One of the must-visit destinations that you should visit at least once while travelling to Hanoi. This is the go-to place if you want to explore Vietnamese Street Food and blend into Hanoian lifestyle at night.


Hanging out in Ta Hien Street, Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Old Quarter, enjoying a cup of coffee, a bottle of cold beer, tasting some Vietnamese street food… – they are always my recommendations to any of my international friends when they ask me for suggestions about what to do when travelling to Hanoi. Ta Hien was, is, and will always been my favourite spot in this beautiful city.

People say that Ta Hien is the first place to come and the last place to leave for backpackers in Hanoi, which I totally agree. This is considered as Hanoi’s “international crossroad”, as the intersection of the East and the West, as the balance of the old and the new, where Westerners and Asians (Hanoians) can chill out after a hard day. I bet this is the street where you can see more backpackers than anywhere else in Hanoi.

After spending 2 years in Sydney, I miss Hanoi and Hanoian street food a great deal, and I dream about those food pretty much everyday. Coming back this time, of course, I can’t wait to go back to my favourite corner in Hanoi. I’ve tried several different stores along Ta Hien Street, and the other day, I tried something different and the experience was so much better than I asked for.

Here is the shop. 12 Ta Hien St. 

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Walking along Ta Hien street, you will be greeted by a lot of shop owners who try to convince you to step into their shops, which is pretty annoying to me. Truthfully, I don’t like to be greeted or ushered in, I prefer taking my time and making my own decision. So while other owners were greeting me a little bit too warmly, the owner of this shop looked at me and smiled at me without actually inviting me to go inside. Ironically, I’m sold. The inner decoration and the cozy atmosphere of the shop caught my attention too, it stands out among the other shops in my opinion, even though it’s a lot less crowded.

I completely forgot to take a picture of the menu (Hmmm, I didn’t expect myself to write an article about this little shop at all, so you can’t blame me). It included pretty much everything: potato fries, cheese sticks, nem chua ran,… The prices for food were quite reasonable, even though the setting looked expensive. There was a great wide of choices for beverage – ranging from international beers, wines to cocktails… However, the beers were quite pricey in general in comparison with other shops, which was a pity because we wanted some beers that day. There wasn’t any draught beer for 5,000VND/cup, sadly, or any average cheap drink like iced tea, peach tea, etc.

If you ask me what is the best street food here, I will definitely say “CHEESE STICK” aka “pho mai que” (phô mai que). I don’t think I’ve ever seen cheese stick anywhere in Sydney, which is why I have cravings for this food all the time. It is actually a stick of cheese, wrapped in breadcrumbs, deep-fried and served with ketchup: crunchy outside and cheesy inside. The cheese inside after being fried can be spun long, which is so fun to taste.

 

 

The cheese sticks here are 7,000VND/piece, they look smaller than in some other places I had tried, but definitely taste better. Yummy!

P.S: Don’t forget to dip cheese stick into ketchup!!! Seriously. BEST. THING. EVERRRRR. Come one, pick up a skewer and try it!!!

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We visited this place on the 4th day of Tet holiday, which was the reason why it was less crowded than normal. We talked to the owner a little bit and my friend told her that I liked her style. I felt like she’s so much like me – I don’t do a lot of promoting, at least we had something in common. We considered ordering something else because we sat there for several hours already, and she responded “I think it’s enough for you two”. Wow, just wow. It’s probably the first time I ever heard that from an owner of a shop/restaurant. She’s worried that we had too much lol. My takeway was that she cared about her customers more than the profits she made. That was so sweet and very thoughtful of her! I guess because I study Marketing, I pay attention to Customer Behaviours, Customer Relationship and such… quite a lot. She totally won me over! Definitely will come back there and next time, I will update this journal with full menu of food and drink!

Just wanna store the little sweet things about Hanoi in my little secret corner for now! Hopefully, if you read until the end, it can make you smile and encourage you to travel to Hanoi, try out some Hanoian food and experience some interesting experience here. One day. See you soon!

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