Famous Hanoian Dish – Banh Cuon for Breakfast in Old Quarter, Hanoi

Out of many breakfast menus in Hanoi, banh cuon is on top of the list. It’s included in my Top 5 Popular Breakfast Menus in Hanoi post. Although I cannot rank them in order of preference, because they’re all so good, banh cuon is really one of my favourites.

What's Banh Cuon?

Banh cuon is a thin layer of rice flour rolled usually with minced meat and mushroom. You can enjoy it with sweet and sour fish sauce and with or without Vietnamese sausages along with green veggies. 

I personally love this dish a lot because of its extremely soft texture. But also, I love the experience of observing the whole process of making it. They usually use a steamer with a flat round pan on top where they pour the liquid dough. After a short while with the lid closed, they use a long wooden stick to take out the lid onto a tray. Then they put the meat and mushroom and roll it.

I find the skillful and smooth flow of the making process is always fun to watch! For your reference, check out the video below for how it’s made. 

Banh Cuon for Breakfast in Hanoi

I have few different banh cuon places I usually go to for breakfast in Hanoi. But as a foodie, I like to keep exploring new places. 

So one day, I was in for a little adventure as I wanted to discover a new place for banh cuon. Then I stumbled upon a place after wandering around the Old Quarter early in the morning. It was a small street stall located between buildings on Dao Duy Tu street – very near the famous beer street. As the vibe of the place was so local and small, I was thrilled to give it a try.

Hanoi Breakfast Banh Cuon Phu Ly - restaurant
Little street shop in between buildings

I sat down and ordered a plate of banh cuon with some sausages called gio. Then I noticed that this place doesn’t cook the banh cuon upon order, but have them prepared in advance. So I was a bit disappointed expecting to have cold banh cuon unlike the ones usually served hot straight from the pot.   

Furthermore, there was no minced meat and mushroom inside the rice flour rolls. So again, I began to think maybe today’s discovery won’t be a success.

Oh but, when I had the first mouthful, I realised my disappointed expectations were wrong! The rice flour was as soft as any other places, but the texture was somewhat more elastic and glutinous than usual. Which is exactly the texture I love!

Thinly sliced gio sausages were very soft and flavourful that went super well with the rice flour. The fish sauce was warm probably because it was served straight after it was boiled. And the veggies were very fresh.

Also, it was a much bigger portion than many other places. As it was very early in the morning, I didn’t think I’d be able to finish it. But I almost swallowed the whole thing because I really enjoyed every bit of it!

Hanoi Breakfast Banh Cuon Phu Ly - restaurant
Mini kitchen fully equipped with everything
Hanoi Breakfast Banh Cuon Phu Ly
Plate of banh cuon with gio sausages on top

A plus was how welcoming and sweet the lady was. We had a short conversation and she took a great interest in me, as I’m a foreigner trying to practise my Vietnamese skills. So not only the amazing banh cuon, but the whole experience and conversation with the lady was so heart-warming.

I’m so happy to have found another great place! And this place is now added to my list of go-to banh cuon places in Hanoi for breakfast!

This huge portion of banh cuon with gio sausage for 1 person is 30,000VND. It’s located in the very centre of Hanoi Old Quarter, so if you’d like to try this delectable breakfast menu while in town, I highly recommend this place!

Banh Cuon Phu Ly

Address: 39 Đào Duy Từ, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Opening Hours: N/A 

*But as banh cuon is a breakfast menu, shops usually open from early in the morning (around 6 or 7AM) and close before noon (perhaps around 10 or 11AM)*

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