“If you've tried one Vietnamese dish, it's most likely Pho. But there's much more to Viet Nam's diverse noodle scene than this familiar food. Hiding in plain sight is another delicious noodle dish: Bun, as surprising, variable and seductive as jazz,” it said.
The website suggests five of Ha Noi's top noodle dishes:
1. Bun Rieu
Bun Rieu is a meat or seafood vermicelli soup with a distinctive crimson color.
The broth gets its appearance from tomato paste and annatto oil, made from achiote tree seeds.
Freshwater crabmeat and blanched tomatoes are the soup's star players.
Tamarind paste lends sourness to the broth, while airy bits of fried tofu contribute crunch.
Where to try it in Ha Noi: Bun Rieu street stall run by Ms. Thu, located in Tho Xuong Alley, near St. Joseph's Cathedral.
2. Bun Cha
A set of Bun Cha (Photo: CNN)
Bun Cha is a local lunchtime obsession in Ha Noi.
A cold noodle dish, Bun Cha features hunks of charcoal-grilled fatty pork -- Cha -- bathing in a blend of the ubiquitous fish sauce, vinegar, lime and sugar.
Vermicelli noodles, fruits and veggies, such as carrots and green papaya, accompany the glorious pork.
Where to try it in Ha Noi: Bun Cha Cua Dong, 41 Cua Đong Street, Hoan Kiem District; +84 90 458 1964.
3. Bun Ca Hai Phong
A bowl of Bun Ca Hai Phong (Photo: CNN).
One of the most popular dishes in Hai Phong is Bun Ca, literally meaning "fish noodles."
The fish -- usually mackerel, carp, or catfish -- is pounded into fishcakes then deep-fried.
Traces of dill, tomatoes, green onions and perilla -- a mint-like herb -- combine for a light meal.
Where to try it in Ha Noi: An Bien, 111 Trieu Viet Vuong in Hai Ba Trung District; +84 4 3974 0571.
4. Cha Ca
A set of Cha Ca (Photo: CNN).
Cha Ca brings together vermicelli noodles with turmeric-spiced catfish.
The humble two-story cafe is famous for its Cha Ca: chunky cuts of tender grilled catfish, or basa, that's been yellowed by turmeric and seasoned with dill and shrimp paste.
Cha Ca arrives in a small pan atop a portable gas stove accompanied by bountiful garnishes, chopped peanuts and cold noodles.
The flavor combination is fresh, yet earthy; delicate, yet pungent.
Where to try it in Ha Noi: Cha Ca La Vong, 14 Cha Ca in Hoan Kiem District; +84 4 3825 3929.
5. Bun Bo Nam Bo
A bowl of Bun Bo Nam Bo (Photo: CNN)
Bun Bo Nam Bo translates to "Southern-style beef noodle," but you can still find this particular type of noodle soup in the northern city of Ha Noi.
Stir-fried and spiced with lemongrass, a mountain of beef sits atop a throne of vermicelli, accompanied by an herbaceous assortment of greens.
Crispy, fried shallots add texture to the dish, while the scent of green papaya and pickled carrots create an enticing aroma.
Where to try it in Ha Noi: Bun Bo Nam Bo 7 Hang Dieu in Hoan Kiem District; +84 96 696 01 76.