Snail Soup in Hanoi gets the thumbs up

A warm bowl of snail soup, anyone?

Part of the charm of visiting a new city is to try some of the local dishes, and when it comes to Hanoi, there is plenty to choose from.

For something truly out of the ordinary, although it will make some squeamish, there’s Bun Oc, or snail soup.

While this dish may sound a little weird at first, do remember that most of us already happily eat all sorts of shellfish, clams, and even escargot, which isn’t at all too different from this Vietnamese offering.

Bun Oc is located by the streets at the Old Quarter in Hanoi and you can find quite a number of these stalls here.

The snails are cooked and extracted from their shells before being served in a somewhat sweet soup base, chockfull of fresh vegetables and a hint of fish sauce – seems like every dish in Vietnam has a dash of fish sauce.

bun oc hawker by the streets of Hanoi
A Bun Oc hawker in action by the streets of Hanoi.

The dish is usually served with vermicelli that pretty much makes it a complete and hearty meal. But you can also enjoy the soup minus the carbs.

The snail has a subtle taste with a texture much like topshell or well-cooked shellfish, and is therefore rather pleasant.

This dish definitely gets the thumbs up.

map of hanoi old quarter

Bun Oc Hawker
Old Quarter
Hanoi, Vietnam

Trying to influence your cravings since 2005, Kar Yeong was Guest Judge on Versus 1001 Rasa Baba’s 2018, R.AGE Food Fight Judge 2015 and NTV7 Foodie Blogger 2014. To read more about Kar Yeong’s food journeys, visit his blog at