Best street food in Hanoi: Banh cuon by Thanh Van

November 13, 2018
Urban Adventures

The annual #streetfood50 Awards recognise the top street food vendors around the globe, handpicked by Urban Adventures’ own local guides-in-the-know. Local vendor Thanh Van received top accolades from our Hanoi tour guides for the best street food in Hanoi in 2018, for her banh cuon recipe.


Thanh Van makes banh cuon, ultra-thin rice paper crepes filled with mushrooms, pork, fried shallots and a secret blend of spices, from a small, welcoming shop in Hanoi. Her grandparents opened the restaurant in the 1930s, and even though the business has been around for several decades, banh cuon remains a popular dish in Hanoi among both locals and in-the-know visitors — especially in the quick but careful hands of Thanh, ever-smiling and always happy to have people try her take on the local specialty.

The light yet flavourful dish is eaten most often for breakfast, however locals also like it as a late night snack. Delicate, almost-opaque batter is deftly ladled onto a hot pan and spread out before quickly being removed, and stuffed with the filling before being rolled into a crepe-like shape — ready for hungry customers to dig into!