About Vietnamese Food
With more than 1,040 restaurants in Hanoi catering to tourists as well as locals, there’s no lack of opportunity to dine out in Hanoi. Most restaurants offer some Vietnamese dishes, including the local specialties of Bun Cha Hanoi, Bun bo Nam bo, Nem Vuong (crab spring rolls),and Nom bo kho (cold papaya beef salad). Of course, each restaurant will have some house variations of Vietnamese food. However, increasingly local restaurants in Hanoi are trending towards both western and fusion cuisine. Each year there’s an increasing number of restaurants offering pasta, pizzas, Western style sandwiches, and yes – some offer Mexican cuisine! Commercially this makes perfect sense as it seems these foods are what more and more tourists are seeking. But here at A TASTE OF HANOI, we say: what a shame!
After making the incredible effort of traveling to Vietnam, it seems curious that western tourists would want to eat only western food that they can have anytime at home! We think that Vietnam is arguably the land of the richest and healthiest cuisine in the world. What can we do to help showcase these amazing local dishes?
We think the problem is a limited understanding of local Hanoian and Vietnamese foods and what are these foods? What are the main ingredients? How do I pronounce the name of this dish? How do I eat this food? What does this dish taste like? And maybe most importantly when you’re hungry: will I like this?
In Hanoi, we can find a vast array of dishes that are only prepared here, in Hanoi, plus dishes enjoyed in other regions. Within this wealth of delicacies, we find examples of the great diversity of Vietnamese cuisine from Bac (northern), Trung (central), and Nam (southern) regions. We feel this variety is necessary in the local Hanoian cuisine – even if some are merely side dishes. All these foods have been tested and determined to be interesting from a culinary perspective and hopefully acceptable to the western palate. These dishes are from a wide variety of local kitchens ranging from restaurants to street vendors to packaged treats in a shop. We invite you to seek out and try as many as you can muster the courage for. Through this little gastro-experiment, you will experience not only the remarkable tastes of Hanoian and Vietnamese foods, but the Hanoian and Vietnamese cultures as well.
We invite you to try some of these amazing dishes that have been carried down for hundreds of years and sample some of the best street food Vietnam has to offer by booking a tour with us.
Hanoi has rich culinary traditions. Many of Vietnam’s most famous dishes, such as Pho, Cha ca, Banh cuon and Banh chung are believed to have originated from Hanoi. Perhaps most widely known is Pho, a simple rice noodle soup often eaten as breakfast at home or street-side cafes, but also served in restaurants as a meal. Two varieties dominate the Hanoi scene: Pho Bo, containing beef, and Pho Ga, containing chicken.
Vietnam’s national dish Pho has been named as one of the Top 5 Street Foods in the world by GlobalPost. With an ever-changing city like Hanoi, it’s no wonder why the food scene is literally leaping out from every corner of this capital city. From the architectural influence of the coffee drinking, baguette eating French who occupied Vietnam for nearly 80 years to very specific cooking techniques with long historic roots in China, we see these cultural elements at play on the streets of Hanoi.