When you travel to Vietnam, in addition to sightseeing, you can also enjoy the country’s delicious food culture.
Vietnamese culinary experiences include a variety of soups, fresh spring rolls, and fish and seafood dishes, in which fresh herbs play an important role.
The street kitchens stand side by side on the narrow streets of Hanoi, where pedestrians can dodge both the sidewalk-clogging plastic furniture and the scooters that flash past. Dining in the street kitchen is an authentic experience that opens a unique window into Vietnamese culture.
We’ve put together less than seven different dishes that are definitely worth trying in Vietnam, a country starting with V defined by Countryaah.
Vietnamese national food is a traditional pho.
Pho is a noodle soup based on a beef or chicken fondue seasoned with coriander and ginger. Spring onions, rice noodles and meat (beef, pork or chicken) are added to the soup base.
Vietnamese from baby to granddaughter enjoy Pho soup in their own heels – often for breakfast. Each spices their soup themselves by adding chili, fish sauce, garlic or other spices until the pho’s taste just right.
National food is available in different versions throughout Vietnam. The soup is based on the French pot-au-feu dish, which is a classic French meat soup.
2. Bun Cha
Bun Cha is from Hanoi. This Vietnamese dish is a kind of soup with small meatballs and marinated grilled pork slices, as well as a bowl of rice noodles and plenty of fresh herbs. The food can be seasoned with chili, garlic and other similar side dishes, which are always served at the small tables in the street kitchens.
Rice noodles, herbs and spices are added on top of the soup, and the Vietnamese ’favorite lunch is ready to eat – either with chopsticks or a spoon.
(The dish is primarily a Hanoi specialty, but is also served at Bun Cha 45 Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, which has also been selected on Tripadvisor as one of Ho Chi Minh City’s 20 best restaurants.)
3. Banh mi
Banh mï is a sandwich – but not of any kind. Vietnamese stuffed bread resembles our stuffed baguette, but at the same time it is different nonetheless.
The sandwich consists of a light smaller Patong, which is filled with fresh salad and meat or similar filling. Patee is a traditional filling of Bánh mì bread.
4. Gỏi cuon
Gỏi cuo, or spring or summer roll or roll, is one of the most famous dishes of Vietnamese cuisine.
The Vietnamese spring roll is wrapped in thin rice paper with fresh salad and coriander. In addition, there is pork, shrimp or crab meat inside the roll. Delicious rolls are dipped in fish sauce, which is a favorite sauce of Vietnamese.
Spring rolls can also be baked (chả Giò), making the rice paper wonderfully crispy.
Spring rolls are on the menu all over Vietnam and are made into a wide variety of local versions.
5. Banh Xeo
Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese crispy pancake filled with shrimp, pork, egg and bean sprouts. The filling is seasoned with fresh herbs. The pancakes are wrapped in rice paper and dipped in a strong sauce.
Banh Xeo is a great choice for a light lunch.
6. Elephant ear fish
Elephant ear fish is a fish eaten in the Mekong estuary in southern Vietnam. The elephant ear fish is served with its head and fins in a “standing” position on a special rack.
The fish takes its name from its elephant-like shape.
The fish meat is light and is served fried with a variety of side dishes. The pieces of fish are rolled into rice paper with fresh herbs, and the resulting “spring roll” is dipped into the fish sauce.
7. Cao lau
Cao lầu is a dish that is eaten only in Hoi An city. The dish consists of thick noodles, crispy rice flour biscuits, thinly sliced pork and vegetables.
Cao Lau combines the influences of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese food culture.
If the soups start to get saturated, this crispy delicious food is a great option.
Bonus: egg coffee
In Vietnam, it is almost a must to try the legendary Vietnamese ca Phe Trong coffee, or egg coffee called egg coffee.
After wandering the streets of Hanoi, you can take a well-deserved break at the world-famous Giảng Cafe. The owner of the café has been making egg coffee here since 1946 according to a secret recipe.
However, the main ingredients the family has revealed: egg coffee consists of e.g. condensed milk, cheese, egg yolks and Vietnamese instant coffee powder.
The taste experience is wonderfully velvety, although few people think of mixing coffee and yolk with each other – or could expect such a delicious end result! (Giang Cafe is located at 39 Nguyen Huu Huan.)
Vietnam is full of flavors, aromas and gastronomic experiences. If you want to go on a taste trip to Vietnam, check out our tours and book your trip today!