For those who first travel to Vietnam, deciphering a list of the best Vietnamese dishes, can be too difficult. Therefore, I wanted to share my culinary experience with you. Here is a list of 10 Vietnamese dishes you should try when traveling to Vietnam.
1. Vietnamese Noodle Dishes – Pho
If you come to Vietnam without trying a bowl of Pho, you will be like never come to Vietnam. This dish is typical for Vietnamese cuisine. Many times Pho has been CNN, BBC, Business Insider … voted as the best dish in Asia. In 2016, Pho was voted as one of 3 Vietnamese dishes in the top 100 world’s best dishes of WORLDKINGS organization. To enjoy the taste of pho, visitors are advised to come to Hanoi, with famous brands such as Pho Bat Dan, Pho Thin, Ly Quoc Su Pho certainly will bring the most satisfying feeling for all tourists, even the most demanding one.
Read More: Best Pho in Hanoi
2.Vietnamese Rice Dishes – Com Tam (Broken rice)
This simple meal is one of the most popular dishes from South Vietnam at any time of the day. In Saigon, people often eat a plate of Broken rice before going to work in the morning. It is usually served grilled marinated pork chops. On top of the meat, there are several customary ingredients such as finely sliced cucumber, tomato, and pickled vegetables, fried egg, and grilled prawns.
Although not noticed such as pho, bun cha, fish ball … broken rice is actively shared by travel bloggers as an interesting experience when discovering Saigon cuisine. If you’re craving a cheap yet satisfying meal, be sure to check out this spot.
The address is 260 Vo Van Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
3.Popular Vietnamese Dishes – Banh Mi
Unlike Pho, Banh Mi originates from the southern part of the country. Although bread is sold everywhere you can only find the best bread in the central cities of Vietnam
This popular dish has been praised by foreign newspapers like The Guardian, National Geographic, BBC or Tripadvisor. The US Fodor’s Travel travel page in 2016 offers 20 of the world’s best street food, in which Vietnamese bread tops the list. The dish has a variety of recipes depending on the taste of each person, but the most common is the bread with grilled pork, cucumber, raw vegetables, pickles, paste, and sauce.
Pro Tip: Be sure to eat a Banh Mi in Hoi An
Banh Mi Phuong
Address: 2B Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoi An Town, Quang Nam Province
Banh Mi Madam Khanh
Address: 115 Tran Cao Van, Hoi An Town, Quang Nam Province
4.Traditional Vietnamese Dishes – Bun Bo Hue
Bun Bo Hue is another classic Vietnamese dish. Bun Bo Hue, known widely for its exquisite and special taste. As its name suggests, This is a popular dish of Hue City. Ingredients include thin slices of marinated and boiled beef shank with broth with red and spicy characteristics. Bun Bo Hue is often served with chili sauce, lemon, coriander, chopped green onion, sliced with banana flower, red cabbage, raw sliced onions, and green bean sprouts
There are delicious versions of it all over Vietnam, and in our opinion, some of the best bun bo Hue in Ho Chi Minh City can be found. Take a visit to Nhan Tri (295 Le Hong Phong, Ward 2, District 5), to discover the rich taste and large portions that are adored by locals.
6. Vietnamese Dishes – Banh Xeo
This dish is a Vietnamese version of the famous French crepe. The wrapper is made of the coconut milk, Rice flour mixture and a bit of turmeric flour and the filling are pork, shrimps, bean sprout
Banh Xeo is eaten with many different types of herbs, lettuce, and the sweet fish sauce. The side of Banh Xeo in the South is much bigger than it’s in the Central. Local people often gather and eat Banh Xeo on rainy days. I think you should also try this feeling if possible (Actually, sunny day eating Banh Xeo still delicious, but on rainy days the feeling of deliciousness will double)
- 45,000 – 60,000 VND (Banh Xeo in the South)
- 5,000 – 15,000 VND (Banh Xeo in the Central) Try it: 179C2 Dong Den Street, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
7.Best Vietnamese Dishes – Bun Rieu (Tomato Crab soup)
The interplay between crab and tomato makes Bun Rieu a truly standout dish. A hearty soup bursting with acidity, the components of this meal include slippery bun, fresh crab meat, blocks of tofu and stewed tomatoes. Cooking an authentic bowl of Bun Rieu is a labor-intensive process.
After the crab meat is separated from the body, the shell is then pulverized using a mortar and pestle and then strained through to form the base of the broth. Floating around the bowl are pillowy clusters of minced crab combined with ground pork and egg that melt in your mouth.
Try it: Bun Rieu Cua Thanh Hồng, 42 Hoa Ma, Ngo Thi Nham, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
8.Vietnamese Dishes – Bun Cha
Bun Cha originated from the Old Quarter in Hanoi and has been one of the city’s signature dishes for hundreds of years. Bun cha is also made from rice. Though, different from Pho, instead of using fresh sliced beef or chicken as the protein source and bone marrow as the broth, Buncha is served with Grilled pork and use sweet and sour Vietnamese fish sauce as its sauce. If you want to dine where Obama and Bourdain did you will want to check out Bun Cha Huong Lien on 24 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung District, Ha Noi City
Pro Tip: Plan to eat Bun Cha for lunch. Unlike Pho, Bun Cha is not a breakfast dish.
9.Famous Vietnamese Dishes – Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
Fresh spring roll (also known as Goi Cuon) is a Vietnamese traditional dish. Goi Cuon consists of shrimp, pork, vegetables, herbs, rice vermicelli (Bún). All of them are wrapped in rice paper (Banh Trang). Vietnamese fresh spring roll is one of the most popular appetizers in Vietnamese food culture.
The traditional food is ranked at number 30 on the list of 50 most delicious foods in the world by CNN Go in 2011. Vietnamese fresh spring roll is often served with a kind of special dipping sauce – fish sauce ( nuoc mam) – garlic, limes chili crushed roasted peanuts. The combination of herbs, pork, shrimp and the salty, hot and sour dipping sauce that make Vietnamese fresh spring roll wonderfully unique.
10. Vietnamese Sweet Dessert
Che is the perfect end to your meal, especially if you had a light meal like Bánh Cuon. Che means dessert in Vietnamese. A puddling-like concoction made from beans, jelly, grains, coconut milk, and fruit, and served in a bowl or glass over ice, Che is a popular dessert in Ho Chi Minh City.
There are a lot of street vendors and shops selling che in Vietnam so you can always help yourself to a bowl or two each time you crave for this nutritious and filling treat.