Exploring street food in Old Quarter
To some visitors have just arrived in Hanoi, there is a hard question for them: “Where is the good eating places in the Old Quarter?” Luckily, numerous restaurants that serve delectable food are located in the same street.
Cau Go Street: Well-known for seafood
Situated near Hoan Kiem Lake, Cau Go Street was once named Rue Du Pont En Bois, previously famous for fresh tea, and now is well-known for seafood in Hanoi.
Open from 5 pm to midnight, nearly a dozen seafood stalls are crowded with guests. From expensive dishes like lobster, abalone, geoduck to popular dishes like snails, oysters, etc are always available.
Most of the booths have the same source of materials but each place has its own secret recipe to create its unique characteristics.
Ta Hien: A beer street
Ta Hien is an ancient street in Hanoi. With a length of about 266m, this street with harmonious architecture has become a “jewel” in the heart of Hanoi, with special value for ancient and traditional architecture.
Therefore, this ancient street attracted many foreign tourists. Western tourists come here day by day, that’s why this old street is also called “A street for Westerners”. At night, this place is more crowded and bustling. Perhaps the name “Ta Hien – the street never sleep” is also from here.
Ta Hien attracts people to come for its beer. Visitors when wandering this street can try its specialty named “Bia co” (Bia cỏ) at a very affordable price of only 5,000 VND/cup. One more feature that makes Ta Hien be unique is “street stalls”. Only with plastic chairs and small tables, you can enjoy yourself in the crowd while chatting with friends. Perhaps, you are able to make new friends when chilling beer in this street.
Ho Hoan Kiem Street: Famous for Nom (Vietnamese salad)
Nom is a combination of many fresh vegetables, considered salad in Western countries. The main ingredients include pieces of crushed radish, cabbage or papaya or banana and cucumber slices with boiled lean pork or dried beef, etc.
Sometimes, Vietnamese people do use auxiliary ingredients to add in Nom, they could be grated carrots, spicy chili peppers, and roasted peanuts. All are thoroughly mixed before being soaked in vinegar, sugar, garlic, hot chili and seasoned with salt. The mixture of ingredients is put into a dish before being coated with some smooth herbs. All of these make dishes very colorful.
Despite the short length of under 300 meters, there are nearly a dozen stalls on Ho Hoan Kiem street selling Nom with plastic tables and chairs on the pavement. The price for an item is ranging from 30,000 to 35,000 VND.
Ly Van Phuc: grilled chicken feet street
Ly Vu Phuc, a small street on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street is a famous place for grilled chicken feet. This dish is loved by lots of Vietnamese teenagers, even adults. Grilled chicken legs and wings are delicious: the meat is soft, not too fat, beautiful colors, sweet taste.
When you take a bite, you just want to eat more and lick your finger to feel the aroma and crispness again. Although grilled chicken legs and wings are sold everywhere on Ly Vu Phuc street, the last booth named Viet Ha is said to be the best.
Ngu Xa: Recognized for Pho cuon (Vietnamese Rolling Pho)
Pho cuon is a specialty of Hanoi. It consists of a slightly cooked rice paper (or Banh pho) wrapping outside coriander, herbs, and lettuce with sliced beef has been cooked with garlic and pepper. It is served as an appetizer or even a main dish, eating with a bowl of fish sauce, garlic, carrots, radish, papaya, boiled water, chili and a little sugar to dip. Tourists can also learn how to make this dish quite easily at home.
When indicating about pho cuon, Hanoians recommend Ngu Xa – a small street near Truc Bach lake in Ba Dinh district. This street is considered to be the birthplace of this special dish. There are two restaurants that are supposed to have better taste in Ngu Xa. These are Quan Trang 24 Ngu Xa and Thanh Hang 29B Ngu Xa. However, each restaurant has its own unique flavor, which is really a challenge to find the best fit.