Writing this post in summer June when Hanoi’s temperature is super hot at average 35 – 40 Celsius Degree, yes we want something for lunch which is fresh, and not hot! Being a typical traditional dish of Hanoi, nothing would be better for summer lunch than “Bun Cha”. It is believed to originate from Hanoi and is a popular dish in the Northern region of Vietnam. Described as fresh, tasty, delicious, “Bun Cha” is a must-not-miss street food of Hanoi.
Plan your Hanoi walking tours in 2018 to enjoy Bun Cha
The name of this food
Bun Cha, combining of “Bun” – white rice noodle (rice vermicelli) and “Cha” – grilled fatty pork. “Bun” is made of rice flour which is turned into small, circular and white threads making different shapes. For typical Bun Cha, we often use stirred vermicelli. Also, since the pork is grilled, this dish is also commonly called ‘BBQ Pork Noodles’ by foreigners.
The ingredients of Bun Cha
Bun Cha is served with a dish of stirred rice vermicelli, a dish full of vegetables and a bowl of fish sauce combined with vinegar, sugar, hot chilly, garlic and pepper. The sauce is made with a secret recipe containing all the essential tastes, sour, hot, salty and sweet. Grilles Powell-cooked pork would be opened and the contents dropped into the bowl of fish sauce. There are two kinds of Cha (grilled pork) used, depending upon the cut of the meat – Cha Mieng (piece of grilled pork) when pork is cut into small pieces or Cha Bam (minced grilled pork) if the pork is minced prior to being shaped into small meatballs.
Side fresh vegetables to eat with could be named like perilla leaves, Asian basil leaves, Vietnamese mint leaves, cilantro leaves, sawtooth coriander leaves, shiso leaves.
They also serve fried crab spring rolls on order – which is also a delicious side dish going along well with the yummy sauce.
Some places to enjoy Bun Cha in Hanoi
Close your travel guidebooks with popular suggestions that all travelers may know, let’s try Bun Cha as Hanoians at local restaurants at much more reasonable costs and delicious.
1. Bun Cha Cua Dong
Bun Cha Cua Dong has long been judged by local people as the most “addictive” bun cha. Firstly, pork is grilled together with wild betel leaf that makes it smell so good. And for those who have tried Bun Cha at many restaurants often agree that there is plenty of meat for a bowl.
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Add: 41 Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Price: VND 30,000.00 – VND 50,000.00
2. Bun Cha Hang Quat
Bun Cha Hang Quat is very familiar with Hanoians. Although the restaurant is very small with just a few tables in an alley of Hanoi Old Quarter, it is always crowded thanks to tasty Bun Cha. Add: 74 Hang Quat, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Price: VND 25,000.00 VND – VND 40,000.00
3. Bun Cha Hang Than
Another nice place to try Bun Cha in the Old Quarter is Bun Cha Hang Than. With full of noodle and grilled pork, 35,000.00 VND for a bowl and quick service is a plus point for this restaurant
Add: 34 Hang Than
Price: 35,000.00 VND
4. Bun Cha Phat Loc
Bun Cha Phat Loc is also known as Bun Cha Que Tre (grilled pork on the bamboo stick with noodle). Pork is carefully selected by the lady owner who has already had 30 years experience, cut thickly – half lean half fat slices and then of course marinated with many spices before being grilled. I bet all gourmets will have an urge to eat bun cha while seeing the pork on skewers in the oven.
Add: 12 Phat Loc Street. Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Price: 25,000.00 VND – 35,000.00 VND
5. Bun Cha Bach Mai
Another place to enjoy Bun Cha that should be noted on your list is Bach Mai. Locals often share with each other than agree that bun cha here is very tasty. The restaurant is opened daily from 14:00 pm – a bit too late for lunch, yet still very early for dinner and the lady owner is also a little snobby. Maybe because of this reason, this place is called “bun chachanh” – snobby restaurant. Yet, rumor has it bun cha served here is delicious so people come here to enjoy this dish anyway.
You will be served a dish of rice noodles, grilled pork, sauce and herbs separately while most of the restaurants often dip pork into sauce. Personally, I do not find sauce here very special, yet gilled pork is prominent. The meat smells so good, tasty. With the price of 40,000.00 – 50,000.00, relatively higher than bun cha at other places, bun cha Bach Mai is still crowded.
Add: 213 Bach Mai, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
Price: VND 40,000.00 VND – VND 50,000.00
It would be great if you could try Bun Cha at all places mentioned above and find your own favorite one. If you just have a few days in Hanoi, let’s check on google map and find the nearest restaurant!