Spend an entire day eating traditional Hanoian cuisine. With the expert guidance from a friendly local, travel between secret cafés, bars in the Old Quarter, and the best place to get pho, finding time in between to bargain with fruit vendors and visit a local home for a dinner rich in traditional custom.
Get picked up at your hotel and enjoy a bowl of pho, a famous Vietnamese beef noodle soup. The tasty broth includes strips of succulent beef and chewy rice noodles, making for a perfect hearty breakfast. Enjoy a cup of coffee at a hidden café in town with a view of the city, and observe Hanoi's bustling morning atmosphere as you relax with your drink.
Take a short walk around Old Town, dropping into ancient buildings to check out the unique architecture. Cross the busy streets and practice your bargaining skills with fresh fruit vendors. For lunch, stop at a local restaurant to eat a tasty bowl of bun cha—a dish consisting of grilled pork with noodles—and authentic nem—spring rolls.
Walk around the narrow streets of the Old Quarter as the sun sets, before stopping to get beers and enjoy the night atmosphere. Sit down with bia hoi, a draft beer best served in a big glass. Paired deliciously with nem chua ran, a type of Vietnamese pork sausage, this combination of flavors gets you in a great spirit to talk with the locals.
In the evening, travel to a Hanoian home by taxi. Get invited into their living room and drink a cup of hot green tea—it is traditional for Vietnamese families to show respect to guests. Increasing excitement in the kitchen lets you know that dinner is just around the corner. Observe the traditional meal-time customs, including the role of children in inviting their elders to the table, how to use chopsticks properly, and a variety of interesting differences between Western and Eastern dining etiquette. At the end of the evening, your guide returns you to your hotel.