Dong Xuan Alley - The Paradise of Street Food in Hanoi

Dong Xuan Market is like a gastronomic paradise of Hanoi with delicious bun cha, delicious crispy porridge rib and chilled sweet soup... though space is small and there is no parking space.

Dong Xuan Market is one of the few places where bun cha with grilled meat on bamboo rods are sold in Hanoi. The bun cha here is made in traditional style: meat is wrapped by leaves, clipped between bamboo sticks and grilled on charcoal. Pork is sweet with the scent of leaves, onions and smells of wild bamboo smoke. In addition, the unique point of the restaurant is that bun cha is served with tamarind vinegar, so it has a different taste. With 35,000 VND (USD 1.5), you will have a full bowl of grilled meat and grilled meat balls.

Located at the end of the market, there is a small but busy noodle soup, especially at noon. There are two types of vermicelli: snail noodle and snail with tofu noodles. The best part of the noodle soup is the broth, which is sour, lightly flavored vinegar. Snail is fatty, crunchy and not as tough as many other noodles. There’s no pork or beef as the trend now. Snails and tofu noodles are usually eaten without broth. Delicious bowl of vermicelli is eye-catching with bright yellow color of turmeric, banana, fried tofu - so crispy and aromatic. The price of a bowl of vermicelli is 30,000 to 35,000 VND (USD 1.3 – 1.5).

Porridge rib stall usually opens at 5 pm, and it’s busier at night. The porridge here is well-cooked, smooth like powder, thick, sweet smell of meat and pig’s bone. Porridge is usually served with hot rolls and dried meat for a richer taste. The price of a bowl of porridge ribs is 30,000 VND, with the addition of 35,000 VND (USD 1.3 – 1.5).

Mixed Pho: is quite similar to the noodle of Saigon, but under the skilful hands of Hanoi people, it is transformed into a specialty dishes of Dong Xuan. The dish is made from small white noodles,  blanched over boiling water and then added to the bowl. Yellow sliced grilled pork will be sprinkled on top, with some sweet and sour vinegar. Lastly, vegetables, roasted peanuts and dried onions are covered in the top layer. The price of a bowl is 25,000 VND (USD 1).

Bun nem crab noodle dish is another version of bun cha. Instead of eating grilled meat, people eat noodles with fried spring rolls with aromatic flavor of the crab. Delicious nem should be made from Hai Phong crab, weighing 0.5 to 1 kg. The price of a vermicelli noodle crab is 30,000 VND (USD 1.3), an extra spring roll is from 7000 to 10,000 VND (USD 0.4).

Dried beef salad is a favorite dish for young people. The beef is dried in large pieces. When eating, the salad will mix well with green papaya, herbs, sour and sweet sauce, peanut ... Fresh beef flavor is mixed perfectly with sweet and sour taste of chili sauce, it will make you want to eat without getting tired. Price per dummy is about 30,000 VND (1.3 USD).

Banh bot loc is usually sold at the same stalls selling dried beef salad, which cost VND 20,000 (0.8 USD) per dish. Cake with typical flavor, sweet and sour sauce is very delicious. The stall is clean so it’s always full of guests.

There are many kinds of Dong Xuan sweet soups, such as black bean, mixed sweet soup, grapefruit sweet soup... but more famous is xuka sweet soup (named after a favorite cartoon character of restaurant owner). Xuka is a perfect combination of delicious and colorful ingredients: soft white flan, glossy black jelly pieces; a little green jelly; long sweet mango with crispy pearl jelly, red pomegranate jelly and sweet aromatic coconut milk on top...

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