Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam has long been known not only for its history millennium-old capital of crumbling pagodas and labyrinthine streets existed a thousand years but also for its street food. Travelers to Hanoi are missing a big part of its heritage if you do not try some of its sumptuous street food that come in many forms.
Here are the reasons why I enjoyed its street food whenever I visit Hanoi:
1. It’s delicious
Hanoi street food is said to bring a great balance of flavors. Staying on sidewalk stalls, please don’t mind as you will not be served with a menu like in restaurants. Most stalls cook just one or a few featured dishes, and so have come to perfect their dish of choice. Especially, when you start a conversation with the stall owner, you will learn that almost of them learned their cuisine skills from their parents, and their parents learned from their parents (and so on). Great flavors have been kept from generation to generation, making street food being some of the best places to eat whenever you are in the city.
2. It’s adventurous
No suggestion, no menu, no photo, and of course no description of ingredients at all. This is the chance for you to challenge yourself in choosing a good stall and dish to enjoy. If you are wondering which stall should be, just see how crowded the stall is and make your decision. But when it comes to dishes, what should it be? Just try as much as possible as all street food of Hanoi is worth trying.
3. It’s fresh
When it comes to Hanoi street food, it comes to the balance of fresh meat and vegetables, which all have just been sourced that morning from the local market. Just have a bowl of noodles (Phở) and you can understand why it tasted in such way that’s hard to describe in words.
4. It’s the local way
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, why not with Hanoi? Sitting among the locals and listening to their daily life and culture, you will earn a lot of exciting stories to tell your friends back home.
5. It’s cheap
It is absolutely good value for the quality and freshness of ingredients. With such delectable food, you can treat yourself well and get full with just US$1-3.
Before any trip to Vietnam, you are highly recommended to check your Vietnam visa requirements to make sure whether a visa is required. If yes, please keep in mind that getting a visa to Vietnam has been now made much easier with 2 options: getting the visa via embassy of Vietnam or getting Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA). Of which, VOA is likely more convenient and simpler in procedure and required documents, but it is for those traveling to Vietnam by air only.