No More Staying In With 6 Dishes For A Rainy Day In Hanoi!

What to Eat on a Rainy Day in Hanoi?

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: September 25, 2020

For the first time being to Hanoi, international tourists may be impressed by this city’s tropical weather, which means that its temperature is high in roughly all year. However, seldom can they know Hanoi also has a lot of cold or rainy days, which provide people with a priceless chance to escape from the daily busy life. On these days, enjoying yourself by savouring some hot dishes would be a ‘divine” choice. Especially, if you are a peace-seeker, Hanoi’s rainy days and its dishes would definitely satisfy you. Below are 6 highly recommended dishes for a rainy day in Hanoi, try and savour! 

1. Shellfish (Ốc)

Oc - Shellfish - Dishes for a rainy day in Hanoi

For tourists who are searching for thrilling feelings while eating, this dish is definitely for you! Ốc, which is a Vietnamese typical type of shellfish, is one of Vietnamese people’s most favorite dishes to have with friends in some rainy days. Commonly, Vietnamese ốc will be served boiled or stir-fried with tamarind sauce. 

Firstly, with the former one, culinary guests will be able to fully enjoy the natural flavor of the crunchy ốc, which is unbelievably addictive. Each portion of ốc will be served with a small bowl of special sauce, which is actually fish sauce mixed with sliced pepper, sugar, lemongrass and kumquat juice. This special sauce acts as a “catalyst”, making ốc’s crunchy feelings and “sweetness” rock! 

Secondly, referring to the latter dish, as it is called, this dish will bring enjoyers not only the sweetness of ốc, the typical sourness of tamarind but also the spice of pepper. Its flavor is really indescribable. If you are a person seeking for something new and strange, tamarind stir-fried ốc would be your answer.

Usually, ốc will be served with intact shells, which means you will also be given a special tool to get the shellfishes out of its shells. Personally, I think it is the reason why chit chatting with your friends while enjoying the steaming ốc becomes a popular activity among friend groups. Evidently, on a rainy day, we all need a warm place to sit around and some kind friends to prevent the loneliness of the winter. ốc, apparently, meets both these requirements. It allows us to have a good dish and gives us time for chit chatting (as people can chit chat while having to spend time pulling ốc’s meat out of their shells)

 Recommended eating places:

  • Oc Trang Dinh Liet

Address: 1A Dinh Liet, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Opening hours: 15h00 – 22h30

Price range: VND 40 000 – 60 000 (~$2-3)

  • Oc Tong Duy Tan 

NOTE: This stall’s owner and staff are all deaf; however, this will not impact much on the guests’ experiences as they are all nice and offer impressive services. 

Address: 5 Tong Duy Tan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Opening hours: 16h – 22h

  • Oc Mr. Thu Hang Bac

NOTE: This is actually an old man’s vendor, which has been selling Oc for more than 20 years.

Address: 56 Hàng Bạc Hoàn Kiếm Hà Nội

Opening hours: 18h – 22h

2. Grilled Meat (Thịt Xiên Nướng)

Grilled meat - Thit xien - dishes for a rainy day in hanoi

As it is named, this is simply a stick of grilled meat. However, unlike grilled meat served with big iron skewers, which are often seen in restaurants, this is street grilled meat, which means the skewers will be made of wood and they will have a much smaller size. In Vietnam, street grilled meat is way more common than the traditional ones served in restaurants.The secret of this street food’s delicious flavor lies in its “bold” flavor and alluring aroma, which are obtained from a complicated preparation process.

Before being grilled and sold to customers, the pork belly will be sliced and marinated with a wide range of spice. (Each cook will have his or her own secret recipe, which are all complicated, I bet!) Then, the cook will leave the meat alone for a few hours before pushing each piece of it through the wooden skewers. Sellers will grill the meat skewers on a tray of burning charcoal until they are ready and can be served to customers. The secret of this dish’s delicious flavor lies in not only the various ingredients but also the cook’s skills. An experienced cook will know how to manage the charcoal’s heat and manipulate it according to the meat’s condition.

As a habit, on rainy days, Hanoians, no matter how old they are, often go to these grilling stalls to get some hot skewers of meat. Eating this delicious dish while enjoying the drizzling day is a truly nice activity for ones searching for the peaceful atmosphere in Hanoi.

Recommended eating places:

  • Hien Cuong Grilling Stall

Location: C5 Luong Dinh Cua street, Kim Lien ward, Dong Da District, Hanoi

Opening hours: 15:00 – 19:00 

Price: VND 5,000/skewer

  • Hop tac xa thit xien

Location: 55 Chua Lang street, Dong Da District, Hanoi

Opening hours:: 11h – 13h | 16h – 19h30

Price: VND7,000/skewer

  • Anonymous Grilling Stall

Địa chỉ: Vỉa hè đối diện số 53 Trịnh Công Sơn – Quận Tây Hồ

Giá: 5k

3. Fried Square Rice Noodle “Pillows” (Phở Chiên Phồng)

Pho Chien phong - Fried Square Rice Noodle Pillows

Referring to Vietnamese cuisine, undeniably Pho would be one of the first things popping up into your mind. However, have you ever heard about Fried Pho Pillows? This dish, though is not a Vietnamese traditional dish, brings culinary enjoyers “exotic” feelings. 

As you may not know, Pho is, in fact, cut into slices from a big rice layer. With Pho Chien Phong, four of this rice layer will be put onto each other, then, will be cut into square pieces. After that, these pieces will be deepened into boiling oil until they “inflate” and become a crispy rice “pillows”. These pillows, with their crispy outer layers and soft inside one, can allure even the most picky eaters.

Normally, this dish will be served hot with stir-fried beef and vegetables. The meaty and salty  flavor of beef goes harmoniously with the crispy pho, making a satisfying dish. As this dish is served hot and also quite full, enjoying it on a rainy cold day would be a suitable choice for culinary enjoyers.

Recommended eating places:

  • Pho chien phong Huong Mai

Address: 25 – 27 Ngu Xa, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Opening hours: 09h00 – 22h00

Price range: VND 30 000 – 60 000 (~$1.5 – 2.5)

Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/phocuonhuongmai/

  • Pho cuon Duy Map

Address: 79 Truc Bach, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Phone: 024 8582 0800

Opening hours: 9h00 – 21h00

Price range: VND 35 000 – 110 000 (~$1.5 -5)

4. Plain Rice Flan (Bánh Đúc Nóng)

Plain rice flan - Banh Duc in hanoi

One of the brightest candidates for the “Best dishes on a rainy day” competition is Vietnamese Plain Rice Flan or Banh Duc Nong. Having a hot bowl of Banh Duc on a rainy day is definitely an ideal choice. 

The original Banh Duc is very simple. It is made from rice; therefore, it has a simple white colour and a soft texture. However, as time flies, people’s living standard nowadays is much higher than that a few decades ago, Banh Duc has become a more complicated dish with a lot more toppings. On these days, Banh Duc will be covered with minced pork and mushrooms, instead of peanuts like in the past. Then, the dish will be served with hot broth, fried onion and some kinds of herb. 

As Banh Duc offers people a deep flavor, together with a comfortable aroma, it becomes one of the common choices for Hanoians when they want to eat something in a drizzling afternoon. If you are in Hanoi, then please do not hesitate to try it, its taste will definitely surprise you!

Recommended eating places:

  • Banh Duc 8B

Address: 8 Le Ngoc Han, Ngo Thi Nham, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

Opening hours: 8h30 – 21h00

Phone: 090 807 67 89

Price range: VND 15.000 (~$0.5)

  • Banh Duc Nong Trung Tu

Address: 116C2 Trung Tu, Dong Da, Hanoi

Opening hours: 12h00 – 19h00

Phone: 093 699 00 68

5. Rib Cartilage Porridge (Cháo Sườn Sụn)

Rib Cartilage Porridge - Chao suon sun (grab.com)

On a rainy day, evidently people will be likely to search for a hot go-to dish, which is simple, tasteful, and easy to consume. In Vietnam, porridge can be considered as the most popular choice for people wanting to eat something on a cold day. In Hanoi, there is a dish that has become this city’s food spirit, a dish that has become so popular that people search to eat it even on a normal day, it is Chao Suon Sun or Rib Cartilage porridge. 

A part of why rib cartilage porridge is so popular is its ease of access and cooking. All of its main ingredients are cheap and accessible: rib cartilage, rice, water, and seasoning. Cooking the thing does not require you to be a Gordon Ramsay in Asian food either.

Firstly, rinse your rice thoroughly to improve the texture of rice. Then, double-boil the ribs with some seasonings, such as salt, pepper, fish sauce, et cetera. Separate the ribs from the rib broth and tear them to very small pieces, while the broth is used to boil the rice and make porridge. Adjust until the mixture is thick enough, then fry the meat up with onions for smell and put them in the porridge. (In some stalls; however, they add the meat pieces directly into the porridge, so that culinary enjoyers can feel the meat in each of their spoonfuls). After that, put more toppings as desired: chopped green onions, dill, dried onions, cruller (deep-fried dough stick), and so much more.

With all that variety comes a lot of flavor. The warming and heartening property of the rice, plus the umami and softness of the meat and the broth and the smell of green onions and the crunch of the cruller, will help roughly everyone eat with joy in a cold day.

Often, in Vietnam, porridge is often served to the sick, as its delicious flavor, soft texture and nutritions will help make the sickness go away in a few days. However, you do not have to be sick to have the privilege to eat this wonderful dish. You can have it for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, or as a midnight snack. It can be said that the porridge is suitable for every meal and in every human condition, especially in a rainy weather condition.

Recommended eating places:

  • Chao suon Hang Bo

Address: 32 Hang Bo, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Opening hours: 6h30 – 22h00

  • Chao suon Luong Su C 

Address: 37 Luong Su C, VAn Chuong, Dong Da, Hanoi

Opening hours: 6h30 – 9h30

  • Chao suon Ngo Huyen

Address: 43 Ngo Huyen, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Opening hours: 12:00-18:30

  • Chao suon Bach Khoa

Address: Alley 17 Ta Quang Buu, Bach Khoa, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

Opening hours: 15h00 – 20h00 

6. Cake Made of Glutinous Rice (Bánh Khúc)

Cake made of glutinous rice - Banh Khuc

If you are in Vietnam in February, then, you are in the Banh Khuc season of Vietnam. We call February “Banh Khuc season” because the Khuc leaf, which is the main ingredient of this dish, reaches its finest condition at this time. In the past, when Hanoi was still a place of fields and waste lands, in February, traditional Hanoian families often got the wild Khuc leaves near the paddy fields to make this dish. However, in this modern day, this type of leaf is planted and provided to restaurants all year round. 

Vietnamese Sticky Rice Ball, though looks simple, requires complicated making and preparing processes. Two most important ingredients of this dish are the Khuc leaf and the sticky rice. After being picked up, the leaf will be cleaned,pounded and then mixed with rice flour and water. This is how Banh Khuc’s outer layer is made.

The core of Banh Khuc is complicated to make, too. The green beans, after being soaked, will be removed from the outer skin. Then, cooks will have it steamed, pounded and use the final product to wrap some pieces of pork belly (which have been marinated with pepper powder before). These pork belly-and-bean balls will then be wrapped again with the described-above Khuc flour. 

Somebody may think this is how a Banh Khuc is done; however, it is not. The steaming process of this dish is so complicated,too. First, cooks will put a layer of Banh khuc into the steaming pot, then this Banh Khuc layer will be covered with a thick layer of sticky rice. Continually, a number of Banh Khuc and rice layers are put into the pot. The steaming process will happen after that and be in around 45 minutes.

Banh Khuc has become an unforgettable cuisine for numerous Hanoians. The savour of Pork and special flavor of pepper powder mixed harmoniously with the pounded beans and the typical taste of Khuc leaf, making an indescribable taste. If you have been to Hanoi but have never tried a hot “ball” of Banh Khuc, then your Hanoi discovering experience is sure to be incomplete.

Small tip: The most ideal time to savour Banh Khuc is in the early morning or late at night. At these times, Banh Khuc becomes a perfect dish for a full breakfast or a chit chatting occasion with friends.

Recommended eating places:

  • Banh Khuc Co Lan

Address: Nguyen Cong Tru, Pho Hue, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

Opening hours: 4 a.m – 11 p.m

Phone: 024 3978 1256

Price: VND 12 000 (~$0.5)

  • An anonymous vendor

Address: She always stands in the end of 215 Tran Quoc Hoan Lane, Dich Vong Hau, Cau Giay, Hanoi

Selling hours: 6 p.m – 10 p.m

Price: VND 7 000 – 10 000 (~$0.3-0.5)

  • Banh Khuc Quan

Address: 35 Cau Go, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Phone: 024 3934 0664

Price: VND 13 000 (~$0.5)

In Vietnam, Hanoi can be considered as a food heaven. This city provides culinary enjoyers roughly every type of food, which are suitable for every weather conditions and everyone’s interest. With these 6 Hanoian dishes for a rainy day, people will no longer have to stay at home as they can either eat out with friends or warm up themselves alone.

Share:

More about Hanoi

Hanoi Walking Streets

In recent years, Hanoi Walking Streets has been opened as a place for people, especially the young generation,…

How Many Days in Hanoi is Enough?

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is surely on the top list of must-visit destinations in Vietnam. However, it…

2 Days in Hanoi – What to See, Do and Eat in 48 Hours

Boasting the finest mix of a fascinating, troubled history and thriving metropolis vibes, Hanoi is definitely among the…

French Quarter Hanoi: Things You Should Know Before You Go

Hanoi Old Quarter is a famous and popular destination for both locals and tourists in Hanoi. However, crowdedness…

Read more