Vietnamese food is one of the most delicious you can try. The gastronomy is so rich. Normally the ingredients are healthy, the flavours are unique and the food tastes insanely good. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine uses mostly fresh herbs and vegetables and puts aside minimal use of dairy and oil. No wonder Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. Below you can find a few of the best dishes to eat in Vietnam.
Bun Bo Hue
By The Roaming Fork
Bun Bo Hue is a delicious bowl of noodle soup that originates from Hue, Vietnam’s imperial capital for nearly a century and a half.
This predominately breakfast dish is made using Bun, a specific rice noodle that is round and a little chewier than the Pho noodle, and despite the name of the dish including Bo, which means beef, the meat component of the dish is quite varied.
This tasty dish is assembled by adding the noodles and cuts of meat, which can include pork, beef, bone marrow, little balls of shrimp and crab, and cubes of congealed pigs blood, to a bowl before adding the broth.
The broth, which has a complex flavour and is the hero of the dish, is made by using pork and beef bones, a combination of lemongrass, shrimp paste, pineapple, and chilli, with the red tinge to the dish coming from the addition of annatto oil.
The ingredients result in a soup that has a rich flavour, yet is citrusy, a little bit spicy, a touch sweet, and with a long and pleasing aftertaste.
With your bowl of Bun Bo Hue, a plate of limes, chilli, herbs including spring onion, onion, banana blossom, mint amongst others, accompany the dish allowing the addition of more flavours and textures to suit all palates.
A bowl of Bun Bo Hue will cost between 46,700VND ($2/€1,80) and 70,000VND ($3/€2,60) in most parts of Vietnam, with the price differing depending on whether you have ordered the soup roadside, or are sitting inside a restaurant.
By Karolina Patryk
Pho is the national dish of Vietnam and the most well-known Vietnamese food in the world. No wonder why- it's absolutely delicious!
Pho noodle soup is made with a special broth that is prepared overnight, fresh noodles, and meat which is typically beef. Pho is actually the name of the broth made from different kinds of herbs and beef bones. The beef bones and onions that are cut in half are roasted. These are then mixed in a big soup pot together with ginger, star anise, salt, and fish sauce and simmered for 6 to 10 hours. This is what makes the pho noodle soup tasty. The broth is poured over cooked noodles and topped with sirloin, green onions, basil, and cilantro.
The ingredients may vary from one Vietnamese region to another, but for the most authentic Pho, head to Hanoi, which is considered the birthplace of this soup. You’ll be able to buy it at every corner of the streets. Sit down on the low chairs and enjoy a bowl of Pho for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner!
Pho noodle soups that are sold in sidewalks are not only authentic but also very cheap. You can get a bowl for a 1 dollar or 2. Pho served in a restaurant may offer bigger servings and more add-ons for 2-3 dollars. Either way, it is still very affordable.
By Mum on the Move
Bun Cha is one of Hanoi’s most famous street food dishes. Bun Cha is basically a pork noodle soup, but unlike any other pork noodle soup, you have tried! Pork patties are grilled over a smoking barbecue until it is almost caramelized, and the resulting sweet smoky flavour is incredible.
These chargrilled pork patties are then served in a tangy soup, accompanied by a plate of white rice noodles, with fresh herbs, lettuce and chillies. Vinegar from pickled vegetables in the soup help to cut through the fattiness of the pork, while the lettuce and herbs add freshness to the dish that is so characteristic of Vietnamese cuisine.
You can find Bun Cha in little restaurants all over Hanoi – you can usually spot a bun cha restaurant by the billowing smoke outside. Don’t miss the opportunity to try this amazing dish!
Cha Ca La Vong
By With Husband In Tow
Cha Ca La Vong is fresh turmeric and dill fish speciality served in Hanoi. Chunks of fresh fish, coated in turmeric and served in a spicy hot wok table side – allowing you to cook your own meal. A side of fresh noodles, chillies, and the traditional Vietnamese side plate of fresh herbs round out the dish. Be patient as the fish cooks in front of you, as you have the chance to enjoy the smells of the dish waft around the tiny room.
Where to eat in Hanoi: Like most roads in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, there is a Cha Ca La Vong street, west of Hoan Kiem Lake. The original Cha Ca La Vong restaurant, at house number 14, is over a hundred years old, and is the best place to try Cha Ca La Vong in Hanoi.
A Vietnamese meal without rice? Are you mad? Banh Cuon may be derived from rice but it actually doesn’t look or taste like it. It’s one of the most popular breakfast dishes from Hanoi - the most authentic eateries only serve it ’til 10 am, but if you’re lucky you’ll snap it up somewhere later in the day. Soft rice batter is cooked on a hot plate and folded into a parcel filled with flavoursome pork and spices.
Like the best Vietnamese dishes, you’ll often find it served with a generous scattering of coriander and a sizeable pot of fish sauce to dip. The smoky pork, tangy sauce and smooth rice batter go perfectly together. Don’t miss this dish when visiting Vietnam! While it’s originally from Hanoi, you’ll now find it all over the country.
By Eternal Arrival
One of my favourite dishes in Vietnam is Banh Xeo. This delicious traditional Vietnamese food is a coconut and rice flour crepe coloured yellow with turmeric and then stuffed with savoury deliciousness.
The most common ingredients inside are bean sprouts, prawns, and pork, however, you will find some variations on this. Typically, it is served with lettuce leaves and several fresh herbs, including mint, cilantro, and perilla, usually. To eat, you break off a piece of the large pancake with your chopsticks and then wrap it in a lettuce leave with some herbs of your choice.
Finally, dip it in the Nuoc Cham, the popular sweet and sour fish sauce condiment that you’ll find everywhere in Vietnamese cuisine. It’s not the easiest thing to eat and can be quite messy but that is part of the fun! I enjoyed eating it at a restaurant in Saigon but note that if you order it in a restaurant it is usually meant to be shared — the one I ordered as a solo traveller was huge! In a restaurant, a Banh Xeo will cost about 70,000 VND ($3 USD/ 2,50€) but it will be cheaper as a street food stall.
Bun Dau Mam Tom
By: Move to Vietnam
Bun Dau Mam Tom is great for a small or big group. Normally, you will be served with a round wooden tray with different dishes such as boiled pork and beef, fried tofu, roasted chicken or steamed chicken, pig's intestines, rice noodles, herbs, and fish cake together with sweet and sour clear soup (to dunk your rice noodles), and a fish sauce and hot sauce on the side.
This dish is often eaten either for lunch or dinner. Because of its contents, often, Vietnamese go out in a restaurant specifically for this dish to eat to avoid all the hassle of preparing and cooking the food. you can find this dish in the street on Ha Noi, look out for those green plastic baskets, it should not be more than 30K VND, while in the restaurants, you can head to Quan Bun Dau Mam Tom. Check out Dau Homemade or Quan Bun Dau Co Khan in Ho Chi Minh City, it should be around 60K-70K VND (2-3 USD).
Banh Mi is the must-try typical Vietnamese sandwich. Many times elected one of the most vibrant and delicious in the world.
Served usually in a baguette, with a fusion of meats and vegetables from native Vietnamese cuisine such as chà lua (pork sausage), cucumber, coriander leaf and some pickled carrots. The sandwich combines pâté, with jalapeno and mayonnaise. Banh Mi is eaten for breakfast or even as a snack, but not for dinner. The name bánh mì meaning “bread” is a product of Vietnam’s colonial past.
One of the best places to eat Banh Mi is Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen, in Hoi An and popularized by Antony Bourdain. The key for success is simple, the menu only has one option (Banh Mi, of course) and the result is a balanced sandwich that’s sweet and salty, spicy but basic, crunchy yet creamy. Eating at Madam Khanh is a mouthwatering experience but, go early or otherwise, you will have to wait a long time. The sandwich cost between 8,000 to 10,000 VND for local and 20,000 to foreigners.
Have you ever visited Vietnam? Which is your favourite dish in the country? Tell us everything in the comments below.