Mentioning Hanoi often evokes images of its ancient town and millennia-old historical monuments. Yet, beyond its historic charm, Hanoi pulsates with the dynamic energy of a city evolving daily. The blend of cultural richness with vibrant, youthful features forms a tapestry of a lively capital, captivating visitors from afar.
Stinky yet delicious, “Bun dau mam tom” is a controversial dish for many travelers and food lovers visiting Vietnam as the pungent shrimp paste is the key to its ultimate flavor. Hanoi locals savor “Bun dau mam tom” a lot since it is one of the best choices for lunch. Is “Bun dau mam tom” that scary? May Silk Path convince you NOT-AT-ALL!
Not a worldwide known dish as Pho, Bun Rieu, small crab noodle soup, is one of the favorites for breakfast of Vietnamese people. It’s another must-try dish for international travelers when visiting Hanoi.
Banh Cuon – Steamed rice rolls
|Banh Cuon, steamed rice rolls, is a dish found in many Vietnamese Northern provinces such as Lang Son or Cao Bang. In Hanoi, Banh Cuon is also a popular dish for breakfast.
What is Banh Cuon?
In Vietnamese, Bánh means Cake and Cuốn means Rolled, Banh Cuon is a type of rolled cakes that is made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed rice batter rolled and filled with seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots. Besides the pork filling, you can also find 2 other pastes as chicken or shrimp; however, Pork Banh Cuon is the most popular one which can be easily found in many corners of Hanoi.
The dish is served with a separate bowl of clear amber dipping fish sauce. Traditionally, this sauce added “cà cuống” (Lethocerus indicus) essence for a better flavor. “Chả Lụa” (Vietnamese pork sausage) and fresh herbs are served on the side.
By itself, the pale white rice batter is silky smooth and soft but otherwise rather bland. This is where the filling & the sauce comes in to lend a solid texture and adds flavor to the roll.
Silk Path’s recommendation
Banh Cuon can be found in many streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, yet here are some of the famous Banh Cuon restaurants that you can add to your Hanoi food tour list:
- Banh cuon gia truyen Thanh Van: 14 Hang Ga Str.
- Banh cuon Gia An: 16 Dao Duy Tu Str.
- Banh cuon ba Xuan: 16 Hoe Nhai Str.
- Banh cuon ba Hanh: 26B Tho Xuong Str.
Egg Coffee, as strange as it sounds, has become a traditional delicacy of in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi.
Bun cha” (Grilled Pork with Rice Vermicelli), one of Hanoi’s most lovable dishes, has received worldwide recognition after being featured on the show Parts Unknown, in which former US President Barack Obama and the host Anthony Bourdain enjoyed this dish together. Let’s find out more about this food bomb with Silk Path!
Best of the best combination
Usually, there are three components to this dish: a bowl of grilled thinly sliced pork belly and/or minced pork patties served in light dipping sauce with pickled veggies, a plate of rice noodles, along with a basket of fresh herbs such as perilla leaves, coriander, and lettuce.
There are numerous varieties but “Bun cha Hanoi” makes up different memories for this dish as many people believe that the Capital City is its origin. Along with “Pho”, “Bun cha” also stands for Hanoi’s stunning cuisine culture which is the perfect combination of rice products, meat, veggie, spices, and local special dipping sauce.
“Bun cha” can be easily found in the hustling corners of Hanoi, from elegant restaurants to simple street vendors in narrow streets, available for all main daily meals. However, the dish is a perfect option when it comes to lunchtime in the Capital City when the mouth-watering scent of grilled pork pervades the ancient streets, which tempts any hungry stomach after a busy half a day.
Silk Path’s top choices
Bun cha Hang Quat
- Address: 74 Hang Quat Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 10.00 AM – 2.00 PM
- From Silk Path Boutique: 1km
Bun cha 34
- Address: 34 Hang Than Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7.00 AM – 5.00 PM
- From Silk Path Hotel Hanoi: 1.8km
Bun cha Obama
- Address: 24 Le Van Huu Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8.00 AM – 8.00 PM
- From Silk Path Boutique Hanoi: 1.1km
Photos: Heritage – Vietnam Airlines, Bep Xua
With more than 1000 years of history, Hanoi is the political, cultural, and economic center of Vietnam. Behind every corner of the city is a story about Hanoi – the heart of the country, a part of the glorious history of the Vietnamese nation. Visitors can feel a unique spirit and quaint town atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else.