Vietnam is one of our favourite destinations for food and believe us when we say you will not have to worry about being hungry on your trip there. With the streets lined with food vendors cooking up fresh delicacies and traditional favourites, Vietnam takes the phrase ‘street food’ very seriously. With so many things to taste, we’ve compiled our top Vietnamese dishes to try.
In the land of noodle soup, it is absolutely essential to enjoy a traditional Vietnamese Pho. Found on almost every street corner, there are hundreds of variations of Pho to try with each district in Vietnam having its own flare on the dish. This simple staple meal consisting of a salty broth, fresh rice noodles, a sprinkling of herbs and chicken or beef, is popular with both the locals and visitors. There are plenty of places to try it, however one of our favourite joints is Pho Thin in the Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi.
Like the almighty Pho, Bahn Mi is another popular Vietnamese dish that can be found everywhere in the country. A baguette stuffed with pork belly, chilli, Vietnamese herbs, pickled vegetables and other local additions, these gourmet sandwiches are not to be missed.
Originating in Northern Vietnam, these rolled up rice flour pancakes are typically made with ground meat (such as cooked seasoned pork), mined wood ear mushroom, onions/shallots, beansprouts and cucumber. Best served when they are piping hot, soft and delicate, we recommend eating these delicious parcels with a side of fish sauce with chillies and fresh herbs.
A simple dish, but a delicious one, Bun Cha is a noodle soup with grilled pork, served with a plate of noodles and fresh herbs. Based on its simplicity, it is easy to underestimate the popularity of this meal, however it’s the delicious broth and grilled seasoned pork that gets everyone raving about this dish – including President Obama. Originating in Hanoi, this local dish is best eaten in this bustling city.
With a dedicated street in Hanoi for this iconic dish, Cha Ca is a northern Vietnamese speciality that involves marinated pan-fried chucks of fish, seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric and dill, all served on a bed of rice noodles. A dish dating back over 130 years, Cha Ca is one of Hanoi’s signature dishes.
If you love Pho but want a break from the soup, try its sister dish Pho Xao. Stir-fried with onions, beef slices and assorted greens, the flat pho noodles are cooked crisp on the outside but retain a soft texture on the inside. Best served with a fried egg and a side of chilli sauce, this is yet another simple but satisfying Vietnamese dish.
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