For first time travelers like ourselves in Hanoi, we found food tour a great way to experience real “local” distinctness of Vietnamese cuisine and explore the Old Quarter. If you have not had any specific plan, a street food tour is definitely a fun way to get under the skin of Vietnamese life and try things you wouldn’t usually try. We booked a food tour with Eviva, and this was one of the highlights of our stay in Hanoi and Vietnam.
Eviva is an awesome Vietnamese tour company I also highly recommend. They will tailor-make your visit to whatever interests you. They asked if we would like a certain type of food in order to pre-set the stops that suitable for us and if anything in their recommended “menu” we did not like, they introduce others alternate food for our consideration. Eviva also recommended us to have a tour including the Water Puppet show – a very novel show demonstrating various Vietnamese cultural elements so we do not have to bother getting tickets in advance on our own. Right after the show, we started the walking tour in Hanoi Old Quarter.
We tried everything from the famous dishes such as Pho (flat rice vermicelli mixed with beef, herb and special spices – best 50 food you must try in the world) and Bun cha (Vermicelli and charcoal – grilled marinated pork) to more adventurous exotic food that sound very weird but actually very delicious. Some of which we would never dareto try our own if we had not done this tour.
a) Deep fried eel soup (I have not had eel previously)
b) Various sea and river snails. This, I also had to try as it wasn’t something I have tasted before as well.
c) Carp fish rice paper rolls(deep-fried fish and served with a side of vermicelli, fresh herbs and a dipping sauce, wrapped in rice paper)
d) Egg coffee, containing egg yolk, cream, butter and sugar. The combination sounded awful, but the deliciousness was almost beyond words, visually beautiful. It is something I would gladly have for breakfast every day of the week.
e) Freshly crushed sugar cane juice on ice (amazing)
f) Vietnamese style baguette
We were absolutely full and happy with the tour. We actually considered doing the tour again the following night and asking them to take us to different places – to continue experience the real Hanoi street food from a local expert!