If you call yourself a foodie, then Hoi An should definitely be on your radar. The city stunning with rainbow-colored paper lanterns zigzagging between rows of dark yellow houses. But also, it is a special culinary destination. Renowned in Vietnam and the world, street food in Hoi An is something to behold. Culinary gems are in every Hoi An shop corner, and here’s our list of top street food recommendations to make your trip just a bit easier.
1. Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen
Address: 115 Trần Cao Vân, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Opening hours: 6:30am – 7:30pm
Madam Khanh epitomizes banh mi bliss. Serving one of the best sandwiches in the world for over 30 years, the queen is a master of her trade. Tucked away in a corner, Madam Khanh stands at the forefront of her small shop, crafting phenomenal sandwiches while serving hungry customers herself. Her banh mis reign superior, crispier, lighter, and all-in-all tastier. Her small meaty French baguettes are fresh and full of flavour. They come with crunchy raw vegetables, pâté, cilantro, egg, pork, and a drizzle of her secret sauce. Eating your way through her menu is an easy feat. With great service and fantastic ambiance, Madam Khan offers an authentic Hoi An experience you won’t regret!
2. Cao Lau Khong Gian Xanh
Address: 687 Hai Bà Trưng, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Opening hours: 9:30 am – 9pm
As its name conveys, this restaurant is famous for serving a Hoi An specialty: Cao Lau. Translating to pork rice noodles in English, the family-run establishment serves large, affordable, and tasty portions. Located in an inconspicuous side alley, engrossed in trees, and decorated with green paper lanterns, this restaurant, and its yummy noodles will become your go-to! These rice noodles come with char siu pork, fresh herbs and vegetables, rice crackers, and deep-fried pork skin on the top. Yet, what makes this dish special are the rice noodles themselves. They are unique to Hoi An. They get soaked in calcium-rich water from an ancient well and mixed with ashes from local trees on Cham Island. This process gives the noodles a yellow tint, chewy texture, and a smoky flavor.
3. Mi Quang Ong Hai – Mr. Hai Noodles
Address: 6A Trương Minh Lượng, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam 560000
Opening times: 11am – 10pm
Mi Quang is another delicious noodle dish that is rare outside of Hoi An. It features a wider type of rice noodle than Cao Lau and has a small portion of flavourful bone broth (chicken or pork) at the bottom. Mr. Hai tops his noodles with crisp salads and vegetables, slices of roast pork, squares of pork rind, peanuts, rice crackers, prawns, and quail egg. Mr. Hai’s restaurant may be hard to find. But, the queue gives it away. With reasonable prices and mouth-watering food, Mr. Hai will have you ordering in seconds!
4. Aunt Bay’s Banh Beo
Address: By the orange wall on Hoang Van Thu Street
Opening time: Late afternoon (from around 3pm) onwards
Aunt Bay is a street food vendor that only sells Banh Beo or water fern cake. She stands by a mobile cart and a sign that reads “Ba Bay, Banh Beo, Banh Nam.” Typically eaten as a savory snack or appetizer, Banh Beo dishes are small, soft, and steamed rice cakes. They often come with local ingredients in small porcelain bowls. Aunt Bay’s toppings include an orange shrimp and pork-based sauce comprising of fried shallots, red chilies, and deep-fried Cao Lau noodles.
5. Morning Glory Restaurant
Address: 106 Nguyễn Thái Học, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Opening hours: 10 am – 11 pm
Located in the heart of Hoi An’s Ancient Town, you’ll find Morning Glory in a beautiful historic building. The restaurant is well-established and run by celebrity chef, Ms Vy. With an extensive menu of dishes special to the region, Morning Glory is a popular spot for a more upscale dining experience. However, we want to highlight a particular dish that is acclaimed within the restaurant: banh xeo, the sizzling pancake. It is so beloved that there is even a banh xeo station in the centre of the restaurant, allowing diners to watch chefs triumph in their element. Banh xeo itself is crispy and served with a nuoc mam sauce (Vietnamese fish sauce). Fresh ingredients are added to the pancake batter, such as pork, prawns, herbs, and vegetables. The dish is intensely delicious with streaks of sweet and savoury flavours.
6. White Rose Restaurant
Address: 533 Đ. Hai Bà Trưng, Phường Cẩm Phổ, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Opening hours: 7:30 am – 8:30pm
White Rose, a family-run restaurant that has been creating food for decades, has only two items on their menu, with their most famous dish being the white rose dumplings. As a Hoi An delicacy, they are a must-try street food! These dumplings are meticulously made from rice flour, consisting of a pork or prawn filling. The dumplings are chewy as the dough is made in a similar manner to the cao lau noodles, using water from an ancient local well. In White Rose, you receive a massive portion of these tasty dumplings for an affordable price. The White Rose recipe is ultimately a secret one that has been passed down generations. If you see white rose dumplings elsewhere, know that they come from the White Rose Restaurant!
7. Long Com Ga
Address: 16 Phan Chu Trinh, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Opening hours: 11 am – 10pm
Long Com Ga is a delightful restaurant with an outdoor patio and plenty of lanterns. However, it can be hard to find as it is in a back alleyway. Their signature dish, as their name suggests, is com ga or chicken rice. Despite its simple demeanor, this meal is incredibly flavorsome. It has shredded poached chicken tossed with Vietnamese coriander. The restaurant serves light yellow rice, green papaya, carrots, and a side of chicken broth. Long Com Ga also includes an immature chicken egg.
8. Miss Ly Café
Address: 22 Nguyễn Huệ, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam 560000
Opening hours: 11 am – 9pm
Within a five-minute walk from Hoi An’s folklore museum, you’ll stumble upon Miss Ly’s cozy café featuring a wooden setup amidst the ancient shophouses. The charming Miss Ly offers a reasonably priced menu with diverse and authentic items. Here, we recommend the “Hoi An Pizza.” This is an incredibly light and crispy meal made of fried wontons with tomato sauce, prawns, herbs, and fresh vegetables.
9. Street Vendors along Hoi An Riverside
Address: Along the north bank of the Thu Bon River
Opening hours: Evening onwards
In the evening, you’ll witness the banks of the Thu Bon River come alive, with numerous small stalls lighting their barbecues to make bun thit nuong. The latter is a sweet and peppery grilled pork dish made over charcoal, served with rice noodles, green chillies, fresh lettuce, and a peanut-based sauce. You can also opt to eat the grilled, skewered pork on its own. This is merely called thit nuong. Along Hoi An’s scenic riverside, you’ll find the best (bun) thit nuong!
BONUS: The Espresso Station
Address: 28/2 Trần Hưng Đạo, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Opening hours: 7:30 am – 3 pm
A trip to Hoi An wouldn’t be complete without relaxing in the shade with a refreshing iced Vietnamese coffee, ca phe sua da. The base of the drink is an integral layer of sweet, condensed milk that is drenched in a shot of black, filtered, Vietnamese coffee, and altogether chilled with ice cubes. The Espresso Station is a charming place to cool down from the smouldering heat. With wooden furniture, a piercing blue exterior, the set-up is a cozy one. Keep an eye out for this café as it is hidden within the Ancient Town! You don’t want to miss this!