The best local restaurants in Hanoi are budget-friendly options within the Old Quarter where you dine on low stools and tables that often spill out onto the pavement. Hanoi’s dining scene is undoubtedly diverse, with fine-dining eateries and hipster cafes mushrooming all over Hanoi, but these humble-looking restaurants have been serving the local population for decades.
Despite the roadside setting and lack of air-conditioning, these establishments are frequented by locals and expats looking to enjoy affordable yet authentic local delicacies such as xoi yen, bun thang, banh mi, and not forgetting, spring rolls. If you’re all about eating like the locals while on holiday here, read on to discover Hanoi’s top restaurants for local dishes.
- Small-Group Evening Street Food Tour
- Night Walking Tour with Water Puppet Show
- Private Van Phuc Silk Village Half-Day Tour
- Vietnamese Culture Tour
- Ionah Show Admission with Dinner & Transfer
- Historic Art of Calligraphy Class
- Back Seat Motorbike City Tour
- Local Flavors Food Walking Tour
- 10-Day Northern Vietnam Excursion
- Fine Art, Walking Tour & Traditional Show
Xoi Yen serves xoi xeo, which is a sweet or savoury sticky rice that’s topped with a variety of different meats, shallots, and shaved bean curd. Located in Old Quarter, the restaurant occupies a three-storey corner lot along Nguyen Huu Huan Street with very low stools and tables (which may be uncomfortable at times, but that’s when you know it’s a local establishment). Xoi Yen gets very packed at night, but service is quick as most locals usually opt for takeaways instead. A basic bowl of xoi xeo is priced at VND 15,000, with additional ingredients between VND 15,000 and VND 30,000.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 22:00
- Address: 35B Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Tel: +84 43 934 1950
Cha Ca Thang Long in the Old Quarter is one of the best places to enjoy cha ca, which is a distinctive Hanoi delicacy. Priced at VND 120,000, the dish comprises a white fish fillet seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric, and dill. After placing your order, the staff will help assemble and cook the ingredients using a sizzling pan at the table. You also get a bowl of rice noodles, peanuts, chopped spring onions, parsley, nuoc cham sauce, and red chili slices, all of which are meant to be mixed together with the bold, turmeric-tasting fish.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 15:00, 17:00 - 22:00
- Address: 21 Duong Thanh Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi
- Tel: +84 43 824 5115
Set within Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District, don’t be fooled by Bun Thang Ba Duc’s roadside location and dilapidated condition. It’s well-regarded amongst locals as the best place in the city for bun thang. Another traditional dish in Hanoi, a bowl of bun thang at Bun Thang Ba Duc costs VND 30,000, where you’ll get generous amounts of noodles, chicken, eggs, pork slices, and a dollop of shrimp paste that are carefully arranged to resemble a flower. As with most local restaurants in Hanoi, Bun Thang Ba Duc is furnished with low stools and tables that spill out onto the roadside.
- Opening Hours: Daily 18:00 – 22:00
- Address: 48 Cao Go, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Tel: +84 43 826 7943
Located along Hang Dieu Street, Thinh Nha Hang Mien Luon specializes in eel-based dishes, particularly mien xao luon. Despite its simple setting of barely-decorated walls, fans, and plastic stools, Thinh Nha Hang Mien Luon attracts plenty of locals and expats looking to enjoy an affordable yet filling dinner. Dishes are priced between VND 35,000 and VND 50,000, with fresh herbs, shaved banana blossoms, and bean sprouts served on the side. Its signature dish comprises stir-fried glass noodles in an eel-based broth with generous toppings of crunchy eels, bean sprouts, egg, cucumber slices, fried shallots, and purple perilla.
- Opening Hours: Daily 17:00 – 23:00
- Address: 87 Hang Dieu, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Tel: +84 43 826 7943
Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim serves arguably the best nem chua be (crabmeat rolls) and bun cha (grilled pork with noodles) in the city. For VND 90,000, you get two pieces of its signature crabmeat rolls and a bowl of bun cha that’s big enough to share between two people. Eat like the locals do by pairing it with fresh herbs and lettuce, before dipping it in nuoc cham sauce. Do note that there are two restaurants with the same name set next to each other –the correct Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim is the one with the yellow signage.
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 – 19:00
- Address: 67 Duong Thanh Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi