In Hanoi, far from the coast, there’s a seafood street in a local neighbourhood in Dong Da district. I discovered this place one day while driving and wandering around random streets. When I saw this long street with restaurants each full of tanks of fresh seafood, I was really surprised and thrilled to check it out.
So I went back to the street with my boyfriend with great excitement to try some fresh seafood in the middle of Hanoi! And even though I’m not a big seafood fan, I have one Vietnamese seafood dish that I love and have every time I visit a coastal city in Vietnam. Thus, sometimes, I have a great craving for that dish and I was really happy to try the dish in this street!
If you would like some seafood during your trip in Hanoi or if you’re living here, check out this post for full information on the street and the dishes we had there, which turned out to be a great meal!
Seafood Street in Hanoi
The street is called Dong Tac street located in Dong Da district, which is a local area down south from Old Quarter. It is actually quite hidden from main roads, so when I discovered this place by chance, I felt as though I found a hidden gem! I think there are at least few tens of restaurants selling fresh seafood along the street.
So when I went here, we drove around once from one end to another and scanned through to choose which restaurant to eat. Since we both did not have any basis to make a decision, we picked the one restaurant with most guests.
Mai Lien Restaurant
We came to this restaurant named Mai Lien seafood hotpot restaurant. And later, we found out that there are three to four Mai Lien restaurants along the street all owned by the same person and the one we went to was the number 1 of the group.
At the entrance of the restaurant, there were tanks of fresh seafood at the entrance. There were oysters, crabs, clams, shrimps, mantis shrimps and even lobsters and more!
My favourite seafood dish in Vietnam is salted mantis shrimp, so we ordered a plate of that and steamed crab as well as some fresh oysters for a starter.
Apart from my favourite seafood dish – mantis shrimp, I also love fresh oysters. Fresh oysters with soy sauce and wasabi are a refreshing starter to begin the feast of seafood dinner.
Then the massive steamed crab came and we were both amazed with its size! Along with the crab came my favourite dish – bề bề rang muối, which means stir-fried mantis shrimp with salt. I was happy to see that the mantis shrimp were also big ones.
It was a challenge to crack and open that crab as its shells were super thick. But there was so much meat in it! As you can see in the picture above, even one claw has that much meat and it was super soft and delicious.
I think eating mantis shrimps can be a challenge for many too since the shells are very sharp and tough. So I get little pokes on my finger while opening them with hand. This restaurant provides a pair of scissors, which help you peel the shrimps with ease. Yet, I still prefer to use my hands because I enjoy it. And it’s worth all the effort for that delectable tender meat inside!
Bill & Conclusion
The total bill of our meal of oysters, crab, mantis shrimps, morning glory and drinks was about 1 million VND (approx. 45USD).
One oyster – 20,000VND (less than 1USD)
800g Steamed crab – 640,000VND (approx. 27USD)
Mantis Shrimps – 300,000VND (approx. 13USD)
And honestly, I think all of these are very affordable prices for fresh live seafood in Hanoi. One oyster is double this price in some other places I’ve been to in Hanoi. Also, I remember the mantis shrimps I had in coastal cities like Hoi An, Cat Ba island and in the south of Vietnam are around the same price or more for a similar portion. And I think that huge crab for 640,000VND is absolutely fair.
To conclude, we had an amazing dinner here and loved the dishes and the bill was also very affordable for a great satisfactory meal. On a side note, we noticed that a lot of other tables were having seafood hotpot. The staff said it is 400,000VND (approx. 17USD) for two with shrimps, fish, clams etc. So we will be back here again to try the seafood hotpot.
I recommend this street if you’d like some fresh seafood dinner in Hanoi and it’s in the middle of a local area, so it’s also a great chance to explore the neighbourhood too!