16 Must-Try Vietnamese Restaurants & Street Food Stalls

Hanoi gave me my first real taste of Vietnamese food. Before we touched down in this city, I had little experience with the cuisine except for the most basic of dishes like pho and banh mi. I preferred rice over noodles and I hadn’t tasted real banh mi so Vietnamese cuisine was never one of my favorites. But Hanoi changed all that.

I remember the exact moment when it happened. We were at Quán Gốc Đa, a street food stall in the Old Quarter known for their nem cua be, or deep-fried pork and crab spring rolls. As tasty as it was, there was nothing exotic or remarkable about the dish. It was just a simple fried spring roll, similar to the ones I grew up eating in my native Philippines. What was different about it though, was how you ate it.

Unlike the fried spring rolls back home which people typically ate with just ketchup or vinegar, the Vietnamese enjoy theirs with a dipping sauce made with water, cucumber slices, fish sauce, and other ingredients. They’re…

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