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Savor the sweet taste of Hanoi.

When we arrived in Hanoi, the first thing we noticed was the traffic. It was a dense mass of whizzing motorbikes, honking cars and buses filled to the brim. Morning sunlight filtered through the canopy of rooftops, spurring the city onwards into the day. Duc, our friend and guide on this trip, met us for breakfast. We ordered a pho dish made with the bone of chicken and beef, and there began our love affair with authentic Vietnamese flavors. Throughout our stay, what stood out most was the cuisine. Travel has its perks, but what put Hanoi in the running for top destinations to eat your way through is the rampant abundance of choice. Every corner we turned came with a medley of aromas wafting on the breeze. Store fronts and side carts coexisted on the busy streets, while alleyways broke into maze-like paths filled with tabletops and tents. Around it all was the inviting smell of a native dish our stomachs couldn’t wait to indulge in.

Hanoi takes its foodie scene seriously. Not with the typical white tablecloth and hushed tones, but in the ‘grab a friend and enjoy at your leisure’ kind of way. Cooking is an all day event, and there are two cycles to its prep that keeps the dishes fresh. The morning delivery is gone by lunch; the afternoon delivery takes patrons into dinner. The entire city is a menu that changes with the day, and we were privy to local delicacies easily overlooked, thanks to Duc’s guidance. We had Cha Muc, a deep-fried doughy mass of squid pounded to paste like perfection as a street snack, and followed in the footsteps of President Obama with our first authentic Bun Cha. On busy days, we visited out of the way tabletops run by small kitchens that made specialty dishes dependent on the ingredients that could be found locally. Shrimp wraps, pork belly, brined eggs– options hid in plain sight around every corner. It doesn’t matter the time of day, when hunger hits, the best city in Vietnam to feed that need is Hanoi.

Sign up for the Street Eats and Market tour with Hanoi Cooking Center. It’s the best way to have your Bahn Bo Nuong and eat it too.

Website: http://hanoicookingcentre.com/shop/food-tour/
Address: Hanoi Cooking Centre 44 Chau Long Street Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi
Email address: info@hanoicookingcentre.com
Phone: +84 4 3715 0088 | +84 4 3715 3277

Pho and Rice noodles meet French baguettes in Vietnam’s old quarter. Whether in the mood for the real deal or a foreign twist on old favorites, Dong Xuan vendors serve up the most authentic dishes at affordable prices, and when the weekend hits, the culinary celebration goes until question mark.

Address: Nguyễn Thiếp, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Website: http://www.chodongxuan.org/

Soups make up Vietnam’s most popular breakfast dishes, and among the top is Pho, a broth made with beef or chicken bones, veggies and noodles. Nhà hàng Huyền Dung served us the real deal, check them out if you’re in the area.

Address: 4, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Phone: +84 91 237 39 38