Bún Chả Hà Nội

Firstly, hats off to Wandering Chopsticks for pointing me to this awesome bun cha joint on Ly Tu Trong Street. I hardly ever eat in District 1 unless its fancy or sushi and would have never found this place otherwise.

A group of new (Olivia) and old friends (The Astronomer, Zach and Tom) headed here for lunch right before the Lunar New Year shutdown, which is unfortunately still going on. The Vietnamese sure do know how to relax after a year of hard work! I hope my xoi vendors start dishing out the goods soon.

During our visit, the eatery was sold out of the cha gio cua be (crab eggrolls) WC raved about, but the manager promised me a complimentary one the next time I stopped in.

Our group ordered five portions of bun cha at 25,000 VND each. Generally, I find that bun cha portions veer toward meager, especially in the bun (vermicelli rice noodles) department. The Astronomer usually has to request two extra plates of bun to round out his meal. This restaurant served up the perfect amount of food.

The flame-grilled pork patties with bacon bits (not Bacos) were dunked in a mild fish sauce vinaigrette with thin slices of pickled daikon. The smoky patties were packed loosely, contained a satisfying ratio of meat to fat and took on the sauce’s sour flavors well. Truly, excellent. I can’t wait to compare and contrast bun cha Saigon with bun cha Hanoi when I visit later this year.

Since I’m in the south, I assembled my bun cha in a southern fashion—small bowl + herbs + greens + meat + sauce. Definitely the best I’ve had so far.

8 Ly Tu Trong Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City


6 Responses to “Bún Chả Hà Nội”

  1. 1 Wandering Chopsticks February 13, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Oh, man! You’ve got me craving bun cha! Too bad they were out of cha gio cua be b/c they’re nicely stuffed and crispy. I’m glad you liked it and that it was worth the trip! I know sometimes taking recommendations from strangers can be iffy.

    BTW, the best bun cha cua be I had in Hanoi is #1 Pho Manh. Go for lunch since they frequently close early or don’t open at all for dinner.

  2. 2 Gastronomer February 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Wandering – I will add the Hanoi bun cha place to my list. Thanks again 🙂

  3. 3 Wandering Chopsticks February 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Forgot to mention it’s in the old quarter. But I think you figured that out. Also in the old quarter, near the Catholic church, there’s a lady that fries some kind of banh on the street. It’s folded into a semicircle with crimped edges, with pork, bean thread and tree fungus filling? I think it’s a Bac ky thing b/c I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

    And around Ho Tay, there’s supposedly a street of pho cuon restaurants. I can’t remember the address I was taken to, but instead of just beef and greens, they also offered pheasant or some kind of dark meat bird sauteed for the filling. I tried to find it again with some friends but the taxi driver had no idea what we were talking about and we ended up in another pho cuon place that wasn’t anywhere near as good as that first one. 😦 But maybe someone else up there can might be able to help you find it.

  4. 4 Gastronomer February 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Wandering – you are full of tasty ideas. I love it! And keep em coming 😉

  5. 5 Wandering Chopsticks February 15, 2008 at 4:52 am

    OK, It was driving me crazy not knowing the name of this banh. Luckily Noodlepie knows everything. He also recommends the location by the Catholic church in Hanoi.

    It’s banh goi.


    And the pho cuon place might have been by Ho Truc Bach, not Ho Tay. Hmm. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t find it again… And the pho cuon might have been stuffed with pigeon. Gah! I wish I had been blogging back then b/c now I DO care about finding those places or recalling exactly where they were.

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