Top 10+ Must-eat Food in Sapa

July 18, 2022 - 1323 views

Sapa is recognized for its majestic scenery, cool weather, and fascinating culture, it’s also considered as the heaven of food in the Northwest of Vietnam. If you visit Sapa and have no idea about what to eat in Sapa, don't worry as we have made a list for you.

 

Fresh, light, locally-grown ingredients characterize all Sapa cuisine, most dishes feature meat and fish, but there are always plenty of vegetables in the dishes, as well as completely vegetarian dishes. Besides enjoying the beautiful landscape, do not forget to enjoy Sapa food and give it a try to these highly recommended dishes as followed. 

1. Salmon and sturgeon hotpot

Previously, Salmon fish was popular on the coast of Northern Europe and America. After applying several farming methods, the famous fish was present in Sapa, quickly becoming popular among locals and tourists.

Salmon hotpot - Sapa Food

Salmon Hot pot

The Salmon in Sapa is well-known for being firm, low in fat, and higher in nutritional value. It is often served in a hot pot with sour broth, alongside vegetables, mushrooms. If you plan to travel to Sapa and it is on a cold day, then salmon and sturgeon hotpot is a must-try and is sure to be the best meals you have in Sapa.

Thac Bac Restaurant

Address: Silver Waterfall, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Price: $5 - $65

Song Nhi Restaurant

Address: O Quy Ho ward, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Price: $3.5 - $50

 

2. Thang co

Known as a unique food with a special strong smell, Thang Co is a traditional dish of the Hmong ethnic people on Sapa and it’s believed to have first appeared more than 200 years ago. Thang co means soup cooked in a big pan. The main ingredients are meat, bones, and internal organs of the horse, pork, and buffalo combined with more than 20 botanical herbs including cardamom, citronella, ginger, star aniseed, cinnamon twig.

Thang Co - Sapa Cuisine

Thang Co is a favorite dish of local people in Sapa

Before, Thang Co was only served for special occasions of the region or cultural festivals of the Hmong people. However, as tourism is developing so fast, Thang co has become more popular. You can find this dish literally anywhere in Sapa. A steaming pot in a local stall at the market or you can see the name of this dish appear on the main signs and menus of any restaurant in Sapa.

If you wanna try Thang Co, these are some recommendation:

A Quynh Restaurant

Address: 15 Thach Son Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Price: $6 - $15

A Phu Restaurant

Address: Xuan Nguyen Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 6:30 AM - 10:00 PM

Price: $2 - $20

 

3. Com Lam 

Com Lam can be called sticky rice in the bamboo tube; this is a simple yet delicious specialty of Sapa. To make this dish, locals spend hours selecting, cleaning, and chopping the bamboo into the perfect size, once the bamboo is cleaned, they stuff glutinous rice in the bamboo tube with a pinch of salt and local stream water.

Com Lam - Sapa Food

Com Lam

Sticky pure water and the gentle aroma of bamboo blend together into an attractive and delicious dish. To enjoy Com lam, people normally eat with salted roasted peanut, grilled pork, or chicken skewers.

In Sapa, every food stall at the market, hotel, or restaurant serves this dish so you can easily find it anywhere around the town. 

Sapa Grilling Area

Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Hours: in the evening.

Price: $1.5 - $3

Bon Mua Restaurant

Address: 9 Thac Bac Street, Sapa Town

Hours: 6:30 AM – 11 PM

Price: $3 - $15

 

4. Thit Trau Gac Bep ( Dried Buffalo Meat)

In Sapa, you can find a variety of dried meats at the local market yet the most popular one is buffalo meat. This unique specialty is very popular among tourists, the locals call this is “Thit Trau Gac Bep” since they use their special way of preserving the food.

Thit Trau Gac Bep” means buffalo meat hanging above the kitchen’s firewood, and it will be hung for a long period of time, which is usually a year to 18 months. The Black Thai ethnic people marinate with salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger to create a very exclusive flavor the meat then hangs in their kitchens for about eight months to a year. 

Sapa Food - Dried Buffalo Meat

Dried Buffalo Meat is the best to eat with a touch of lime juice

The smoke from the kitchen gives the buffalo meats an extraordinary smell and flavor. On the outside, the meat is dark brown, but when the meat inside is bright red. When savoring it, squeeze some lime juice on, the first bite will always be a little tough, but after that, you can enjoy the savory, the sweetness, and the sourness dancing in your mouth.

Apart from market stalls, you can try dried meats at these locations:

Fansipan Restaurant 

Address: 25 Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Price: $15 - $45

Sapa Grilling Area

Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: Every day’s evening

Price: 30$ (for 1kg ~ 2.2lb)

 

5. Mam Da

Mam Da is a kind of vegetable that you can only find in Sapa on the top of high rock mountains and they can only harvest from November to March of the lunar calendar. Typically, this dish usually comes stir-fried or boiled, mixed with ginger for a little bit of a kick, or in a soup. Sometimes it will also be stir-fried with other vegetables such as mushrooms. This is a great option especially for vegetarians as it’s super tasty and healthy.

Mam Da Vegetable - Sapa Food

There are many way to cook and enjoy Mam Da

Visit these restaurants to try this dish:

Hong Tai Restaurant

Address: 751 Dien Bien Phu Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: They open 24/7 

 

6. Cốn Sủi ( dry pho)

Con Sui is a dish that originated from Chinese people living in Sapa. The dish comes with a bowl of rice noodles, crispy fried shallots, roasted peanuts, herbs, chili, beef, and a small bowl of flavored sauce will be whisked onto your table. Con Sui is also known as ‘dry noodles’ since the rice noodles they use to create the dish is Pho and instead of broth, it’s the flavored sauce, just enough to mix everything up.

Con Sui - Sapa Food

Con Sui as known as Dry Phở

To eat ‘Con Sui’, you can pour the sauce into the bowl of rice noodles in addition. Con sui is also served with fresh vegetables harvested in the area. Adding a little chili sauce will make the dish more delicious because with the cool weather of Sapa, eating spicy food can warm you up.

Ong Ha Restaurant

Address: 468 Dien Bien Phu Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Price: $1 - $2.5

 

7. Ga Den (Black Chicken)

It is said that when you visit Sapa, there is one thing you should not skip, trying the black chicken. It’s a very special dish since you can guess from its name; the meat and bones are black. Across Asia, this chicken is believed to help treat heart disease and is usually cooked with traditional herbs or served in a sweet soup with honey.

Black chicken can be cooked into many dishes through frying, boiling, and steaming. However, grilled black chicken marinated with honey is the most popular choice. After it soaks in honey, the chicken will be grilled directly on hot charcoal, the sweetness of the meat and the honey combine, giving you an unforgettable experience.

Black Chicken - Sapa Food

Ga Den can cook in many ways

You can find this dish at most restaurants in Sapa, for example:

 Sapa Cuisine Restaurant

 Address: 7 Xuan Vien Street, Sapa

 Opening hours: 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM

 Price: $10 - $30

 Hoa Dao Restaurant

 Address: 48 Le Van Tam Street, Sapa Town

 Opening hours:

 Price: $7 - $30

 

8. Grilled Food

Enjoying grilled food at night has become a part of Sapa’s nightlife. When roaming around Sapa town, you can see many stalls along the street selling a variety of meat and vegetables. The meats and vegetables are usually marinated beforehand and put on the stick, also they even grill it for you so you can just simply dip in the sauce and enjoy.

Grilled Food - Sapa Food

A grilled food stall in Sapa

Each skewer costs between 10,000 VND to 30,000 VND (from $0.5 to $1.3) depending on what kind of food you pick, as seafood skewers are more expensive than pork or chicken skewer. Sitting in the cool night and enjoying hot grilled food with friends and family has become the best Sapa street food experience.

Sapa Grilling Area

Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: Every day’s evening

Price: $0.5 - $1.3

 

9. Men Men (steamed corn flake)

Men Men is one of the most popular foods of the Hmong people, it is made of corn and can be found in many mountainous areas in the North of Vietnam. Since the Hmong people often live in the high mountains, the living conditions are harsh and they can not grow wet rice so corn is the main food source. And to preserve as well as to consume the corn, they have made a way to make ‘Men Men’. 

Men Men - Sapa Food

Men Men is considered to be 'Hmong's Rice'

After the crop harvest, the Hmong people will grind the corn to remove the grit. This step used to take a lot of time because in the past the corn was hand-ground but nowadays machines have replaced the laborious hand word. Once you have ground cornmeal, it’s put in a pan and mixed with a little water before cooking. The amount of water has to be just right, not too much or less.

Apart from many other dishes, men men is steamed two times. After cooking, men men has a distinct sweetness and softness which is recommended to be eaten with chili sauce and herbs. 

Sapa Grilling Area

Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: Every day’s evening

Price: $1 - $3

 

10. Sapa peaches

In the summertime, Sapa offers you plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Peaches are one delicious fruit that you cannot miss when traveling to this region. 

Sapa Peaches - Sapa Food

Sapa peaches

Peaches grow mainly on the slopes, in cold climates without the effects of stimulants so visitors can fully enjoy on the spot. A Sapa peach is quite small in size. But when it comes to maturity. It has a fragrant, sweet, and crunchy smell that does not mix with any kind of fruit. It’s quite cheap during the season at only $1.5 for one kilogram. 

You can buy ripe, pink peaches at Sapa Market (4D National Road, Sapa Town)

 

11. Mac cop

Mac cop is a special fruit of Sapa. This kind of wild pear is usually harvested during September from the forests. Now, several farms are specializing in growing mac cop. And since they grow mac cop naturally without any pesticides or growing agents, it’s small and slightly unattractive. However, when the mac cop is fully ripe, it has a taste that is even sweeter than regular pear.

Mac Cop - Sapa Food

Mac Cop is wild pear

Not only does this fruit have an impeccable taste, but it also has many health benefits. Eating mac cop is good for the digestive system, helping you absorb more nutrients, it also helps decrease the risk of cancer, blood diseases, and liver diseases. 

Same with peaches, you can buy mac cop at Sapa Market (4D National Road, Sapa Town).

 

12. Sapa wine (Assam Apple wine)

Tao Meo wine originated from the Hmong people and it’s very well-known in Sapa as well as northwestern Vietnam. As the name suggests, it’s made from Tao Meo, Assam apple, a kind of apple grown naturally on Hoang Lien Son Mountain.

It’s harvested from August to October and you can buy fresh Assam apples at that time, although it’s mostly used to make wine. To make Tao Meo wine, Assam apples are soaked in water and kept covered for days before fermentation.

Tao Meo Wine - Sapa Food

Assam Apple wine

The wine is extracted after six to eight months. You can taste the natural flavor of the wine unique to this mountainous area. Tao Meo wine is the perfect friend to join you on your food adventures in Sapa.

Hoang Minh Restaurant

Address: 22-23 Sapa Food Court (at the corner of Xuan Vien Street and Fansipan Street)

Opening hours: 9 AM – 10 PM

Price: $5 - $25

When it comes to local cuisine, it’s not only about good food but also the traditional custom and the story behind it, each region holds a different as well as a particular trait based on the cuisine. Let's find out the best Sapa tours at bestpricetravel.com if you are planning to visit Sapa and wish to have the ultimate experience, we are more than happy to help.

Minah Trinh

Image Source: Internet 

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