Bun Cha Hanoi: 5 best bun cha restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter

Bun cha Hanoi is a traditional Vietnamese dish that has gained popularity not only in Hanoi but all over the world. The combination of flavorful grilled pork, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and dipping sauce makes it a delicious and satisfying meal. In this article, we will explore the origins of bun cha, how to enjoy it to the fullest, and the top five best bun cha restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter. We will also provide a step-by-step guide on how to make bun cha Hanoi at home. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a culinary adventure!

Bun Cha Hanoi - Must-try delicious dish
Bun Cha Hanoi – Must-try delicious dish

What is Bun Cha Hanoi?

Bun cha Hanoi is a traditional Vietnamese dish that originated in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. It is a combination of grilled pork, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a tangy dipping sauce. The dish is known for its unique flavors and textures, which are a result of the careful balance of ingredients.

The History of Bun Cha Hanoi

In order to truly appreciate bun cha Hanoi, it is important to understand its origins. The dish can be traced back to Hanoi Old Quarter, where it first gained popularity in the 1950s. It was originally served by street vendors and quickly became a favorite among locals.

Eating bun cha in Hanoi
Eating bun cha in Hanoi

Bun cha Hanoi gained international recognition when former US President Barack Obama visited Vietnam in 2016 and had a meal at a bun cha restaurant in Hanoi. This iconic moment put bun cha Hanoi in the spotlight and attracted tourists from all over the world to try this beloved dish.

Bun Cha in Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine is incredibly diverse and unique, with each region having its own specialties. Along with Pho Hanoi, Bun Cha has emerged as one of the signature dishes of Hanoi, representing the rich tapestry of flavors and culinary traditions of Northern Vietnam.

How to Enjoy Bun Cha Hanoi

How to enjoy bun cha
How to enjoy bun cha

Step 1: Find a Bun Cha Restaurant

To fully enjoy bun cha Hanoi, you need to find a reputable bun cha restaurant in Hanoi Old Quarter. The area is famous for its bustling food scene and is home to some of the best bun cha restaurants in the city.

Step 2: Order Bun Cha

Once you have found a bun cha restaurant, it’s time to order the dish. Typically, bun cha is served in a large bowl, with the grilled pork and rice noodles at the bottom, topped with fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, and lettuce. A separate bowl of dipping sauce, made with fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chili, is served on the side.

Step 3: Mix and Dip

Now comes the fun part – mixing and dipping! Use your chopsticks to grab some pork, noodles, and herbs from the bowl and dip it into the sauce. The combination of the smoky grilled pork, the freshness of the herbs, and the tanginess of the dipping sauce creates a burst of flavors in your mouth.

Step 4: Repeat and Enjoy

Bun cha Hanoi is meant to be enjoyed slowly, savoring each bite. Feel free to repeat the process of mixing and dipping until you have finished the entire bowl. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing drink such as iced tea or a local beer.

Step 5: Dessert Time

After indulging in a delicious bowl of bun cha Hanoi, it’s always nice to end the meal with a sweet treat. Hanoi Old Quarter is known for its wide variety of street food, including delectable desserts such as che (sweet soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), or ice cream.

Top 5 Best Bun Cha Restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter is a food lover’s paradise, with numerous bun cha restaurants to choose from. Here are the top five best bun cha restaurants that are a must-visit when in Hanoi Old Quarter:

Bun Cha Hang Quat

  • Address: 74 Hang Fan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Working hours: 10:00-14:00
Bun Cha Hang Quat
Bun Cha Hang Quat

Located on Hang Quat Street, this restaurant is known for its flavorful grilled pork and generous portions. The pork is marinated in a secret sauce and grilled to perfection, resulting in tender and juicy meat. The restaurant also offers a variety of side dishes to complement the bun cha, such as fresh spring rolls and fried nem, which are Vietnamese pork rolls.

Bun Cha Huong Lien

Bun Cha Huong Lien
Bun Cha Huong Lien

This bun cha restaurant gained fame after former US President Barack Obama visited and enjoyed a meal here. The restaurant has since been renamed Bun Cha Obama in his honor. The bun cha here is cooked in the traditional style, with the perfect balance of flavors. It is definitely a must-visit for any bun cha enthusiast.

Bun Cha Sinh Tu

Address: Sinh Tu Bun Cha has many branches. Here are some typical establishments:

  • 2 Nguyen Phong Sac, Cau Giay, Hanoi.
  • 114A1 Giang Vo, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
  • 10 Hoang Cau Moi, Dong Da, Hanoi.
  • 381 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Hanoi.

Opening hours: 7:30am – 2:00pm, 5:00pm – 9:00pm.

Bun Cha Sinh Tu
Bun Cha Sinh Tu

If you are looking for a cozy and authentic bun cha experience, then Bun Cha Sinh Tu is the place to go. This family-owned restaurant has been serving bun cha for generations, using the same traditional recipe. The pork is grilled over charcoal, giving it a smoky and fragrant flavor. The restaurant also offers a vegetarian version of bun cha for those who prefer plant-based options.

Bun Cha Hanoi Dac Kim

  • Address: 1 Hang Manh, Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
  • Opening hours: 9am – 9pm.
Bun Cha Hanoi Dac Kim
Bun Cha Hanoi Dac Kim

One of the most famous bun cha restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter, Bun Cha Hanoi Dac Kim is known for its high-quality ingredients and authentic flavors. The restaurant uses premium cuts of pork and serves it with a generous portion of rice noodles and herbs. The dipping sauce is made from scratch using a secret family recipe, resulting in a truly memorable dining experience.

Bun Cha 34 Hang Than

  • Address: 34 Hang Than, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi.
  • Opening hours: 7am – 5pm.
Bun Cha 34 Hang Than
Bun Cha 34 Hang Than

This hidden gem is tucked away on Hang Than Street and is a favorite among the locals. The bun cha here is made with love and attention to detail, resulting in a dish that is bursting with flavors. The restaurant also offers a range of side dishes, such as crispy spring rolls and refreshing papaya salad, to complement the bun cha.

How to Make Bun Cha Hanoi at Home

Ingredients for making bun cha
Ingredients for making bun cha

If you can’t make it to Hanoi Old Quarter, don’t worry! You can recreate the authentic flavors of bun cha Hanoi in your own kitchen. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make bun cha Hanoi at home:

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

To make bun cha Hanoi, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 500 grams of ground pork
  • 200 grams of pork belly
  • 200 grams of rice noodles
  • Fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, lettuce)
  • Fish sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Chili
  • Garlic
  • Shallots

Step 2: Marinate the Pork

Marinate the Pork
Marinate the Pork

Mix the ground pork with minced garlic, shallots, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Step 3: Grill the Pork

Grill the Pork
Grill the Pork

Grill the marinated pork belly and ground pork on a charcoal grill or stovetop grill pan until nicely charred and cooked through. This will give the pork a smoky flavor.

Step 4: Prepare the Dipping Sauce

Prepare the Dipping Sauce
Prepare the Dipping Sauce

In a bowl, mix fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, chopped chili, and minced garlic to make the dipping sauce. Adjust the ingredients according to your taste preference.

Step 5: Cook the Noodles

Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking.

Step 6: Assemble the Dish

Arrange a bed of rice noodles on a plate, top it with grilled pork, and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve the dipping sauce on the side.

Step 7: Enjoy!


Mix the grilled pork with the noodles and herbs, dip them into the sauce, and savor the flavors. Enjoy your homemade bun cha Hanoi!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make bun cha Hanoi without pork?

Bun cha Hanoi is traditionally made with pork, but you can experiment with alternative proteins such as chicken or tofu. However, keep in mind that the flavors and textures will vary.

Q: Is bun cha Hanoi spicy?

Bun cha Hanoi is not inherently spicy, but the dipping sauce can be made spicy by adding chopped chili. You can adjust the level of spiciness according to your preference.

Q: Can I find bun cha Hanoi outside of Vietnam?

Bun cha Hanoi has gained popularity globally, so you may be able to find it in Vietnamese restaurants in different parts of the world. However, for an authentic experience, it is best to try it in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Q: Can I customize the ingredients in bun cha Hanoi?

Absolutely! Bun cha Hanoi is a versatile dish, and you can customize it based on your preferences. You can add or remove ingredients, adjust the dipping sauce, and experiment with different herbs and vegetables.

Q: Is bun cha Hanoi gluten-free?

Bun cha Hanoi is gluten-free if you use rice noodles and ensure that the dipping sauce does not contain any ingredients containing gluten. However, it is always best to check the ingredients or consult with the restaurant if you have specific dietary restrictions.

Q: What other Vietnamese dishes should I try?

Vietnamese cuisine offers a wide array of delicious dishes. Some other popular dishes to try include pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and goi cuon (fresh spring rolls).


Bun cha Hanoi is more than just a dish – it is a culinary experience that captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you try it at one of the top bun cha restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter or make it at home, the flavors and aromas of this iconic dish will transport you to the bustling streets of Hanoi. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the grill, and embark on a gastronomic journey that will delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Enjoy your bun cha Hanoi adventure!