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Top Budget Eats for Hanoi Holidays in 2011

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The street kitchens and canteens of Hanoi are places which dole out not only wonderfully tasty snacks and dishes of the region, but also lend you a taste of Vietnam itself. In fact, if you happen to be in Hanoi for your 2011 holidays, then be prepared to be pampered by a place that has a huge appetite. The simple freshly done recipes of the region come from living room eating joints that serve anything from beef noodle soup (“pho”) to crisp deep-fried pork spring rolls dipped in fish sauce (“nem”).

Another thing that occupies the centre stage of Hanoi food is its coffee which is generally made strong, buttery and sweet here. You’ll land up in a cafe anywhere you move around in Hanoi on holidays 2011. A weird but worth-trying coffee is the weasel coffee which is made from beans that have been digested by weasels!

Here are some of the eateries that one could check out during their 2011 Vietnam holidays in Hanoi:

Cafe Duy Tri
The old quarter of Hanoi houses this humble-looking cafe which has been serving the taste-buds of people since 1936. Being a local favourite, this cafe offers the unique weasel coffee amidst whirring fans and antique furniture. For experiencing the typical cafe culture of Vietnam, a visit to the Cafe Duy Tri is a must during Hanoi holidays in 2011.

14 Hang Ga Street
The street kitchen/canteen is known for the best street food of Hanoi called the “banh cuon” which is steamed rice pancakes with pork mince and black mushrooms inside and a topping of crisp fried onions, a squeeze of lemon and herbs – the perfect harmony of texture and flavours. 

43 Cau Go Street
At around 11 in the morning, it’s lunchtime in Hanoi. Relish barbecued pork (bun cha) is a famous meal in Vietnam which one should not miss on holidays in 2011. The rough but busy kitchen at the Cau Go Street lets you see pork being done to perfect crispiness on hot coals. This smoky dish is usually served with cold noodles, a broth flavoured with fish sauce and vinegar, pork and spring onion meatballs, cabbage and carrot pickle along with a plateful of pork spring rolls (nem) – all for less than a pound!

Cafe Loc Tai
The bustling bakery circuit of Hanoi is credited to its French occupation from the middle of the nineteenth century for about a hundred years. The streets of Hanoi are more often than not lined with the sweet aromas of freshly baked cakes and pastries. The best place, however, to have western pastries as well as Vietnamese desserts, is the Cafe Loc Tai. Do try the “che choui” which is a sticky soup-like dessert made from coconut milk, bananas and fried peanuts.

Cafe Pho Co
One of the oldest cafes in Hanoi, the Cafe Pho Co offers panoramic views of the Hoan Kiem Lake and is a hidden gem when it comes to the local street food. The unparalleled views along with a variety of dishes and freshly squeezed out fruit juices are the main attractions of this place.

Pho 10
The most famous dish of Hanoi is what they call “pho” – this is a comforting beef noodle soup that is customarily eaten either first thing in the morning or late at night – and is had almost every day by the Vietnamese. Pho is served with bean sprouts, chilli and a squirt of lime. Do check out this balmy concoction on holidays to Vietnam in 2011.

Xoi Yen
Xoi is a favourite amongst the younger crowd of Hanoi. Xoi is made from sticky rice that is served with buttery bean curd, crunchy onions and a choice of toppings from fried eggs to pate. The filling snack is ideal for lining your tummy before having beer. A great party starter for holidays in Hanoi 2011.

Highway Four
The restaurant-bar Highway Four is one of the best eats in Hanoi for tasting authentic rice wine of the country. From rich rose apple to mulberry, you can taste the many Son Tinh liquors of the restaurant. The roof terrace is am amazingly cosy corner of the restaurant with kneeling mats and low lighting. The kitchen serves Vietnamese delicacies in the like of jellyfish salad and roasted crickets.

Cafe Nha Tho
Right beside the famous Catholic Church in Hanoi is the Cafe Nha Tho with tiny stools for seating. One can munch on pumpkin seeds and wash them down with “sua chua thach” – drinks made from candied fruits, yoghurt and crushed ice. A refreshing place to be with a young crowd during Hanoi holidays 2011.

Restaurant Bobby Chinn
Try your hand at modern Vietnamese cuisine in an ambience that is plush in every way at one of the most famous resident chefs of the country Bobby Chinn (remember seeing him on TV?). The relaxed dining room with local art and drapes of red silk is quite inviting. His signature dishes are fusion recipes with a harmony of his training in the US and life back home in Vietnam. The green tea smoked duck and wasabi mash are must haves during a trip to Vietnam in 2011.

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