Date Traveled, February 2013
Bun Bo is another popular dish to try when in Hanoi. Like so much of the other local fare, the old quarter is a great place to find good Bun Bo. Bun means rice vermicelli and Bo is beef. Bun Bo is just that, a dish of rice noodles with beef, but elevated with a rich mix of seasonings and other ingredients.
Bun Bo Nam Bo on 67 Hang Dieu street in the old quarter is one of the popular places for Bun Bo and we picked it as the place for us to try. I guess one sign of it's popularity was evident when we walked by it on the last day of the Tet holiday when it was still closed and local street hawkers parked outside tried to convince us that they were from the place. We did go a couple of days later when it was open again and like at the other restaurants in the old quarter specializing in a single dish, we had no trouble ordering, my partner and I just had to gesture two and soon we had two bowls of Bun Bo handed over to us. I can't say what exactly made up the rest of the ingredients but there did seem to be some kind of ground nuts giving it a crunchy texture and slightly sweet taste. Overall it was good and the price at around 50000 dong is equivalent to similar meals at the other quarter restaurants. But Bun Bo wasn't our favorite Hanoi dish.
Bun Bo prepared and served at the front of the restaurant
The back seating area
The other thing I will remember about this place was the bottle of Bia Hanoi I ordered which was much much stronger than the Bia Hanoi bottles I had been drinking elsewhere, so just a tidbit of information, there are different varieties of the Bia bottles to look out for.