We can honestly say that traditional Vietnamese cuisine is one of our favorite cuisines through all our years of traveling! From endless bowls of noodles to specialties you can’t find anywhere else in the world,
We can honestly say that traditional Vietnamese cuisine is one of our favorite cuisines through all our years of traveling! From endless bowls of noodles to specialties you can’t find anywhere else in the world, every meal here is an explosion of unique flavors. One of the best things about exploring Vietnam is that the food is super affordable. If you stick to Vietnamese street food and local markets, you won’t spend more than a few US Dollars per meal. So if you are looking for what to eat in Vietnam, our ultimate food guide has what you need! Let’s dive into all the best Vietnamese dishes, soups, and more.
Bun Bo Hue
As we mentioned, Pho is not our go-to soup in Vietnam. That honor goes to the fantastic Bun bo Hue! Originating in Central Vietnam, this hearty bowl has extra spice and accents you won’t find in other soups.
The broth is more flavorful with the addition of meat, such as meatballs and blood pieces. It also has a lot of chili paste added to it, giving the soup a deep red color, and it is served with a thicker rice noodle than other soups.
Canh Chua Ca
The fish soup will easily be one of the best Vietnamese dishes for seafood lovers you’ll try. With Canh Chua Ca, you get the typical noodles with a salty, fishy broth.
The thin rice noodle, the toppings, and the amount of fish vary from vendor to vendor. Still, you rarely leave this fish soup with an empty stomach.
Bun Thit Nuong
Bun Thit Nuong is a dry noodle dish that is packed with flavor. Thin rice noodles fill the bowl’s bottom, which is topped with vegetables, peanuts, charred meat, and a deliciously sweet chili sauce.
The best part about this popular Vietnamese street food is that it is budget-friendly. Bun Thit Nuong usually costs no more than 25,000 VND or USD 1.
At some point during your trip through Vietnam, it is more than likely that you will end up in the small charming town of Hoi An. Hoi An’s streets are filled with some of the best Vietnamese food, but it is most famous for a noodle bowl called Cao Lau.
Interestingly enough, you can only get Cao Lau in this one region of Central Vietnam. The unique noodle is made from water that comes from a special spring in the area. Once cooked, greens, pork slices, and a thin gravy are added, keeping you coming back for more!
Cao lầu Hoi An
We found this dish by chance while walking through Saigon’s famous Ben Thanh market, stopping only because the stall was packed with people. Like many other Vietnamese food stalls, this one cooks only one thing, and it does it well.
Believe us when we say that this is the sign of a good place if you are looking for what to eat in Vietnam! Small balls made from a mix of rice and tapioca flour are filled with shrimp and pork, making each bite a succulent surprise.
Banh Beo Hue
This also comes with crispy pork skin, salsa oil, and dipping sauce to enjoy.
While you can find different types of dumplings throughout Vietnam, these are another specialty of Hoi An. The savory creations are topped with fried shallots and are most delicious when dipped in a spicy fish sauce. For us, they were a great appetizer before we headed to the night market for even more filling Vietnamese street food.
It can be challenging to find a traditional salad while traveling in Vietnam, but it is always easy to find fresh fruits and vegetables. The banana blossom salad is perhaps one of the most varied dishes in our guide to Vietnamese dishes.
Spiralized vegetables are mixed with banana blossoms, and the sweet vinegar dressing is elegantly drizzled over them. It’s usually served with beef or tofu. Then fried onions make for a crazy burst of flavors!
Banana Blossom Salad
This fantastic combination of meat and noodles should be one of the first dishes you try when you visit Hanoi’s capital city. It might not be obvious to see all those plates and bowls, but it’s very simple to eat.
Take a piece of lettuce, noodle, and dip it into the sweet broth filled with vegetables and grilled meat. The flavor explodes in your mouth like no other, and it is a meal you will never forget. Without a doubt, this specialty of the north is very high on our list of best Vietnamese dishes!
Vietnam Food Guide Tip: There are extra small bowls on the table, so you can build your perfect bite before dipping and slurping it back.
Bun Cha Hanoi
This is the first thing we want when we arrive, and the last meal we get before we leave should tell you everything you need to know! Bánh Xèo means fried pancake, which means you’ll have to work a bit to put this savory dish together.
Start by wrapping the pancake in thin rice paper with vegetables and meat. Then dip it in the included sauce. If you’re lucky, a hot liver dip comes with this fantastic Vietnamese street food.
The only problem with Banh Xeo is that it seems to have the widest range between good and bad of anything in our Vietnam food guide. Sometimes you get a winner, and that’s when you feel on top of the foodie world.
But that’s the risk we take when we’re looking for the best Vietnamese food!