As Leaders of the Week and big-time foodies, Dillon and I knew we had to partake in a food tour while in Hanoi. After desperately searching for cheap options online we finally found an $18 tour that would satisfy us. At 5:30pm sharp, our guide Hannah, a university student, came to pick us up at our guesthouse: we were off!
Below are my reviews of all the foods we had on the tour:
1st STOP: “bánh cuốn” or VIETNAMESE PANCAKES 8/10
No, they do not look like pancakes. Yes, they are delicious. The best way to describe them would be thin sheets of steamed rice pasta wrapped around a pork and minced mushroom filling. They were probably my personal favorite.
2nd STOP: Dầu cháo quẩy or Long DONUTS 6.5/10
They were fried pieces of dough. What not to like? It’s a yes from me.
3rd STOP: Bún Chả or BUN NOODLES 6/10
This meal was the guide’s favorite, so I was very excited to try it. Bún Chả is rice noodles with pickled veggies and pork “meatballs.” The savory meatballs and fatty pieces of pork belly made it a winner.
4th STOP: VIETNAMESE COCONUT COFFEE 25/10
Vietnamese coffee mixed with cold coconut cream; basically a milkshake. This is probably one of the best things I’ve ever tried. I’m not a coffee person, but after this, I was converted.
5th STOP: FRIED FOOD FUNHOUSE 5/10
Everything from fried spring rolls to empanada-looking things, this place had it all. Although they were all different shapes, they all tasted pretty much the same. Delicious nonetheless. By this point we were pretty stuffed, and I could feel the oil oozing out my pores.
6th STOP: Chè Thái, or WEIRD FRUIT JELLY IN COCONUT MILK 3/10
We entered a dark, sketchy tunnel in order to get to our final tour stop. We sat in a circle as we passed around two bowls filled with a milky liquid and some mysterious colorful jelly cubes. Zach was definitely not a fan, along with many of the people in our group who tried to hide their faces of disgust in front of our guide. Chè Thái is definitely an acquired taste.
7th STOP: Cà phê trúng, or EGG COFFEE 4/10
I took my third cup of coffee of the day eagerly from the guide, excited to try the Vietnamese coffee topped with egg whites, sugar, and condensed milk. It was pretty good, but I think we all preferred the coconut coffee.
OVERALL FOOD TOUR SCORE: 10/10
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.