The cuisine in Hanoi tends to be slightly sweeter than in the rest of Vietnam, with a focus on abundant fresh herbs and freshwater seafood. Here are a few dishes and activities you won't want to miss.
Hanoi Cooking Centre (HCC)
44 Chau Long St, Hanoi, Vietnam
The Hanoi Cooking Centre offers a wealth of cooking classes, food tours, and foodie experiences. Eat in their courtyard café or pick up a copy of one of their Vietnamese food books. Enjoy a cooking class, complete with lunch or dinner in the restaurant: They cover topics as simple as spring rolls or as advanced as northern Vietnamese specialties. Street-food tours and market tours are well-regarded, and they even offer classes tailor-made for kids.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Hanoi Cooking Centre is a must-visit for anyone who’s serious about Vietnamese food.
If you’re staying in the Old Quarter, allow a little time to get to Truc Bach Lake.
Opt for a market tour with lunch or dinner over a full street-food tour or cooking class if you’re short on time.
Steps, congested sidewalks, and cramped eateries make Hanoi food tours a challenge for travelers who use wheelchairs.
How to Get There
The Hanoi Cooking Centre is located about 2 miles (3 kilometers) north of the Old Quarter, a little to the east of Truc Bach Lake. From the Old Quarter, catch bus 31 up Duong Tran Quang Khai, take a cyclo, or join an organized tour.
When to Get There
The Hanoi Cooking Centre café is open from morning until late afternoon seven days a week. Food tours run in the morning and afternoon, while cooking classes include either lunch or an early dinner. Markets are generally at their most authentic in the morning, while the street-food scene is liveliest later in the day.
Vietnamese Food in Hanoi
Vietnamese cuisine is strongly regional, and each city has its own distinctive specialties and style. The climate of the north Vietnamese hills is very different from the steamy Mekong Delta, so it’s well worth taking food tours or cooking classes in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to appreciate the differences.
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- Tran Quoc Pagoda (Chua Tran Quoc)
- West Lake (Ho Tay)
- Ho Chi Minh's Residence (Nha Bac Ho)
- Presidential Palace
- Dong Xuan Market
- Long Bien Bridge (Cau Long Bien)
- Vietnam Military History Museum
- One-Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot)
- Ho Chi Minh Museum (Bao Tang Ho Chi Minh)
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat)
- Hanoi Ancient House
- Hanoi Old Quarter
- Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
- Temple of the Jade Mountain (Ngoc Son Temple)