On holidays, if you stay in Hanoi, you can explore the culinary alley in the center of the old town with all kinds of dishes such as dried beef salad, vermicelli, bamboo vermicelli, mixed tea…
Located in a prime location in the east of Dong Xuan market, near the center of Hanoi’s old town, Dong Xuan lane is 200 m long and has become a familiar destination for snackers, in which, many diners are foreigner.
Dong Xuan market lane has about 15 food stalls, in addition to the small pedestrian walkway, the alley is only wide enough to put a row of tables and chairs for diners. Above the eaves of each stall hangs a billboard, next to the wall is a space for sellers to prepare food.
Cuisine in Dong Xuan market is diverse with dishes such as: “xuka” tea (the proper name for the colorful tea in Dong Xuan market), dried beef salad, grilled oysters, pillow cakes, shrimp cakes, crabs, etc. Steamed shrimp, bean vermicelli, snail vermicelli, bamboo vermicelli vermicelli, banh mi…
The dishes are priced from 5,000 to 40,000 VND per dish: Xuka tea is 20,000 VND/cup, shrimp cake is 12,000 VND/piece, noodle soup is 30,000 VND/bowl, salad is 25,000 VND; Snail vermicelli 40,000 VND… Diners only need to bring 5$ to enjoy delicious dishes from the beginning to the end of the alley.
Food tour of Dong Xuan market lane can start with Co Am shrimp cake at the beginning of the alley. The owner said it has been open here for more than 30 years.
In addition to the fresh shrimp, the shop pays special attention to the crust. The crust is prepared according to its own secret so that when fried, the cake will not be too dry and always delicious. Another feature of Hanoi shrimp cake is fried small fried sweet potato with the cake.
Hoa’s bread stick cart is located at the main gate of Dong Xuan market, mainly serving office workers and tourists. Hoa said, every day the shop sells out more than 800 cakes, and only sells for about 5 hours, 2 hours in the afternoon, 3 hours in the evening.
The alley has two famous tea shops in which Yen tea is older, having been open here for 23 years. Ms. Truong Thi Bach Yen said that the shop has 23 flavors of tea such as green bean tea, black bean tea, pomelo tea, potato tea, banana tea… the tea dishes will change according to the season. In winter, the shop sells hot tea, drift cake…
“After eating shrimp cakes, I will eat a bowl of snail vermicelli for only 35,000 VND. If you are still not full, you can eat more four-season tea to quench your thirst. Every time I go to Dong Xuan market to pick up goods, I also go to enjoy a tour around the area. eat this,” said Ms. Thanh Mai, a small trader at the market.
According to the small traders at the market, in the past, the food alley was opened to serve the people who came in and out of Dong Xuan market. But in the past few years, many tourists, both domestic and international, office workers, and young Hanoians have also come here to enjoy.
Dong Xuan Alley is open for sale from 7 am to about 6 pm every day, in which peak is from 11 am to 13 pm and around 5 pm. At peak hours, the shops in the alley are full, many diners still have to wait in line for 10-15 minutes to take their turn.
Note that the alley is small, there is no parking space, you have to send it to Dong Xuan market. In addition, the alley is quite cramped.