Top 10 Must Try Foods in Vietnam
If you’ve read any of my previous posts on Vietnam, you’ll understand how amazing I think the food is (quite often my favourite subject). If I had to give one reason and one reason alone to visit this amazing country – you guessed it – to taste the out of this world cuisine.
It was quite hard to narrow it down to just 10 dishes, but I have managed to compile a list of my favourite 10 must try foods from up and down the country.
Must Try Foods In Vietnam
1. Xôi (Xôi Yến Corner of P Nguyen Huu Huan & P Hang Mam, Ha Noi) – Xôi is a bowl of saffron rice topped with shavings of dried Mung Beans and your choice of topping. I tried Xôi with a topping of braised pork. Arguably the best dish I tried in Vietnam, a bold statement, but if you taste this you’ll understand.
2. Banh Goi (Pillow Cakes) (52 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi) – At first glance you probably wouldn’t expect much from this restaurant. We ordered from a woman sat behind a huge wok filled with hot oil, where the food is freshly deep fried. The restaurant is probably the most well known for the best pillow cakes in Hanoi, it’s not hard to see why when you taste them! Pillow cakes are deep fried pastries stuff with; pork mince, mushrooms, vermicelli noodles, carrots and spices.
3. Bun Cha (45 Ly Quoc Su Street, Ha Noi) – Another amazing dish from Old Town Hanoi. Bun Cha is made up of grilled pork patties in a broth, served with a huge plate of noodles and another of vegetables and herbs.
4. Bun Bo Nam Bo (67 Hang Dieu, Hanoi, Vietnam) – Finally, to round off the must try dishes in the capital – Hanoi. The restaurant has the same name as the dish, so as you can probably tell there’s not much else on the menu, but do they need anything else?! Bun Bo Nam Bo consists of grilled beef, shredded lettuce, sliced cucumber, fried shallots, crunchy bean sprouts, cilantro and and chopped peanuts, piled on top of a mound of vermicelli noodles.
5. Bun Bo Hue (Phuong Nam Cafe – 38 D Tran Cao Van, South Bank, Hue) – Hanoi isn’t the only place in Vietnam to stuff your face with cheap and delicious food. Bun Bo Hue is a soup dish containing – rice vermicelli noodles, beef and fresh herbs. Simple, but brilliant!
6. Banh Khoai (Phuong Nam Cafe – 38 D Tran Cao Van, South Bank, Hue) – Another dish found in Hue, is Banh Khaoi. Banh Khaoi is basically a rice flour pancake folded in half, filled with a variety of ingredients, including – prawns, bean sprouts and pork.
7. Banh Mi Phuong (2B Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An) – This small restaurant which sells Banh Mi was made famous after featuring on Anthony Bourdain’s TV show. A Banh Mi is a French baguette style bread filled with a choice of filling (I’d recommend #9 – pork ham and pate). Simply state a number from the menu when ordering and prepare for the best sandwich you’ve eaten.
8. Bale Well (45-51 Ð Tran Cao Van, Hoi An) – Definitely the most surprising experience we had at a restaurant in Vietnam. There’s no menu and Bale Well, so don’t be surprised when food starts streaming from the kitchen without them taking your order. The set menu consists of – pork satay, prawn spring rolls, pickled veg, and salad, which are all to be wrapped in rice paper to make a huge spring roll style wrap. Everyone also has their own individual tomato style sauce which you can add chilli sauce to your own taste.
9. Com Tam (Broken Rice) (Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City) – Broken rice is essentially broken grains of rice left over from the traditional drying and milling process. The rice tastes exactly the same as normal rice, only its a bit smaller and a lot cheaper. The broken rice is then topped with a topping of your choice. I’d recommend grilled pork chops and a fried egg.
10. Banh Trang Nuong (Phu Quoc Island) – Rice paper topped with minced pork, dried shrimp, butter, onions, Quals eggs and chilli sauce, then the rice paper is roast over hot coals to make the whole thing crispy and warm.