Day 2: Full-Day Hanoi Food Tour
In the morning, we start the trip by one-day Hanoi food tour. Our guide will meet you at the hotel and take you for breakfast in one of the most authentic Pho restaurant in Hanoi: Pho Bo Hang Dong. Hanoi is considered to be the best place in Vietnam for having Pho. Different to Saigon style, people in Hanoi having Pho with only spring onion, coriander and basil as a herb but they are not adding any bean sprout or vegetable in their Pho. For additional spices, they use only chili sauce and vinegar or lime for serving Pho. The original Pho in Hanoi is Pho Bo, means Beef Noodle Soup. One more typical thing of Pho Restaurant in Hanoi is even they are very popular to local people, the owner never want to extend their business such as open new branches or selling their franchise, that you can see very well in Pho Bo Hang Dong Restaurant. For such along time, the family still running the same business in this small and old restaurant from morning to late evening, and the restaurant still look like itself 20 years ago. The broth of Pho here so clear and sweet, that made the restaurant very well known in Hanoi.
After enjoying the best Pho in Hanoi as the local, our guide will take you to Café Kinh Do at 252 Hang Bong. The shop is still keeping their know-how of making their bakery from French time. During the time filming the movie Indochine in Vietnam in early 90s decade of last century, Catherine Deneuve came here and raved about the homemade yogurt. The yogurt still taste the same there and you are very welcome to try some of their home made cakes.
Saying good bye to hospitable people in Kinh Do Café, we will come to Café Giang in 39 Nguyen Huu Huan. The name of the Café is also the name of the founder Mr. Giang. He used to be the chef in Metropole Hotel during French time and he had invented to the unique coffee that you just can find in Hanoi : Egg Coffee. Inspired from the idea of Cappuccino, he added the yolk in to the strong black coffee for very special taste. It taste even better in the cold winter days in Hanoi.
From Café Giang, you can take the relaxing but interesting ride on Cyclo to stroll along the narrow street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. By this time of the day, in the mid-morning, you can see many activities of local people on the street along your ride. Many of them still having their breakfast on the restaurant on the pavement along the streets, mostly are noodle in many different kinds. The cyclo will take you from Old Quarter to Chau Long – the typical local market in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. You can find all the popular material, vegetable, herb and spices for regular meals of Hanoi people in this market as well as enjoy watching the way of local people go shopping in the market. Instead of shopping for once a week and keeps all the stuffs in the fridge, local people here do it once a day, and mostly in the morning for very fresh meals for their family.
After Chau Long Market, our guide will take you for the walk in Ngoc Ha – the village used to grow flower for supplying for the city of Hanoi. Even now most of the flower had turned to be new building, but the village still like the Oasis in the central of the city that still remains all the typical features the village in the Red River Delta such as: the Communal house, village temple…. During the walk, you can have the real experience about how actually the local people live in Hanoi. This of thing you would never found from window of your bus in the regular city tour. Many of the ground floor of local houses in the village turned to be the shop or local restaurant for the own business. At the end of the walk, you will see the surprise in one of the Village Lake: the B52 wreckage was shot down from Christmas Bombing in 1972, and it turned to be the monument until today.
For lunch today, we will let you to try 2 very typical and authentic dishes of Hanoi: Banh Cuon and Bun Cha. Banh Cuon is a kind of thin steam pancake made from rice flour rolled with minced chicken or pork with mushroom and shallots inside. It is very important to have the good dipping sauce made from fish sauce. The best Banh Cuon place that we will take you to try in Hanoi is Banh Cuon Thanh Van at 14 Hang Ga Street. We just tried one plate of Banh Cuon here as we need to save the stomach for the main course for lunch: Bun Cha. You cannot find any other place have a good Bun Cha like Hanoi. This is a harmony combination of rice noodle, pork barbecue, crab spring rolls and like Banh Cuon, we must have elegant dipping sauce for the dish. We will enjoy this dish at Bun Cha Dac Kim at 67 Duong Thanh.
After lunch, take a walk along Hang Than Street and sample the famous product here: Banh Com means Young Rice Cake. This is one of the most popular present from Hanoi when local people travel out of their city for their friends. All the engagement ceremony in Hanoi also need to have Banh Com as the present offering from Groom to Bride family. The stop to enjoy the flan or mix fruit or Mango sweet soup at 2 Nguyen Truong To Street.
In the afternoon, you will have the option to visit some of the venue of the city such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature or Ethnology Museum. Dinner will be at Cha Ca La Vong – the rice noodle serve with grill fish at 14 Cha Ca Street. Cha Ca was consider to be the most authentic and well-known dish in Hanoi, that had been ranked 5 from 10 of Places to See Before You Die in 2003 by MSNBC.
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.