When you visit Vietnam, make it a point to try the best Vietnamese street foods! If you’re wondering what to eat in Vietnam, explore 10 traditional Vietnamese dishes.
Vietnam street foods came about over many years and have a long and complicated history. This history, which includes occupations by the Chinese, Japanese, and most notably, the French in Vietnam, has resulted in a cuisine that is a culmination of these influences as well as, the influences of their neighbors, Thailand and Cambodia. There are so many delicious flavors around Asia, also consider visiting Thailand (here are some Thailand travel tips and things to know before visiting Thailand). This set the scene for some of the best Vietnamese street foods to come about!
10 Of The Best Vietnamese Street Foods To Try When You Visit Vietnam
Cultural and climatological differences between three distinct areas in Vietnam, the north, the central highlands and the south, have contributed to a diverse culinary tradition. Although some of the ingredients, such as cilantro, scallions, rice noodles, oyster and fish sauce, green papaya, mint, lime, and mung bean sprouts, are present in many Vietnam street foods, the various methods of preparation bring forward a unique diversity of flavors.
Wandering through the streets of the cities of Vietnam will present visitors with a variety of delightful street fare, and the following ten best Vietnamese street foods are must-haves for a visit to this wondrous country.
1. Bánh mì (Shredded Pork Sandwich)
A Vietnamese standard, many people think that this is one of the best Vietnamese street foods. With obvious French influences, this sandwich of shredded pork, pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, served on a baguette is now a worldwide sensation. Vietnamese style baguettes, which are made with the inclusion of rice flour have a crispier crust and less dense center than traditional baguettes. Every vendor will put his or her twist on this classic so you might want to try more than one.
2. Bột Chiên (Rice Cake)
This is one of the more interesting street foods in Vietnam. Bột Chiên incorporates small cubes of rice cake fried in lard until golden. The crispy rice cubes are mixed with beaten eggs, cooked into an omelet and served with a sweet and tangy sauce. This dish, a late night staple, should be enjoyed any time of day and is particularly good when topped with fresh green onion and green papaya.
3. Cơm tấm sườn nướng (Broken Rice and Pork)
Cơm tấm, or broken rice, is made up of rice grains damaged during harvest or milling. Broken rice has the nutritional equivalence of unbroken rice but was traditionally cheaper and considered a peasant food because of its appearance. It has since gained popularity because of its texture and starchiness. Cơm tấm sườn nướng, a favorite street food in Vietnam consists of broken rice, a tender pork chop or shredded pork, fish sauce, green onion oil, and chilis. A variety of toppings offered by different street vendors may include fried eggs, pork skins, and sausage.
4. Bánh Tráng Trộn (Rice Paper Salad)
A relative newcomer to Vietnamese cuisine, Bánh Tráng Trộn consists of rice paper strips, green mango, squid, salted fish and quail eggs tossed with a sweetened vinegar and soy dressing served as a snack in little baggies. This unique dish, seen as somewhat of a junk food, is most popular among the younger generations.
5. Bánh Khọt (Coconut Rice Cake)
Crispy miniature pancakes made from a coconut milk infused rice batter are a familiar snack food in the streets of Vietnam. Often stuffed with shrimp and mung bean sprouts, these fun little cakes are accompanied by the usual fresh herbs, carrot and daikon pickles, and a vinegar soy dressing.
6. Gỏi cuốn (Cold Spring Roll)
The Vietnamese people are masterful at creating food that is entirely satisfying without being too filling. Cold spring roll is a perfect example. Vermicelli noodles, pork, shrimp, raw vegetables and fresh herbs rolled into a soft rice paper wrapper. These little portable packets are ideal for a sightseeing snack, a great food to eat in Vietnam.
7. Bánh xèo (Sizzling Cake)
Similar to a crepe or a blintz, the bánh xèo is an example of Cambodian influence in Vietnamese cuisine. A batter made of rice flour and turmeric is poured into a hot skillet and stuffed with fatty pork, shrimp, green onion and cooked sprouts. Bánh xèo varies significantly between the different regions of Vietnam, however, regardless of where you indulge in this specialty, it is considered a comfort food to be shared with family and loved ones. This truly sounds like one of the best Vietnamese street foods, the flavors sound amazing!
8. Bún riêu (Crab Noodle Soup)
Bún riêu is the ultimate Vietnamese comfort food. When mushrooms, crispy tofu, and rice noodles are added to a spicy fermented crab and stewed tomato broth, you can almost feel its healing powers going to work. Eggs added to the broth give this soup a heartier body and stick to your ribs quality, that is not present in most noodle soups.
9. Phở Gà (Chicken Noodle Soup)
Not as well known as the beef version, the chicken broth in this version of one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes, Phở, has layers of flavor developed through the use of charred onion and ginger, toasted coriander seeds, a touch of rock sugar and star anise. Flat rice noodles and chicken pieces float in this gorgeous broth and are garnished with cilantro, mint, sprouts, and lime for a rejuvenating and satisfying meal.
10. Bánh tằm bì (Coconut Noodles)
A departure from the usual spice that can exist in Vietnamese cuisine, Bánh tằm bì is an excellent choice for those that are not partial to heat. Thick rice and tapioca noodles, fresh mint, cilantro, and pork are tossed with a slightly sweet coconut cream sauce to create a rich, savory and indulgent treat.
Enjoy trying some of the best street food in Vietnam!
The next time you’re in Vietnam, these are some of the best Vietnamese street foods to try. This article was written by Victoria, a home working mom and a blogger behind HowDaily.com. She loves traveling and write about her experience on the journey through authentic, original taste or traditional cuisine!