Vietnam is a food lover’s paradise, with a cuisine that is both diverse and delicious. From the iconic pho noodle soup to the famous banh mi sandwich, Vietnam offers a range of flavors and dishes that will delight any palate. Embarking on a food tour in Vietnam is an excellent way to explore the country’s culinary traditions and sample its famous street food. Here is a travel guide to help you plan your food tour in Vietnam.
Hanoi is a must-visit destination for foodies in Vietnam. The city’s street food scene is legendary, with vendors selling everything from banh cuon (steamed rice rolls) to bun cha (grilled pork noodle soup) and egg coffee. The Old Quarter is the perfect place to start your food tour, with narrow streets lined with food stalls and restaurants. Next, visit the Dong Xuan market to try some of Hanoi’s famous snacks, such as pillow cakes and fried dumplings.
Hue, located in central Vietnam, is known for its imperial cuisine, characterized by its bold flavors and detailed presentation. However, the city’s street food scene is equally impressive, with vendors selling specialties such as banh khoai (pancake stuffed with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts) and banh bot loc (steamed tapioca dumplings). Also, try the famous bun bo Hue (spicy beef noodle soup) and bun thit nuong (grilled pork noodle salad).
Hoi An is a charming town located on the central coast of Vietnam, known for its historic architecture and vibrant food scene. The town’s night market is a great place to sample local specialties, such as cao lau (thick rice noodles with pork and herbs) and banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich). Get a cooking class to learn how to make some of Hoi An’s famous dishes, such as white rose dumplings and mi quang (turmeric noodles with pork and shrimp).
Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, is Vietnam’s largest city and a hub of street food culture. The city’s bustling markets and food stalls offer a dizzying array of options, from pho bo (beef noodle soup) to banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes filled with pork and shrimp). Sample some of the city’s famous snacks, such as banh trang nuong (grilled rice paper with egg and green onions) and bot chien (fried rice flour cakes).
The Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam is known for its fertile land and abundant crops. The region’s cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh ingredients, such as tropical fruits and herbs. Take a food tour of the Mekong Delta to sample local specialties, such as hu tieu nam vang (pork and shrimp noodle soup), banh tam bi (pork and shrimp tapioca noodle salad), and ca tai tuong chien xu (fried elephant ear fish).
Danang is a coastal city in central Vietnam that is famous for its beaches, but it’s also a food lover’s paradise. The local cuisine in Danang is a blend of Central and Southern Vietnamese flavors, and one of the city’s must-try dishes is banh xeo, a crispy pancake made with rice flour and turmeric. Other local specialties include mi quang, a noodle dish with shrimp, pork, and vegetables, and bun cha ca, a fish cake noodle soup.
Ninh Binh is a province in northern Vietnam popular for its stunning natural landscapes, including limestone karsts and scenic rivers. The local cuisine in Ninh Binh is known for its simplicity, with many dishes featuring fresh herbs and vegetables. Some must-try words include com chay, a crispy rice dish served with soy sauce, and bun cha ca, a fish cake noodle soup. Ninh Binh is also famous for its goat meat, often used in stews and soups.
Phu Quoc is an island off the coast of Southern Vietnam known for its pristine beaches and stunning coral reefs. The island’s geography influences the local cuisine in Phu Quoc, focusing on seafood and tropical fruits. Some must-try dishes include ca nuong, grilled fish served with fresh herbs and rice paper, and bun ken, a noodle soup with shrimp and squid.
Dalat is a mountainous city in central Vietnam known for its cool climate and picturesque landscapes. The local cuisine in Dalat is a blend of Vietnamese and French flavors, reflecting the city’s colonial history. Some must-try dishes include banh trang nuong, a grilled rice paper dish with egg, pork, and cheese, and nem nuong, grilled pork sausage served with fresh herbs and rice paper.
Quy Nhon is a coastal city in central Vietnam that is known for its long stretches of pristine beaches and fresh seafood. The local cuisine in Quy Nhon is focused on seafood dishes, with many local specialties featuring fish, squid, and shrimp. Some must-try dishes include banh hoi, a noodle dish served with grilled pork, and bun cha ca, a fish cake noodle soup.
In summary, Vietnam is a food lover’s paradise, with each region offering its unique flavors and dishes. If you’re looking to explore some of the lesser-known food tour destinations in Vietnam, consider visiting Danang, Ninh Binh, Phu Quoc, Dalat, and Quy Nhon. Be sure to sample some of the local specialties and embrace the culinary diversity of this beautiful country.
Tips for Food Tours in Vietnam
When embarking on a food tour in Vietnam, there is a handful things to keep in mind. First, be adventurous and try new dishes. Vietnam’s cuisine is diverse, and there is always something new to discover. Second, be mindful of hygiene and only eat at clean and reputable food stalls and restaurants. Third, be prepared for the heat and humidity, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Finally, learn some basic Vietnamese phrases to help you communicate with locals and navigate menus.