Vietnam, a part of the Southeast Asian countries is famous for its Cuisines. Vietnamese Street food is one of the many highlights the country has to offer. From the capital of Vietnam Hanoi to the largest city in Vietnam known as Ho Chi Minh city, you can see the streets with street food stalls cooking and serving delicious and smelling good Vietnamese dishes. Listed below are some of the best Vietnamese street food that you don’t want to miss when visiting Vietnam.
Popular Vietnamese Street Foods
Pho (Rice Noodle Soup)
Pho is a famous dish in Vietnam and is increasing its popularity in other countries as well. It is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup. The Vietnamese soup consists of the broth, rice noodle called Banh Pho, herbs and meat. Meat that is commonly used with Pho is beef but there are times when chicken, goose and duck are used. There are also an option for vegans.
Since Bun Cha, a traditional pork dish in Vietnam also uses noodles, both are not similar. While the rice noodles used in Pho dish is larger and flat, the rice noodles used with Bun Cha dish has a smaller shape that resembles that of a white rope.
Since Pho can contain different types of meat, here are a few things you need to keep in mind when you order Pho dish relating to the part of the meat in the dish.
- Nạm- Flank
- Gân – tendon
- Sách – tripe
- Bò chín – brisket or well-done flank
- Bò Tái – tenderloin or ribeye
- Bò viên – beef meatballs
While Pho is the national dish in Hanoi, Hu Tieu can be considered as such in Saigon. Since 1950’s, Hu Tieu has been Southern Vietnam’s popular dish.
In every streets and alleys in Saigon, Hi Tieu can be found on street food stalls. Though most of the time, the dish is usually and is best served either for breakfast or for dinner time.
Hu Tieu consists of the broth, pork, minced meat, shrimp, noodles and usually accompanied with chives, lettuce and different types of fresh herbs. Although aside from shrimp and pork used, some would also prefer to choose other ingredients to include such as a squid or a crab.
Goi Cuon or also known as Cha gio is another popular street food in Vietnam. A Vietnamese spring rolls with different varieties of fillings such as meat, seafoods , vegetables (lettuce leaf), Vermicelli and fresh herbs. The rice paper sheets used to roll the fillings is called Bánh Tráng.
Goi Cuon can either be eaten as deep fried or eaten fresh. The fresh Vietnamese spring rolls is called Goi Cuon or sometimes referred to as Summer rolls while the deep fried versions are called Cha Gio.
There are different versions of these spring rolls but the most common are the ones with fillings of meat and shrimps.
To make the ingredients stick to the outer portion of the wrapper, the rice paper is dipped in water first. As a result too, it make the dish look presentable and attractive as the ingredients can be seen through.
Goi Cuon is best served with fermented Fish sauce or Nuoc Mam or Hoisin Sauce.
Cha Gio or also called Nem Ram is the fried version of the Fresh spring rolls called Goi Cuon mentioned above. Although there are different versions of this type of street food depending on the region however the cooking method is still the same.
Cha Gio have three important parts namely : wrapper, stuffing and dipping sauce. The wrapper, as mentioned, is made of rice flour that is either formed as a circle or square. The stuffing is usually consists of eggs, carrot, minced pork, Vietnamese noodle called Mien, fresh herbs and wood ear mushroom. Shrimp, or beef can also be used as an alternative to minced pork. Depending on the region, the ingredients used may differ however the same wrapping and cooking process is still observed. The wrapped stuffing are then deep fried in cooking oil until golden brown. When it comes to the dipping sauce, there are several options to choose from: chili sauce, pepper sauce, fish sauce and or use sugar or lemon juice but the most common dipping sauce is called Nouc Cham.
Com Tam is also known for as Broken rice dish. It is actually a rice dish that is cooked from Tam or Broken Rice.
Com Tam is another popular Vietnamese food dish that is made of rice. Though the rice used is not the normal rice but rather a fractured rice grain (broken rice), the type of rice cannot be replaced with other rice types for this type of dish.
Com Tam is usually served with grilled pork ribs, eggs, meat load, cucumber, carrots, spring onions, and pig skin. Can also be served with caramel shrimps, grilled chicken and or squid.
Banh Canh is a delicious Vietnamese dish that is made of thick noodles that is made from rice flour or tapioca flour. (can also be a mixture of both flours) and broth. The broth is made from either seafood or bones broth. Boneless fish, pork rolls, shrimp and boneless fish are other ingredients added to the dish.
Xio is a Vietnamese food dish known as steamed sticky rice. There are two main types of sticky rice: Xoi man and Xio Ngot.
Xio Man is sticky rice dish with meat while Xio Ngot is stick rice dish without meat. There are four popular sticky rice dishes such as the sticky chicken rice or Xoi Ga, Red sticky rice of Xoi Gac, sticky rice with peanuts or Xoi Dau Phong and the sticky rice with beans or Xoi Dau Xanh.
Mi Quang is a famous noodle dish in Vietnam that originates from the Quang Nam Province, thus the name represents.
The noodles used with Mi Quang dish is made from grated rice flour. The noodles are sliced thinly to about 2mm thick.
The dish is divided into three parts: the first part (under the noodles) are raw vegetables, the middle is the noodles and the top part is topped with shrimps, lean pork. Broth made from bones is then added to the prepared bowl of ingredients mentioned.
To make it more flavorful with rich aroma, it is then topped with fresh herbs, red peppers, parsley and chopped green onions.
Bun Dau Mam Tom (Vermicelli with Fried tofu and Shrimp paste)
Bun Dau Mam Tom is known to be Hanoi’s specialty dish. It is made of Vermicelli noodles, fried tofu and shrimp paste. Additional ingredients includes mint, cucumber, pork belly and perilla leaves. All the ingredients are placed on a banana leaves used as a plate before serving.
Although not every one is a fan of how the strong smell of the shrimp paste, some would opt to use fish sauce instead.
Eating the dish is pretty simple, all you have to do is to pick each pieces then dip on the fermented shrimp paste or fish sauce. Despite the strong smell of shrimp paste, tasting this dish is definitely worth trying since it is one of the features of Vietnamese cuisine.
Bun Bo Hue (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup)
Another delicious Vietnamese noodle soup that originates from Hue, as represented by the name Bun Bo Hue or Bun Bo. But at present times, Bun Bo Hue can now be seen served in other cities and provinces in Vietnam and not just in Hue.
Bun Bo Hue is made of beef broth, thick rice noodles, pigs feet, beef shanks, blood cubes and lemongrass. It has a mixture flavor between spicy, sour, sweet and salty. Together with the noodle beef soup, vegetables such as basil leaves, bean sprouts, chili slices, lemon and banana flowers are added.
Although it may look similar with Pho, the difference between the two is the type of noodle used. With Pho noodles, it is usually flat-like Fettuccine while with Bun Bo Noodles it is more similar to the noodles used in Spaghetti dishes.
Bun Rieu is another Vietnamese noodle dish popular in street food stall. It is made with crab as the base soup and tomatoes.
There are different variations of Bun Rieu: Bun Rieu Ca ( with fish) and Bun Rieu Oc (with shellfish) but the most common variation is the one with crab. With Bun Rieu Cua, minced crab, golden fried tofu and tomatoes are used. Although in some regions, pork is an added ingredient.
Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)
Banh Mi, similar to Pho, is regarded as one of the popular Vietnamese street food. It is a Vietnamese sandwich. Although Banh Mi is not an origin of Vietnam but rather a dish that was brought to Vietnam by the French People during the 19th century. Since then, Saigon adopted the dish and then gradually changing it by adding ingredients to the clamping.
At present, the main ingredients clamp to the sandwich includes eggs, cucumber, tomato, carrots, pork, pork liver pate and herb. Also, you can add anything you like. Additional ingredients are mayonnaise, chili sauce, pickled vegetables and daikon that are shredded.
Banh Mi or the Vietnamese sandwich can be easily found in every street corners all over Vietnam.
Banh Xeo (Pancake)
Banh Xeo or also known as Vietnamese Pancake is a popular Vietnamese street food. It made using rice flour batter and eggs that are beaten. It is then folded into half, it may similarly look like a taco. Fillings such as shrimp, pork and bean sprouts are then added in the middle.
The term Xeo simply describes the sizzling sound that can be heard then you pour the rice batter to the hot oil for frying. If you notice some versions wherein the outer layer of some Pancakes are yellow, that is because if Turmeric was used.
For added flavor to the delicious street food, you can dip it in a dipping sauce that is made of liver with peanuts and minced pork.
To eat Banh xeo, you can eat it using your hands. Banh Xeo is usually wrapped with rice paper (Banh Trang) then dip in another dipping sauce called Nuoc Mam or fish sauce.
Banh Cuon is a Vietnamese steamed rice rolls. A Vietnamese street food that originates from Hanoi and Northern Vietnam.
A popular dish that is made from rice flour and stuffed with fillings such as minced meat or pork, wood ear mushrooms that are finely chopped, dried onions. To top it all, dipping sauce made of fish sauce for that added flavor.
Best served with Vietnamese pork sausage or Cha, to enhance the flavor of Banh Cuon.
Banh Trang Thit Heo
If you notice, rice paper is usually used in most of the Vietnamese delicious dishes. To prepare the dish, the rice needs to be soaked overnight. The following day, it is then grounded into powder form then that’s how rice paper is made. For the rice paper to be soft, it should be exposed and placed outside. That is why in modern time, rice paper is also called rice paper frost.
Banh Trang Thit Heo is made by combining the rice paper frost and different ingredients such as boiled pork and different types of vegetables such as lettuce, guava leaves, chives and basil.
These are savory Vietnamese mini pancakes that is super light but with a crispy and golden brown batter. A delicious food snack in Vietnam that originates from Vung Tau. It is usually topped with shrimps and its has a coconut milk flavor.
Banh Khot is best served with a flavorful dipping sauce such as a fish sauce and added with vegetables that includes perilla, lettuce and papaya.
Banh Trang Nuong (Vietnamese Pizza)
Another popular street food in Vietnam, specifically in Ho Chi Minh City is the Banh Trang Nuon. It is made of rice paper that is grilled on a barbecue. It is sprinkled on top with minced pork, onions, prawns, quail eggs, sausage and chili sauce.
To eat the crunchy and crispy snack, you can slice or break it similar to that when eating a pizza.
Ca Phe Trung (Egg Coffee)
Ca Phe Trung originated from Hanoi region in Vietnam. As the name represents, the main ingredients used in preparind this are eggs and coffee. As unique as its name, it is a must-try experience when visiting Hanoi.
It is usually prepared using egg yolks and black coffee. Condensed milk is then whipped to the mixture for that creamy cup of egg coffee.
Difference between Bun Thit Nuon and Bun Cha
Bun Thit Nuong and Bun Cha are often used interchangeably in Southern Vietnam. But each dish can be distinguished in the slicing of the meat.
With Bun Thit Nuong, grilled pork are thinly sliced whereas with Bun Cha grilled pork are sliced into squares and is often accompanied with meatballs.
Bun Thit nuong is usually served with vegetables such as lettuce, basil, mint, bean sprouts and sprinkled with fish sauce. Vermicelli noodles are also added. Whle with Bun Cha, the vegetables and the vermicelli are served using a separate bowls. This means that when Bun Cha is served, two separate bowls are placed on the table. The grilled meat on one bowl, fish sauce on the other.
Banh Tam Bi
Banh Tam Bi is made from sticky rice and tapioca noodles that are thick. The dish is then topped with fresh herbs and meat (pork). Combined with coconut cream dressing made from coconut milk. The dressing can only be bough in South Vietnam.
The Vietnamese street food is not only a list of delicious Vietnamese dishes but also manifests Vietnamese culture and its lifestyle. Vietnamese street food sold by many street food vendors is loved not only by locals but by tourists as well. So the next time you visit Vietnam, you should definitely add exploring and trying the street foods in Vietnam to make your visit worthwhile.
From the lists of best Vietnamese street food mentioned, which ones have you tried and which one is your favorite. Let us know what you think.