Renowned for the rich and flavorsome noodle soup, Pho is already popular all around the world but having a bow of pho from its original country is a totally different experience. In Hanoi, Pho is served all day long but the best time to enjoy this delicacy is in the morning when the soup is at its best. A bowl of piping hot rice noodles in bone marrow broth topped with either sliced beef or chicken will definitely wake up all your senses. Add in a bit of fresh chili and a dash of lime to your liking and there you go – a perfect brekky. Don’t forget to order those crispy crullers to dip in the delicious soup.
Bánh mì – Vietnamese baguettes/ pork rolls
In 2012, Banh mi was voted the world’s best sandwich by The Guardian and becomes a must-try street food for every foreigner coming to Vietnam. When in Hanoi, you can easily spot banh mi sold at many street vendors and stalls. Imagine freshly baked baguettes with crunchy shell and soft spongy insides, a smear of mayonnaise and special Vietnamese pate, a variety of fillings including grilled pork, Vietnamese ham, xá xíu – barbecued pork and many more, garnished with pickled vegetables and herbs, optional chili sauce for the extra kick. Banh mi is definitely a breakfast staple that can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Xôi – Sticky rice
It must be a pity if you are staying in Vietnam without trying our traditional dish named sticky rice. It is so common that you can find it from roadside vendors to the most luxurious Vietnamese restaurants in town. There are 2 kinds of sticky rice: sweet and savory, both mainly made of glutinous rice but are different in other ingredients. Sweet sticky rice is often mixed with peanuts, all sorts of beans, coconut and other fruits, adding sugar they can also be served as desserts. While the savory one served with caramelized braised pork, Vietnamese ham, Chinese sausage, and fried onions. Traditionally, a portion of sticky rice is wrapped in banana leaves to keep it warm and for the delicate aroma of these leaves. Sticky rice is a really good option for breakfast because it will definitely keep you full until lunch time for a very little price tag.
Bánh Cuốn – rolled rice pancakes
Banh Cuon – rolled rice pancakes or steamed rice rolls is a favorite breakfast especially in the North. It is a steamed paper-thin rice flour pancake stuffed with minced pork, sometimes shrimp and wood ear mushrooms then garnished with some fried shallots. The cook will only start making rolls as you order. Be patient since it might take up to 10 minutes to get your breakfast. To enjoy this dish: dip the rolls deeply into the warm fish sauce, add some mint leaves and then eat them all in one bite. At some places, you can get a variety of side dish to eat with Banh Cuon such as grilled pork and Vietnamese pork ham. This is a true Hanoian breakfast staple since it is only available in the morning.