7 Foodie Spots to Love in Hanoi | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

May 30, 2017

7 Foodie Spots to Love in Hanoi

If you can still remember my 20 before 2020 list, you'll know that food is the very reason why I wanted to travel to Hanoi. Yes, FOOD, particularly the savory Vietnamese noodle dish called Pho! I have eaten pho many times in Manila, in Bacolod and in Dubai, and I always thought: if this tastes good, then how much more in its birthplace - Hanoi!

So, during our short trip to the capital of Vietnam, I devoured five bowls of pho. That's almost two bowls per day. Hahah! Ed and I also got to sample other delectable Vietnamese dishes, and concluded that if you are into gastronomic journeys, Hanoi is the perfect place to go as it is a foodie wonderland!

Restaurants in Hanoi

Here are 7 foodie spots that we love in Hanoi:

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
Right in a corner of the bustling 10 Ly Quoc Su street in Old Quarter is an equally hectic pho restaurant. It is small, yet with a big orange sign above the entrance door; hence nobody can miss it! I was not surprised to see a long queue outside because I heard it's quite famous for both locals and tourists. Ed and I queued for a few minutes until we were directed to sit in a table for four which we have to share with another guest.

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su has a vibe of a carinderia in the Philippines. No frills, but diners don't mind! People come here for a good (I mean, the best) bowl of pho, and this humble restaurant did not disappoint!

There are 10 varieties of pho on the menu. Ed and I chose to have the Bat Dac Biet or the Special Bowl because, needless to say, we wanted our dinner in this famous restaurant to be "special". And indeed, it was! Our orders came straight out of the open kitchen and left us speechless for quite a while. We quietly devoured the silky noodles, heartily ate the meltingly tender beef, and slurped down the rich savory broth! Best pho I have ever had? Definitely YES!  

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su in Hanoi Old Quarter
Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su in Hanoi Old Quarter

Special Pho in Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su Hanoi
a bowl of Bat Dac Biet with lime, special sauce and some additional toppings on the side

Lady at Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su Hanoi
 Our bill for 2: 180,000 VND. That's only around 30 AED! 

Bahn Mi 25
Another gem in the streets of Old Quarter is Bahn Mi 25. It is a little food stall in 25 Hang Ca street selling bahn mi or baguette sandwich. I heard it's a must-try, I honestly had no high expectations though. I thought it would be just another sandwich, but lo and behold, Bahn Mi 25 offers a mouthwatering French-Vietnamese food fusion!

Bahn Mi is basically a baguette sandwich done Vietnamese style! The thin-crusted bread is soft and fluffy. It is filled with all sorts of ingredients. I had mine with all things pork; pate, barbecued pork, jambon and sausage. It is a cheap, tasty and filling treat that I would surely have again if we stayed longer in Hanoi. 

Bahn Mi 25 Hanoi
2 sandwiches, 1 cola and 1 beer at Bahn Mi 25 only costed us 65,000 VND or 10 AED

Bahn Mi 25 Stall in Hanoi
the busy little sandwich stall in Old Quarter

Giang Cafe
Hanoi has an amazing coffee culture! Streets are lined with little cafes serving both modern and traditional blends. Although there are so many coffee shops to choose from, I was keen on finding Giang Cafe; a hidden coffee shop famous for egg coffee in Hanoi Old Quarter

Finding Giang Cafe is a challenge. Ed and I missed it on our first night in Hanoi although we were armed with Google Map. After several attempts on our last night, we successfully found it hidden in a small alleyway in 39 Nguyen Huu Huan! 

So, what exactly is Egg Coffee or ca phe trung? It is a Vietnamese drink made of sugar, milk, Robusta coffee and egg yolk! It has sweet, creamy, bitter layers that all together make a complex yet to die for concoction. 

Giang Cafe in Hanoi
Don't be afraid! Go inside! :) 

Giang Cafe egg coffee price in Hanoi
25,000 VND or 4 AED for a cup of egg coffee

Green Tangerine
While searching for romantic restaurants in Hanoi, I stumbled onto Green Tangerine in Old Quarter. It is a fine dining venue situated in a beautifully preserved French-colonial villa. I had a case of love at first sight with it that I immediately placed an online reservation for our first meal in Hanoi.

Ed and I went there just as planned. We were amused to find the Parisian-like restaurant in midst of the hustle and bustle of 48 Hang Be street. We dined in its lovely courtyard, and it was perfect! Green Tangerine serves sophisticated French-Vietnamese gourmet cuisine. Ed had the 2-course set meal, while I had the 3-course because no way I'm skipping dessert!

Each dish was sublime. The presentation is classy and the fusion of two distinct cuisines is excellent! I would never forget the duck fillet in mango and rum sauce! It has a strong similarity to the decadent duck fillet I had in Paris, but with a fruity Vietnamese twist!  

my beautiful appetizer at Green Tangerine
my beautiful appetizer at Green Tangerine

Green Tangerine Hanoi
restaurant in a French-colonial villa

Set Lunch at Green Tangerine
Bill for 2 at Green Tangerine: 860,000 VND or 140 AED. Not bad for fine French-Vietnamese meal.

The Summit 
I'm a huge fan of restaurants or lounges with a view. I always include one on our itinerary whenever we travel. And for Hanoi, I picked The Summit at Pan Pacific Hotel. The rooftop lounge, perched on the 20th floor of the hotel, offers unobstructed panorama of the West Lake and Hanoi's dense skyline. 

Ed and I went there just in time for the sunset and the happy hour. It was a serene spot to enjoy some drinks; quite the perfect reward for learning how to cross the motorcycle-jammed streets of Old Quarter without being hit! Hahah! We shared a platter of gourmet bar food, sipped on signature cocktails and waited for the golden hour.

Happy Hour at The Summit Hanoi
Happy Hour at The Summit
Ed and Lady at The Summit Hanoi
Cheers to discovering new places, learning along the road, and loving every step of the way!

Bill for 2 (drinks and appetizer platter): Around 700,000 VND or 113 AED. A-ok with this kind of view!

Kem Trang Tien
Kem Trang Tien or Trang Tien ice cream is a Hanoi institution! The ice cream parlor opened in 1958 and remained a local favorite up to this time. We didn't have to check the map for its location. The moment we saw a trail of people standing along the street with ice cream on stick, we knew we're in the right path! 

In this Instagram era when desserts have to be aesthetically pleasing, Trang Tien ice cream remains traditional and delightfully simple. Ed and I tried the classic flavors Kem Com (ice cream with green rice flakes) and Kem Cacao (chocolate), and we were both impressed. We love the smooth texture, the creamy and straightforward taste, and the surprisingly cheap price!  

Trang Tien Ice Cream Hanoi
Cheap treat: 8,000 VND, less than 2 AED for Trang Tien ice cream on a stick

Quan Com Pho
With a few Vietnamese Dong left in our pockets, Ed and I searched for a budget-friendly restaurant in French Quarter on our last day in Hanoi. We thought it would be hard to find one as the area is famous for 5-star hotels and gourmet restaurants, but thankfully, Quan Com Pho is just a few minutes away from our accommodation.

Quan Com Pho is popular for home-style cooking. Dishes are served simple and authentic. As the restaurant is inside an old colonial building and most diners are locals, I somehow felt I was invited to dine in Vietnamese home! 

We had Bun Cha - a famous Vietnamese dish which originated in Hanoi. It was our first time to have it; hence, we "spied" the nearby table for a Bun Cha 101. The ingredients (grilled pork, fresh herbs, rice vermicelli, dipping sauce) are served separately and we get the freedom to mix everything all together, or just whatever we like, in a small bowl. Bun Cha is an excellent dish that even Obama couldn't afford to miss! Well, yeah, he had bun cha in a different restaurant, but Quan Com Pho also got a seal of approval from the locals.     

Quan Com Pho Hanoi
homey restaurant in French Quarter

Bun Cha at Quan Com Pho
Bill for 2 (bun cha, spring rolls, drinks): 165,000 VND or 27 AED 

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