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Top 10+ Best Street Food in Vietnam [Should Try]

March 01, 2021 - 651 views

Vietnamese food has achieved cult status around the world due to the global popularity of Pho, the ubiquitous noodle soup found in cities as varied as Budapest and Cape Town. However, the 90+ million people who live in Southeast Asia country eat a lot more Vietnamese foods than just Pho. So let’s discover the Top 10+ Best Street Food in Vietnam.

Thanks to globalization, a lot of fast-food chains are becoming more and more popular all over the world. But Vietnam is an exception, even the most successful chains like KFC, McDonald, Burger King, etc... can not develop well here. And the reason that makes them fail is so apparent, Vietnam has a huge food culture, with 5 world culinary records recognized by WorldKings in 2020 for the country that has the largest number of "strand and broth" dishes in the world, the most kinds of mắm (fermented fish) and dishes made from it, Vietnam also has the most dishes made from flowers, the most roll and dishes made from rice flour. Let's discover some famous Vietnamese street food below:

Top 10 Street Food in Vietnam

1. Pho (Noodle soup)

The broth is cooked 8 hours long with bones, and a bunch of dried spices like peppercorn, star anise, cinnamon... Pho is pure magic that will touch all your senses, and wake you up in the morning, or comfort you at night, after a hard-working day. Fresh herbs, clear stock, and soft noodles are 3 important factors to making an outstanding Pho. This dish is served with chicken or beef, each type of meat entails a variety of sub-dishes, from beef tenderloin to beef brisket, chicken wing to chicken thigh. Even though Pho is now really famous all over the world, sitting on the little plastic chair on the sidewalk of Hanoi street and enjoying a bowl of Pho is an absolutely different experience.

Pho (noodle soup)

Vietnam Pho (noodle soup)

2. Bun Cha (Grilled pork noodle soup)

Bun Cha is originated in Hanoi, the root of Vietnam's food culture. The dish is always a local favourite for a flavourful and fresh lunch. In a nutshell, Bun Cha is a combination of rice vermicelli, grilled pork belly, meatballs, fresh herbs, and a bowl of sweet-savoury fish sauce with pickle. It sounds so simple and basic, doesn’t it? But when all ingredients come together, the dish can adore anyone trying it for the first time. That is the secret to making Hanoian food so famous all over the world. Even President Barack Obama when coming to Vietnam had to spare his super tight schedule to come enjoying Bun Cha, why don’t you?

Bun Cha

Bun Cha

3. Xoi (Sticky rice)

Xoi or Sticky rice is a traditional food that can be easily found being sold by female vendors sitting in the corner of the pavement, or bicycling around the street in the morning with their Xoi bamboo basket. In Vietnam, Sticky rice is a commonly popular breakfast item and gives you a boost of added energy. Originally the dish only included steamed sticky rice that was coloured by turmeric, some mung bean paste, and fried shallot. Nowadays, Xoi is served with diverse types of meats, sausages, and eggs. Trust me, this dish is worthy to give a try.

Xoi (Sticky rice)

VIetnam Xoi (Sticky rice)

4. Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake)

Banh Xeo literally means sizzling cake in English because of the noise they make when they are being cooked. This kind of pancake is a harmony of crispy crepe bulging with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, plus the garnish of fresh herbs. To enjoy Banh Xeo in an authentic way, we wrap a piece of Banh Xeo with some fresh herb in a lettuce leaf, dip it into a bowl of sweet-savoury fish sauce mixed with the restaurant’s recipe and take a big bite. This will be a perfect snack for a hot summer afternoon.

Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake)

Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake)

5. Che (Vietnamese sweet soup)

Vietnamese cuisine is a favourite around the globe – from hearty bowls of Pho to flavourful Banh Mi – but the unique dessert recipes remain slightly under wraps. And the most common dessert all over Vietnam is a kind of sweet soup called Che that is made of several kinds of beans, coconut, rice flour, and cornstarch. There are hundreds of different types of Che that some people spend a lifetime trying to eat all.

Che (Vietnamese Sweet Soup)

Che (Vietnamese Sweet Soup)


6. Pho Cuon or Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Rolls)

Pho Cuon is like spring rolls, it's very light and healthy. This recipe is made with salad greens, a slither of meat or seafood, and a layer of coriander, all being neatly rolled in a transparent rice paper and dipped in Vietnam's favorite condiment -- fish sauce. Goi Cuon brings a super fresh and healthy taste that you can eat as much as you want without worrying about gaining weight.

Pho Cuon

Pho Cuon


7. Vietnam Banh Mi (Bread)

Commonly well-known along with Pho, Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, called Banh Mi, have attracted a growing fan base around the world. The uniqueness of Banh mi not only lies within the light and crispy baguette, but also the variation of flavours Vietnam fillings bring out the most amazing flavour.

This baguette sandwich filled with greens and a choice of fillings, including pâté and freshly made omelette, is so delicious that it’s been imitated around the world. In the north, chefs stick to the basic elements of carbohydrate, fat, and protein—bread, margarine, and pate—but head the south, your banh mi may contain a more colourful combination of cheese, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, sausage, fried egg, fresh cilantro, and chilli sauce.

Vietnam Banh Mi

Vietnam Banh Mi

8. Ca Phe Trung (Egg Coffee)

Egg Coffee is an invention of a Barrista who worked in Metropole Hotel Hanoi back around nearly a hundred years ago. Made with egg yolk, coffee, condensed milk, and some cinnamon powder, this coffee is more like a dessert than a drink. Egg Coffee tastes so creamy, sweet, and fragrant that perhaps is the best drink you can eat in Vietnam.

Egg Coffee

Egg Coffee


9. Banh Cuon (Rolled Rice Pancake)

Simply made by steamed rice flour rolls filled with mushroom and some pork, topped by fried shallot, the hitting point for this dish is the fish sauce. Banh Cuon is not only one of the most popular breakfasts in Vietnam, it also can be a perfect snack for any time of the day. Even in a fine dining restaurant, or just a small vendor, just try a Banh Cuon and you will never regret coming to Vietnam.

Rice Pancake Vietnam

Rice Pancake 


10. Banh Trang Nuong (Grilled Rice Paper)

Banh Trang Nuong or calling in a funny way is Vietnamese Pizza, is a new invention of street vendors by grilling a piece of rice paper, and filling it with eggs, sausage, scallion oil, beef jerky, fried shallot, cheese and topped with chili sauce and mayonnaise.

“Some dishes just belong to the street vendors in a particular place, and you have to respect that,” says Andrea Nguyen, the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author. And of course, this word absolutely fits with Banh Trang Nuong. The dish is so crispy, full of flavor and richness from all ingredients that make you addicted to it after just one first bite

Banh Trang Nuong

Banh Trang Nuong


11. Cao Lau (Pork Rice Noodle)

Vietnamese food is diverse and different from different regions of the country. Cao Lau is a famous cuisine of Hoi An old town, a beautiful city in the center of Vietnam. The secret of Cao Lau that makes it outstanding is in the noodles. The rice used to make these noodles is soaked into the ash water of a local tree growing nearby Hoi An to create the thickness, crunchiness, and yellow color of the noodle. Cao Lau is served with a little broth, fresh meat, seafood and vegetable, and a bunch of crispy pork skin and pork fat. Coming to Hoi An ancient town, Cao Lau is always included in the “must try” list of all Vietnamese people, so don’t think much, just try it.

Cao Lau

Cao Lau


12. Nem Lui (Lemongrass Skewers)

Nem Lui is actually a lemongrass skewer with grilled pork sausage or meatball, but a lot of people were wondering why all Vietnamese people are so addicted to it. To make a perfect Nem Lui, the meat is really important. This dish requires the pork with a perfect ratio of meat and fat, typically marinating with chopped shallot, fish sauce, MSG, pork stock and black pepper, salt. Then grill it on charcoal till brown. Nem Lui is served right after grilled, when it is still hot then rolled up by a rice paper with fresh herb, pickles, and some sour and dry fruit, and dipped into peanut sauce.

Nem Lui

Nem Lui


13. Com ga Hoi An (Hoi An Chicken Rice)

Vietnam is an agriculture-based country, thus, Vietnam's food culture is influenced by the Wet Rice Civilization for thousands of years. Rice plays an important role in the life of Vietnamese people and Com Ga Hoi An can be considered as a signature dish of Hoi An people, the peaceful ancient town in the center of Vietnam. As with other chicken rice in Singapore or Malaysia, the rice is flavored with chicken broth, but in certain restaurants, Com Ga also features a hint of turmeric in the rice, which makes it slightly more yellow than other chicken rice found in the region. And of course, it is served with fresh greens and herbs on the side. This makes the dish so fresh, healthy, and so in Vietnam. When coming to visit Vietnam, don’t forget to try it.

Com Ga Hoi An

Com Ga Hoi An

You have just reviewed information about our top 13 street food in Vietnam you should try when travelling here. It is hard to find where are best places to tastes these dishes. We do recommend you book our Vietnam Food Tours which included the most famous dishes in Vietnam and also you can learn more about the food culture. Let's us help you plan a wonderful vacation!

Azumj Hassato

Image sources: Internet

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