tofu and shrimp paste)

A Hanoi dish that makes people want to try immediately only by hearing its name. For a long time, bun dau mam tom has become a specialty that many people have to try whenever setting feet on the capital city. 

A set of bun dau mam tom includes a dish of fresh rice vermicelli, fried tofu, shrimp paste mixed with lemon or kumquat juice, raw vegetables, and boiled pork. 

Some restaurants even add fried fish paste to the set. It will be a big mistake if visitors to Hanoi skip bun dau mam tom.


Pho cuon (rolled noodles)

Apart from the renowned Hanoi pho noodle, pho cuon is not less delicious and its genuine taste can only be found in Hanoi. 

Fried beef and herbs are rolled in the rice paper cake and then the roll is dipped into a sour and sweet sauce which is added with slices of pickle.

To enjoy this dish, tourists should visit the restaurants on Ngu Xa or Quan Thanh Street.


Bun oc (rice vermicelli served with snails)

Being one of the most famous dishes of Hanoi, bun oc can satisfy people of all ages. The dish, however, is very simple, containing only rice vermicelli, several snails, sour broth and herbs. 

This is a special cuisine of Hanoi. Anyone who once lived in Hanoi cannot forget this cuisine, which has nourishing flavor of thickened vinegar, moreish and brittle snails, dried tofu, raw vegetables, etc. 

Although it is quite easy to cook, it needs secrets to have a delicious bowl of bun oc. 

You can enjoy this cuisine at Ms. Sau’ bun oc restaurant at 73A Mai Hac De or Ms Luong’s bun oc restaurant in Khuong Thuong Street or Co Beo restaurant at No. 1 Hoe Nhai or at Nguyen Cao market, No. 5 Dong Mac, Hai Ba Trung district.


Bun thang

Bun thang or rice vermicelli with chicken, egg and pork can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

 The clear yet flavorful broth is made with 20 ingredients, including dried shrimp, squid, shrimp paste, spring onion, coriander, ginger, mushroom, beet, fish sauce, sugar candy, and vinegar. 

It is also a particularly attractive Hanoi dish as the noodles, chicken, eggs, pork slices, and a dollop of shrimp paste are carefully arranged to resemble a flower. 

Bun thang is one of the most popular yet hidden fares in Hanoi and one can find it only outside of the Old Quarters or a few special restaurants scattered across the city.

The chicken broth is artistically done and the dish is beautifully served. 

Where to try: Bun thang Ba Duc on Cau Go street or Bun Thang at 13 Gia Ngu is a great place to try the dish. This street vendor has a limited number of seats on the pavement but you will be surprised how many people can fit in the two storey old house behind the stall.


Banh da cua (crab noodle soup)

A popular street food of Hanoi which is favored by many people. It is not difficult for you to find a bistro or restaurant selling banh da cua at a reasonable cost. 

It is a delicious dish with many positive points as it is easy to taste and it neither makes your stomach heavy nor causes you to get tired of eating the food. 

The crab noodle soup is normally served with cha lua (Vietnam’s pork sausage), boiled water spinach, bean sprouts, mingled in the mouthwatering aroma of fried shallots and the greasy taste of roasted peanuts.


Mien Xao Luon (Noodles with Deep-Fried Eel)

Mien xao luon is another tasty option for seafood lovers, comprising stir-fried glass noodles in an eel-based broth with generous toppings of crunchy eels, bean sprouts, egg, cucumber slices, fried shallots, and purple perilla. 

As with many dishes in Hanoi, a side of fresh herbs, shaved banana blossoms, and bean sprouts are served on the side. Dong Thinh Nha Hang Mien Luon at Hoan Kiem District is a local hangout spot for mien xao luon.


Pho Xao (Stir-Fried Pho)

Pho may be best known as rice noodles served in soup, but you can also enjoy it in the form of pho xao, which is stir-fried with onions, beef slices, and assorted greens. 

The flat pho noodles are usually crisp on the outside with a smooth glutinous texture, and most restaurants sometimes add fried eggs and chilli sauce to this simple yet satisfying dish. 

Thin is a family-run restaurant within Hai Ba Trung District, where you can savour pho xao for only VND 50,000.

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