Hanoi Street Food

A journey to remember

Vietnam’s capital stakes a claim to some of the world’s best street food. And the large clusters of locals and foreigners alike on ankle-high stools, huddled around ubiquitous sidewalk food stalls devouring steaming bowls of soups and other delectable dishes, are testament to this.

The dizzying array of food stalls and hole-in-the-wall outfits amidst the bustling Old Quarter makes decision-making an experience unto itself. However, thanks to our second-to-none knowledge of our own backyard, Journeys to the East will help you pinpoint only the most authentic fare.  Brace yourself for the awakening of all five senses.

Watch steaming Banh Cuon, the Vietnamese version of hot ravioli, a concoction of rice noodle rolls stuffed with minced pork and mushrooms marinated in lemongrass, garlic and fish sauce, be prepared before your eyes.  

Breathe in the aromas emanating from a boiling hot bowl of Pho Bo or Pho Ga, beef and chicken noodle soup respectively, topped with onions, fresh mint and other herbs, a dash of Phu Quoc fish sauce and a squeeze of lime. Before it reaches your bowl, the Pho broth, scented by cinnamon, anise stars, cloves, ginger and coriander seeds, has simmered over low fire for 24 hours.  Each chef has his or her own secret technique behind its disarming taste.  

A visit to Hanoi would not be complete without sampling the political and cultural capital’s specialty Bun cha: skewered, grilled pork and noodles eaten with fish sauce, vinegar and aromatic herbs.

One of Journeys To The East’s favorite street food spots would have to be Cha Ca La Vong, once frequented by the president himself, Ho Chi Minh. It only serves one dish – grilled fish with turmeric and dill, served with noodles – yet no other Cha Ca restaurant come close to beating its authenticity.

And remember, all delectable Vietnamese street foods can be washed down with fresh beer known as Bia Hoi.

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