Top 15 Vietnamese street food – must try in Vietnam

The cheapest and one of the most delicious places to find cuisine in Vietnam is in a traditional open-air market. Here, single-dish food stalls, run mostly by women, offer finely crafted dishes passed from mother to daughter for generations.

Do you get bored with the luxurious, fancy and high-class restaurant? Have you ever thought that it’s worth a try going on a night adventure when visiting Vietnam? If yes, then here are the top 15 street foods of Vietnam for you given by Dichungtaxi.

1. Pho (Phở)

Pho
Pho (Source: phophugia)

It is not a complete list of food that must be tried in Vietnam without phở. It is easy to come across patrons surping the rice noodle soup in a makeshift phở stand on the street. Pho is a mix of the flattened white rice noodle, salty broth, a sprinkling of herbs and the must-not-be-without beef (or sometimes chicken). Besides, there exist variations of Phở like Phở khô (dry noodle) and Phở cuốn (Phở rolls) that also should be tasted. It’s cheap, tasty and available at any time.

Pho Cuon
Pho cuon (Source: phohaithien)

2. Bun Cha

Bun Cha
Bun Cha (Source: baomoi)

Not as well known as phở, but bún chả is the first suggestion that pops up in mind when it comes to lunchtime in the capital. Wandering around Hanoi, we can smell and see the meaty smoke of marinated pork belly and patties of seasoned pork grilled over the charcoal fire in the street-side restaurants.  Once they are charred and crispy, they will be served in a bowl of sweet fish sauce-heavy broth with a helping of papaya, carrot and bún (also rice noodle but it’s different from pho). Bun cha usually comes with nem cua be (fried crab spring rolls). Need more motivation to take a try on bun cha? It was what President Obama ate when visiting Vietnam with Chef Bourdain.

3. Vietnamese Bread (Bánh Mì)

Banh Mi
Banh Mi (Source: netspace)

Although the baguette was brought to Vietnam by French, Vietnamese have taken it to a new level: bánh mì (Vietnamese-style baguette). The crispy baguette is sliced in half but not really separately, then a sprinkling of pepper and salt, slivered meat and boiled eggs are a must. It is optional to put fresh veggies like cilantro, cucumbers or small slices of chillies in to create the harmony of color when looking inside bánh mì.

4. Banh Xeo


Banh Xeo (Source: deliverynow)

Have you ever imagined to try a salty version of crepe? It’s worth a try on bánh xèo (Vietnamese crepe). Mixed powder is coated in a small frying pan, then you can choose either shrimps or beef and bean sprouts as topping for your own bánh xèo. Eat it immediately or roll it up with lettuce and banh trang (rice paper) is your choice. Finally, dip it into the special sauce mixed up by the chef.

5. Goi cuon

Goi Cuon
Goi cuon (Source: monngon)

These light and fresh spring rolls are a wholesome choice when you’ve been indulging in too much of the fried food in Vietnam. The translucent parcels are first packed with salad greens, a sliver of meat or seafood and a layer of coriander, before being neatly rolled and dunked in Vietnam’s favorite condiment – fish sauce. Not ready to give up on the fried ones? In the north these fried parcels go by the name nem rán, while southerners call them chả giò. The crispy shell surrounds a soft veggie and meat filling.

6. Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue
Bun Bo Hue (Source: vietspices)

Bun Bo Hue is a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli and beef. The dish is greatly admired for its balance of spicy, sour, salty and sweet flavors and the predominant flavor is that of lemon grass. If you love Pho and you love a bit of spice then definitely give Bun Bo Hue a try.

7. Com Tam

Com Tam
Com Tam (Source: huongnghiepaau)

Cơm tấm, or broken rice, is a Vietnamese dish made from rice with fractured rice grains. It is usually served with grilled pork (either ribs or shredded) plus the thinly shredded pork mixed with cooked and thinly shredded pork skin over broken rice. The rice and meat are served with various greens and pickled vegetables, along with a prawn paste cake, steamed egg, and grilled prawns. Typically, restaurants will serve this popular combination rice plate with a small bowl of fish sauce, as well as a small bowl of soup broth with garlic chives to cleanse the throat. The dish cơm tấm bì comes with an egg meatloaf. Nowaday, cơm tấm is also served with Omelette.

8. Banh Trang Tron


Banh Trang Tron (Source: ameovat)

The mix of slices of dipped-into-water rice paper, green mango, slivers of herb and drying beef, quail eggs plus the add-ons of dried shallots, shorties shrimps chilli sauce or chilli salt will definitely make you feel mouth-watering. Like bột chiên, bánh tráng trộn attracts mainly the after-school crowd. Although banh trang tron has become popular recently but it has gradually been one of the most indispensable street food that first comes to mind when any Vietnamese being asked for food suggestion.

9. Che

Che
Che (Source: baomoi)

Vietnam has hundreds kinds of chè ranging from the North to the South. Chè is a Vietnamese term that refers to any traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, dessert soup or pudding. Varieties of chè are made with mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, tapioca, jelly (clear or grass), fruit (longan, mango, durian, lychee or jackfruit), and coconut cream. Other types are made with ingredients such as salt, aloe vera, seaweed, lotus seed, sesame seed, sugar palm seeds, taro, cassava and pandan leaf extract. Some varieties, such as chè trôi nước, may also include dumplings. Chè are often prepared with one of a number of varieties of beans, tubers, and/or glutinous rice, cooked in water and sweetened with sugar. In southern Vietnam, chè are often garnished with coconut crème.

10. Cao Lau

Cao Lau
Cao Lau (Source: Facebook Mai Hương)

Cao lầu is another type of rice noodle, which looks like but actually differs from udon of Japan. One of Vietnam’s most popular dishes from Hoi An (in the centre of Vietnam), cao lầu combines elements from various cultures. The thicker noodles, accompanied by sliced porks, crispy won-ton crackers make us mistake cao lầu with Chinese-style noodle but the broth and herbs are absolutely Vietnamese style. Authentic cao lầu is made only with water drawn from the local Ba Le well.

11. Bun dau mam tom

Bun Dau Mam Tom
Bun Dau Mam Tom (Source: Internet)

Bún đậu mắm tôm is a frugal side dish in food background of northern Vietnam. The harmony caused by the white color of bún, the yellow color of fried tofus, the brown color of shrimp sauce mixes with the red color of chillies and the green color of herbs and lemons makes diners feel appetizing and comfortable. Moreover, with a super duper cheap price, bún đậu mắm tôm must be listed as one of the unique dish of Vietnam that you should try from now on.

12. Banh cuon

Banh cuon
Banh Cuon (Source: vietfoodnet)

Unlike gỏi cuốn, which you have to roll the fresh rice paper up by yourselves, bánh cuốn is made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled with a mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots. Sides for this dish usually consist of chả lụa (Vietnamese pork sausage), grilled seasoned pork, sliced cucumber, and bean sprouts, with the fish sauce.  The rice sheet in bánh cuốn is extremely thin and delicate. It is made by steaming a slightly fermented rice batter on a cloth that is stretched over a pot of boiling water. It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam.

13. Xoi

Xoi Man
Xoi (Source: jamja)

Xôi is itself a main meal in Vietnam. It has two types: sweet and salty. Generally, the savory sticky rice which comes with mix-ins of pork cooked with sauce or slivers of fried chicken, jambon, paté and scattering of shallots is the salty version while the sweet one is made of corn and a mix of crushed peanut, salt and sugar.

14. Cafe Trung

Cafe Trung
Cafe Trung (Source: chiecthiavang)

Vietnamese “egg coffee” is technically a drink, but we prefer to put it in the dessert category. The creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam perched on the dense Vietnamese coffee will have even those who don’t normally crave a cup of joe licking their spoons with delight. In Hanoi, follow the tiny alley between the kitschy souvenir shops at 11 Hang Gai into the clearing and up several flights of increasingly dicey stairs to pair your ca phe trung with an unbeatable view of Hoan Kiem Lake.

15. Bot chien

Bot Chien
Bot Chien (Source: agiadinh)

Ho Chi Minh City’s favorite street snack, bột chiên is popular with both the after-school and the after-midnight crowd. Chunks of rice flour dough are fried in a large wok until crispy, and then an egg is broken into the mix. Once cooked, it’s served with slices of papaya, shallots and green onions, before more flavor is added with pickled chili sauce and rice vinegar.

>>> If you are travelling in Vietnam, we hope you will have a wonderful trip and enjoy delicious food in here.

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