Viet-NOM will no doubt have your mouth-watering! Prepare to have all your senses buzzing as you set foot down the thriving streets. Eat like a local and experience the flavours of Vietnam while being amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. After all, eating like a local means the food is sure to be as authentic as it gets! The food in Vietnam really is un-pho-gettable! Here are 5 must-try street foods:
Ahh the classic pho, this may be the most obvious choice but for good reason! It really is to die-pho (sorry, not sorry). This local daily staple is made up of delicious rice noodles in a flavoursome savoury broth, topped with either thin slices of beef or chicken with chilli and herbs to garnish. Nothing quite like a hearty, full of flavour, bowl of absolute goodness!
2. Banh Mi
Once you set foot in Vietnam, you’ll likely find yourself devouring this popular street food daily. Luckily you can pretty much find them around every street corner. This Vietnamese-style baguette is a product of French colonisation, but boy does this combo sure work! Although you can find many different variations and toppings in Banh Mi, a classic one is typically made up of pork, pâté, pickled vegetables, cucumber, chilis, fresh coriander and mayonnaise.
3. Banh Xeo
Who doesn’t love a pancake!? This crispy Vietnamese pancake, inspired by French crepes, is made up of rice flour, water and turmeric powder. Once poured into the pan, it quickly begins to sizzle, forming a crisp pancake which is then filled with a mix of ingredients including pork, chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts and spring onion. Usually served with fresh herbs, lettuce, or rice paper with a fermented peanut dipping sauce. This street eat is far from fine dining. You’ll often find the locals sitting on the street in little chairs eating this finger food. But it really is as authentic as it gets!
4. Spring Rolls
You can’t go wrong with a classic Vietnamese spring roll, they’re an absolute crowd pleaser! Picky eaters, we’re looking at you! These can be filled with a variety of ingredients from pork, prawns, vegetables and herbs which are wrapped in rice paper. If you’re feeling the health-buzz go for the fresh ones, also known as ‘summer rolls’ or gỏi cuốn. Or treat yo self and order the deep-fried ones also known as chả giò, those hit just a little bit different!
5. Bun Cha
You can thank Barack Obama for putting this street food on our radars after he ate it on Anthony Bourdain’s TV show! Bun Cha comprises of grilled pork shoulder and vermicelli rice noodles with a sweet savoury sauce and is typically served with lettuce, herbs, bean sprouts, chilli and chopped peanuts. If you’re extra hungry, be sure to order a side of Nem which is a fried crispy spring roll that makes the perfect accompaniment on the side of Bun Cha.
If you’d like to experience the deliciousness Obama and Bourdain sampled, head to Bun Cha Huong Lien in Hanoi. This thriving humble joint only has Bun Cha on the menu. Not only is it popular among tourists, but also the locals, so you know it’s going to be good! When you go up the stairs, you’ll even find Obama and Bourdain’s table in a glass case that you can sit next to.
6. Egg Coffee
Yes, this ones a drink and not exactly a food, but once you have one, you will most definitely feel like you’ve just ate a whole dessert. This Hanoi invention is like a Crème Brulee in a mug. Made up of egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and coffee, this drink may sound quite strange but don’t let the name fool you! It’s extremely rich, but absolutely delish! For a classic Hanoi experience, sip on egg coffee while sitting outside a little café next to the tracks of Hanoi’s train street. It really doesn’t get much more Hanoi than this!
Hungry for more?! Eat your way through an un-pho-gettable holiday and follow your taste buds to Vietnam!
Check out our Vietnam tours here, your taste buds will thank you later!