Hanoi Emerges as a Culinary Gem in the Asia-Pacific Region

Booking.com recently rated Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, as one of the top five destinations for food lovers around the world. Known for its incredible variety of sumptuous dishes, Hanoi is sure to delight foodies of all tastes.

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According to a recent report from booking.com, it is well known that the Asia Pacific region, including Vietnam, is a prime destination for gastronomic exploration.

According to the Travel Confidence Index 2023 research conducted by our website, a remarkable 63% of travelers from the Asia-Pacific region, spanning across 11 countries, have unanimously declared ‘Food & Dining’ as the top priority on their travel itineraries. This finding establishes the region’s unrivaled reputation as the ultimate haven for food enthusiasts.

Immersing in Culture and Cuisine

Research indicates that an impressive 42% of Vietnamese travelers are highly motivated to fully experience the culture and lifestyle of their chosen destination. This desire for immersion extends specifically to indulging in authentic local cuisine.

Bun Cha or grilled pork with fresh noodle soup, is one of the wonderful delicacies of Hanoi. Photo: Le Phong

Hanoi is recognized as a prominent culinary paradise in the region. With its rich and diverse food culture, the city offers an array of delightful dishes and flavors that never fail to captivate locals and visitors alike.

The capital of Vietnam has earned recognition as one of the leading culinary destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, securing a spot within the top five rankings.

The city boasts an array of culinary delights, offering visitors unforgettable dining experiences. This sentiment was shared by a reputable Dutch online accommodation booking platform.

Hanoi, renowned for its street food, is also proud to host three Michelin-starred restaurants. These include Gia, Hibana by Koki, and Tam Vi. At Gia, Chef Sam Tran skillfully crafts a rotating, seasonal menu of contemporary Vietnamese delicacies. Hibana by Koki offers an intimate dining experience at a 14-seat counter, where Japanese cuisine is expertly prepared using fresh ingredients flown in from Japan twice a week. Tam Vi specializes in northern Vietnamese dishes, such as ham with snails and shrimp soup with Malabar spinach.

According to the statement, these highly esteemed restaurants were recently bestowed with the renowned Michelin star in June 2023. Known for their exquisite culinary creations and remarkable gastronomic journeys, they are certainly worth visiting during a trip to Vietnam.

The culinary destination survey was conducted based on specific criteria, including popularity among international tourists, ease of accessibility, a vibrant culinary and cultural scene, and receiving the highest number of votes from both tourists and experts in the field.

The Thang Cuon or Mixed Roll, a Hanoi specialty of old, is prepared by the chef of Tam Vi Restaurant. Photo: Tam Vi

Experience the Convergence of Delicious Food

Vietnamese cuisine, especially in Hanoi, has gained recognition on the global culinary stage. Notably, it has been awarded Michelin stars and ranked among the world’s top culinary destinations for 2023 by TripAdvisor. This highlights the growing popularity and reputation of Vietnamese cuisine worldwide.

Hanoi is renowned for its exceptional culinary specialties. One must not overlook the delightful dish of Pho bo – a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup with beef. Considered the national dish of Vietnam, pho bo comes in several variations including pho tai (soup with medium rare sliced steak), pho chin (soup with steamed lean beef), pho nam (soup with steamed half lean beef), pho gau bo (soup with steamed fat beef), and pho sot vang (Vietnamese version of bordelaise sauce with beef tendon). These diverse options make pho bo a must-try dish for any visitor to Hanoi.

A Pho Bo stall can be found in various locations across Vietnam, as well as in major cities worldwide. However, for the authentic experience, one must visit Hanoi, where the dish is considered to be at its best. Before delving deeper into the wonders of Vietnamese cuisine, it is essential to savor a bowl of Hanoi’s renowned Pho Bo. The soup itself, with its captivating aroma, has the power to chase away the chill of Winter and awaken the senses.

The Hanoi delicacy known as “pho cuon” or “pho roll” is said to have been created by Hanoi housewives and has maintained its popularity for decades.

Another specialty of Hanoi: Pho bo or noodle soup with beef. Photo: Le Phong

Unlike traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup, also known as “pho bo”, which is typically served hot, “pho cuon” is a delectable dish served cold. It consists of flat steamed rice sheets, known as “pho sheets”, filled with stir-fried beef and aromatic herbs. This unique twist on the classic pho is accompanied by a delightful sweet and sour dipping sauce that adds a burst of flavor to each bite.

Hanoi is renowned not only for its famous delicacies but also for its delectable dishes derived from different regions.

In the heart of the city, an abundance of dining establishments can be found, each offering regional delicacies that are said to surpass the original flavors. This insight is shared by Hanoi’s esteemed culinary expert, Nguyen Phuong Hai.

According to The Hanoi Times, when regional dishes are brought to Hanoi, skilled chefs modify them to create a new, more sophisticated and attractive flavor compared to the original.

Some of the finest dishes from Vietnam include Banh cuon Cao Bang, which are Vietnamese steamed rice rolls from Cao Bang Province; Vit quay Lang Son, a delicious roast duck dish from Lang Son Province; Canh ca Thai Binh, a flavorful fish soup from Thai Binh Province; and Bun bo Hue, a delectable beef noodle soup from the city of Hue, among various others.

Booking.com has identified four other culinary gems in the Asia Pacific region, in addition to Hanoi. These include Singapore, Seoul (South Korea), and Tokyo (Japan).