Vietnamese food is a delicious blend of fresh ingredients, intense flavors, and subtlety that is sure to please any palate. The country’s cuisine is reflective of its history and culture, with influences from both China and France. While there are many different dishes to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 must-try foods when in Vietnam. From the iconic Pho noodle soup to the refreshing Summer Rolls, these dishes are sure to satisfy your hunger and leave you wanting more. So, next time you find yourself in Vietnam, be sure to sample some of these delicious dishes!
photo: RODNAE Productions
No trip to Vietnam would be complete without trying Pho noodle soup, the country’s national dish. This delicious noodle soup is made with rice noodles, beef or chicken, and a fragrant broth. It is often garnished with fresh herbs and lime wedges, and can be found all over Vietnam.
2. Banh mi
Banh mi is a popular street food in Vietnam, and for good reason! These sandwiches are made with crusty French bread, fillings such as pork, chicken, or tofu, and topped with pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and chilies. They are the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and spicy, and make for a filling and satisfying meal.
3. Bun cha
Bun cha is another popular Vietnamese dish, typically served for lunch or dinner. It consists of grilled pork, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and dipping sauce. The pork is cooked over charcoal, giving it a unique and delicious flavor.
4. Nem ran/cha gio
Nem ran, or cha gio in Vietnamese, are fried spring rolls. They are made with a variety of fillings, such as ground pork, shrimp, vegetables, and noodles. The spring rolls are then wrapped in rice paper and deep-fried until crispy. They are usually served with dipping sauce on the side.
5. Goi cuon
Goi cuon, or Vietnamese spring rolls, are a light and refreshing alternative to the fried spring rolls. They are made with rice paper wrappers, filled with shrimp, pork, vegetables, and herbs, and served with dipping sauce.
6. Banh xeo
Banh xeo is a Vietnamese crepe, made with rice flour, water, and turmeric. The batter is then fried in a hot pan until it is crispy and golden brown. It is typically filled with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, and served with dipping sauce on the side.
7. Mi Quang
Mi Quang is a type of Vietnamese noodle dish, made with rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables. The noodles are typically dyed yellow with turmeric, giving them a unique flavor and color. The dish is often garnished with fresh herbs, peanuts, and chili peppers.
8. Banh canh
photo: JAN N G U Y E N
Banh canh is a Vietnamese soup made with thick rice noodles and chicken broth. It’s served with shrimp, pork, and a variety of vegetables. Banh canh is often eaten on holidays or special occasions because it’s considered an affordable meal that’s easy to make at home.
9. Banh khot
Banh khot is a miniature version of banh xeo, and is just as delicious. These bite-sized crepes are made with the same batter, and usually filled with shrimp and pork. They are served with dipping sauce on the side, and make for a perfect appetizer or snack.
10. Bun Bo Hue
Bun Bo Hue is a hearty noodle soup, originating from the central city of Hue. It is made with rice noodles, beef, pork, and a flavorful broth. The soup is often garnished with fresh herbs and lime wedges.
Vietnam is a country with a rich culinary tradition, and there are countless dishes to enjoy. However, if you’re only in Vietnam for a short time, these are 10 dishes that you simply must try. So, whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a traditional feast, be sure to check out these 10 essential dishes when you’re in Vietnam. Bon Appetit!