The Best Vietnamese Cuisine in Hanoi, Vietnam | 9 Must-Try Meals

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This week, I’m taking a break to attend the Himalayan Travel Mart Nepal Conference. There will be a lot of amazing information about it shortly.

In my absence, I’ve invited Jason from Delicious Adventure Travel, a fellow gourmet, to guest write. When I considered who is as enthusiastic about food and travel as I am, he was the first person who sprang to mind.

Check out his top selections for must-try Hanoi, Vietnam meals. Vietnamese cuisine is also one of my favorites!

So you’ve chosen to visit Vietnam? Have a peek at this One-Of-A-Kind Phan Rang Cuisine You Must Try.

The Best of Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnam is a foodie’s dream. This is the only place I’ve visited where all I wanted to eat was more and more Vietnamese cuisine, frequently in excess. I couldn’t stop myself. I never had a desire for other foods. I almost forgot they existed.

Every morsel of Vietnamese cuisine was pure delight. That was pure joy.

Fresh herbs, a range of spices, and the strong scent of fish sauce all worked in perfect harmony. Vietnamese food is something your taste buds will remember and want. For foodies, the first mouthful will almost certainly secure your return, or in any case, I’ll grab my dose whenever I can.

Pho Bo

This soup, the country’s national cuisine and a global favorite, can be found almost anyplace, from restaurants to a small street kiosk with plastic seats to park your behind on. Drawing your knees to your chest as you pluck the Thai basil into the hot soup and slurp down a warming bowl of bliss while watching the street bustle is a must-do when I arrive in Vietnam.

The scent of a beef stew spiced with lemongrass, ginger, star anise, and cinnamon entices you. While the accompaniments vary from restaurant to restaurant and city to city, they often consist of beansprouts, scallions, thinly sliced onion, Thai basil, fresh chilies, and lime. The dish is filled with fresh rice noodles and topped with shaved meat. A true work of art in Vietnamese cuisine. Try the chicken variation, Pho Ga.

Hanoi, Bun Cha 1 Hang Manh

The color green is never far away. Since this meal is said to have originated in Hanoi, there is no better spot to taste it. Although this meal can be found almost everywhere, one eatery has established itself as a Bun Cha tradition. The four or five levels are constantly busy, spilling out into the street with both residents and visitors. You are certain to depart full for roughly $5 USD, a little more than your normal street fair. A bowl of bun, rice noodles, and a bowl of sweet and sour soup with wonderfully char-grilled pork belly and paddies floating in it are served in front of you. Don’t worry, the required dish of herbs will be served.

Please keep in mind that the aforesaid location also provides crispy and delicious Nem Cua Be (crabmeat spring rolls).

The Bun Thang

green onions, sliced omelette, mushrooms, and a little dab of shrimp paste, which adds a distinct taste to the broth when combined together. The past isn’t overbearing, but it adds a salty dimension. This chicken-based rice noodle soup is similar to Pho Ga, but it is not the same. In addition to a distinct rice noodle (bun), the toppings vary from Pho Ga. The components are arranged in a mosaic-like pattern and topped with shredded chicken, pork roll, and herbs.

11 Bun Rieu Hang Bac, Hanoi

Another soup (you can never have enough soup in Vietnam), but this one is quite different. It is created with a crab and tomato-based broth with a mild sourness provided by tamarind or lime. The broth and fluffy crab-like cakes that float in the red-orange liquid are made from little freshwater paddy crabs. When the fried tofu and scallions have been added, it is time to eat, but not until the sauces and herbs have been applied. Bun Oc, a version of this meal, substitutes snails for crab.

35b Nguyen Huu Huan, Hanoi, Xoi Xeo Restaurant named Xoi Yen

This restaurant was three or four storeys of organized mayhem, with customers in every corner. Production on the main level was a well calibrated assembly line, with filled bowls shooting out. The venue was filled, mostly with locals. To begin, I got the basic meal, Xoi Xeo with chicken. Sticky rice with turmeric provides the bottom of the dish a light yellow tint, and pressed mung bean paste is thinly shaved over the rice. Sliced chicken and fried shallots round up one of the most apparently basic recipes, yet the tastes and textural contrasts are magnificent. Other options for accompaniments besides chicken include crispy pig belly, Chinese sausage, and egg.

Goi Banh Goi

This meal, also known as pillow cakes, is best described as a Vietnamese empanada: a thin pastry filled with pork, glass noodle, and mushrooms before being cooked to perfection. The ideal light snack is spread out before you, along with a sweet and sour sauce with green papaya, garlic, and chilies for dipping.

Coffee with an egg on top

This unusual twist on coffee originated in Hanoi and may be found in a variety of caf├ęs across the city. Egg yolks are tempered with sugar and coffee, and condensed milk and cheese may be added as well. It tasted more like coffee-flavored egg froth to me, and it was so thick that I ate most of it with a spoon. It is not to be missed by coffee connoisseurs.

Balut

This growing duck embryo is mostly known as a Filipino delicacy, although it may also be found across Vietnam. My first experience was in Hanoi. The egg’s maturity is a question of personal choice. Hard-boiled, it tastes similar to a conventional egg but has a few unusual textures that are unlikely to be found in your average breakfast. The beak, bones, and the occasional feather may have started to grow depending on age. Although it may not be the most physically pleasing in all its veiny deliciousness, and you may have to look for it, it is absolutely worth a try.

Snake

To mention a few, skin stir fried and bones mashed with spices. To say the least, it was a remarkable evening. This Vietnamese cuisine was the most unusual I’d had on this list. One of my most memorable dinners was at the snake village, which was about 20-30 minutes outside the Old Quarter. The aperitifs are served after the guest of honor has eaten the snake’s pulsing heart. Snake blood and bile are combined with rice whisky before 6-12 dishes of snake in different preparations are served. Spring buns with snake, meatballs, ribs, and liver

Although Hanoi is one of my favorite cities in Vietnam, most, if not all, of these delectables can be found across the nation. A comprehensive list of things to eat in this wonderful nation would be endless and quite impossible to finish, but it is certainly worth a try. This is only a brief list to get you started on the culinary trail Vietnam has to offer, a journey I intend to follow soon to fulfill that itch my taste gets every now and again.

No, I did not overlook Banh Mi, the finest sandwich in the world. The only difference is that the finest one is in Hoi An.


Bio of the Author:

To summarize my life, I like cooking, eating, and traveling. Food and travel were instilled in me from an early age. I went to culinary school when I was 19, drug-addled and booze-soaked. The desire to travel more often was always there, but I didn’t know how to approach it, so I just took holidays on occasion.

Traveling in the Canadian Arctic. During my apprenticeship, I took a break from the conventional limits of a kitchen and embarked on a quest to seek a more global kitchen. I discovered I could pursue all three of my interests at the same time, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve gained an interest in Asian culture and am now working on a project on it.


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