Food to Try in Vietnam

May 19 , 2021 by: Amanda Goh

Vietnamese cuisine is filled with different flavors and options for you to choose from — sweet to savory, there is something for everyone. Through their food, you will be able to get a glimpse into their history and influences.

If you are visiting Vietnam, here are a few dishes you need to try out while you are here.


Known as Vietnam’s national dish, Pho is seen as a reflection of the heritage and daily life of Vietnamese people. Pho is a hearty noodle soup dish, traditionally made with beef broth, spiced with various herbs. This dish can also be eaten whenever and wherever you are.

This dish originated in the early 20th century in Hanoi. While a simple dish, Pho is filled with complex flavours and textures, due to the various components in this dish. From its fragrant broth and aromatic herbs, this dish is comforting to say the least.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi is another Vietnamese favourite — a baguette filled with a range of meat, pate and other toppings. This traditional sandwich originated in Saigon and can be found around Vietnam today.

This dish is filled with different flavours and textures, making a hearty sandwich. Within each bite, you will find unique flavours from sweet to spicy, leaving you wanting more.

Banh Xeo on Pixabay

Banh Xeo

This dish is similar to a savory pancake, made of rice flour. This dish is typically filled with meat and vegetables. While Banh Xeo looks like an omelet, it does not contain any eggs. This dish gets it’s yellow tinge from turmeric, which is usually mixed into the batter before going on the hot skillet.

Banh Xeo is usually crispy on the outside, while moist and flavourful on the inside. To eat this dish, try wrapping the Banh Xeo in mustard leaf or rice paper with other herbs before dipping it in peanut sauce.

Goi Cuon

This is a Vietnamese spring roll consisting of vermicelli noodles, slices of meat and lettuce wrapped in rice paper. This dish is light and typically dipped in fish sauce before consuming.

Gui Cuon is popular as a snack or appetizer before a meal. This is a healthier version of Cha Gio, which are spring rolls that are deep fried.

Bun Bo Hue by Thu Truong on Pixabay

Bun Bo Hue

This is another popular noodle soup dish made of vermicelli noodles and beef. The dish’s broth is usually made from bones of the dish’s beef — together with lemongrass, it gives off an aromatic scent.

Bun Bo Hue is usually made with beef brisket and shank, however can contain other ingredients too. This noodle dish is also served with mint and bean sprouts.

Cha Ca

This is a fish dish marinated in turmeric and sautéed in butter and dill, served with rice noodles. Cha Ca is popular in Hanoi, while it can be found all around Vietnam. Cha Ca has a unique combination of sweet, savory and sour flavors, from the fish to the seasonings used.

Bun Cha

Specialized in Hanoi, Bun Cha are meatballs grilled on an open charcoal brazier and served on cold rice vermicelli noodles. This dish originated in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Bun Cha is simple to make and is eaten all year round.

The meat in this dish is usually charred and crisp on the outside which moist and flavorful in the inside. This dish can be found in restaurants and along the street side.

Banh Cuon

This dish is a typical breakfast option for both locals and expats. Banh Cuon are steamed rice rolls filled with pork and mushroom, covered in a sweet sauce.

Banh Cuon can be found along the streets, usually with staff making these rolls to order. This dish is light and earthy from the rice rolls while flavorful from the different fillings within the rolls.

Ca Phe Trung (Egg Coffee)

This egg coffee dessert is similar to a crème brulee, made with egg yolk, sugar and condensed milk. While Ca Phe Trung is named after a drink, it is best eaten. This dish has a strong flavor of sweet and creamy eggs, thickening this ‘drink’.

This dessert drink can be taken hot or cold. When consuming, it is recommended that you use a spoon to keep its rich and decadent texture.


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