Hanoi is both the political and culinary capital of Vietnam. Iconic Vietnamese food in Hanoi like Pho and Bun Cha both originated in Northern Vietnam. And while you can now find them all over the country (and the world), many people still believe that the best version of both dishes is still found in Hanoi.

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We spent almost two months roaming the streets of Hanoi, asking locals for their favorite spots to eat and drink in the city. And we ate at all of them so we could bring you this list of all of our favorite Vietnamese foods to eat and where to eat them in Hanoi – enjoy!

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Hanoi Food: The Best Vietnamese Foods to Try1. Cha Ca2. Pho Bo3. Bun Cha4. Xoi Xeo (Sticky Rice with Mung Bean)5. Bun Bo Nam Bo6. Phở Cuốn 7. Phở Chiên Phồng 8. Nộm Bò Khô (Green Papaya Salad with Dried Beef)9. Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm (Noodle and Tofu with Shrimp Sauce)10. Barbecue Chicken11. Bánh Mì12. Egg Coffee13. Bánh Rán (Vietnamese Donuts)14. Bia Hoi15. Cobra

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Hanoi Food: The Best Vietnamese Foods to Try

1. Cha Ca


While Pho is the most widely recognized dish internationally, Bun Cha (Vietnamese: Bún Chả) is maybe the most iconic dish in Vietnam, especially in the North.

Bun Cha is made of grilled fatty pork and pork meatballs served in a bowl ofnước chấm – fish sauce mixed with garlic, chili, sugar, and lime juice. You’ll also typically find a few pickled vegetables floating in the bowl as well.

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Alongside your bowl of pork andnước chấm, you’ll have a side of vermicelli noodles, a small bowl of sliced chili peppers, and a heaping plate of fresh herbs and lettuce leaves.

There are different ways of eatingbun cha depending on whether you’re in Northern or Southern Vietnam. But since you’re in the North, just throw everything in your bowl ofnước chấm and dig in!

Where to eat Bun Cha in Hanoi

Bún Chả Hương Liên (Address: 24 Lê Văn Hưu)

Bún Chả Hương Liên is a long-standing institution in the Hanoifood scene but it achieved international fame when Barack Obama dined with Anthony Bourdain here in 2016 for an episode of “No Reservations”.

Now the table has been encased in fiberglass and the restaurant serves up the “Obama Combo” – a bowl of Bun Cha, a fried seafood roll (nem hải sản), and a bottle of Hanoi beer – all for the bargain price of 85k VND (~$3.60).

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Bún Chả Hương Liên is constantly busy, but with four floors of tables, you’ll rarely wait for more than a few minutes for a seat.

Bún ChảTa (Address: 21 Nguyễn Hữu Huân)

For a more upscale Bun Cha experience, head to Bún Chả Ta on the eastern edge of the Old Quarter. You’ll pay a bit more for your meal, but the super friendly staff, fresh ingredients, and air conditioning make it one of the bestBun Cha dining experiences in the city!