Vietnamese food tastes incredible and I loved trying new dishes when visiting the country. It seemed there were particular dishes to certain areas so I thought I would write a blog post all about the food you NEED to try when visiting Vietnam.
There were 2 local dishes that I ate when visiting the beautiful town of Hoi An. We sat one evening along the river bank at a street food place and enjoyed the dish called Cao Lau, this was a dish made of noodles, pork, and local greens. The unique taste and texture is achieved by using water from an ancient well, just outside the town. We loved Cau Lau as it wasn’t like anything we had eaten before, a lot of the dishes in Vietnam were more soup/broth dishes with noodles but this was just noodles and pork. The best bit of the dish was the crackling served on the top, it added a great texture to the dish
At the cookery school, we ate the most incredible dish called Mi Quang, which is also local to Hoi An. This is a noodle dish made with pork, shrimp and quails egg. Again this wasn’t a soup based dish so was a delight to eat. What made this even better for us was that we were taught how to make it. If I was to return to Hoi An I would like to eat at the Streets restaurant, it is advised to book in advance
The local dish in Hue is called Bun Bo Hue (the name is in the title!) It is rice noodles served with beef. It was very tasty and I enjoyed eating another local dish.
Bun Cha is the local dish here and we were taken to an amazing street food restaurant for lunch where the only dish you can buy is Bun Cha and spring rolls. We loved the dish so much we went back the next day for lunch. This dish is minced beef served in broth. You are then served a plate of noodles on the side and you add the noodles to the broth along with salad if you please. The flavour of the dish is incredible and the amount of noodles you are given is incredibly generous. For 25,0000 VND (about 90p), this is the best hot lunch you will eat in Hanoi
Banh Mi can be found all over Vietnam, and I lost count with the number of Banh Mi that I ate! There are many varieties of Banh Mi, but they are basically a sandwich/baguette filled with amazing things. I normally went for the mixed meat, which included many different slices of meat, pate and shredded carrot, lettuce and cucumber. However you can also buy and omelette banh mi too, which are also very popular. I can recommend 3 places to go for an epic Banh Mi, with the first one of the list being my absolute favourite (I had 2 from here!)
Hoi An – Madame Khanh
Madame Khanh is called the Banh Mi Queen, and she most certainly is. The taste was incredible, and the sandwich was not dry at all due to the sauce that Madame Khanh adds to it. For 20,000 VND (72p) this is the best sandwich you will ever eat! Madame Khanh also puts egg (omelette) in her’s, but I requested without.
Saigon – Banh Mi Huynh Hoa
We were lucky that this Banh Mi place was literally right behind our hotel. We grabbed one of these before taking the sleeper train. This place is full of locals and we were the only tourists there. This place doesn’t even look like a food outlet from the outside; however you can tell it is popular due to the large queue snaking outside! There isn’t much organisation here you just queue to one of the many stands inside and wait for your banh mi. They staff here work super-fast and it was fascinating to watch them make sandwich after sandwich. They were even making bulk orders for people! I would definitely recommend this banh mi place when you visit Saigon. These were a little more expensive, but that’s expected in a large city, you will pay 33,000 VND here (£1.18).
Hanoi – Banh Mi 25
This is a very sophisticated Banh Mi shop, you queue up for you order and then told where to sit. We were told to sit in the ‘yellow cafe’. We were then brought our Banh Mi in a basket and sat and enjoyed in the café. This was another tasty banh mi, in particular the crunchy baguette. If you are ever in Hanoi make sure you visit here, its 25,000VND for a mixed meat one, however it is possible to order one meat or even an omelette banh mi.
Funnily enough Vietnam are famous for their coffee, it is also very strong! As the climate is predominantly hot iced coffee’s are very popular in Vietnam. A Vietnamese iced coffee is nothing like you would drink at home because they make it with condensed milk. I lost count the number of iced coffees I enjoyed whilst on my trip, every single one tasted different but they all tasted amazing. I know they are super unhealthy and very sugary but I will most certainly be trying to make my own in the summer!