People visiting Vietnam usually have a long list of dishes they want to try while exploring this beautiful country. Bun Cha is on top of many of those lists, particularly for those visiting Hanoi, the home of Bun Cha.
Food plays an important role in Vietnamese culture. Family owned street food stalls can be found on most street corners, and often even all along the street. What people will have depends greatly on the area they are leaving in. Saigon has its Pho while Hanoi has its Bun Cha.
Vietnamese people may go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner several times a week. Sitting on small plastic chairs, sipping a bowl of soup. In Hanoi, that bowl of soup may very well be Bun Cha.
Bun Cha, though to originate in Hanoi, is a popular lunchtime food for people in Hanoi. It can be found anywhere in the city. The dish can be simply explained as rice noodles with kebab. But it is so much more. The sweat and sour dish with a perfect balance of noodles, vegetable and meat is something no one traveling in or through Hanoi can miss. There are similar dishes throughout Vietnam but none quite as tasty as the Bun Cha.
Bun cha is neither complicated to make nor has it a lot of ingredients, and although the taste may vary a bit between food stalls, the recipe is mostly the same. And don’t send the soup back if you get it at room temperature, this is how bun cha is usually served.
Bun Cha consists of the Bun (vermicelli noodles) and Cha (the meat) along with fresh vegetables and herbs, and of course the most important part of a good bun cha, the broth. The broth contains combination of vinegar, sugar and fish sauce.
The vermicelli rice noodles are served on the side of the broth with a basket of herbs and vegetables such as fresh lettuce, cilantro, coriander, banana flower and fresh mint. Bun cha is usually served with two types of meat (cha), ground pork and grilled kebab style pork.
Bún chả Hương Liên
- Address: 24 Lê Văn Hưu, Phan Chu Trinh, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 8:00 am – 8:30 pm
We can’t make a list of the best bun cha in Hanoi without mentioning Bun Cha Huong Lien. This is probably the most famous bun cha restaurant in the world. This is the place where Anthony Bourdain and then-president Barack Obama shared a bowl of bun cha and Hanoi Beer, sitting on the small plastic chairs.
Now you can order the “Obama” set plate but you can’t sit at the table where Bourdain and Obama sat at because the table has now been sealed of in a glass cage.
Bun Cha Huong Lien has become very commercial since the Obama visit. But it wasn’t recommended by Bourdain for no reason, the bun cha there is excellent and the place is well worth visiting.
Bún Chả Ta
- Address: 21 Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Bun Cha Ta ranks 53rd out of 2,500 restaurants in Hanoi so it comes highly recommended. Located at the end of “Coffee Street” in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Bun Cha Ta is recognized for both great food and great service.
Their broth is considered some of the best in Hanoi. And don’t forget to order a side of Nem, a fried spring roll, which is a second specialty of Bun Cha Ta.
Bún Chả Sinh Từ
- Address: Tạ Quang Bửu Hai Bà Trưng Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Bun Cha Sin Tu has been around for a long time and is considered by many to be one of the best bun cha in the city. This bun cha place is not the typical family run street food stall. It’s more of a restaurant, but don’t worry, the prices are still cheap.
The meat in the bun cha at Bun Cha Sin Tu is excellent.
- Check out our Hanoi City and Food Tour
Dac Kim Bún Chả
- Address: 1 Hàng Mành, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Dac Kim Bun Cha is a typical Hanoi mom and pap bun cha stall. It’s been around since mid-1960s and has been in the family ever since. The portion sizes at Dac Kim Bun Cha are very generous and the prices are affordable.
Bún Chả Tuyết (Bun Cha 34)
- Address: 34 Hàng Than, Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ba Đình, Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Bun Cha is another typical family run Hanoi bun cha place on our list. It has one of the best value-for-money of all the places on our list. You will get a good size bun cha with everything for only VND 35,000 (USD 1.50)
Bún Chả 82
- Address: 82 Phố Mã Mây, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
If you like proper street food, you will like Cun Cha 82. There you’ll be sitting on small plastic chairs eating bbq meat that was prepared on old-fasion charcoals.
Many are surprised that Bun Cha 82 closes at 2:00 pm. But that’s not uncommon for the local bun cha stalls. In Vietnam, bun cha is considered a lunch, rather than dinner so many local bun cha places close in the early afternoon.
Bun Cha 74 Hàng Quạt
- Address: 74 Hàng Quạt, Hàng Gai, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
If you’re not worried about hygiene, Bun Cha at 74 Hang Quat (or Bun Cha aka) is for you. Hidden in a small alley, this bun cha place will service you excellent bun cha at just over USD 1 for a large size bowl.
Bún Chả Hàng Mành Hùng Thái
- Address: 109 B1 Thành Công, Ba Đình, Hà Nội
- Opening hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Bun Cha Hang Manh Hung is where locals go for bun cha. Be prepared to point to the things you want from the menu as the staff may not speak English.
The yellow lit food stall and sleek interior attracts a lot of customers each day, most of whom are local enjoying their lunchtime bun cha.