With the cheap cost of living in Hanoi, it’s very affordable to eat and drink out a lot. We certainly made the most of this when we lived in Hanoi for over a year, going to cafes regularly and eating out 4-5 times a week. It took us a while to get used to the fact you can get a street food meal for as little as £1, and a meal in a nice restaurant for £3-5. We found a great mixture of Vietnamese food and other cuisines, and enjoyed exploring backstreet cafes and cool bars. So here you go, where to eat and drink in Hanoi, including all our favourites and some interesting and unique places you simply can’t miss out on.
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Vietnamese food is very much centred around rice or noodles. Did you know there are 4 different types of noodles commonly used in their dishes? These are: bún (rice vermicelli noodles), phở (thick rice noodles), mì (egg noodles), and miến (glass/mung bean noodles). So you will notice a lot of Vietnamese dishes have the name of the noodle used in their name.
There is such a wide variety of Vietnamese food, from fried rice, to spring rolls, to various noodle dishes. There are even some dishes that are popular in just one area of the city, like phở cuốn (fresh spring rolls) that are just popular in the area we lived in. Here are some dishes you must try when you are in Hanoi: bún chả (Hanoi’s signature dish, a pork noodle soup); phở (noodle soup with chicken or beef); bánh mì (sandwich filled with meat/egg/salad); and nem rán (fried spring rolls).
Where to eat bún chả
Address: ~ 47 Phó Đức Chính, Bà Đình (opposite a small Vinmart shop)
Price: 45,000đ = $2 for bún chả, a spring roll and an iced tea (tra da).
You will see bún chả stands all around the city, but this was our regular place that we loved popping to for a quick lunch. It’s a typical street food stall with tiny plastic stools. The fried spring rolls (nem rán) here are the best I’ve had, so make sure you order them!
Tip: Bún chả is only served at lunch time, and the spring rolls usually run out so arrive early!
Fun fact: Barack Obama ate bún chả on his state visit to Hanoi, and now the street food place is really famous and has pictures of Obama all around. If you want to visit for the novelty factor here it is: Bún Chả Hương Liên.
Where to eat phở
Address: Phở Gia truyền Bát Đàn, 49 Bát Đàn, Cửa Đông
This street food place is famous for its phở (noodle soup), so much so that there is often a line out the door as people eagerly await their tasty bowl of phở. So whether you go for breakfast from 6-10am or dinner from 6-8.30pm, get there early to beat the crowds.
Recommended by my good friend and Vietnamese local Sam Sơn
Address: Phở Cuốn 31, 31 Ngũ Xã, Trúc Bạch
Price: 60,000đ = $2.50 for one dish
There are a few places in the area to try the fresh spring rolls, and this is one of the nicer ones. It is a great place to go when you don’t want to bend over on the plastic stools, and still enjoy great Vietnamese food at a reasonable price. We tried phở cuốn a few times but never really enjoyed them, but thankfully this place has a huge selection of dishes. Our favourites were the nộm hoa chuối (banana flower salad), phở rán trứng (crispy noodles with egg, beef and greens) and rau muống (spinach with garlic).
Tip: The place across the road on Nguyễn Khắc Hiếu does great phở chiên phồng (bloated noodles)!
Address: Mau Dich (State run food-shop no 37), 37 Nam Tràng, Trúc Bạch
Price: ~ 100,000đ for a meal and drink
This place is a recreation of an old style food-shop, where Hanoians lined up to receive their food rations in the 70s and 80s. The staff wear typical uniforms from that time and hand out coupons which are used to buy food and drink. There are a big selection of dishes; our favourite was a delicious pumpkin and garlic dish.
Where to eat everything
Address: New Day, 72 Mã Mây, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm
Price: 60-100,000đ for a meal
It’s actually owned by the same people as Phở Cuốn 31. Unlike the specific dishes on offer there, at this restaurant you can enjoy a huge variety of Vietnamese food. With its location in the old quarter it is usually pretty busy but with good reason, the food is delicious and the prices are very reasonable.
Address: Quán Ngon Thái, 56/52 Tô Ngọc Vân,Tây Hồ
Price: 60,000đ = $2.50 for a meal
Delicious Thai street food and friendly staff, this was our go to place when we fancied a change from Vietnamese food. The pad thai and thai curries are particularly good. They have tofu options so it’s a great place for vegetarians.
Address: Home 38, 38 Quảng Bá, Tây Hồ
Price: 70-100,000đ for a meal
Perfect place to go if you’re craving some great British food. This place has everything: full English breakfasts, burgers, bangers and mash and much more. There are plenty of vegetarian options and the prices are very reasonable.
Address: La Salsa, 5 Bui Thi Xuan, Hai Ba Trung.
Price: 35-75,000đ for a tapa
Delicious Spanish tapas in a lovely restaurant, it’s particularly good for date nights and special occasions. Our favourite tapas were the patatas bravas and the meatballs.
Address: Foodshop 45, 59 Truc Bach.
Price: 80-110,000đ for a curry
This restaurant has a lovely rooftop terrace with great views of the lakes below and yummy Indian food. They also have a restaurant in the old quarter. I usually ordered the vegetarian curries, so if you don’t like spicy food like me, try the malai kofta! We regularly ordered them for home delivery as a cheaper option and visited the restaurant a few times for special occasions. I think this might be the best value curry we’ve ever had!
Address: Chops, 4 Quảng An, Tây Hồ
Price: 150,000đ for a burger
There is a wide variety of burgers, sides and drinks including delicious milkshakes. It is known as one of the best places to get a burger in Hanoi.
Tip: Check out their lunch special; a burger, side and drink for 160,000đ.
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Address: Hanoi Taco Bar, 6 Đào Duy Từ, Old Quarter
Price: 100-150,000đ for a meal
I love the food here; they have a big selection of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more. I celebrated my birthday here and had a great time; the staff are really friendly and attentive, and the cocktails are so good. The vibe is very chilled with a nice intimate upstairs area which you can reserve for special events.
Tip: Check out their great value deals:
Crisps & dip, tacos/burrito/quesadilla and a drink for 120-150,000đ from 11am-5pm
Buy one get one free tacos and margaritas from 5pm-7pm
Hanoi is full of amazing and interesting cafes and a great resource to find lovely cafes is Hanoi Hideaway. You can search by area and what type of cafe you’re interested in. Here are our favourites:
Address: no. 13, lane 19 Đặng Dung, Quán Thánh
Look out for the green sign or you’ll miss it! Our all time favourite cafe in Hanoi, this place is tucked down a small alleyway. It’s super chilled and comfy, with cushions on the floor, books all around, and a nice rooftop. There’s a big food and drink menu and we particularly recommend the snowy passion-fruit smoothie and the peach tea.
Tip: they sometimes show films so take a look at their FB page to check what’s on.
Address: 29 Trúc Bạch, Phúc Xá
Another one of our go-to cafes, an aeroplane themed cafe spread over 4 floors, including a rooftop terrace with nice views of Truc Bach and Ho Tay (the 2 lakes in the area). We loved how quiet it always was here, and they have a good variety of drinks: smoothies with cream on top, iced coffee, and fruit flavoured slushies.
Address: 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ
This family-run cafe opened its doors in 1946 and is famed for being home to the first ever egg coffee. Mr Giảng invented egg coffee when milk was scarce in Vietnam and so decided to replace milk with egg yolk. This place is definitely worth a visit, even if you don’t like coffee.
Address: 89 Mã Mây, Old Quarter.
This is a great spot for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the old quarter. Nestled down a quiet alley, it has a few floors with comfy seats and also a chilled outdoor area filled with an overhead umbrella decoration.
Address: 6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm
I’m realising Hanoi just loves cafes with many floors; this one has 3 floors filled with retro furniture. It’s another very chilled option, and a lovely place to spend some time getting lost in a book (and the comfy sofas!). The prices are more expensive than other places, but it’s nice for a treat. There is a wide range of drinks and food, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Address: 168A Trấn Vũ
This amazing board game café opened while we were living in Hanoi. With hundreds of board games to choose from and friendly staff that will help you learn how to play, there are games to suit everyone. They also have really yummy drinks, we particularly recommend the oreo and strawberry milkshakes.
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Address: lane 1 Au Co, no. 19 Xom Chua Kim Lien
A cosy little bar with a wide variety of drinks from sangria to cider, particularly catering to westerners. They have quite a few board games, including Hanoi monopoly, and host pub quizzes every Sunday at 8pm. They serve cheap and delicious Indonesian food so it’s a good place to go for a chilled dinner and drinks.
Address: 2nd floor, 80 Mã Mây, Old Quarter
This bar has a super chilled vibe, with cushions on the floor, lanterns all around and a pool table upstairs. This is not the place to go if you want to party, but a great place for lounging and enjoying a drink with friends. They also have quite a big food menu.
Address: 2A Hàng Than
A nice quiet bar with a great selection of cocktails. The staff are friendly and they regularly have live music and other events.
Tip: there are different offers on different days, like buy 2 cocktails get 1 free on Mondays. Check out their FB page for all offers.
Address: no. 5b, Bảo Khánh lane, Hàng Hành
It feels like you’ve been transported to the 1940s when you enter this bar, with leather sofas, cigars on sale, and jazz music playing in the background. There is a drink to suit everyone, with more than a hundred whiskies, an extensive unique cocktail menu, and much more. Every Sunday is ‘Speakeasy Sunday’ with a live jazz band from 9pm.
Tip: Happy hour is 4-8pm with half price cocktails, beer and wine.
Address: 20th floor, 1 Thanh Nien, Bà Đình
Cocktails are pricey here (for Hanoi standards) at around 200,000đ ($9) each, but it’s totally worth it for the incredible view of the 2 lakes, Trúc Bạch and Hồ Tây and the surrounding area.
Tip: go at sunset for an amazing view as the sun goes down.
So there you have it, where to eat and drink in Hanoi. Have you visited Hanoi? Where was your favourite place to eat/drink? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about your experience.
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