Hanoi, Vietnam, just like most of the cities in Vietnam, offers a wide variety of food to those who visit it.
Much of what I discussed in my Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide applies to Hanoi. You can read my thoughts on why you should eat street food and be adventurous in my Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide. Similarly to that guide, I’ll be providing a mixture of actual establishments and dishes that I recommend you try.
Overall, the food in Hanoi was sweeter than that in Ho Chi Minh city, and it also tended to be more fragrant as opposed to the more herbaceous flavors of the south. It was a trend that my wife and I noticed as we moved further north through Vietnam.
In Hanoi the food is plentiful, it’s everywhere that you look and is an integral part of the livelihoods of many locals. More often than not, the street is the stage where much of what is food related in Hanoi takes place.
Street food can be found on the main streets of Hanoi, and down many of the side streets and alleyways. Most areas aren’t dedicated to food, and you’ll find places to eat sandwiched in between residences and all kinds of businesses. Several times my wife and I would walk down an alleyway that looked interesting only to find ourselves in the courtyard of a residence. The looks we received on these occasions ranged from puzzled to nonchalance.