Any Vietnam travel itinerary will not be complete without a Vietnamese street food tour, since cuisine is a vital part of the country’s culture. Street food in Vietnam has been listed among the top street cuisines of Asia. With diverse dishes, unique flavours, and healthy ingredients, Vietnamese cuisine will definitely not disappoint any tourist!
1. The distinctive features of Vietnamese street food
A highlight of Vietnamese food is its street culinary culture. Vietnamese street food stands out thanks to the unique features that can not be found anywhere else.
First is the flavor. Vietnamese street food offers a wide range of exotic dishes for tourists, catering to the diverse palates of foodies.
Vietnamese street food prices are also very reasonable. Tourists can get the best Vietnamese street food served at local markets and random food carts on the streets. But even some major food courts also offer these dishes at affordable prices. Therefore, you explore Vietnamese food streets without worrying about running out of money.
Vietnamese street food vendors are also the ideal spots for friend gatherings. Imagine sitting at a table next to the busy streets, enjoying tasty street food, and gossiping with your friends - that would definitely make an unforgettable experience!
2. Top 12 delectable Vietnamese street foods to enjoy
Simple yet palatable, these famous Vietnamese street foods will definitely sneak their way into your heart with their impressive flavours.
2.1. Rice paper salad (Banh trang tron)
The first dish to note down in your Vietnamese street food guide is rice paper salad (banh trang tron). Made of rice paper strips, beef jerky, shredded green mango, and sweet basil all mixed together with a signature spicy, sweet, and sour dressing. You can find rice paper salad everywhere in Vietnam, especially in areas near offices, workplaces, and schools.
2.2. Grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice (Chuoi nep nuong)
Grilled banana wrapped in sticky rice is a delicious snack in Southern Vietnam, served with coconut sauce and toasted sesame seeds. It is chewy, has a light crispy texture and a rich, nutty, sweet flavour.
2.3. Vietnamese pizza (Banh trang nuong)
Instead of using rice paper strips like Banh trang tron, Vietnamese pizza (Banh tranh nuong) has a base of flat, thick, and round rice paper. It is grilled on barbeque and topped with egg, minced pork, beef jerky, dried onion, or various other toppings. Vietnamese pizza is usually garnished with fresh herbs and served with mayo, ketchup, or chilli sauce. The crispy rice paper and the soft, flavourful fillings are the key features that will tickle your taste buds.
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2.4. Stir-fried corn (Bap xao)
Stir-fried corn (Bap xao) attracts foodies thanks to its stunning smell. It is impossible for tourists not to stop by some Vietnamese street food vendors with pans of corn sizzling with butter, dried shrimp, and green onion.
2.5. Crab soup (Sup cua)
Crab soup is a favourite food of Vietnamese people regardless of the cold or hot weather. With beaten eggs, mushrooms, quail eggs, and crab meat, this soup dish is widely sold in the streets of Vietnam. To make the taste better, you can add a little pepper, chilli flakes, or chilli sauce depending on your preference.
2.6. Vietnamese sticky rice (Xoi)
In the S-shaped country, you can find sticky rice everywhere with various flavours, ranging from sweet to savoury. It is recommended for tourists to try ‘xoi xeo’ (Vietnamese yellow sticky rice with mung bean and fried onion) - a specialty to be mentioned when we think of Hanoi alley Vietnamese street food.
2.7. Fried rice flour cake with eggs (Bot chien)
Fried rice flour cake with eggs (Bot chien) is served with green onion, shredded papaya, and ketchup or chilli sauce. It is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
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2.8. Fried fish ball (Ca vien chien)
Fish balls, after strung into skewers, will be fried in a pan of hot oil until they swell up with a golden brown colour. This dish is served with chilli sauce and sweet guava sauce. In some places, it is also served with radishes, vinegared carrots, and cucumbers.
2.9. Vietnamese samosa (Banh goi)
Vietnamese samosa attracts foodies with its adorable shape which looks like a pillow (“goi” in Vietnamese) and the appealing dipping sauce. The wrap outside is made from rice flour mixed with water, and the filling consists of minced vermicelli, pork, wood ear, black forest mushroom, and quail egg. It is then deep-fried to create a crispy golden brown crust.
2.10. Green papaya with beef jerky salad (Goi kho bo)
The core ingredients of Goi kho bo is a bed of julienned unripe papaya, layered with shredded beef jerky, roasted peanuts, basil leaves, coriander, and crispy dough crackers. The highlight of this dish is the dressing, which is a balanced mix between sweet, sour, spicy, and savory flavours. Green papaya with beef jerky salad is loved as a light treat that does not cause bloating at all.
2.11. Vietnamese offal stew (Pha lau)
Vietnamese offal stew has a unique flavour that will take you by surprise. The offal, after being cleaned and seasoned with spices, will be fried until it turns golden brown and then stewed with coconut milk. Pha lau served with bread or instant noodles is a favourite dish of many Vietnamese students and office workers.
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2.12. Sweet soup (Che)
Vietnamese che includes hundreds of variations that make unique Vietnamese sweet treats. The usual ingredients that you can find in a bowl or glass of che include (but are not limited to) coconut milk, glutinous rice, jellies, fruits, sweetened beans, and more.
During your Vietnamese street food tour, you should make a list of destinations you want to visit as well as where to stay in advance to have the best experience. Some recommended hotspots are Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc together with the hotel and resort system of Vinpearl - the top-rated brand of accommodation with high-class services in Vietnam. Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Hoi An and Vinpearl Da Nang are always among the most preferred places to stay during a trip to Vietnam.
The Vinpearl system can offer tourists a convenient and luxurious experience. Its five-star hotels and resorts are also linked to other entertainment and relaxation services, including amusement parks, spas, sport clubs, etc., which will surely satisfy the needs of any visitor.
Vietnamese street food offers tourists a diversity of alluring dishes. It is likened to the soul of Vietnamese cuisine in particular and Vietnamese culture in general. All in all, trying Vietnamese street food will give you a fulfilling journey in this S-shaped country, so do not hesitate and plan your trip now!