Cuisine

Snail Vermicelli Soup On Hang Chai Street – An Essential Street Eat In Hanoi

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Street food used to be synonymous with an exciting carnival of sounds, smells, and colors that you would binge on while walking or traveling around these destinations on your Hanoi farming & cooking class tour. But food street in Vietnam is nowadays a nation-wide culinary sensation led by local vendors and innovative start-ups alike. Among all the towns and cities in Vietnam, its capital city is at the forefront of that movement, with a lot of street vendors running their business a dozen years ago.

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Hanoi snail noodle soup

What are the first to come to your mind when thinking about street food of Hanoi? It must be pho – Vietnam’s national dish, bánh mì – Vietnamese baguette, or bún chả – a Vietnamese dish of grilled meat and meatballs and noodle. Yet Hanoian cuisine is not all about these iconic dishes. Forget the bone broth or the grilled meat with the use of traditional charcoal, snail noodle soup or bún ốc is another Hanoi’s classic comfort food to try on your Hanoi food tour.

If you are craving authentic snail vermicelli soup, Bún Ốc Cô Thêm on Hang Chai Street is the place to go! Feel lucky that it is not rare to find snail vermicelli soup in Vietnam, let alone in its capital city! But you will quickly identify “the King” by the seemingly endless line of eaters crowding its sidewalk. This stall at No 6 Hang Chai, Hoan Kiem District is the most famous address winning the heart of a lot of both Hanoians and foreigners!

This vendor on Hang Chai Street is a fixture of Hanoi’s streets and Hanoian’ routines, vital to the culture of Vietnam’s capital city. Even though Ms. Them has to struggle day to day business here against a host of challenges: the legislation that would gradually decrease the number of street food vendor permits issued and, sometimes, the bad weather condition, she always tries her best to serve the best of the quintessential taste of Hanoi.

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Bun oc Hang Chai

A standard bowl of bún ốc here comes with bún (thin vermicelli noodles made from rice), cooked snails, and a heaping plate of the aromatic vegetables that accompany almost every Vietnamese dish. Tomatoes, wine vinegar, and pepper are the key ingredients in the hot, sweet, and sour broth giving it a nice kick. Unlike bún ốc at other street vendors which is arranged neatly with fried tofu (đậu phụ rán) and, sometimes, beef and crab meat, a bowl at No 6 Hang Chai Street in Hoan Kiem District is a little more simple yet no less flavorful.

Noodle soup is the pride of Vietnamese cuisine and mixing it with the popular Vietnamese freshwater snails; it becomes a double-hit combo. Why is Bún Ốc Cô Thêm authentic, rich and tasty at the right level? Snails used here are fresh chewy snails coming from local waterways that are of quality. Feel free to select your snail’s size: small or big and get ready to enjoy the taste you once tried in your Hanoi cooking class.

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Bun oc Co Them

Don’t be surprised to see Hanoians pile four heaping spoons of lime juice, some slices of fresh chilies, and a spoonful of shrimp paste (mắm tôm) onto their noodles before stirring them up and chowing down. It is in Hanoi Old Quarter, but the price is so low while the food is incredibly good.

  • Address: 6 Hang Chai, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
  • Opening hours: 06:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Price ranges: VND 20.000 – 50.000

Snail noodle soup (Bún Ốc) is ubiquitous in Hanoi, but the best place to visit on your Hanoi farming & cooking class tour is the one that draws in lines of people waiting to taste a bowl of Bún Ốc. Let’s taste-test all your way through all of them, and you will find out that Bún Ốc Cô Thêm on Hang Chai Street is what you absolutely cannot miss. The trials of waiting for even half an hour is just a welcome sight for hungry Hanoians and travelers during lunch hour.

Author Since: Jul 02, 2018