The Hunger Pains…

The whole Western world has gone food crazy. These days we seem to spend more time talking about it than we do eating it. And more than eating and talking about it, we love watching it even more. With Masterchef and a flurry of other food TV shows now dominating our airwaves, it’s fair to say that food is probably the most watched subject of our time right now! This is, of course, is much to the dismay of actual real professional chefs who now speak frustratingly of the subsequent epidemic of the ‘foodie’ complainant in their restaurants. Now in the travel world we’re seeing the rise of the foodie traveller. We love the foodie traveller, we really like to eat too, and being in Vietnam, we’re in a pretty good place to do it!

So I was talking to a bunch of our guests the other day and decided to ask them what was on their local food hit list, where they’ve been and what they had tried. After a quick chat and checking out their Instagrams and Facebook feeds, it was pretty clear they were getting it all wrong.

In search of a plan to remedy future foodie misdirection, we came up with an elaborate plan to steer our guests in the right direction. I gathered a group of our most trusted crew here at Vietnam Backpacker Hostels, ranging in age from 18-39, all Hanoian born and raised,for their input. This list is made up from people who have been eating street food in Hanoi every day of their lives, not for food tourism, but just simply for the common love of the good food they grew up with. I did get a few dishes involving ingredients that might make you go ‘ewwww’, but I decided to save those for a whole other list 🙂

bun_dau Bun Dau – Tofu chunks in hot soup with rice noodles and shrimp paste. Ma May street

Pho Sau – Stir fried beef noodle. Nguyen Sieu street

Bun Rieu – Crab Vermicelli Tomato Soup. Hang Chinh street


Banh Cuon – Rice Noodle rolls filled with various meats. Hang Ga

Vietnamese Beef Noodle SoupPho Bo – Famous beef rice noodle broth. Trung Yen

Bun Cha – BBQ’d pork with rice noodles, fresh herbs and sweet and sour broth. Dao Duy Tu


Bun Doc Mung – Pork chop meat, mushrooms and rice vermicelli in a tomato broth. Bat Dan street

Nem Ran – Famous Vietnamese spring Rolls. Thanh Ha Market

NemEven when you know where to go, it’s still not quite that easy. The language barrier drives travellers into tourist restaurants that are more expensive and aren’t near as worthy an Instagram or post to friends back home!

Everyday from our Hanoi hostels, after our free city walking tour at 10.30am, our local English speaking guide will take all those willing, to one of our staff’s favourite street food places, departing the hostel at 12.30pm. It’s absolutely free to come along, you’ll just be asked to pay local prices for your meal and drinks.

We think it’s a great way to experience real local food and eating spots, meet other food loving travellers and have a chance to chat with our friendly local staff.

Many of these places are quite small so look out in the morning for the sign up sheet at our travel desks. Here’s to real local street food!!

Happy Eating!

Jase & the VBH Crew

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