Eat till you drop at Hanoi's best food heaven - Dong Xuan market

Published:  16:14 Wednesday - January 11, 2017

Eat till you drop at Hanoi's best food heaven - Dong Xuan market

Dong Xuan Market is Hanoi’s largest indoor market, offering a wide array of goods within its four-story Soviet-style building on the northern edge of the famous Old Quarter.

Dong Xuan Market is nothing short of a culinary paradise where you can find an impressive range of tasty and affordable delicacies. 

Start with the ground floor where you can find a bustling wet market, where locals buy fresh seafood, meat and vegetables. Go upstairs for printed tees, fabrics, luggage and much more.

When you are tired, treat yourself with one (or some) of these street food essentials of the capital city. 

Dong Xuan is one of the few places selling grilled pork on bamboo stick in Hanoi, which is an interesting version of bún chả, recently made famous by Obama. The dish found in Dong Xuan is made in a traditional style: the pork is wrapped in guise leaves, clipped ơn bamboo flat sticks and grilled over charcoal. The smell alone is mouth-watering. It is served with rice noodles, fresh herbs and a lightly sour dipping source.

Near one of the entrances you will find a small snail noodle stand, which is always packed around noon. The most delicious part of the snail noodle is the broth, with a light, delicate taste. The snails are a perfect mixture of soft and chewy. Ask for some fried tofu and turmeric. Each bowl will only set you back VND30,000-35,000 ($1.33-1.55). 

There's a pork-rib porridge vendor who starts serving at around 5 p.m. to midnight. Expect a thick version of porridge, with a fragrant and sweet taste of slow-cooked meat broth. Topped with deep fried breadsticks and served hot, it is a bowl made for a cold Hanoi night. A bowl starts at VND30,000 ($1.33).

It's widely known that Hanoians love pho, and southern Vietnamese love hu tieu, a Cambodian-Chinese concoction that Vietnamese have adapted for their palates. What you are looking at is, wait for it, pho tieu. The name says it all: this is the love child of the two beloved hot noodle dishes. Thin white noodles are served with thin slices of roasted pork, topped with herbs and roasted peanuts. A bowl costs VND25,000, or just a little more than $1. 

Instead of grilled pork, locals also enjoy eating noodles with fried spring rolls, stuffed with crab meat. It's VND30,000 a portion. You may want to ask for more of those crispy rolls, at around VND10,000 each.

Beef jerky and green papaya salad (left) is a favorite among young people. Your palate will be surprised, in a nice way, by the attack of flavor: it's spicy, sour, crunchy, chewy and nutty all at the same time. And it's only VND30,000 a plate.

These bad boys are banh bot loc, a cute, clear-looking, chewy tapioca dumpling version that can be eaten any time of day, or night. They are filled with minced shrimp and pork belly, served with a delicious sweet and sour sauce. A VND20,000 portion will make you ask for more.

Meet Xuka, a dessert mysteriously named after a popular Japanese manga character. It is the perfect combination of delicious and colorful ingredients: white coconut milk and glossy black jelly pieces. Then add a little green jelly. How about some chewy tapioca pearls? Then red pomegranate. Let's top with some fruit. Just because we can. 

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