You are in Hanoi for 48 hours. This is where you will eat.

Curator Dietrich Ayala

Dietrich was an espresso jerk in Seattle, a catering chef in New Orleans, a dinner chef in Seattle, and finally hit rock bottom after buying a computer, which saddled him with an addiction to technology as well as food. He and his family live in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he eats unreasonably well during the day, and makes Firefox better at night.

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Hanoi has 6.5 million people, all bent on blowing your mind with culinary creativity. DIY motorbike kitchens, ice cream fanaticism, cross-cultural noodle cornucopia, and the whole damn place powered on "fresh beer". Bring elastic pants. And a helmet.

Bún Chả

1 Hàng Mành Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi

Hot smoky charred pork cakes. A mellow broth with a hint of sweetness. A mountain of rice noodles, and a plate with a pile of fresh herbs. Complete the picture with fumes of pain wafting from a scary giant bowl of mashed chilis and garlic. Put it all together and ... more →

Bia Hoi

1 Nhà Hỏa Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Bia hoi is Hanoi's famous "fresh beer". The places that serve it are not hard to spot: tiny plastic chairs around low tables, crowded with loads of Vietnamese men pounding back lager served in cracked glass mugs. There a bunch to choose from in the old city area, ... more →

Culinary comfort at Madame Hien

15 Chan Cam Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Northern style Vietnamese cuisine in a beautifully restored French colonial era building. The food is prepared in such a comforting way, akin to French farmstyle cooking. The pork belly, braised in a silky dark red chili sauce, keeps you sinking further and further ... more →

Rooftop drinks at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel

1 Thanh Nien Rd Ba Dinh, Hanoi

After a long, harried day traversing Hanoi's deathtrap streets, head 20 floors up to the Summit Lounge at the Sofitel Plaza hotel. The sounds of traffic have faded, the sun is drooping from red to orange, and the server is waiting for your cocktail order. Drinks, ... more →