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Hanoi is the food capital of Vietnam. Actually maybe it’s Saigon because you can get everything you want there. But then what about Hue- surely that’s where you can find traditional food at its best. OK so choosing the food capital of this great food nation is no easy feat, and if you’re on a Vietnam holiday you don’t need to worry about trying to work it out. Just sit back (or forward if its street food), and enjoy all the different delights a Vietnam travel experience has to offer. Today we give you 5 essential tips of eating in the capital of Vietnam- Hanoi.
- Don’t give street food the cold shoulder
‘No I couldn’t… is it safe?’ Some people pass through the country and don’t sit down even once during their Vietnam tour to tuck into some delicious street food. You don’t want to be that person. Some of the best food in Vietnamis found on the street, including Hanoi specialties like pho and bun cha, and the bill will rarely exceed one or two dollars. Even if you are on a luxury Vietnam holiday, you’ve gotta do this at least once.
- Make sure you treat yourself at least once
‘Why would I pay five dollars for that when I can eat on the street for less than half that?!?!’ Eating street food in Hanoi is important, but don’t let that be the only place you go. There are some excellent Vietnamese restaurants to be found in Hanoi such as the traditional Home Restaurant with a peaceful location at Chau Long street near Hanoi Old Quarter . For something more contemporary head to Pots ‘n’ Pans, which serves inspired cuisine.
- Look for where the locals are
‘Excuse me… is there anywhere to sit…?’ In Hanoi (like elsewhere in the country), if the place is full of locals sitting and eating, then you should be sitting and eating there as well. This goes for street kitchens, but also medium-range eateries as well. Nobody knows Hanoi better than a Hanoian.
- Don’t bother with international cuisine
‘Why does this cheese taste like custard?’ Unfortunately the international food scene in Hanoi has not yet caught up with cosmopolitan Saigon. But when the local food tastes this good, who cares? If you really find yourself craving a pizza then there a few good places… but on the whole you are better off waiting until you get to Saigon (if you’re headed there).
- Stick to the center
‘Can I walk there?’ Yes you probably can. Almost all of the great food in Hanoi is in the center and therefore probably walking distance from your hotel. There may be a few places that are more easily reached in a taxi, but you never need to go far.