Diving mouth-first into Hanoi’s chaotic food markets

What better way to explore a city than through your mouth? Come with us on a tour through Hanoi’s colourful, chaotic, and always surprising food markets…

You’ve sufficiently stuffed yourself with Hanoi’s street food. You’ve promised at least one day where you avoid the temptations of a Chops burger. Now’s the time for your next culinary adventure.  

Hanoi’s markets are here to offer the next level of Vietnamese food. Bursting at the seams with dried and live exotic animals, and smells both delicious and stomach-churning, Hanoi’s markets are nothing if not surprising. 

Let’s check ‘em out.

Hang Be Market

Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, Hang Be caters to the picky tastes of the Old Quarter residents. Unlike indoor markets like Dong Xuan, the magic of Hang Be happens in a wide-open space, when sellers gather together to start flogging their goods. 

Here you’ll find everything from fresh meat and vegetables to Vietnamese specialties like mam tom (fermented shrimp sauce). It’s got everything you need to whip up your own traditional Vietnamese meal.  

Too lazy to cook? Stuffed yourself on burgers already? Don’t worry, Hang Be’s famous for its braised fish, boiled chicken, and when Tet (Lunar New Year) rolls around, traditional chung cake.

Hom Market

Searching for that all-important authentic experience? Look no further than Hom market.

Located just outside of the usual tourist spots, Hom market offers up the two Fs of the market world: food and fashion. 

You can pick yourself up everything from colourful fabrics to full outfits, while snacking on fresh food along the way, or even join a food tour! Just remember, if you’re rusty on the Vietnamese try to bring along someone who isn’t – the sellers have a tendency to overcharge.

Dong Xuan

Whether you’re looking for fresh herbs, exotic fruits, or live, possibly endangered turtles, Dong Xuan’s got it.

Start by exploring the outer rims of the market and discover a range of ingredients you possibly didn’t even know were edible. Then brace yourself for the inner labyrinth of the market. As well as serving up plenty of authentic dishes, you can grab yourself a whole range of market tat.

Pokemon-branded fans, piles of dried fish, child-sized marijuana leaf t-shirts, Dong Xuan has it all!

History time: First built in 1889, the market bore witness to a tumultuous period of Vietnamese history. When the Indochina War broke out in 1947, Vietnamese and French forces fought a fierce battle in the building.

Dong Xuan nearly burned down in a huge fire in 1994, but remains intact today, flogging locals the latest in food and fashion.

Long Bien Market 

You’ve likely heard of Hanoi’s famous flower market, but what do you know about the fruit market, found underneath Long Bien Bridge?

Like the flower market, the fruit market is late-late-night and open-air, designed for wholesale. Here you’ll find stacks of colour, bursting with flavour, and more of any one fruit that you’ll have seen in your life. 

At Chops, we hold a soft spot for Long Bien Market. This is where we park the Chops wagon and load up on our daily supply of fresh fruit and veg. 

Hot or cold, rainy or dry, this place starts up at 11 pm and doesn’t stop until dawn. 

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