Sea Snails & Shellfish

Aside from well-known Vietnamese foods like phở & bánh mì there is the amazing selection of beer food (món nhậu). Sea snails & shellfish (ốc) has got to be the most common/popular type of beer food in Vietnam I reckon. The texture will vary from chewy-rubbery, gooey, slimy, or even crunchy which may disinterest you at first, but believe me.. they can become quite addictive.

1. Sea Snails/Shellfish Boiled
(Ốc Luộc)

You have to try them boiled/steamed in lemongrass & chilli. There’s a dipping sauce that goes with it so it’s not as plain as it sounds. We were here almost every evening during our recent trip to Hanoi & even that didn’t feel like it was enough, want more!

This store was by far our favourite for ốc luộc in terms of menu variety, great dipping, hygienefriendly staff & price. On one of the visits we ordered double-triple the usual; pipis (nghêu), snails big & small (ốc lớn & nhỏ), quail eggs (trứng cút lộn), clams (sò), guava (ổi) & ambarella with salt/sugar/chilli (cóc dầm) & it only cost us around 800,000 VND in total for 8 people including beers.

Address #1: Between 65-70 An Dương, Yên Phụ, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội


Another place that we usually visit is Ốc Trần Phú. Be mindful that there the sitting area is a little unpleasant on the eye here, but the food taste great. They have mangoes marinated in a sweet/chilli fish sauce syrup (xoài dầm) which is ever so tasty if you are familiar with these flavours. This dish is the only reason we go here now really because it doesn’t taste as great anywhere else.

Address #2: 34 Trần Phú, Quận Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

On one occasion our local friends took us to Ốc Đinh Liệt which was quite good also except there weren’t many options on the menu vs the previous locations. We were seated upstairs in an enclosed space without aircon & we almost died from the 30 degrees of heat that evening.

Address #3: 1 Đinh Liệt, Hà Nội



2. Sea Snails/Shellfish Stir-Fried
(Ốc Xào)

Once you have tried them boiled you might as well try them stir-fried at Hải Sản Hương Lan. This place offers a wider menu & the dipping is far more chilli if ya wanna spice things up. This is a restaurant & thus squatting is not necessary here.

Address: 42 Ngõ 12 Nghĩa Dũng, Quận Ba Đình, Hà Nội

3. Crab with Tamarind Sauce
(Cua Rang Me)

This dish at Thịnh Vượng got me licking my fingers clean. The tamarind sauce was deliciously addictive; a great balance of sweet/sour/onion flavours. This tiny place was recommended to us by a local friend & boy was the restaurant a tricky one to locate as it was situated in the middle of an alley.

Address: 13 Tạ Hiện, Phường Hàng Buồm, Quận Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

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