Food in Vietnam plays an important role in their culture. In fact, all aspects of family and social life revolve around either making or sharing tasty food. Over half of the population in Vietnam makes a living in the food or agriculture industry. This point is proved right within the walls of Ancient Town, called Hoi An. In Vietnam, tasty food is available in every corner of the street, starting from popular Banh Mi to the less popular Vietnamese culture- although the latter one is much tastier than what its name indicates! It seems like people are always either cooking or eating here; of course, this is not surprising in a country with such an extraordinary cuisine. Here are some of the popular street foods in Vietnam.
Street food is the heart and soul of Vietnam. Along the streets, you will find local markets, rickety food carts with plastic tables and chairs, and rustic food joints. Simple and tasty food, these streets foods in Vietnam will tickle your taste buds and become your favorite.
Popular Street Foods in Vietnam
The word, Banh Mi literally means “wheat cake”. It is a rice baguette sandwich. Maybe it cannot be considered as the most adventurous food of Vietnam, but you will love its unique taste. Tourists from different corners of the world love this street food of Vietnam. Belonging to the French colonial period, it is one of the real fusion foods of Vietnam.
Though you may be restricted to egg or pork at the Banh Mi street vendor, filling the choices thrive at several popular haunts; the favourite thing of most of the people is bacon, with an egg and beef. This dish is topped up with fresh leaves and spicy chilli sauce. If you are among those who like spicy foods then, you can always add extra chilli.
Vietnamese cuisine is incomplete without Pho. Above all, it is the national dish of Vietnam. It is not possible to walk through any city or town without coming across a crowd of people enjoying slurping noodles at a pho stall. Pronounced as “fu” as used in fur, the staple food of Vietnam can be eaten any time of the day, but generally, it is eaten during breakfast.
This dish is made of a chicken or beef flavoured broth, along with coriander and ginger. In this mix, spring onions, bits of beef or pork, and flat noodles are added. This is another tasty and healthy dish that you must not miss when in Vietnam.
Hick It is another fabulous dish and one of the specialities of Vietnam. It is a bowl consisting of thick rice noodles, pork cut in different sizes, pork rind croutons, and bean sprouts. These croutons are regarded as the stars of the meal. You can easily have a full bowl of Cao Lau happily.
Nom Hua Chuoi
If you are among those who are less carnivorous, Vietnam has plenty of options for you! Nom Hua Chuoi deciphers to “banana flower salad” and it is one of the popular dishes which does not have any meat in it. The key ingredients of this food are chilli and lime. This combination adds a refreshing taste to the shredded vegetables.
It is believed that Bun Cha was originated in Hanoi. You will come across Bun Cha kitchens and stalls in every corner of the city. This street food is a sort of DIY hamburger, so if you want to enjoy Western-style food, this is the right option.
Rice paper salad (Bánh tráng trộn)
If you feel like having a salad, you are either a health freak or it is because you are missing the Vietnamese rice paper salad. One of the best ways to define this dish is a blast of flavors in a single bite. It is made with strips of rice paper, variants of dried protein- squid, beef jerky, shrimp- and sour green mango, sweet basil, fresh mint, and finally it is signature sweet, sour, and spicy dressing.
Vietnamese sweet dessert (Chè)
If you are looking for something sweet in Vietnamese street food, then you must try Vietnamese sweet dessert (Che). Che is a word to define sweet dessert beverages in Vietnam, comes in various sizes, forms, colors, and flavors. Usually, it is available in the form of soup, pudding, or drinks.
The general ingredients you can find in Che include sweetened beans, coconut milk, colorful jellies, glutinous rice, fruits, and much more. Easily available in local markets, these desserts are great for colling your body in hot summer days.
This tops the list of the best Vietnamese street foods, so you must try this dish. Basically, it is a rolled pancake boiled in a hot pot. It has onion and meat along with it and is served with veggies and fish sauce. Banh Cuon Ba Hoanh and Banh Cuon 101 Ba Trieu are some of the popular places to enjoy Hanoi street food.
While we have mainly discussed Saigon street food and Hanoi street food so far, Cao Lau is a special street food of Hoi An. It is a bowl full of sliced pork, rice noodles, croutons, and bean sprouts. It is regarded as a carnal sin to visit Hoi An and not have Cao Lau for lunch or dinner. Cao Lau is one of the top wholesome street foods in Vietnam.
It is the Vietnamese version of lemon tea and is quite popular among the locals. You will find this special tea in every street corner of Saigon and Hanoi. So, when you visit Vietnam, make it a point to enjoy this tasty drink sitting on the plastic chairs.
Ca Phe Sua Dua
Ca Phe Sua Dua is immensely popular in the country making it one of the most loved street foods in Vietnam. This is a classic Vietnamese drink which includes iced coffee mixed with condensed milk. You do not have to go to an expensive restaurant for tasting this drink as you will get it in the street-side shops.
Com Tam Suon
It is one of the most popular rice dishes of Vietnam, and a popular meal option in the southern parts. This is a popular Vietnam street food in Ho Chi Minh city. Com Tam Suon is a tasty combo of broken rice and grilled pork chop. In its conventional form, this dish is served with fish sauce, sour cucumber pickles, spicy green chilies, and green onion oil to add more taste. Com Tam Suon is easily available in street food joints and small food stalls all over Saigon. You can have this for your lunch or dinner and even for breakfast too.
Converting to “summer rolls” or “salad rolls”, Goi Cuon is translucent Vietnamese spring rolls. They are made with Vietnamese rice paper known as Banh Trang. They are available in both nonveg and veg variations with fillings like tofu, mung bean, squid fish, beef, pork, or crab. In the North, they are fried and are known as Nem Ran whereas in the South they are slow-boiled and are known as Cha Gio. Goi Cuon is generally eaten with peanut or fish sauce. It is generally an appetizer at Vietnamese restaurants but can be found as a quick snack in Vietnamese street food stalls also.