Vietnam, and especially Hanoi, is truly a foodie's dream, and from small street stalls to five-star dining restaurants, there is delicious food around every corner.
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is the epitome of all that is great about Vietnamese food.
Your biggest problem when you travel to Hanoi will be trying to make time to visit all of its amazing restaurants.
So, which ones should be at the top of your list? Read on to learn about the 7 best Hanoi restaurants you have to check out.
1. Cau Go
Not only will you get delicious food at Cau Go, but you will also get some pretty spectacular views of the city of Hanoi.
Cau Go is located on the sixth floor, overlooking the famous Hoan Kiem lake. The restaurant exudes sort of a French colonial vibe, but without trying too hard.
This is the place to eat if you'd like to sample Vietnamese food from all regions of the country, but with a contemporary twist. If available, definitely request an outdoor table, as this will give you the best view of the lake and the city of Hanoi.
2. Pho Thin
With pho restaurants popping up around every corner in other parts of the world, you probably already have your opinion on what a good bowl of pho should taste like.
Eating at Pho Thin will help validate whether your opinion is on the mark or not.
Pho Thin is about as authentic as it gets when it comes to pho restaurants. You'll get the whole experience- from the shared tables to the bowls of fish sauce, chillies, and limes, to the loud crowds. You'll be sitting shoulder to shoulder with locals, enveloped with sounds of laughter, children screaming, and people slurping their bowls.
Oh, and you'll also get a killer bowl of pho. Leaving Pho Thin will have you saying "so that's what a real pho restaurant is like.” often teaching travellers that you have to be in Vietnam to taste a truly authentic bowl.
3. Quan An Ngon
Are you looking to get the experience of eating street food, without actually being on the street?
If so, then Quan An Ngon is the place to go. This restaurant has perhaps the greatest variety of local cuisine, and it evokes all the feelings and sensory pleasures people talk about when they talk about their love for Vietnam.
Backpackers interspersed with locals, bright colours, and ingredients you can't believe actually go into your meal- you'll find all of that at Quan An Ngon.
4. Banh Mi Lan Ong
Like pho, banh mi is a dish that can be found around every corner, and it is a major staple of Vietnamese cuisine.
Banh mi is technically the Vietnamese word for bread; however, when tourists say banh mi, they are referring to the sandwich made of a personal-sized French baguette filled with meats, vegetables, and condiments.
If you're looking to sample some of the best banh mi in Vietnam, Lan Ong is the place to go. The key to really great banh mi starts with the bread, and Lan Ong delivers with their delicious, freshly baked baguettes. They keep their banh mi ingredients simple and fresh, so you'll get a good understanding of what the authentic dish tastes like.
5. Hang Bac
Speaking of great restaurants to go to for staple Vietnamese cuisine, Hang Bac should also be on the top of your list.
While most tourists think of pho as the king of noodle dishes in Vietnam, the locals may have a different answer.
If you've never been to Vietnam, then you've probably never tried bun rieu, the other staple noodle dish that you'll find on nearly every corner in Vietnam.
A rice vermicelli soup composed of tomato broth, freshwater crab, fresh herbs, and various sauces, bun rieu is pretty much the Vietnamese equivalent of chicken noodle soup.
Hang Bac is the best place in Vietnam to try this authentic dish, a humble location with powerful flavours.
6. Green Tangerine
In the mood for a bit of romance?
Then Green Tangerine is the place to go. This French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant has one of the most beautiful courtyards you'll find in all of the Old Quarter.
You can enjoy sipping on a glass of red wine while waiting for your delicious fusion meal composed of seafood pasta made from soba noodles and a mesclun salad. And of course, you'll have to top off the meal with a delicious crème Brule.
This is the spot to go if you're looking for that perfect blend of French influence and Vietnamese authenticity.
7. Quan Goc Da
When you travel to Vietnam, you're totally missing out if you don't have that authentic street food experience. The one where you pick a few dishes from a stall, have no idea what they are, but love them and devour them nonetheless.
If you're looking for somewhere to tick this experience off your list then Quan Goc Da is the place to go. We can't tell you exactly what this street stall serves up on their menu, but we can tell you most of it's deep-fried, and all of it's delicious.
Everything here is already cooked, so whatever dish you order will be plopped into the fryer to refry it.
This street stall restaurant is also famed for its deep-fried crab, called nem cua be in Vietnamese. Order a few pieces here, and get ready for a taste bud overload as you try to figure out what exactly it is you're eating.
Hanoi Restaurants: Ready to Eat?
By now your mouth is probably watering with all these delicious options for Hanoi restaurants.
If you're headed to Vietnam, you're likely making a stop in Ho Chi Minh as well. Your food tour should definitely continue here, so be sure to check out this article about the 5 best fine dining restaurants in Ho Chi Minh.