A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam: Our Recommended Street Food Delights

Vietnam, a country known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich history, is equally celebrated for its food. It offers a unique blend of history, culture, and landscapes. 

Vietnamese cuisine reflects the country’s complex history, with influences from China, France, and neighbouring Southeast Asian nations. From aromatic pho to banh mi sandwiches bursting with flavour, the food of Vietnam is as diverse as its geography. 

The bustling streets of Hanoi are a haven for street food lovers, where you can savour flavours that have been perfected over generations. 

In the ancient town of Hoi An, you’ll find restaurants serving centuries-old recipes passed down through families. And in Ho Chi Minh City, modern eateries embrace the fusion of traditional and contemporary cuisine.

Besides, travelling to Vietnam has become seamless for Indians, with the introduction of the E-visa facility. You can simply apply for a Vietnam visa online, and it gets processed within 6-7 business days. So, there are all the more reasons to catch a flight to Vietnam and go on a food walk.

Top 9 places in Vietnam for street food

Let us take you on a culinary journey through Vietnam. Here are our top recommendations that are a must for any food enthusiast- 

1. Pho

No culinary journey through Vietnam is complete without savoring a steaming bowl of pho. This iconic noodle soup is a national treasure and a breakfast staple. 

A broth made from simmering beef bones, star anise, and other spices for hours forms the base of this comforting dish. 

Thin rice noodles are added, along with slices of tender beef or chicken. Fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime wedges are served on the side, allowing you to customize your phone to your liking. 

Where to Try: 

1. Pho Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 

2. Pho Hai Trieu Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City

2. Banh Mi

The banh mi is a quintessential example of Vietnam’s unique culinary history. Introduced by French colonists, the banh mi is a crusty baguette filled with an array of fillings. 

Common ingredients include grilled pork, pate, cucumber, cilantro, and a dollop of mayonnaise. The combination of crispy bread and savory fillings creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that make the banh mi a street food delight.

Where to Try:

  1. Maison de Lien, Hanoi
  2. Tram Banh My, Hanoi

3. Bun Cha

Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, is renowned for its distinct culinary style. One dish that stands out is bun cha, a simple yet satisfying meal. It consists of grilled pork patties and slices of pork belly served in a flavorful broth. 

Accompanied by vermicelli noodles and an abundance of fresh herbs, the interplay of smoky, charred meat with fragrant greens is a sensory delight.

Where to Try: Sample authentic bun cha at Bun Cha Huong Lien in Hanoi, famously visited by President Obama during his Vietnam trip.

4. Goi Cuon

Goi cuon, or fresh spring rolls, provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. 

Thin rice paper is filled with shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli, and other ingredients, creating a roll that’s as colorful as it is delicious. Dunked in a hoisin-peanut dipping sauce, goi cuon is a light yet flavorful treat.

Where to Try:

1. Nha Hang Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City

2. Bun Bo Nam Bo, Hanoi

5. Cao Lau

Cao lau is a regional specialty found only in Hoi An. The secret to this dish lies in the water used to make the noodles, which can only be sourced from a specific well in the town.

The result is a unique noodle with a distinctive texture and flavor. Cao lau is typically served with slices of barbecue pork, fresh herbs, and crispy rice crackers, making it a must-try when visiting Hoi An.

Where to Try: Cao lau is best enjoyed in the local streets of Hoi An.

6. Bun Thit Nuong

In the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, bun thit nuong is a street food classic. Grilled pork is served over a bed of thin vermicelli noodles, often accompanied by crushed peanuts, pickled vegetables, and a generous drizzle of fish sauce. The result is a harmonious medley of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors.

Where to Try: Bun Thit Nuong Chi Tuyen, Ho Chi Minh City

7. Com Tam

Com tam, or broken rice, is a dish born out of resourcefulness. It consists of fractured rice grains that were once considered inferior. 

Today, it’s a celebrated Vietnamese delicacy. Grilled pork, prawns, or fish are common toppings, often served with a fried egg, pickled vegetables, and a side of fish sauce. The unique texture of broken rice adds an extra dimension to the dish.

Where to Try: Com Tam Ba Ghien, Ho Chi Minh City

8. Bun Rieu

Bun Rieu is a Vietnamese noodle soup known for its sweet and savory broth. It’s made from freshwater crabs, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs and spices. 

The result is a rich, red-hued soup that’s brimming with flavor. You’ll find crab meat, tofu, and sometimes even pork in this delightful bowl of noodle soup.

Where to Try: Old Quarter, Hanoi

9. Ca Kho To

Ca kho to is a mouthwatering Vietnamese dish that showcases the art of caramelization. 

This specialty combines the delicate sweetness of fresh fish with the rich umami of caramelized sauce, creating a harmonious and mouth watering experience for the palate.

Where to Try: Ca Kho To 14 in Ho Chi Minh City

So, why should you visit Vietnam? The answer lies in the fragrant bowls of pho, the crispy banh mi sandwiches, and the countless other culinary delights that grace the streets of this remarkable country. 

If you’re a foodie, you will be surprised by the delectables. If you aren’t a foodie, you’ll become a fan! So, pack your bags and discover why Vietnam is not just a destination for travelers but a paradise for food lovers.