Bun Thang - The Ethereal Hanoi Dish

Bun Thang is known as the uniqueness in the Hanoi cuisine: it is not only a kind of popular noodles in Hanoi as many other noodles: Bun Cha, Bun Rieu, Bun Oc, etc but it is also the quintessence of the old Hanoi’s culture. Cooked by more than 20 Vietnamese ingredients, Bun thang is absolutely special rice vermicelli for the gourmet should enjoy the yummy taste at least once when they visit Hanoi. Here, let’s explore the stories behind the water-of-mouth Bun Thang in Hanoi!

The Ancient Origin of Bun Thang

Bun Thang appears in the Vietnamese cuisine in hundreds of years. The name “Bun Thang” derives from the tonic soup of the old Hanoian; “Bun” is a kind of the rice vermicelli, “Thang” is thought to originate from the word “Thang Thuoc” – the dose of the tonic. Eating Bun Thang is said to be similar to the dose of the tonic that helps the eaters more healthy.

Bun Thang derives from Hanoi housewives in Tet holiday in the last many years; Vietnamese home often remains much food after 3 days of Tet holiday so the Hanoi housewives avoid wasting food by creating the Bun Thang which uses the ingredients from the remaining food such as chicken, Vietnamese ham, mushroom, dried shrimp, etc. This noodle soup is often tasted on the 4th day of the New Year when Vietnamese burn joss paper and show ritual worshipping to say farewell to their ancestors after Tet holiday. Nowadays, Bun Thang is not only a dish cooked on the 4th day of Tet but it is also used popularly as breakfast in Hanoi.

The Secret Recipe of This Refined Vermicelli

This kind of rice vermicelli is made from more than 20 Vietnamese ingredients; in each area, each home, ingredients can change to adjust but Bun Thang always comprises 3 main parts: the broth, bun – rice vermicelli and sliced items.

The broth is called the soul of the noodle soup. Each kind of noodle soup is created in different ways; broth of Bun Thang is also made of the pig’s bones, chicken’s bones as many other kinds of broth; however, it is added dried shrimp as the special feature to distinguish it from other kinds. Fresh bones will be prepared carefully to remove the blood remaining in the bone; after that, it is stewed with dried shrimp and skimmed regularly to make the broth clear and special taste of meat and shrimp.

Another main ingredient that cannot lack in the noodle soups is rice vermicelli as known as Bun. Bun chosen is the fresh rice vermicelli which still remains warm and is covered to keep warm. Bun is the most delicious if it is white and in small strings and smells naturally sour; when you taste, it is soft and a little tough.

Sliced items added in this noodle soup are very varied depending on the area; however, the Bun Thang in Hanoi always includes chicken, Vietnamese ham, omelet, pickled radish, shredded shrimp and spring onion. The chicken will be cooked well until chicken becomes tender and yellow; then it is shredded into small strings but remains skin. The egg is scrammed thinly and sliced; Vietnamese ham and dried pickled radish are sliced into small strings. All of them will be displayed in the face of the bowl of noodle soup with the laksa leaves and chopped spring onions and dried shredded shrimp. This dish will be best if it is added with shrimp paste and belostomatid essence.

The Sophistication in the Taste of Bun Thang

With the variety of ingredients, Bun Thang is really a complicated dish not only the display of food as well as in the taste of this dish. Bun Thang in Hanoi always has special features; when glancing the bowl of Bun Thang, you will imagine it as a five-color flower with the fleshy yellow shredded chicken, the green of chopped onion, the little yellow of omelet, the pink of the Vietnamese ham and the brown of mushroom. It is not only a bowl of noodle soup but it is also a masterpiece that the elegant Hanoian creating during hundreds of years.

If the appearance of Bun Thang is the sophistication, the taste of this dish will be absolutely the quintessence of Old Hanoi culture. Even the vermicelli is set on the table, you will feel the special smell of the broth from chicken bones and shrimp leasing in the smell from herbals used in the bowl. Taking a spoon of broth and touching it in the tongue; you will feel the boom in the taste of the best noodle soup in Hanoi, the slight sweetness from the chicken bones harmonizes with a little sour from vermicelli and special taste of shrimp sauce added when tasting and a little spicy from the laksa leaves and belostomatid essence. The soft bun accompanied by the tender chicken, the crisp radish forms the wonderful taste in the mouth and makes you water-of- mouth when recalling. What a fantastic flavor! 

The Ideal Addresses for an Authentic Bowl of Bun Thang in Hanoi

When visiting Hanoi, you can easily find out a place to taste a hot bowl of Bun Thang; however, each area, Bun Thang is changed and tasting an authentic bowl of Bun Thang is not easy. Therefore, we will recommend some famous places to enjoy a bowl of the real Bun Thang of old Hanoian.

Lang Lieu Restaurant - 57 Duong Thanh street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi city

Time: 11 am -10:30pm

Bun Thang Ba Duc – 48 Cau Go street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi city

Time: 7am- 11pm

Price: 30,000 -55,000 VND/ bowl

Bun Thang Thuan Ly – 33 Hang Hom street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi city

Time: 6am- 10pm

Price: 15,000 -33,000 VND/ bowl

Bun Thang - 29 Hang Hanh street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi city

Time: 6am -9:30pm

Price: 20,000 -33,000 VND/ bowl

Bun Thang Quan Cu – 31A Phan Dinh Phung street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi city

Time: 6am – 11pm

Price: 50,000 VND/ bowl

Bun Thang Ha Hoi – 11 Ha Hoi alley, Tran Hung Dao street, Hanoi city

Time: 6am -11pm

Price: 25,000 – 55,000 VND/ bowl


If you are hesitating which places above you should choose to taste a bowl of the authentic Bun Thang of Hanoi, we have a recommendation for you: Lang Lieu Restaurant in 57 Duong Thanh street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.  Lang Lieu will give you the best choice for Bun Thang, you will enjoy a hot bowl of Bun Thang cooked by the Vietnamese talent chefs here with the authentic taste of Hanoi cuisine’s masterpiece in the ambiance of the typical Old Hanoi. We believe that you will have wonderful experiences with the yummy Bun Thang in Lang Lieu Restaurant.

Let’s book a table and be sunk in the quintessence of Hanoi cuisine with us!