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Northern Vietnamese food: Top 25 dishes to try on your culinary journey

21/01/2024 12.132

From the iconic Pho and Bun Cha to lesser-known gems like Banh Cuon and Cha Ca, every Northern Vietnamese food tells a story of centuries-old recipes passed down through generations.

Northern Vietnamese food

Prepare to indulge in the captivating flavors of Northern Vietnam, where culinary traditions blend harmoniously with breathtaking landscapes. In this culinary paradise, Northern Vietnamese food unveils a mesmerizing tapestry of robust flavors, aromatic herbs, and delightful textures. Join us as we embark on a tantalizing exploration of Northern Vietnamese cuisine, where each bite offers a captivating glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage.

1. Northern Vietnamese food: Top 8 must-try dishes in the Northwestern region

The Northwestern region of Vietnam, encompassing the provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, and Son La, is a haven for culinary enthusiasts seeking authentic Northern Vietnamese food. Here are the top 8 must-try dishes that exemplify the region's gastronomic delights:

  • Thit trau gac bep (Smoked buffalo meat): Savory and smoky, this dish features succulent buffalo meat infused with rich flavors from the smoking process.
  • Thit lon cap nach: Known as free-range pork, this tender meat is cherished for its robust taste and natural tenderness.
  • Pa Pinh Top: A specialty of Lai Chau, this aromatic dish combines fragrant herbs and tender meat to create a memorable culinary experience.
  • Thang co ngua: This hearty horse meat soup captures the essence of the region with its bold flavors and comforting warmth.
Northern Vietnamese food
  • Nam Pia: A unique fermented pork product, Nam Pia offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures, showcasing the region's culinary ingenuity.
  • Reu da nuong (Grilled moss): Unconventional yet intriguing, this Northern Vietnamese food features grilled moss, offering a distinctive earthy flavor.
  • Be chao Moc Chau: Indulge in the aroma of grilled dairy calf, a delectable specialty from Moc Chau, where the tender meat is seasoned to perfection.
  • Xoi ngu sac (Five-color sticky rice): Vibrant and visually appealing, this colorful sticky rice dish showcases the creativity and artistry of Northern Vietnamese cuisine.

These dishes epitomize the culinary treasures of the northwestern region, inviting you to embark on a flavorful journey through Northern Vietnamese food.

>>> Explore: Vietnamese food: The TOP 10 must-try dishes in 2023

2. Northern Vietnamese food: 6 specialties in the Northeastern region

Explore the culinary paradise of Vietnam's Northeastern region, home to provinces such as Phu Tho, Tuyen Quang, Thai Nguyen, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Bac Kan, Lang Son, and Bac Giang. Delight in the exceptional assortment of local specialties that this region offers, as we invite you to embark on a flavor-filled journey through these 6 irresistible Northern Vietnamese foods:

Northern Vietnamese food
  • Vit quay 7 vi (7-flavor grilled duck): Indulge in the succulent flavors of grilled duck infused with a harmonious blend of seven spices, offering a tantalizing explosion of taste.
  • Pho chua (Sour Pho): This delightful variation of Pho takes a tangy twist with the addition of sour broth, creating a refreshing and zesty noodle soup experience.
  • Nem nuong Huu Lung: Savory grilled pork sausages, originating from Huu Lung, are renowned for their juicy texture and irresistible smoky aroma.
  • Chao au tau Ha Giang: Ha Giang's special rice porridge is enriched with tender bamboo shoots, creating a comforting and nourishing dish perfect for breakfast or any craving.
  • Ca nuong Bac Kan (Bac Kan grilled fish): Feast on the flavors of Bac Kan with this grilled fish dish, featuring perfectly cooked fish that is tender and infused with aromatic herbs and spices.
Northern Vietnamese food
  • Thit chua Thanh Son (Thanh Son sour meat): Thanh Son's unique sour meat showcases marinated pork that strikes a delightful balance between tangy and savory, resulting in a distinctive flavor profile.

>>> Discover: Vietnamese street food: TOP 12 toothsome dishes to savor on your trip

3. Northern Vietnamese food: 11 Popular dishes from the Red River Delta region 

Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of the Red River Delta region, which encompasses 11 provinces including Bac Ninh, Ha Nam, Hanoi, Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Hung Yen, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Thai Binh, Vinh Phuc, and Quang Ninh. Explore the vibrant flavors of this region with these 11 popular dishes:

Northern Vietnamese food
  • Pho: A beloved Vietnamese noodle soup, known for its flavorful broth and tender rice noodles, often topped with beef or chicken.
  • Bun cha (Vietnamese rice noodles with grilled pork): Grilled pork patties served with rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a tangy dipping sauce, creating a delicious combination of flavors.
  • Banh cuon (Vietnamese steamed rice rolls): Delicate rice flour rolls filled with minced pork and mushrooms, served with a side of savory dipping sauce.
  • Ca kho Nhan Hau (Nhan Hau braised fish): Nhan Hau-style braised fish, featuring tender fish cooked in a flavorful caramelized sauce with hints of ginger and spices.
  • Banh mi cay Hai Phong: Hai Phong-style spicy banh mi, a delectable combination of crusty baguette, savory fillings, and spicy chili sauce.
  • Com chay Ninh Binh (Ninh Binh Rice Crust): Crispy rice crust topped with various ingredients such as shredded pork, dried shrimp, and green onions, creating a delightful texture and flavor contrast.
Northern Vietnamese food
  • Banh xiu pao: Soft steamed buns filled with a savory mixture of minced pork, mushrooms, and other aromatic ingredients, offering a delightful bite-sized treat.
  • Seafood in Quang Ninh: Indulge in a wide array of fresh and succulent seafood dishes, ranging from grilled prawns and steamed clams to seafood hotpots.
  • Bun thang: A delicate and elegant noodle soup featuring thin vermicelli noodles, chicken, egg, mushrooms, and other garnishes, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
  • Bun dau mam tom: A popular Northen Vietnamese food consisting of crispy tofu, vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and a pungent fermented shrimp sauce called mam tom.
  • Banh da cua Hai Phong: Hai Phong-style crab noodle soup, featuring wide rice noodles, succulent crab meat, and a flavorful broth, provides a delightful taste of the sea.

In addition to savoring the signature Northern Vietnamese food mentioned earlier, be sure to explore a variety of other mouthwatering delights, such as Vietnamese fish cake, Vietnamese bread, Vietnamese summer rolls, Pho rolls, Vietnamese spring rolls, Vietnamese salad, and Vietnamese noodles.

Northern Vietnamese food

While Northern Vietnamese food is undeniably a highlight of any Vietnam travel experience, the country's allure extends far beyond its culinary treasures. A journey through Vietnam is an opportunity to explore renowned tourist destinations that captivate the imagination. From the pristine beaches of Phu Quoc and the vibrant coastal city of Nha Trang to the enchanting ancient town of Hoi An and the bustling metropolis of Da Nang, each destination offers its own unique charm and attractions. And who can resist the allure of Ha Long Bay, with its breathtaking limestone formations and emerald waters?

Northern Vietnamese food

As you embark on your journey through Vietnam, you can enhance your Vietnam food travel experience by booking your stay at Vinpearl, the leading hospitality brand in the country. With properties located in some of Vietnam's most popular destinations, Vinpearl offers a seamless blend of luxury, comfort, and stunning surroundings. From pristine beachfront resorts to elegant city retreats, Vinpearl ensures that your stay is marked by world-class amenities, impeccable service, and breathtaking views.

Northern Vietnamese food


Northern Vietnamese food

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Northern Vietnamese food is a culinary treasure trove that embodies the rich flavors, cultural heritage, and regional diversity of the northern region of Vietnam. From the hearty and aromatic soups to the vibrant and fresh spring rolls, each dish tells a story of tradition, craftsmanship, and the love for good food. The distinct ingredients, unique cooking techniques, and harmonious balance of flavors create a culinary experience that is both satisfying and captivating. Whether you have a penchant for the bold and spicy flavors of the northwest, the subtle and nuanced dishes of the northeast, or the vibrant and diverse offerings of the Red River Delta, Northern Vietnamese dishes promise to take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.

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