A guide to Hanoi’s Best Street Food
Would you like to make believe your friends at home country that travelling really opens your mind and that your travelling experience are so splendid? One of our valuable advice is to enrich your travelling stories with local culture.
Local Street Food
There is four seasons in Vietnam, each one is presented by typical dishes, which means you may miss some interesting dishes if you’re staying here lasts short. In winter, fried and hot dishes are more preferable: Banh bao chien (sometimes considered as a version of Scotch Egg, make from sausage, sticky rice cake for instance). In summer, food with ability to cool down body temperature are priorities, for example Che (sweet sticky rice with different flavors or formally as sweet deserts) and other cold drinks: ice tea, jelly-ice coconut. In Hanoi autumn, travelers will be attracted by green light color of Com (green sticky rice, covered in lotus leaves). Lunar New Year, which often falls on spring, is an occasion for anyone who loves Banh chung, Banh tet (Square glutinous rice cake, Cylindrical glutinous rice cake), these are not only food but also dishes for memorize ancestors.
It is said that food in Vietnam in general and in Hanoi in particular remains and develops its nature along with the flow of the city’s history. Once upon a time, dynastic class might have been sweet-savvy, their palates were conquered by Che Cung Dinh cooked by a royal chef from a central province. However, the interesting thing is that nowadays, Che Cung Dinh does not have dynastic price at all and is very easy to find on street of Hanoi. The dishes were made variable basing on regions (Che Thai, Che Saigon…) and on flavors (Che dau den – sweet sticky rice with black beans, Che dau xanh – sweet sticky rice with green beans, Sua chua nep cam – sweet black sticky rice with yogurt). Some recommended streets with tasty Che are: Dao Duy tu Str., Cua Bac Str.,…
The prices are very reasonable, fluctuating from 12.000 – 20.000 VND (less than 1USD) per bowl or per cup.
One of the advantages in our tropical country is the diversity of fruits – the base of many delicious food and drinks. You can enjoy an exotic jelly-cream coconut, not on the beach, but on a street at in The Old Quarter. The most famous place for jelly-cream coconut maybe at 54 Hang Cot str.
In winter, travelers may desire their belly to be happy with fried/hot food. We would like to recommend Banh bao chien. The cake is made of flour, covering inside a mix of meat, an egg and other flavors that would satisfy the palate of fried-cake savvies. Banh bao chien is often eaten with cucumber fermented in a mix of lemon juice, sugar and salt so that the fat flavor is decreased.
As a food savvy you may consider Banh Tom an offbeat speciality. Banh Tom (shrimp and yarn fritters) can be eaten with scent vegetables: coriander, lettuce, pepper, cucumber… In 1970 – 1980, some state-owned restaurants, located along Thanh Nien street, nearby West Lake, sold Banh Tom. The existence and development of Banh Tom has been an ingrained image in Hanoi people’s mind though nowadays a wide array of food are sold around West Lake.