The Hanoitimes - Hanoi cuisine has many classic dishes such as pho, banh cuon or bun oc, but it has also changed a lot over time.
Banh mi bit tet (bread beefsteak) isn’t a traditional dish of Hanoians. However, it cannot be missed in your list of street food if you stay in Hanoi for a long time. After trying too much delicious dishes in Hanoi, now it’s time to explore a little Western flavor, banh mi bit tet is perfect choice.
You may have tasted banh mi, which is Vietnamese-style burger. Once you try Banh mi bit tet, you’ll see a beautiful combination between the Western and Vietnamese cuisine. Banh mi bit tet isn’t the beefsteak that is served in classy French restaurants, it is the local beefsteak that is served in streetside eateries with tiny plastic stools.
Banh mi bit tet in Hoe Nhai street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi. Photo: Ha Phuong.
Hanoians' adaptation of banh mi bit tet is the one that includes thin beefsteak, french fries, a few plum tomatoes, spring onions and to top it off a fried egg sunny side up, all served sizzling on a hot plate. Enveloping all of this is a tasty sauce. beefsteak is eaten with traditional Vietnamese banh mi (bread), not a French baguette. This is the version that will offer you a fresh look at how a beefsteak is prepared.
In Hanoi, you can found banh mi bit tet in many street, but beating all of the above is the tiny street of Hoe Nhai, here almost the whole thoroughfare sells banh mi bit tet.
In recent years, Hoe Nhai street in Ba Dinh district has become so well-known locally that it is called “Bit tet street”. There are a series of streetside joints here that look almost the same. During lunchtime, you will see Hoe Nhai become bustling with diners, which is a total contrast to the peace of the small street in the morning. If you come here for the first time, you can be dazzled by plenty of booths and restaurants close by and do not know which one to choose obviously.
Banh mi bit tet.
My recommendation for you is Bit Tet Ha Cuc restaurant. The presentation of the dish is quite similar throughout Hoe Nhai. However, Bit Tet Ha Cuc is said to serve the most delicious beef and sauce.
Banh mi bit tet here costs around VND70,000 (US$3) per portion. Bit Tet Ha Cuc is at 6 Hoe Nhai, Ba Dinh, Hanoi. It’s the only joint in the street that offers free Vietnamese sandwich and fries, as well as free wifi. The eatery opens from 8 a.m till late at night.