Top 10 Mouthwatering Dishes for A Rainy Day in Hanoi

Unlike the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is more tranquil with a nostalgic ambiance of times gone by. Both domestic and foreign tourists coming to Hanoi are intrigued by its long-standing history and rich cultures. And experiencing its amazing culinary culture is also one of the top things to do while visiting the capital of Vietnam.

The city has a mild, tropical climate of Vietnam with the monsoon season falling between May and October. If you're planning a trip to Hanoi during this time, prepare to encounter some unexpected rainfall that may put a dampener on your journey. But don't worry, exploring Hanoi street food on a rainy day is even more exciting.

So, what to eat in Hanoi on a cool rainy day? In this article, we highlight the top 10 mouthwatering dishes you must try in Hanoi and the best places to taste them.

1.  Pork Rib Porridge (Cháo Sườn)

The charming call of comfort that a hot bowl of pork porridge brings, especially on a rainy day, is simply a joy that will instantly light up your day, no matter when you have it. The cooking process is not too complicated but the food is still easily satisfying everyone’s taste even for fastidious ones. The ingredients include rice puree, ribs, or minced pork.

Porridge is made of rice stirring until the mixture becomes creamy and consistent. The taste of pork ribs is in harmony with the sweet taste of rice and the spiciness from chili powder or a pinch of pepper. Enjoy the dish when it is still hot with chopped scallion, cilantro, and fried dough sticks or salted shredded pork.

A hot bowl of pork rib porridge with full toppings is an ideal choice for a rainy day. Instagram: @toccvangg

Where to eat?

  • 32 Hang Bo Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi: This place is owned by a street vendor that has been selling pork rib porridge for over 20 years. Opening hours: 06:30 AM – 10:00 AM.
  • 14 Dong Xuan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 06:00 PM - 02:00 AM.
  • 37 Luong Su C, Dong Da District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 06:30 AM - 09:30 AM and 04:00 PM - 07:00 PM.
  • Price: 10,000 - 40,000 (~$0.5 - $2).

2. Hot Plain Rice Flan (Bánh Đúc Nóng)

A bowl of hot plain rice flan is perfect for a rainy day but it is not easy to make. Due to several steps and phases that a plain rice flan needs to be fully cooked, it requires high meticulousness and skill. And the important part is to choose the right kind of rice flour and other traditional ingredients such as minced pork, grilled shrimp, and minced wood ear mushrooms.

If you stroll around the Old Quarters on a rainy day, it is worth trying this kind of Hanoi street food. It is one of the ancient traits of Hanoi in particular and Vietnam as a whole.

Drizzle a little fish sauce and some chili flakes on top to fully feel salty, sweet, aromatic and spicy of this addictive cake. Instagram: @21.hao

Where to eat?

  • Châu Long Market – 45 Châu Long, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 03:00 PM – 06:00 PM.
  • A296 Minh Khai, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 04:00 PM – 06:30 PM.
  • Price: 7,000 - 12,000 (~ $0.5).

3. Deep Fried Cruller (Bánh Quẩy Nóng)

The main ingredients to make crispy hot crullers are flour and some additives that help the dish to rise evenly when fried. Only when there are customers, does the owner start to fry the dough in order to keep the crispness of the cruller. Hot crullers are served with sweet and sour sauce, with additional green papaya or kohlrabi and carrot. Some local food stands have the secret to create an excellent sauce, just slightly sour and not too salty.

Dip the tot crullers in sweet and sour sauce, with additional papaya or kohlrabi to feel everything melting in your mouth. Instagram: @vinccinv

?  Where to eat?

  • 431 Nguyen Khang, Yen Hoa, Cau Giay District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM.
  • 109 Tạ Quang Bửu, Bách Khoa, Hai Bà Trưng District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 07:00 AM – 10:00 PM.
  • Price: 10,000 - 30,000 (~ $0.5 - $1.5).

4. Grilled Meat (Thịt Xiên Nướng)

These rainy days make our stomach more fast-to-hungry. Therefore, in this time, having anything that is warm and crunchy to sip with some beers is absolutely awesome. There is a savory specialty in Hanoi with the smoke coming up and always ready to serve you all the way named grilled meat.

Grilled meat is always served with hot chili sauce and accompanied with bread and pickles. The spiciness chili combine with the sweetness of juicy meat that have created  the richness in flavour, making it one of the most favorite snacks for lupper.

Each restaurant will have its own marinade recipe to make a unique flavour for the dish. Instagram: bachuaviahe

? Where to eat?

  • 18 Ham Long, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 04:00 PM – 10:00 PM.
  • 55 Chua Lang, Dong Da, Hanoi. Opening hours: 11:00 AM – 01:00 PM and 04:00 PM – 07:30 PM.
  • Price: 4,000 - 50,000 (~ $0.5 - $2).

5. Boiled Snail (Ốc Luộc)

On a cool rainy day,, sitting and huddling at a pavement snail vendor is the best choice for a group of young people. A steaming bowl of boiled snail will make the day warmer and the get everyone closer.

The hot, fat snails are served with a small bowl of sauce with lots of ginger, chili, kumquat and lemongrass that certainly make the most picky eaters irresistible. Simple as it can see, but this kind of food is powerful enough for people to forget the cold wind of the season these days.

Hot, fat snails and a small spicy bowl of sauce. Instagram:@lmlstoryy

? Where to eat?

  • 215 Chua Lang, Dong Da District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 02:00 PM – 10:30 PM.
  • Price: 20,000 – 40,000 (~ $1 - $2).

6. Frog Hotpot (Lẩu Ếch)

Frog hotpot is a kind of dish that is much more labor-intensive to make, because frog meat needs to be carefully butchered and only a few parts that qualify for the best hotpot. Spiced marinated frog meat become soft and charming when being dipped in a spicy hotpot. It is usually served with water spinach and sliced bamboo sprouts.

Getting together and chatting with friends or family while enjoying the hotpot are such a great experience on cool rainy days. Instagram: @wind0611

? Where to eat?

  • 5 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 10:00 AM – 02:00 PM and 04:430 PM – 11:00 PM.
  • 15A Long Bien, Long Bien District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 05:00 PM – 10:30 PM.
  • Price: 70,000 - 300,000 (~ $3 - $13).

7. Congee Hotpot (Lẩu Cháo)

Different from the other kinds of popular hotpot, congee hotpot is an interesting highlight for those who are looking for novel food of Hanoi cuisine. Each restaurant has its own recipe to make the hotpot not too consistent but the taste is still heavenly. Rice is stewed in bone broth with Vietnamese fresh herbs while the soup is added many ingredients such as fish, ribs, pigeons, pig’s tripes,...

Instagram: @_eatingdiary

? Where to eat?

  • 437 Tran Khat Chan, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 04:00 PM – 11:00 PM.
  • Price: 50,000 – 160,000 (~ $2 - $7).

8. Fried or Grilled Fermented Pork Sausage (Nem Chua Rán/Nướng)

Fried fermented pork sausage or grilled fermented pork sausage is classified as a must-try nosh found in every corner of Hanoi Old Quarter. In the cold monsoon days or rainy days, this dish is likely to be added seasoning, suddenly more delicious. The sausages are hot, when being dipped with chili sauce, it is enough to make the cold day or winter winds become warmer.

Being rolled over the flour and then deep fried in an extremely hot oil pan or grilled on a charcoal stove, fermented pork sausage is a must-try dish in Hanoi. Instagram: @linhchimm

? Where to eat?

  • 10 Au Trieu, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 03:00 PM – 10:30 PM.
  • 40 Ngo Tam Thuong, Hang Bong, Hang Kiem District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 09:00 AM - 11:00 PM.
  • Price: 30,000 - 100,000 (~ $1.5 - $4.5).

9. Fried Noodles (Phở Xào)

Pho (rice noodles) might be popularly known as rice noodles served in soup, however, you can also enjoy it in the form of being fried in fat liquid, which is stir-fried with thinly sliced beef and seasoned with soy sauce, fish sauce, and assorted vegetables.

The deliciousness of this dish significantly depends on the sauce made from the juice of stir-fried mix. This sauce makes the dish have a unique taste, which is very delicious, nutritious, unforgettable, and very suitable for those who are looking for a fast and hot food on a cold day.

Pho Xao is stir-fried with sliced beef and vegetables. Instagram: @linhlinnie

? Where to eat?

  • 45B Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 08:00 AM – 11:00 PM.
  • 33 Ngu Xa, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. Opening hours: 09:00 AM – 10:00 PM.
  • Price: 60,000 - 130,000 (~ $2.5 - $5).

10. Vietnamese Sticky Rice Ball (Bánh Khúc)

Banh Khuc is a special Hanoi traditional street food. Despite not containing high nutrients, it shows the elegant style of Hanoi cuisine. This food is a glutinous rice ball made of sticky rice mixed with Khuc leaves, filled with green bean paste, pepper and sprinkled with grains of sesame.

Instagram: @izu_mocuaso

Where to eat?

  • Address: 29 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.  Opening hours: 06:00 AM – 09:30 PM.
  • Price: 13,000 – 20,000 (~ $1 - $2).

Some tips to fully experience Hanoi street food

  • Do not be surprised if no one recognizes you initially because they are usually busy or rushing around. Just find a vacant table or seat, and after a minute, a staff will come to your place to show a menu or ask for your order.
  • If you have any requests, do not hesitate to make a loud “Em oi”. It is a common phrase in Vietnam to catch someone’s attention.
  • Master some useful Vietnamese phrases will significantly help you have a fulfilling trip to Vietnam.

In conclusion, you should try all of these options recommended above for what to eat in Hanoi on a rainy day. Do not hesitate to experience new and unique foods here, because the rain cannot prevent you from learning culture, having a lot of unforgettable moments with friends or with the locals. Let have a trip to Hanoi and remember that “Rain is only water”.