Hanoi, Vietnam

East meets West in this bustling northern city with the blend of Parisian and Vietnamese cultures.

Déjà vu, est-ce Paris? Looking at the abundant French colonial architecture, I felt transported back to Paris- until a horde of buzzing motorbikes fly by, knocking me back into a cafe. I spent a short week in Hanoi, walking the back alleys and winding streets of the Old Quarter, cafe-hopping and trying as many new dishes as I could find! Scroll to the bottom for my food + drink recommendations.

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi002.jpg
VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi001.jpg
Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House

Sweet yogurt & fruit jellies at Lutulata

Sweet yogurt & fruit jellies at Lutulata

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi004.jpg
VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi006.jpg
Delicious Bún riêu, a noodle dish with tomato-crab paste broth, at Bún Riêu Hàng Bạc

Delicious Bún riêu, a noodle dish with tomato-crab paste broth, at Bún Riêu Hàng Bạc

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi008.jpg
VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi009.jpg
VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi011.jpg
Perfect beef phở at Phở Gia Truyền Hà Nội

Perfect beef phở at Phở Gia Truyền Hà Nội

Phở counter at Phở Gia Truyền Hà Nội

Phở counter at Phở Gia Truyền Hà Nội

Shuttered storefronts become pop ups for a plethora of fried bits at night

Shuttered storefronts become pop ups for a plethora of fried bits at night

Heavenly Egg Coffee- espresso topped with whipped egg + sugar (tastes like the creamiest marshmallow whip!) at Cafe Giảng

Heavenly Egg Coffee- espresso topped with whipped egg + sugar (tastes like the creamiest marshmallow whip!) at Cafe Giảng

Got to keep hydrated!

Got to keep hydrated!

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi018.jpg

The famed Old Quarter ‘Beer Corner’. Very touristy, albeit a nice spot to grab a drink and people watch. Took this photo just as the police rolled through raiding street cafes- which all pack up immediately and rush patrons inside, yet re-set just as quickly once police have passed (see them stacking stools & tables in a hurry in the background).

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi020.jpg
Fresh bánh bao!

Fresh bánh bao!

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi022.jpg
VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi023.jpg
Bánh Cuốn, savory rice crepes stuffed with pork, at Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền Thanh Vân 14 Hàng Gà.

Bánh Cuốn, savory rice crepes stuffed with pork, at Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền Thanh Vân 14 Hàng Gà.

Scenes from Taoist temple Quán Thánh

Scenes from Taoist temple Quán Thánh

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi026.jpg
Splurge-worthy meal at Luk Lak. The lợn nướng was an extremely flavorful dish of tender pork belly grilled in kaffir lime leaves. Added black rice, bok choy and mushrooms to round it out.

Splurge-worthy meal at Luk Lak. The lợn nướng was an extremely flavorful dish of tender pork belly grilled in kaffir lime leaves. Added black rice, bok choy and mushrooms to round it out.

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi030.jpg
VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi032.jpg
Hipster vibes at Bánh Mì 25

Hipster vibes at Bánh Mì 25

Stir-fried fish with turmeric and dill, called Chả Cá Thăng Long, at it's namesake restaurant

Stir-fried fish with turmeric and dill, called Chả Cá Thăng Long, at it's namesake restaurant

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi027.jpg
Approaching the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, Trấn Quốc Pagoda

Approaching the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, Trấn Quốc Pagoda

VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi031.jpg
VirginiaMaeRollison_Hanoi033.jpg
Bánh Mì with BBQ pork  and  pâté, so amazing!

Bánh Mì with BBQ pork and pâté, so amazing!

The finished product, eaten over rice noodles

The finished product, eaten over rice noodles

In the Old Quarter streets are organized by the products they sell- this one is covered in flower shops

In the Old Quarter streets are organized by the products they sell- this one is covered in flower shops

Hanoi Guide:

  • Luk Lak - 4A Lê Thánh Tông, Hoàn Kiếm. Entrees in the upstairs fine dining restaurant are amazing. Try the lợn nướng!

  • Lutulata - 39 Hàng Cót. Wonderful little cafe with an upstairs balcony perfect for a snack, dessert or cup of tea

  • Phở Gia Truyền Hà Nội - 49 Bat Dan, Old Quarter. Delicious pho

  • Bún Riêu - Hàng Bạc - 11 Hàng Bạc. Great spot for Bún Riêu

  • “Beer Corner” - 13 Hàng Giấy, Hàng Buồm. Lots of interesting street food stalls around here at night as well

  • Tadioto - 24B Tong Dan. Great spot for cocktails

  • Urban Oasis Spa - 39A Hang Hanh-Hoan Kiem. Fantastic massage

  • Cafe Giảng - 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân (Trong Ngõ). The best egg coffee

  • Bánh Mì 25 - 25 Hàng Cá. Amazing bánh mì

  • Chả cá Thăng Long - 19 Đường Thành. The ‘turmeric fried fish’ spot

  • Cộng Cà Phê - 27 Nhà Thờ, Hàng Trống. Nice spot for a coconut coffee

  • Kumquat Tree - 01 Nguyen Khac Can. Speakeasy with music & cocktails