I flew into Hanoi and before I even show you any pictures or tell you any stories. This is the best food experience I have had in an extremely long time. This is the kind of food you eat and when you’re finished you are so satisfied, nothing around you matters. I was on a food high the whole time. It was just as dirty, gritty, busy, loud, traffic-filled, as any other city in Southeast Asia but the old streets filled with food stalls, tea shops, old dudes drinking coffee, young dudes drinking beer, people smoking bamboo bongs, moto bikes skimming by seemed to all mesh into an incredibly amazing space that only echoed food.

Pho. For those of you who don’t know what Pho is, I think I’ll have to shoot you. I already love the stuff you can get from NYC Chinatown and Flushing, let alone the actual seriously authentic, coming out of the old lady’s kitchen in Vietnam, Pho. I can live off of noodle soup forever. I had pho constantly, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, afternoon tea, snack time… the first bowl I had was of the chicken variety. They have tons of these chicken soup places and it’s better than any chicken soup you’ll ever have.

I saw that all these motos were waiting in line for this street stall, so I decided to follow suit. And what did I end up with? Some magically deep fried thing.

Which ended up being deep fried gluton and it was so good.

Then there were all these local dessert spots. If any of you know what sesame mochi balls are, then you know what I’m talking about. Basically rice balls stuffed with a mash of black sesame seeds but what they do here is they have coconut shavings and nuts inside as well and the seeds aren’t all in paste form, there are whole bits and smashed up bits and it came in this really nice gingery sweet liquid.

I got the dessert on it’s own but you can have shaved ice or sweet rice with a variety of toppings like red bean, grass jelly, peanut sauce, etc.

First night was an extremely satisfying one.