What to eat in two days on a budget in Hanoi

Let us point you in the right direction

What we say: 3.5 stars

So you’ve read our piece on what to do in two days on a budget in Hanoi, but what are you going to eat? Here are some of the dishes and places we reckon are worth trying to squeeze in.

It's not just about the pho.

It’s not just about the pho.

Starting with breakfast, if it’s not included at your hotel or you can stretch to eating out anyway, seek out a street vendor to try some banh my trung (egg roll) or xoi (sticky rice) -- you’ll find it wrapped in small parcels of banana leaf. The former will cost around 12,000 VND and the xoi around 10,000 VND, so they’re cheaper options than pho, which usually comes in at 35,000 to 40,000 VND. We would, however, highly recommend fitting a bowl of pho in some time over the two days -- it’s a Hanoi must-eat.

Whatever it is, it's good.

Whatever it is, it’s good.

For lunch, try Ngo Hang Chieu, near Dong Xuan market if you’re in the area as it comes to life at lunchtime. We like the pho tieu and the bun cha, another must eat. Likewise, check out Ngo Trang Tien, where we recommend mien tron, or Tung Duy Tan, food street itself. Tung Duy Tan is also popular in the evenings -- try the place at the junction of Tong Duy Tan and Cam Chi for banh cuon or share some good value Hue dishes at Net Hue. If you’re over near the cathedral, Ly Quoc Su has some good indoor lunch spots, including Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su and Noodle and Roll.

You can sit inside and still eat cheap.

You can sit inside and still eat cheap.

In the evening, on a slightly bigger budget but still under $5, we’d share plates with a friend at a bia hoi joint, then check out 47 Ma May for grilled beef or indulge in bo bittet at Hang Buom.

You’ve also got to drink. Worth trying during even the briefest stay are iced lemon tea, Vietnamese coffee -- iced or hot -- and beer, either the bia hoi or bottled version. Be sure to take in the view from a well-located bar or cafe — Cafe Pho Co is a good spot.

Tea for two.

Tea for two.

The sweet toothed should also give che a try or if you’re more a fan of savoury, how about a banh my kebab for something more substantial?

For the sweet toothed.

For the sweet toothed.

The options are endless and if you fall in love with Vietnamese food, be sure to check out our street food tour reviews and choose an outfit to take you on further explorations.

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