The street food of Vietnam is a not just food, it’s a culture that has evolved over the years to become one of the specialties of this beautiful country. Vietnam has established itself by spreading the roots of its street food culture over the entire world. Vietnamese street food comprises of the cheapest, the tastiest and most mouth-watering delicacies.
This blog is intended towards fetching the answers to what to eat in Vietnam question for all those perplexed foodie tourists. And what better way to experience the food culture of Vietnam than to stroll down a street packed with food stalls on both the sides with the aroma of all different delicacies mixing together in the air. Pure bliss!
Your eyes soak in the overwhelming sight of the sheer variety of food, your mouth watering and your brain making an attempt choose (with a great difficulty) to what to grab and bite on next. Those are every foodie’s thought in the streets of Vietnam. Are you ready to pull out a plastic stool and experience Man vs Food in Vietnam? As a wise man once said, “A trip to a place is not complete without its cuisine”. Following this saying, here is the 11 best Vietnamese street food that will make you lick your fingers!
11 Street Food Of Vietnam That You Cannot Miss
Walking a block in Vietnam without hearing a slurping sound is next to impossible. That slurping sound is made by those gluttonous patrons having Pho at makeshift Pho stands. Combination of salty broth, fresh rice noodle, chicken or beef, with a mixture of herbs and local spices is a staple diet of Vietnamese. Phoi s one of the cheapest Vietnamese food available at all hours of the day.
Vietnamese food culture is unique in itself. Where the entire world eats rice as an accompaniment to the main dish, the street food of Vietnam offers glutinous rice as an entire meal known as Xoi. Xoi. It is a both sweet as well as savory and an on the go breakfast item. Sweet Xoi is called xoingotwhereas savory is called xoimặn. (Learning some Vietnamese!)
3. Bun Cha
Had a sweet breakfast? Let’s move onto the lunch of Vietnam. Bun Cha, originated in Hanoi, is the top choice when it’s lunchtime. The streets of the city are filled with clouds of meaty smoke as the pieces of seasoned and marinated pork are grilled on the charcoal fire. The crispy pork is served with rice noodles and fish sauce broth with a sprinkle of fresh herbs. When you go out of the capital, the alternate is búnthịtnướng. Hanoi’s first búnchả restaurant was on Gia Ngư, HoànKiếm District, in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Bun Cha is one of best Vietnamese street food and should definitely be on your bucket list of what to eat in Vietnam.
4. Bot Chien
It is a Vietnamese version of fried rice flour cakes. These sticky, starchy thick cakes are sliced and fried in loads of lard (pig fat oil), topped with egg till it becomes crispy and golden brown. BotChienis among the favorite snacks for midnight and the after-school crowd. The sizzling sound of Bot Chien and drizzling sound of raindrops is one of best combination one can ever have.
5. Gio Cuon
This dish is a version of Chinese spring rolls but completely different from it. Confused? Pork, prawns, vegetables, rice vermicelli coated with fish sauce and wrapped neatly in rice paper is what makes this dish divine! Another specialty of GoiCuon is that it is famous among northerners by the name of nem ran, whereas southerners call it cha gio. It is a popular appetizer in Vietnamese restaurants and flag bearer of the street food of Vietnam as it was listed at number 30 on World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011
6. Ca PheTrung
This Vietnamese egg coffee is a drink cum dessert made up with egg yolks and Robusta coffee. A simple dish but the sweetness of sugar, cream of egg yolks and bitterness of Robusta coffee will create a blast of flavors in your mouth. This drink is as popular in the streets as it is in the cafes throughout Hanoi. Combination of Ca PheTrung and bunch of old friends is a match made in heaven.
Winter is coming! Corn has made a vow to the people of Hanoi to protect them in the long night. Grilled, burnt, yellow corn wrapped in the silky green skin is the dish that provides Hanoi warmth in the cold windy nights. The aroma is all over the streets of Hanoi accompanied by the chants of barkeepers, “Hallo…hallo, who wants grilled corn”. Well, Ngo also has a variant in the form of boiled corn which is an all-season food. It brings a whole lot of fiber to your body and this is the healthiest street food of Vietnam.
8. Bun Dau Mam Tom
Fresh Vermicelli, crispy fried Tofu, shrimp paste and fresh vegetables which gives it an aromatic essence. A simple and rustic dish, it has secured its place in Northern Vietnamese street food cuisine. It attracts the majority of middle and low-income class people as it is one of the cheapest Vietnamese food.
Do you think eating pork, chicken, seafood is too mainstream? Consider yourself a Bear Grylls fan? Well, here is Oc for you, only in Vietnam! A winter dish with stir-fried snails accompanied by coconut, tamarind, lemongrass, chili or a simply boiled snail dipped in the sweet and sour fish sauce, all ready to change the way you think of the small, slimy creature!
10. Bun Oc
The snail vermicelli bowl is always colorful with fried tomato, fatty snails, and yellow banana and tofu. The specific taste of snail vermicelli is the perfect combination of the greasy broth and the light sourness of rice vinegar. When eating snail vermicelli, people can add some sliced banana flower and raw veggies for a vermicelli dish with full flavor. It one of the best Vietnamese street food ones can have
11. Banh Tai Yen
Banh Tai Yen means an oatcake but it has no oats. Yes, you read it right! Made of baked rice flour in the center of the cake, coconut milk, and mighty sugar, this dish is all set to hit your sweet tooth if you had too much of spicy savory food. An interesting fact, rural people of Vietnam gave it the name of Oat Cake as it resembled the shape of an Oat. It is also a cheap Vietnamese food which offers you taste and quantity.
Summing It Up
Hoping that this list has given you the answer to the what to eat in Vietnam question. Vietnamese street food culture is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can be turned into mouth-watering dishes and how these dishes can become one of the defining symbols of a country!
“The best Vietnamese food is not found in some cozy and comfortable restaurants but on the plastic stools of the streets”