The Foodie Dietitian Blog

The Best Hanoi Street Food Tour

Hanoi, Vietnam is the place to go for delicious, authentic street food and Hanoi Street Food Tours is the company to book with. Recapping the best Hanoi street food tour!  Hanoi, Vietnam is the place to go for delicious, authentic street food and Hanoi Street Food Tours is the company to book with. Recapping the best Hanoi street food tour! In Hanoi, we went on the best street food tour EVER. On our 3.5 hour shuttle ride to Halong Bay, we met a couple American girls from D.C. who swore by this street food tour they took in Hanoi. They warned us that it was pretty pricy for a Vietnam tour ($85 pp) but worth every penny. Hanoi Street Food Tours, which has been given praise by the New York Times, is a two-man run show, by Mark Lowerson, an Australian expat who’s lived in Vietnam for years and Tu, a local who worked in Hanoi’s restaurant industry before joining forces with Mark. Mark and Tu limit their tours to no more than 6 people so that you get a completely intimate experience. They take you to hole-in-the-wall street food vendors that you would never find on TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet but serve up the most delicious food I ate all trip.

We were on the tour with only one other couple who happened to grow up in Boston (WHAT?!) and were traveling for a year and started an awesome travel blog, called New Routes Travel. It was fun to share the experience with another couple who were around our age and from the States. We ended up hanging out with them a little bit later that day after the tour too.

While on the tour, Mark informed us that each street food vendor focuses only on one dish so that they can be the “master” of that dish and only have to deal with a short set of ingredients. Most operate specific times of the day too. Like breakfast and lunch. Or evening hours. Usually somewhere between 2.5-4 hours total. Mark’s been all over Southeast Asia and affirms that Vietnam has the best street food scene of all the countries. I’d have to agree.

Street food vendors are nothing short of transparent. Their kitchen and ingredients are right in front of you. Like this bun ca vendor you see here.
Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-3Bun ca or fish noodle soup was honestly THE best dish I had in Hanoi. Crispy fried fresh water perch, mustard greens, spring onion, chinese celery and tomatoes all stewed in a delicious fish broth. On the side, garlic in rice vinegar, limes, dry roasted chili oil and fresh chili oil. And the rice noodles here are died with tea powder to make them brown in color. How cool is that? My mouth is literally salivating just talking about this dish. I would fly back to Vietnam in a heartbeat just to eat this soup again. If you’re in Hanoi, check out Bun Ca Van.
Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-4

Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-5 Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-6Our next stop was La Hang Gan Tan near West Lake for ga tan, aka “bird soup”, which is basically Vietnamese chicken soup for the soul. Considered to be a medicinal dish by Vietnamese, ga tan is known for its dark, herbal broth made flavorful and nutritious with ingredients like goji berries, lotus seeds, dates, angelica root (touted for its medicinal benefits), and chrysanthemum greens. Oh and get this, they cook the Cornish hen in a beer can. No joke. Ours was cooked in a Heineken. Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-9The soup was served with a big plate of Vietnamese mint and chrysanthemum greens. Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-10Chrysanthemum greens, popular in Asia, are grassy in taste and comparable to dandelion greens. They made for a delicious addition to this omelet (omelet trung ga ngai cu’u), which we dipped in a sauce of lime juice, salt, pepper and red chili.Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-11

Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-12We then took a stroll to digest our food and head to our next stop, coffee (it was morning after all).Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-8We arrived at Cafe Duy Tri for yogurt coffee (which I talked about in my Vietnamese coffee ice cream post). This place makes their own homemade yogurt to freeze and mix with coffee for their famous “yogurt coffee” drink. Mark told us how Vietnam’s coffee scene started because of their French influence. Vietnam has done all their own roasting and grinding since 1936. They don’t have espresso machines or use any dairy (besides sweetened condensed milk). Just dark roast, slow drip coffee with chocolate notes. So freaking good. And I’m not a big coffee drinker.Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-13We enjoyed a yogurt coffee, some regular iced coffee and we were fired up for our next stop!Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-14Spring rolls! Go to Com Rang Duc Hanh at 38 Ma May. Steve had pork and crab rolls and I had crab and mushroom rolls and oh. mah. gawd. These things were so crispy and umami filled and delicious. The dipping sauce was sweet and umami packed as well, made with fish sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, sugar, carrots, pepper and young papaya.
Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-16Check out those mushrooms!Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-17

Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-19Can I get one of those knives for my kitchen? That shit means business. Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-18This street vendor makes 100 spring rolls a day and then calls it quits. They fry them once and then for good measure fry them once more right before you order.Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-20

Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-21-2Our last stop was for something sweet at Tra Chanh Dao Duy Tu.Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-22We started off with these sweetened iced green teas with lime (tra chanh). So refreshing. Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-23Then these tapioca bowls with coconut milk and banana (che ngon). SO good.Four Days in Hanoi, Vietnam-24I have to say it once more in case you aren’t convinced. This tour is well worth every penny. I would never have found these spots on my own. They are gems that only the locals know about. And some of the best food I ate all trip thanks to Mark and Tu.

Tell me, have you ever been on a street food tour? Where was it and what was your experience like?Hanoi, Vietnam is the place to go for delicious, authentic street food and Hanoi Street Food Tours is the company to book with. Recapping the best Hanoi street food tour!

For more Southeast travel recos, check out my posts below!

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Two Days in Ho Chi Minh City

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5 Days In Luang Prabang Laos

I’m a nutrition coach and yoga teacher helping people to learn to love food again. I love cooking, taking pictures of my food and traveling around the world. Follow my blog for delicious, seasonal vegetarian recipes and simple strategies to bring more yoga and mindfulness into your life. And check out my e-book to learn how to improve your health through nutrition and yoga. Show me what deliciousness you make! Tag me @karalydonRD on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Looks like such an amazing time! Eating your way through a city is the best way to travel!

  2. OMG I think I could go to Vietnam JUST for the street food! I’ve never been on a street food tour before, but have to admit that some of the best food I’ve had abroad came from a jenky street cafe or stand outside.

    • I would highly recommend street food tours! They are AMAZING! It’s such a great way to experience the culture and local cuisine. And yes, the food in Vietnam was out-of-this-world incredible 🙂

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