FROM THE BACK OF A WATER BUFFALO

Way back to the 1980s, in a flooded village on the outskirt of Hanoi, Joe’s mum was riding on the back of her buffalo when being evacuated to a nearby hill. She was pregnant with him for about 8 months, so they didn’t enjoy the ride that much.

Along the way, Joe was born right on the back of the buffalo. Though came to being with low life expectancy for being born too early and at the rough place, it was the beginning of his grandma’s best care and best food available.

Water Buffalo
Countryside Life

LIFE IN THE RICE FIELDS

Joe’s village lies on the bank of the Red River, it has a green rice field on one side and a range of limestone mountain on the other. Across the river, corn fields stretch to the slopes of other ranges of mountains. 

His family has land on which they grew two crops of rice a year. To start a crop, the rice field is flooded, and water buffaloes could be used to till the soil. Though they own one water buffalo, most of the works got done by hands.

ARE YOU HUNGRY?

One of the best things during his childhood was helping his grandma cook. Whenever he saw herbs spread out on the kitchen’s floor, he knew a big family reunion was coming. As everyone is home, he loved pretending to be a server. He proudly carried different dishes from kitchen to the living room only to say “I’ve just finished cooking this”.

Overtime, cooking meant an opportunity to see his loved ones together. As his grandma taught him more Vietnamese recipes, he developed a passion for cooking and eating. Each time his grandma asked him “Are you hungry?”, he knew that she had something for him to eat.

Joe's Grandma
First Hanoi Street Food

STREET FOOD FOR THE FIRST TIME

With a dream to try the delicious food everywhere, he went to hospitality college in the city of Hanoi to become a tourist guide. His first street food was a hot bowl of the city’s beef noodle soup – Pho, and he loved it!

Though he missed cooking with ingredients his grandma taught, it was the chaotic web of alleys and lanes in the city are where he ate the most during his college. Every weekend, he went out searching for the most delicious food, and he was always tempted by unique flavors and authentic food sights in each neighborhood.

FOODIE TOURS DEVELOPED

After college, Joe worked for Handspan Travel as an adventure guide, with Exo Travel and Trails of Indochina as leisure travel guide. He traveled Cambodia, Laos, remote villages in Myanmar and the Philippines. He’s visited tribal markets in Yunnan, China, taken cooking classes in Thailand.

Prior to founding Flavors of Hanoi, Joe worked with Overseas Adventure Travel as a trip leader. After several years with OAT, Joe decided to devote his full-time efforts to engage Hanoi visitors with the authentic flavors of his home city through street eats. The result is Flavors of Hanoi, the company is all about Hanoi foodie experiences. 

Hanoi Food Tour Developed
Why Street Food Tour

WHY STREET EATS HANOI?

Because he believes that if there’s anything we humans have in common, it’s that we like to eat. Many of us think food is the best way to learn about a city and a culture, while others just find consuming delicious things to be pleasurable. 

We can all follow guidebooks online, but in many cities including Hanoi, the best places to eat are the ends of tiny alleys where the locals eat, hidden somewhere on the second floor, at a temple, or on the basket behind a vendor’s bicycle. That’s where the daily life of the people come to life!

WHAT DO WE OFFER?

We’re a local foodie tour company, offering foodie experiences in Hanoi that help travelers experience flavors of Hanoi, including the daily life of the Vietnamese and authentic tastes found in the city.

Our travelers join us on these amazingly curated food crawls in the well-known Old Quarter and French Quarter. Our foodie guides would pick out the perfect place for drinks, a secret spot for an unforgettable tasting, and a hidden gem to get to know about the people.

Who We Are
Where We Want To Be

WHERE WE WANT TO BE

We like to keep things small, even there are more travelers coming to Vietnam on their vacations, and it’s been a long time since Joe’s first street food, but something remains the same.

Flavors of Hanoi focuses on small outlets and family-run restaurants that are frequented by locals. We like to run private tours only, and keep the groups small too – no larger that 8 people to ensure that YOU have a personal experience. At the end of the day, we wish to be able to help feed more of the poor people in our city.

OUR VALUES

With accountability, integrity and quality, we embrace our responsibility to co-create experiences where each of us, our collaborators, and our city can flourish.

Flavors of Hanoi exists to help international travelers explore and enjoy Hanoi through their taste buds. We live by our values to delight our customers, to meet and exceed their expectations on every foodie experience they take with us.

Our Values