Street food tour guides - Hanoi

Jul 26th, 2009, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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Street food tour guides - Hanoi

As some of you know Muffin and I are heading to Vietnam in November and after seeing some of the great pictures from other fodorites (esp Kristina's Bun Cha review) we are keen to try some street food (i can almost hear Bob hyperventilating from here) We also saw a great programme on UK TV the other day with a famous British chef and he was trying out the street food of Hanoi.
Anyway, whilst i would say we are adventurous eaters we need to be given a guiding hand others wise we will be too wary. I have found a site called hidden Hanoi that does street food tours but the timings are not great (10am or 3pm) and wondered if anyone knew of any others? OR could this be something i get Hanoi Kids to help us with?
I found an article which list Sarah Clarke as a street food guide but the web address doesn't appear to work anymore (think it was something like Hanoi Street food .com.
Can anyone advise?
Thanks
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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Smeagol- Why not try the Hidden Hanoi tour? By the time you get to eating anything on the 10am tour, it will be lunchtime.

I don't know if the Hanoi Kids can help with this. The ones we went out with seemed shocked that we would be interested in street food. But you might be able to arrange something if you set it up in advance. OTOH, I told them I was interested in food and markets and they pretty much ignored that. If your guides are not interested in the same things then I don't think it will work. I think the "guides" are assigned based on whoever is available that day.

I highly recommend the Bun Cha place we went to. Technically, it's not "street food" as it's a restaurant with inside seating.

You might just try searching out street food on your own as I did. Check out some of the other links on my website like savourasia.com and the blog Sticky Rice. Also check some of the places I marked on my Google Map (though they are just places I researched, not necessarily visited).
Kristina is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the response Kristina, the hidden hanoi tour only lasts 1.5 hours so still too early for lunch!!! and good point about hanoi kids. I will check out Savourasia and see if we can make a list and go for it. (I may even ask Tonkin if they know of any such guides)
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Smeagol - I saw the Rick Stein programme too! Really got me yearning for Asia again!!I also read his article in the Times re food in Sri lanka which sounded fantastic.
We spent a week in Hanoi last year and stayed in the Old Quarter. There so many street food stalls and small "hole in the wall"restaurants that I doubt you will need a guide. Many of them did not have names so would be difficult to recommend anyway. The quality in all the places we tried was very high.
crellston is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 09:04 AM
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Is it really that early? I found because we were waking up so early and eating breakfast early, we were often ready for lunch at 11 or so. If you really want to do it, I say go for it! You don't have to actually eat all that much. See it as an opportunity to learn and sample. Do it on the first day and you'll know what to look for the rest of the trip.
(Now I'm starting to wish we'd done this )
Kristina is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Crellston - that programme was well timed as i have the feeling muffin wasn't too sure about our trip BUT RS did a great job of selling VN and the food (especially as all the places he went are pretty much where we are going)Glad to hear you thought the quality was good
Kris - good point, but 10am really is too early for street food for us (we are usually into the time zone straight away) BUT as you say will give us the SP on places to go. I am so looking forward to Pho and Bun Cha.
Would still like to find a private guide but if we don't will consider the hidden Hanoi tour.
Crell - wheres the next adventure? and are you still in London?
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 12:09 PM
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Hi

I really would not recommend you to try street food in VN. They are usually made from very low quality and questionable materials to keep the price dirt cheap for poor locals and not hygienic at all. Your chance of getting sick is very high. The surroundings where the street food stalls are located are also very dirty. The food may have been exposed to dust and heat all day long.

For great Pho and Bun Cha, there are nice restaurants well known for these dishes that provide better quality food and have more hygienic facilities to prepare the food. It is better to ask your guide to recommend these restaurants. They are still local restaurants (meaning not tourist oriented) but are much better than the street food.

Have a nice trip.
HappyMom32 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 01:46 PM
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ok, i've calmed down....

but what brit has ever been called an "adveturesome eater"? maybe eating spotted dick or treakle pudding but rat's brains or cow utters....not the brits....stiff upper lip and all that....

phil the greek insists on proper english food...ugh!!!
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 10:04 PM
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Maybe i am leaning towards the more "local" restaurants rather than street food per se (you know the restaurants with plastic chairs outside rather than someone pushing carts around... thats probably more what i am looking for).
Think i am going to print out Kristina's and Craig's trip reports as there were some good recommendations on there.
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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Smeagol- Since you are not going until November, wait until I am done writing my report and then email me via my website. I will send you the guidebook I made for myself, (hopefully updated with my own notes by then) if you want.
Kristina is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 11:03 PM
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YES PLEASE that sounds brilliant. Thank you
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 27th, 2009, 06:00 AM
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Hi Kristina- Can I also request a copy of your guidebook? I love following your website, so I'm sure your guidebook would be a big help for my 3 day eating fest in Hanoi next month.
Thanks
I'll send an email to your website, too.
cruisinred is offline  
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