Number 1 Bun Cha
Where to find; 1 Hang Manh
Price; 90k for Combo 1
Without a doubt Bun Cha was our favourite food in Vietnam! We ate far too much of it and often spent the following 2 hours holding our stomachs wishing we hadn’t….but it didn’t stop us!
Number 1 came recommended to us by some wicked people we met in Kuching. They wouldn’t stop talking about this joint so we had to pay homage to them and go on our very first day in Hanoi. Wow, just wow.
Don’t get confused by the 3 restaurants either side and opposite all with the same name, claiming they are the same place…they aren’t. The real mccoy is the one with the old lady sitting on the street making pork and crab spring roles! Epic.
We ordered two Combo 1’s and when they came our eyes widened and we wish we hadn’t. The portions are absolutely huge! We would advise sharing one Combo 1 as this is definitely plenty! Each combo comes with the best crispy pork and crab spring roles we’ve ever had (no this is not an exaggeration!), a variety of pork meat, huge amounts of vermicelli rice noodles, a mountain of salad leaves, broth with pickled cucumber and carrot and a bowl of spices!! Mix this all together and shovel it in with your chopsticks whichever way you can and it really is the ultimate Vietnamese feast. We took Charlotte’s 6″7, eating-machine brother with us when he visited and even he was defeated (the accompanying Hanoi beer probably didn’t help! Or maybe it was the hangover…one or the other)
You can get cheaper Bun Cha for sure and we did try to branch out and try out the cheaper options but this was by far the best we had in a month of Vietnam dining and at 90k VND its still not really that expensive!
Just go and tuck in!
Where to find; Nha Chung (on the left right next door to the big Pho 10)
Definitely an easily missed restaurant/ street stall as its a bit further out of the main ‘old town’. However, situated on the main road near to the infamous Original Hanoi Backpackers Hostel and next door to the too busy Pho 10 this place is a stallwart with backpackers for its chilled vibe and cheap prices!
For 35k you get a huge bowl of steaming broth, thick white noodles and meat or veg depending on your craving. Add in the lime and spices also provided and the flavour will blow you away. We went back a couple of times for a quick bite in between monumental walks around Hanoi. The service is quick and you can sit either inside or enjoy people pushing past your table, green with envy at what their missing out on! Sure Pho is everywhere in Hanoi and normally the same price, but we didnt get a bigger or fresher portion than this anywhere else. What else do you need?
Where to find; Little lady on the end of Ngo Huyen
Oh Bahn Mi. The easiest of foods to eat again and again and again (thats just in 1 hour!!). Either very smartly or very sadly we ate Bahn Mi almost everyday as a cheap, quick snack but a moorish one all the same. Leftover from the French influence in Vietnam; Banh Mi’s are small crispy baguettes traditionally filled with pate, pork, omelette, pickled cucumber and carrots and salad. However, they do now come in all varieties including ones with meatballs, bbq pork or chicken and even tuna! Eat your heart out! There are tons of shops selling Banh Mi all over Hanoi, however, the best actual street food one we found was at the end of the quirky little backpacker road Ngp Huyen. Charlotte had remembered this lady cooking up a storm from her visit 4 years ago and thankfully she was still there!!
At 20k this Banh Mi is exceptional and absolutely stuffed to the brim! Order from the smiling lady and watch as she cooks it up right there in front of you…the only challenge is eating without dropping it down you!
Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we did!
Where to find; Hang Buom (only found at night on the corner of Hang Buom/Ma May)
There wont be a day that goes by in Hanoi where you aren’t accosted by the smell of sizzling beef noodles. Some good, some bad, and as street food goes, some just plain awful! 60k is at the more expensive end of street food, especially just for a plate of beef, noodles and spinach but this one is most definitely worth it. The three ladies that run the stall churn out huge portions consistently throughout the night and don’t stop until all of the food is gone!
Big portions, big flavour and the tiniest seats you’ve ever seen right in the madness of Hanoi old town….what could be better for a real flavour of Vietnam!
C & J x
All that talk of food got you thirsty? No fear, our guide on where to find the cheapest beer in Hanoi is here!