We only had a few days in Hanoi and I really wanted to make the best of it so we decided that we’d do one of two tours this trip and make it a food tour. I booked this way ahead of time and I usually don’t like to do that outside of dinner reservations. Ben’s allergy means that a food tour is a perfect way to have not only a guide navigate the busy streets of Hanoi but also that someone else is responsible for a few hours…
We found Hanoi Street Food Tours (we did the 3-hour night walking tour) through Tripadvisor, a must when traveling. Though we never use it stateside, it’s invaluable when traveling because it is so trafficked and helpful for finding good tours and experiences. Our guide Windy was the best. Her stories were hilarious and we honestly don’t even remember talking about the food much. Here is a breakdown of some of our tour highlights, we were very hungry so there are no establishing shots and very little context.
Bun cha is a Vietnamese dish of pork and noodle. The grilled meat and broth is only made even more perfect by dumping in an array of topics. We’re always big fans, this is probably my favorite dish. Bun Cha Ta is the known place locally and where we wound up though, to be honest we also had amazing bun cha on the street, not sitting in seats so really you can’t go wrong.
Dried Beef Salad
Also known as…Nộm Bò Khô. We loved the mix of cooked and dried beef. Crushed peanuts, green papaya, shallots, I mean honestly, can you ask for anything more?
Banh Cuon was my favorite new thing I discovered. Made of tapioca flour, rice flour, salt and water then spread like a crepe over this taught silk. The result is a beautiful rice noodle like roll with pork and mushrooms inside. It was so, so delicious. Below is Ben’s hand being guided by Windy to not screw up our dinner.
Deep Fried Everything!
Vietnamese Glass Noodle Soup
You already know it, love it. Let’s skip to the best part…the twist for us is that the banh mi here all had a slightly sweet egg included. I wish I’d thought of adding the egg before since it is standard in Vietnam. As I mentioned in the caption though, as many people on the ground told us, the real, actually best banh mi is not in Hanoi but Hoi An so I’d say set expectations accordingly but they’re honestly still going to be met because this was delicious. We also went to another banh mi spot which was equally as delicious the day before. Get there early for the best banh mi, they run out of certain menu items 🙂
This is another case of, we already had this place saved on our list and was the only one we’d visited before being taken by Windy. chè 95 hàng Bạc is an awesome dessert spot. We got super micromanaged when we went on our own – 40 or so Americans down and they forgot about our order in the process, we had to order three times because they kept forgetting. All in all, this is the one place I’d say, hit up if you have lots of time or when the business has no one there since it has a tendency to get mobbed. The desserts? amazing.