To begin with, for most visitors and expat residents, the Hanoi’s winter always come as a shock. They ask themselves how the tropics can get so frightfully cold! However, the cold also makes Hanoian create many mouthwatering fast-food and hot dishes. Here are the list of the best Hanoi street food that can bring warm feeling to people in such cold weather.
Grilled Corn, sweet potatoes and cassavas
To begin with, cold winds of a winter night always come along with the scent of grilled corn and sweet potatoes. These dishes bring out about a bit of warmth inside many Hanoians. Grilled corn stalls can be found almost anywhere on the sidewalk of Hanoi during the night.
Quay – Vietnamese crullers
Vietnamese crullers – Quay is another common food which has become popular for this time of year. It is often served with a papaya dipping-sauce. The dish is a favourite among students. There are several fried bread stick stalls in Hanoi, but some of the most well-known are those on Hang Bong, Duong Thanh and Hang Dau streets.
Grilled fermented sausages
Actually, fermented sausages are a kind of beer snacks, which makes the heat of summer less intense. However, Hanoians add some twists to this summer street food. They grilled the sausages then eat with unripe mango and a small dish of pepper and salt. The flavor of grilled sausages is a bit sweet, a bit sour and slightly spicy, especially with chili sauce.
To some aspect, Hanoi may not be able to compete with Ho Chi Minh City or Nha Trang in terms of the variety of snail dishes. However, bowls of boiled snails are best experienced on a cold winter night. The snails are eaten with a mixture of fish sauce, lime, chili, sugar and lemongrass.
Once visiting Hanoi Old Quarter which is well included in our Vietnam Tour Packages, you should stop by Ta Hien Street to try grilled bird. The birds are kind of young quails, which look bigger than a cup of tea but quite fat and have thick meat. The shop owner just need to marinate a little salt and sweetness then grip in grills, roasted on charcoal until fragrant.
As for winter, nothing can compare with sitting around a hotpot with your fiends and heating up your cold body. Hotpot has many styles, but the most popular ones are still beef hotpot, chicken hotpot, mixed hot pot … For example, the street along the entrance to Ngu Xa was dubbed the “street of hotpot” with many hotpot restaurants, not too expensive and customers can spread mats, sit outdoor and watch the West lake besides.
Fried corn, sweet potato and banana cakes
As you can see, food stalls selling fried corn, sweet potato and banana cakes rise up in every corner of Hanoi’s road in winter. They’re 3 of the most popular Vietnamese desserts; made from sweet corn, sweet potatoes, ripe bananas and wheat flour. Those cakes are absolutely stunning, beautiful with golden brown shells. Besides, They’re so crispy, delicious and and absolutely suitable for this cold weather of Hanoi.
Rice ball sweet soup
Next, rice balls sweet soup (or ‘che troi nuoc’ in Vietnamese) is one of the most popular Hanoi street food. The dish consists of balls made from green bean paste wrapped in a shell made of glutinous rice flour. The balls are served in a thick, sweet clear or brown liquid made of water, sugar, and grated ginger root. The warm aroma from ginger of this dish is believed to help people get rid of fever, cough and cold.
“Quẩy ruốc” Gruel
Among many interesting things to do, sitting on the pavement, seeing people go back and forth then enjoying a bowl of “Quẩy Ruốc” is a pleasure of Hanoians. This dish is processed a bit simply with white well- kneaded gruel with “ quẩy” and “ ruốc” above, add a little paprika to raise the pungent, etc. The gruel was cooked well-kneaded, sweet at tongue and a bit salty. “Quẩy” is dipped into the gruel and becomes softer and more delicious.
Around winter midnight, you can find yourself falling asleep to the sound of the last few motorbikes journeying home. Suddenly one sound from a vendor echoes well in Hanoi empty late night streets, which is “Bánh Bao Đây” – “Here are dumplings”! “Bánh bao” or dumplings are one of Vietnam’s oldest snacks. The cold weather and the nice aroma of this white steamed dumpling could make you run out of the house and buy yourself this nice treat right away!