For sheer value for money and atmosphere your best option is to eat either at the rock-bottom, stove-and-stools food stalls or at the slightly more upmarket street kitchens, most of which specialize in just one or two types of food. You’ll find food stalls and street kitchens scattered across the city, often with no recognizable name and little to choose between individual establishments, but there are a few that stand out from the crowd: we’ve listed below some of the best places to sample typical Hanoi street dishes.
14 Hang Ga The place to try banh cuon, a Hanoi snack consisting of almost transparent rice-flour pancakes usually stuffed with minced pork and black mushrooms and sprinkled with fried shallots.
52 Ly Quoc Su Come here for banh goi, fried pastries filled with vermicelli, minced pork and mushrooms, and eaten with a thin sweet sauce, parsley and chilli.
67 Hang Dieu The speciality dish is bun bo nam bo, generous bowlfuls of lean beef and noodles, topped with a mound of roasted nuts, garlic and basil.
1 Hang Manh and 1 Pho Hué Both serve bun cha, a Hanoian favourite consisting of barbequed pork chunks in fish sauce, served up with a plate of cold rice noodles.
34 Cau Go and 48b Phan Boi Chau These two places specialize in bun rieu cua, crab noodle soup laced with tomatoes, spring onions and fried shallots, and usually eaten for breakfast.
45 Ly Quoc Su Come here for delicious nem chua nuong, grilled spring rolls, usually served up with cucumber and/or green mango.
49 Bat Dan and 10 Ly Quoc Su Hanoians come here to eat the city’s most famous dish, pho bo, a beef noodle soup with chopped spring onion, usually eaten for breakfast.