Top 10+ Must-eat Food in Sapa

February 28, 2023 - 18576 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, delicate, locally-grown ingredients are words that best describe Sapa cuisine; most dishes feature meat and fish, but there are always plenty of vegetables and vegetarian options. Aside from taking in the breathtaking scenery, don't forget to indulge in Sapa food and savor the following highly recommended meals.

1. Salmon and Sturgeon Hotpot

Formerly, salmon fish was popular on the coast of Northern Europe and America. After applying several aquaculture techniques, the famous fish can now be farmed in Sapa, quickly becoming popular Sapa food among locals and tourists.

Sapa Delicious Salmon Hotpot A Must Try Delicacy For A Cold Night

Sapa Delicious Salmon Hotpot For A Cold Night

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, and mushrooms. If you plan to travel to Sapa on a cold day, then salmon and sturgeon hotpot is a must-try and is sure to be the best dish to try.

Thac Bac Restaurant

Address: Thac Bac Tourist Area

Opening hours: 10:00 - 22:00

Price: $9 - $65

Song Nhi Restaurant

Address: O Quy Ho ward

Opening hours: 7:00 - 23:00 

Price: $3 - $50

 

2. Thang Co

Known as a unique Sapa 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, and cinnamon twig.

Thang Co Is A Favorite Dish Of Local People In Sapa

Thang Co, A Favorite Dish Of Local People In Sapa

Thang Co used to be served only for special occasions of the region or cultural festivals of the Hmong people. However, as tourism is developing so fast, Thang co has become one of the must-try food in Sapa. 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 recommendations:

A Quynh Restaurant

Address: 15 Thach Son Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 9:00 – 22:00

Price: $4.23 - $15

A Phu Restaurant

Address: 15 Fansipan, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 10:00 - 22:00 

Price: $2 - $42.34

 

3. Com Lam 

Com Lam can be called sticky rice in the bamboo tube; this is a simple yet delicious Sapa food. 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 Specialized Sapa Cuisine Cooked Inside A Bamboo Tube

Com Lam Specialized Sapa Cuisine Cooked Inside A Bamboo Tube

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 peanuts, grilled pork, or chicken skewers.

If you are still wondering what to eat in Sapa, you have to try this regional specialty! You can easily buy this food anywhere around the town in Sapa as it is served by every food vendor at the market, hotel, or restaurant.

Sapa Grilling Area

Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Hours: Everyday evening

Price: $1.5 - $4.66

Bon Mua Restaurant

Address: 9 Thac Bac Street, Sapa Town

Hours: 6:30 – 23:00

Price: $3 - $15

 

4. Thit Trau Gac Bep (Dried Buffalo Meat)

The most popular dried meat in Sapa is buffalo meat, which can be found in the local market. This unique Sapa food is very popular among tourists, the locals call this “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. 

Dried Buffalo Meat In Sapa Is The Best To Eat With A Touch Of Lime Juice

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 savor, the sweetness, and the sourness dancing in your mouth making “Thit Trau Gac Bep” the best food in Sapa.

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 – 10:00 

Price: $3.39 - $45

Sapa Grilling Area

Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: Everyday evening

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

 

5. Mam Da

Mam Da is a kind of food in Sapa that you can only find 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 Vegetables From Sapa

Mam Da Vegetables From Sapa

Visit these restaurants to try this dish:

Hoa Dong Tien Restaurant

Address: 29 Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00 

Price: $4.39 - $11.64

Chapa Restaurant

Address: 40 Cau May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 8:00 - 22:30

Price: $4.23 - $13.97

 

6. Con Sui (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 are Pho, with a flavored sauce, which is enough to mix everything up. All of the uniqueness has made Con Sui the best Sapa food that you have to try.

Con Sui, Special Dry Pho Dish In Sapa

Con Sui, Special Dry Pho Dish In Sapa

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.

This is a perfect breakfast option if you still wondering what to eat in Sapa!  Until now, there is only one unique restaurant that makes this dish in Sapa, you can check out the destination via the information below:

Ong Ha Restaurant

Address: 436 Dien Bien Phu May Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 04:30 – 14:00 

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, this Sapa food gives you an unforgettable experience.

Ga Den (Black Chicken) Unique Sapa Specialty, Can Be Cooked In Different Methods

Ga Den Can Be Cooked In Different Methods

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

 A Phu Restaurant

 Address: 15 Fansipan, Sapa Town

 Opening hours: 10:00 - 22:00 

 Price: $2 - $42.34

Red Dao Restaurant

Address: 4B Thac Bac, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 8:00 - 22:30

Price: $3.39 - $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 them in the sauce and enjoy.

A Grilled Food Stall In Sapa, Must Try On A Cold Night

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.

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

 Sapa Grilling Area 

 Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

 Opening hours: Everyday evening 

 Price: $1.5 - $4.66

Red Dao Restaurant

Address: 4 Hoang Lien Street, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 5:00 - 23:00

Price: $0.42 - $1.5

 

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’ - that became one of Sapa's best food. 

Men Men Is Considered To Be “Hmong's Rice”

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, neither too much nor little.

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

The best place to have this distinctive Sapa food is:

 Sapa Grilling Area 

 Address: Cau May Street, Sapa Town

 Opening hours: Everyday evening 

 Price: $1 - $3

 

 

10. Sapa Peaches

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

Sapa Peaches Region Specialty

Sapa Peaches, Region Specialty

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 

 Address: 4D National Road, Sapa Town

 Opening hours: 6:00 - 18:00

 Price: $1.5/ 1 kg

 

 

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’s Wild Pear

Mac Cop, Sapa’s Wild Pear

Mac Cop has considered the best food in Sapa not only because this fruit has an impeccable taste, but it also has many health benefits. Eating mac cop is good for the digestive system, helping you absorb more nutrients, and it also helps decrease the risk of cancer, blood diseases, and liver diseases. 

Same with peaches, you can buy mac cop at:

 Sapa Market 

 Address: 4D National Road, Sapa Town

 Opening hours: 6:00 - 18:00

 Price: $1.5/ 1 kg

 

 

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.

Assam Apple Wine Sapa Regional Spirit

Assam Apple Wine, Sapa Regional Spirit

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.

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

 Hoang Minh Restaurant

 Address: 22-23 Sapa Food Court 

 Opening hours: 9:00 - 22:00 

 Price: $5 - $25

Quoc Cuong Liquor Store

Address: 74 Thach Son, Sapa Town

Opening hours: 9:00 - 22:00

Price: $4.23/ 1 liter

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 BestPrice Travel if you are planning to visit Sapa and wish to have the most pleasing culinary experience.

Minah Trinh

(Image Source: Internet) 

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Questions & Answers (3)

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24/01/2024

Is this in USD?

Reply
1
25/01/2024
@Jaycee:

The exact price for food would be in VND, USD price in this article is the estimate number due to currency exchange (which can be different everyday due to the exchange rate)

1 Reply
10/11/2023

can I find Halal restaurants in Sapa?

Reply
1
12/11/2023
@Grayson:

Yes there are 2 you can try that is: Ganesh Sapa Indian Restaurant and Halal Restaurant.

 

1 Reply
07/06/2023

Which of them are suitable to bring home as gifts for my friends?

Reply
1
07/06/2023
@Owen:

Hi! You can bring home the Dried Buffalo Meat and Assam Apple Wine which are easy to preserve in a long time.

1 Reply