We’ve just spent 3 full days exploring the food of Hanoi, Vietnam. It was certainly just a small microcosm of what is available, but delicious nonetheless.
Quon An Ngon
Our first meal was at a restaurant called Quan An Ngon (18 Phan Bo Chau St). We were brought here by our two “Hanoi Kids” guides after seeing some of the sights; the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, HCM’s stilt house and the Temple Of Literature. Quan An Ngon is in a large, villa style house, and has numerous food stations which mimic street stalls. You can order from the stalls (I think) or do as we did, order from a large menu. As we were still pretty jet lagged, we let the girls order for us; Pho ga, Pho xao gion, Beef with greens and soft noodles (what they called “dry pho”), Mi xao hai san, seafood noodles and Nam cua be, fried spring rolls. All that with 1 beer, 2 sodas and 2 cha drinks was 250,000 VND (18,000 Vietnamese Dong to $1). The meal was good, but as it turns out, no where near the best one we’d have. Still, it’s a good, “safe” introduction to Hanoi.
Fanny’s Ice Cream
Later, we had ice cream at Fanny’s,right across from Hoan Kiem Lake. I had Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate and David had a crepe with chocolate ice cream. 81,000 VND and a nice cool break from walking in the heat and humidity.
Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
For dinner, we walked down the street from our hotel and found “Pho 10″ at 10 Ly Quoc Su, a simple streetfront place. I always thought pho was just for breakfast in Vietnam, but I guess I was wrong. This place, which does about 10 versions of beef pho only, was packed with locals slurping down their dinner.
The kitchen is a glassed in cube staffed by very young men serving up soup and a couple of fried noodle dishes. The servers are all young women in matching t-shirts with the restaurant’s name on them. As typical in most storefront restaurants in South East Asia, the owner, a woman of a certain age, sits at a desk near the front door, watching over all.
We both ordered “Pho Tai Bap” (Beef Filet Noodle) and a Bia Hanoi. All excellent. Unlike in the US, this pho was not served with a plate of herbs and vegetable garnish. Instead, it was simply garnished with fresh mint and there were crocks of chile sauce and pickled garlic slices on the table. A perfect, easy first dinner at 80,000 VND total. Highly recommended.
Eventually, you’ll be able to see the rest of the day, including all sightseeing and travel info regarding Hanoi on my website, wired2theworld.
More to come on Hanoi food soon!