In Vietnam, there’s an abundance of delicious cuisine available in every region, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts. Vietnamese street food, in particular, is both affordable and easily obtainable, with enticing aromas and bold flavors that are sure to leave you longing for more. To have the ultimate culinary experience in Vietnam, don’t miss out on trying these top 10 Vietnamese street foods.
1. Pho- Top 10 Street Foods to Try in Vietnam 2023
Pho is a popular Vietnamese dish that everyone must try when visiting Vietnam. It’s made with rice noodles, tender meat, and fresh herbs like mint, basil, bean sprouts, and lime, all served in a light yet tasty broth made from beef or chicken. This dish is so addictive because of its complex flavors and textures, making it a satisfying meal any time of the day, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.
2. Banh Mi – Top 10 Street Foods to Try in Vietnam 2023
The banh mi sandwich is a delightful blend of French and Vietnamese cooking that is popular among locals. It can be obtained by lining up at street vendors or bakeries and contains a variety of meats such as cha lua (Vietnamese ham), pork belly, chicken, sardines, or meatballs, combined with carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and chili, all inside a baguette. The crispy bread and fresh ingredients create a satisfying mix of textures and flavors. Banh mi is inexpensive, portable, and you’ll want to try different varieties while visiting.
3. Bun Cha – Top 10 Street Foods to Try in Vietnam 2023
Bun cha is a Vietnamese dish that includes grilled pork patties and pork belly served on top of vermicelli rice noodles and fresh herbs. The pork obtains its delicious browned outside by being grilled over hot coals, and is then dipped in a sauce made from fish sauce, lime juice, and chili that has sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. Bun cha is commonly eaten for lunch and is a well-balanced meal due to the savory meat, white noodles, herbs, and broth.
4. Goi Cuon (Fresh Spring Rolls)
Goi cuon is a Vietnamese food that contains rice paper with fresh ingredients like shrimp, pork, herbs, and noodles. Peanut or fish sauce dip is usually served with it. There are vegetarian options available, which have tofu and vegetables as fillings. It’s crucial to consume them while they’re still fresh to avoid the rice sheets from becoming tough. These rolls have a chewy texture and can make for a fantastic light and nutritious snack or starter.
5. Banh Xeo
Banh xeo is a beloved Vietnamese street food consisting of a crispy rice flour pancake filled with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Its yellow color comes from turmeric powder. It’s commonly served with fresh herbs and lettuce leaves that you use to wrap the crepe and fillings before dipping them in sweet and sour fish sauce. The combination of the crispy pancake with the flavorful filling is heavenly.
6. Cao Lau
Cao lau is a renowned dish originated from the ancient city of Hoi An, known for its wide and dense rice flour noodles made with water extracted from Ba Le Well. The broth is cooked using wood-fired stoves, giving it a distinctive smoky flavor. This noodle bowl is topped with various ingredients such as pork, greens, and croutons, providing different textures and flavors. To savor the authentic taste of this local specialty, it’s recommended to try cao lau in Hoi An.
7. Banh Khot
Banh khot are small, crunchy pancakes that originate from the coastal town of Vung Tau. They are created using rice flour and coconut milk, and cooked in a unique pan to obtain a crispy outer layer with fillings of shrimp, pork, and scallions. These pancakes are typically consumed for breakfast and taste even better when dipped in a sweet chili fish sauce.
8. Banh Cuon
Banh cuon is a Vietnamese breakfast dish consisting of thin rice flour sheets stuffed with ground pork, mushrooms, and shallots. The steaming process requires expertise to achieve the desired soft texture. Crispy pork rinds, cucumber, and herbs are served alongside banh cuon, which can be seasoned with chili or fish sauce. It is commonly found at street food vendors in the early morning.
9. Snails (Oc)
Although snails may not be a typical street food, they are a well-liked Vietnamese snack to have while drinking. They are cooked in a mixture of lemongrass, chili, and coconut broth, which gives them a strong and tangy taste. With the aid of a toothpick, the snail meat is taken out of the shell and dipped in the spicy broth. Oc pair nicely with a cold beer, which is also readily available on the streets of Vietnam.
10. BBQ Grilled Skewers
In Vietnam, street vendors grill various types of meat skewers over hot charcoal. These include pork, beef, chicken, prawns, fish balls, quail eggs, and tofu, all with a smoky, charred flavor that is hard to resist. The meat is marinated in lemongrass paste, which adds extra flavor. These grilled skewers are affordable and perfect for eating on the go.
Vietnamese street food offers an exciting gastronomic journey and great worth. To enjoy the finest street food in Vietnam, opt for places frequented by locals. Look for stalls with long queues as it indicates excellent dishes. Feel free to pick from menus or food carts randomly and order fearlessly. Street food in Vietnam is freshly prepared, secure and hygienic. From traditional favorites to local delicacies and modern interpretations, Vietnamese street food always satisfies. Explore the streets and let the irresistible flavors give you a glimpse of Vietnam.