Many small food stalls scattered around Hanoi's streets and alleys are making large profits thanks to their special dishes.
Glutinous rice doughnut store earns VND5 million per day
Nguyen Thi Mai Hoa’s bánh rán, (glutinous rice doughnut) shop is located in a small alley along Lang Long Quan Street in Tay Ho District. The store attracts so many customers daily that buyers have to get a ticket and wait to receive the cake.
The store, which has been in operation for around 30 years, can attract as many as 400 customers per day and makes a revenue of at least VND5 million per day.
The "doughnuts" are sold for VND5,000 or VND6,000 each depending on the filling.
Store selling 500 bánh giò per day
A shop selling bánh giò, a type of "cake" made from rice power filled with meat, onion and mushroom, by Nguyen Thi Nha at Thuy Khue Street is locally famous for the quality of the dish.
She starts selling around 3pm daily, and can sell between 500 and 600 per day in only four hours. She earns at least VND7 million per day. They are sold for VND12,000 each.
Around one decade ago, Nha and her older sister started to make bánh giò near Ly Tu Trong flower garden in Tay Ho District. Some time later, she decided to open a 20-square metre shop on Thuy Khue Street to meet rising demand.
One customer said, “The bánh giò here is twice as good as anywhere else. She does not use borax, so the quality is really good. The snacks are delicious as well.”
Tofu noodles near Hang Khay Street
Even though alley 31 off Hang Khay Street is narrow, many people still come to enjoy tofu noodles with shrimp paste for their lunch. The shop’s owner had to borrow the space from a neighbor to serve all the costumers. Many people have to wait in order to get a spot.
Customers say the dish there is clean and well-arranged, served with snacks such as boiled ham hock meat, grilled chopped green-rice flakes, pig’s ear pie, and fried blood pudding.
Noodles in crab chowder near Quang Trung Street
A store selling noodles in crab chowder at alley 2F at Quang Trung Street attracts a lot of costumers despite relatively high prices.
A bowl of noodles there is sold for VND30,000 and the price can reach VND50,000 with beef.
Noodles with fried fish at Dinh Liet Street
A store selling noodles with fried fish is located at Trung Yen alley at Trung Liet Street. The store has a strong costumer base thanks to their special dishes including fried fish and meat wrapped in fish.
Noodles in chicken broth in Ha Hoi Hamlet
There are many places where famous for bún thang, or noodles in chicken broth, such as stores in Cau Go, Cua Nam or Hang Hom. However, a small store in Ha Hoi Hamlet at Tran Hung Dao Street is very special.
What makes the dish here different is the dry beet served in is large pieces instead of small threads, as it is served in other places.
Even though they sell several dishes, most come for the bún thang.
Mixed vermicelli at Trung Liet alley
Trung Liet is a long and modern alley off Thai Thinh Street. One store there sells miến trộn or mixed vermicelli and attracts many for the quality and good service. The store is most crowed at noon, when costumers have to get a ticket to be served.
Mai Huong noodles and snails
Mai Huong noodles and snails store is located in Mai Huong alley at Bach Mai Street. Many costumers say the dish there is “additive”. They are lured by the combination of tomato, noodles, snails and cracklings.