Hanoi has been famous for its enormous variety and easy availability of its street food.
Made in beef or chicken meat, with rice noodles the Pho takes the first position, however the juicy Bun Cha with pork dipped in delicous broth comes a close second.
While it was already popular among the local vietnamese population, it became a sensation among tourists after they watched former US President Barack Obama savour a plate of Bun Cha during an interview on his trip to Hanoi.
The sensation among tourists came on overnight, however the Bun Cha had long been a part of Hanoi’s traditions. In fact it has been said, that the Bun Cha was probably discovered in the city, itself.
Add to this that in other cities restaurants could charge upto five times more for a plate, but the tastes simply would not match up to the ones found in the capital.
Eaten as a soup, with noodles and herbs on the side, this dish is mostly served as lunch. A heavy dish, you are bound to get sleepy if you have too much or too soon. So keep time on your hand.
Dotted with restaurants, eateries or small stalls, there are hundreds of places to grab a plate of the dish in Hanoi.
Thus, here is a list to help you sort the best of them out -
Bun Cha Tuyet
Bun Cha Tuyet on 34 Hang Than street is the go-to place for most tourists and locals.
A small stall on the Hang Than slope, this place takes meticulous care of its recipes. It has a plate of garlicky Bun Cha at 35,000 VND and has a really yum, well-prepared soup.
The ingredients are clean and well cooked.
The stall has small stools , hence it can be a challenge for taller diners.
Timings:It is open from 10 PM to 4 PM
Location:34 Hang Than Street, Ba Dinh district
Bun Cha Huong Lien
Bun Cha Huong Lien has always been a really good restaurant for Veitnamese food. However, after US president Barack obma visited the joint in 2016, it’s fame overflowed.
The restaurant is visited by thousands of tourists who come to Hanoi every year.
Sometimes, it is also known as ‘Bun Cha Obama’.
Packaged after the president’s meal, the restaurant offers an ‘Obama Set’which contains any drink of the person’s choice, a bowl of bun cha, fresh herbs and a piece of crab spring roll.
The Obama meal is priced at 1,40,000 VND.
Menawhile, a normal meal here costs only 30,000 VND.
Due to the huge crowds, be ready to wait 15-30 minutes for your orders.
Timings:8 AM to 8:30 PM
Location:24 Lê Văn Hưu, Phan Chu Trinh, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Bun Cha Ta
It is a fine dining restaurant, however it still has very affordable and reasonably priced Bun Cha’s.
The staff are known to be friendly at the restaurant. In fact if you are being accompanied by someone who doesn’t eat meat, they could make a Bun Cha without meat and give it to you!
The waiters and waitresses stick around for first time eaters, guiding them on the Bun Cha’s history, ways of eating,etc.
Apart from the Bun Cha, their spring rolls, liquor and soup are also great.
Their Bun Cha’s are priced at 95,000 VND.
Timings: 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Location:21 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Bun Cha Dac Kim
This tiny eatery so popular on its street, that you will know you’re around Bun Cha Dac Kim if you see several customers sitting along the roadside and the air smelling of Bun Cha.
Despite being that tiny and slightly more expensive than its competition, the eatery still manages to be called things like an ‘institution of Bun Cha’.
It does have some heritage with itself, as it maintains the same recipes since its inception. Guess what, it still works.
A seat here is tough so you could choose to enjoy a plate with a view, as it is located close to the Hoan Kiem Lake, or try and accomodate yourself in one of its two floors. Worse comes to worst, accomodate yourself by the street side.
It’s plates of Bun Cha sell at 50,000-80,000 VND –slightly more than the average, and are in heavy quantity. They are grilled specially over a charcoal grill.
Timings:9 AM to 9 PM
Location:1 Hàng Mành, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hong Hoai’s Restaurant
This restaurant specialisies in the vietnamese cuisine. Try the Bun Cha’s, of course, but you can also move forward and experiment with other dishes as well.
The Egg Coffee- a vietnamese special, Sushi rolls, fried fish, fried rice are very well received as well!
Not only in the matters of food, this restaurant is great at customer service as well. So you would probably leave with a few new friends, if you hadn’t made some already .
The interiors are great, and even the location is near other popular tourist sites, and hence is very crowded at most times. You may have to wait for your turn to get a table, but it would be worth the wait.
A plate of Bun Cha here costs around 89,000 VND
Timing:10:30 AM to 10:30 PM
Location: 20 Bát Đàn, Hàng Bồ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Bún chả Hàng Quạt
A bustling, busy and crowded Bun Cha place in an obscure lane inside Old Quarter in Hanoi. The stall only serves from 10 AM to 2 PM in the afternoon hence, it is recommended you go early to catch the freshest and yummiest of meat.
Since it is a stall, one cannot expect too much cleanliness. But if you can stomach it, the food is great. There’s not only Bun cha, but also spring rolls, pho and many drinks.
Keep in mind that that the staff here aren’t really friendly and you will have to keep reminding them to get you your food.
A Bun Cha costs about 35,000 VND here, which is really cheap.
Timings:10 AM to 2 PM
Location: 74 Hang Quat Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Noodle and Roll
Located in Old Quarter, Noodle and Roll is a very small restaurant that specialises in many kinds of vietnamese food, ranging from Bun Cha’s to crab spring rolls.
While it’s Bun Cha, unlike the others, may not completely blow your mind it is relatively better than many of the others. Thus it makes it to this list.
The ambience is great and the staff is friendly as well.
Again, this is also a crowded restaurant, so be prepared to wait and abandon it if you’re planning to dine in with your friends and family i.e in a large group.
A Bun Cha here costs 40,000 VND.
Timings: 10 AM to10 PM
Location:39C Ly Quoc Su | Hoan Kiem old quarter district, Hanoi 84, Vietnam
Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim
It is easy to confuse this restaurant with its similar sounding competition down on Hang Mahn street. So, be careful about making the mistake.
This restaurant has a yellow signage, making it easily distinguishable.
It is popular for its crabmeat rolls as well as the delectable Bun Cha. Even the quantities are great.
Being a place for mostly street food lovers, the hospitality end has lagged compared to the food tastes. The waiters and waitresses may not be that patient however the food still doesn’t fail.
A good quantity of Bun Cha and Crabmeat rolls enough for two people can be gotten here at a mere 90,000 VND.
The ambience might not be the kind of fine dining restaurants, but it is Hanoi’s food, served in Hanoi’s way- by the street.
Timing:11:00 AM – 7 PM
Location:67 Duong Thanh Street | Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam