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On planning your Hanoi tour vacation, you will pay attension to what to do and see first. Then, you will consider where to stay. The last thing you will consider is what to eat and where to eat.
Food takes up 20% in total to create a wonderful Hanoi vacation. As food is not only something to eat and keep you strong enough to tour Hanoi, but also is an important cultural feature of the local people in Hanoi.
Nowaday, Hanoi street food tour has been a very popular part of your Hanoi holiday. As a food lover, I, a local tour guide in Hanoi, would like to give you the deep knowledge of the best food in Hanoi to taste. I wish everyone to have wonderful time in our charming capital - Hanoi, Vietnam.
Bun Cha - Grilled Pork: Grilled pork is served with round noodle(bun) and special broth. The carefully selected pork is sliced and marinated with honey, lemon grass... How much & how long is the secret of each Bun Cha restaurant. All is grilled on the fire oven.
Another important thing to make this course so famous is the broth made from fish sauce, garlic, lemon, rice vinegar, hot chili, some sugar, water - How much of each is also the secret of each Bun Cha restaurant.
Bun is the round noodle made from best selected rice. Bun Cha restaurants do not make bun by themseves. They have their own trust supplier.
Where to eat Bun Cha in Hanoi. Surely not in a luxury restaurant or in any hotel from mini to 5star hotel. You must eat Bun Cha in a very simple restaurant. Even eat in a food stall. But this stall sells only Bun Cha and no other things. Some best Bun Cha shops are so small and most of their clients enjoy Bun Cha on the pavement with some small plastic chairs. If we do not take there to eat, you will not dare to eat there. Please do not worry. Each of stops for Hanoi Street Food Tour is VERY VERY carefully chosed by us - local people living in Hanoi. We have eaten there so many times and the Bun Cha restaurants must be loved by the local people in Hanoi, too. We only recommend the Best of the Best for you.
Some other cities in Vietnam also have Bun Cha. But the best ones to eat are in Hanoi. There are more than 100 Bun Cha restaurants in Hanoi. Following ones are the best:
Banh Cuon - Rice pancakes rolled with minced pork and mushrooms is served with its own style of broth made from fish sauce, lemon, a little sugar, garlic, pepper, chili. The secret way of making the broth makes different restaurants with different taste.
How is Banh Cuon made? Rice is carefully chosen and keep in water for around 8 hours. Then, rice is made into rice liquor. A water-filled cooker is covered with a piece of cloth on the top. Put the cooker on the oven and see the boiling. a big spoon of rice liquor is spread as thin as possible. And the steam will cook the rice pancake. It is wonderfully taken out by a bamboo stick. Next, it is rolled with minced pork and mushrooms. Some rolls are put on a plate and served with its speical broth and herbs. The best Ban Cuon must be thin, soft but endurable. Tasty!
Besides pork, Chicken is also a favourite food for people in Vietnam and Hanoi. They are Pho Ga - Chicken noodle soup, Bun Ga, Chao Ga, Ga quay, Ga Met... The most famous course with chicken is Pho Ga - Chicken noodle soup. The excellent chicken noodle soup must have clear but sweet broth. The sweet must come from the chicken bone, not from sugar. The chicken meat is not fat, but crunchy. Vietnamese people hates eating fat courses. There are 6 Pho Ga restaurants you must taste on your Hanoi vacation.
Pho Ga Ban - 172 Ton Duc Thang Street: The name of the noodle shop is taken from the name of the owner - Mr. Ban. The noodle shop is famous with Pho Ga Chat. It means the noodle shop with the chicken meat still with the bones inside. The chicken is very clearly chosen and beautifully cooked - not over done or rare. When you come and order, the chef starts chopping the chicken. It has been loved by local people in Hanoi and become the trade mark of the shop. However, the foreign travelers love eating chicken without bonze. I recommend you should taste to see the difference. The noodle shop is at 172 Ton Duc Thang street, not too far from Temple of literature. It can be combined with the visit to this temple and have a great bowl of Chicken noodle soup here.
Pho Ga Hang Dieu - 1 Hang Dieu Street: Located in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter - 1 Hang Dieu street, it is good combination with walking tour around Hanoi Old Quarter and have a bowl of Chicken noodle soup here. However, the Chicken noodle shop often runs out after 13:00pm. It is because the beautiful taste of the Chicken and the broth. The broth takes 70% - 75 % wonderful taste of the noodle. So eating noodle soup, you must eat noodle, chicken and the broth together. The Chicken noodle soup is served with inion and lemon leaves. The restaurant is small. So you may have to eat it on the pavement.
Pho Ha - Hang Hom Street: There are many chicken noodle soup restaurants in Hang Hom street. However, Pho Ha restaurant - the chicken noodle soup in the middle of Hang Hom street is the best. The restaurant is always full of eaters. The restaurant is very simple with a big table full of chicken, some small plastic tables and chairs. Even it is simple noodle shop, but many people in Hanoi come here to eat from 6:00am to 10pm.
Pho Ga & Bun Thang Tu Lun - 22 Hang Trong Street: Bun and Pho are made from rice. But Bun is round noodle and Pho is flat noodle. The broth for them are totally different making them taste different, too. Tu Lun restaurant is located at 22 Hang Trong street. The shop sells both Pho Ga and Bun Thang. However, I love Bun Thang here more than Pho. Bun Thang is round Noodle soup with chicken, pork paste, fried chicken egg(sliced as thread), herbs and prawn paste. But as foreigners, I advise you eat Bun Thang without prawn paste.
Pho Cham - 63 Yen Ninh Street: This could be the most expensive Chicken noodle soup in Hanoi. But the quality of the chicken noodle soup here is so so good. It is worth to taste. It is located at 63 Yen Ninh street - North of Hanoi Old Quater. It is good for those who stay at the hotels in Hang Than street, Quan Thanh street, Nguyen Truong To street, Phan Dinh Phung street. The restaurant only serve in the morning. You should eat before 10:00am.
Pho Gia Truyen - 42 Quan Thanh Street: Located North of Hanoi Old Quarter and opposite Hang Dau parrk, it is indoor restaurant. Like other Chicken noodle soup, the shop has its own taste coming from the broth and chicken meat.
Ga Boc Dat Set Nuong - Chicken Grilled inside clay : Before this course is only served in the countryside of Vietnam. But now, you can enjoy it in Hanoi. The chicken is wrapped by lotus leaves and then clay outside.
Then, the whole package is being put on the wood-fire oven to be cooked until done. This is the speciality in some countrysides in Vietnam as it requires a lot of work.
Now, this course has made many people in Hanoi to think about its flavor when eating out. Differentlt marinated chicken creates different flavor. The chicken for this course must be free-range. Grilling prossesing is the most improtant. It must be continueously on fire( grass, wood is preferred). When the clay is strongly black and has some crackers, the chef uses sticks to check if it is not sticky and the crackers go off the lotus leaves. The chicken is well done. Taking out of the lotus leaves, the chicken is brightly yellow, smells of lotus. The sweet of the chicken, lotus leaves, lemon leaves, black pepper and salt will keep you eating until full.
Cho Dong xuan Restaurant - 78 Mai Hac De - Hai Ba Trung - Hanoi. Tel: 043.942.6688 | Hotline: 0982 80 70 56
Mixed of Pork, Chicken, Chicken Eggs - Bun Thang: This course is very different from Bun courses and Pho( noodle soups). The broth is amazing. Sweet, but not from sugar. It is the traditional course in Hanoi. It is a must-taste on Hanoi vacation. We recommend 10 top of the best Bun Thang to taste in Hanoi
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