Hanoi - epicentre of Vietnamese cuisine

The capital city of Hanoi is considered the epicentre of Vietnam’s rich, diverse and distinct cuisine. 

Foreign visitors enjoy food in Hanoi (Source: http://hanoimoi.com.vn)
Many experts have recommended building Hanoi into a kitchen of the world to increase the attractiveness of tourism destinations in the city.

At a recent workshop on developing Vietnamese traditional cuisine in Hanoi, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Ethnology and Anthropology Vuong Xuan Tinh said Vietnam has rich and unique cuisine which is tasty to many visitors.

Some experts said Vietnamese dishes are nutritious and healthy. The processing methods are diverse, creating simple but delicious food.

Le Cong Nang, head of marketing and communication from Vietrantour, said foreigners are fond of Vietnamese dishes, especially street food. Many heads of states complimented Vietnamese food, he added.

More than 10 years ago, Philip Kotler – the father of modern marketing, said Vietnam could become the kitchen of the world, according to Nang.

A wide range of popular dishes from region to region are present in Hanoi.

In 2017, the UK’s Telegraph ranked Hanoi among the world’s 18 greatest cities for food.

“Rivalling the more international Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi’s compact old centre is arguably the better place to sample the balance of salt, sweet, sour and spice in Vietnamese cuisine”, it said.

“Eat like a local and take to the streets for freshly prepared dishes such as pho tiu noodles with a sweet and sour soup, pork and fish sauce; banh mi, a baguette filled with pate, cucumber, herbs, crispy onion and chilli; and com tam, broken rice with grilled pork, pork skin, egg and fish sauce. Finish with traditional egg coffee - or ca phe trung - a blend of coffee and egg whites, folded with sugar, drunk hot or cold”, it said.

Meanwhile, the US’s Cable News Network (CNN) suggested some popular destinations to taste Hanoi’s top noodle dishes, including “bun rieu” (a meat or seafood vermicelli soup), “bun cha” (a lunchtime dish featuring charcoal-grilled pork in a blend of fish sauce, vinegar, lime and sugar), “cha ca” (grilled catfish that’s been yellowed by turmeric and seasoned with dill and shrimp paste).

Vietnam has more than 3,000 dishes. There are some 30,000 restaurants and culinary zones nationwide, and between 15,000 – 20,000 Vietnamese restaurants overseas, according to the Vietnam Cuisine Culture Association.

The second Global Report on Food Tourism showed that 87% of surveyed organisations identify food tourism among their key factors for tourism development, while 82% said food tourism is a significant motivation for tourism development and local economic development.

Hanoi is striving to welcome more than 25.4 million tourists, including 5.5 million foreigners, in 2018, confirming itself as an attractive destination in the region and the world. To realise the target, the city aims to develop various kinds of tourism, including culinary tourism.

The year 2017 was considered a success for the city’s tourism sector with 5 million foreign vacationers arriving in Hanoi, up 23% against the previous year, surpassing the target of 15%.

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