Vietnam Cuisine

23rd April 2024

23 Popular Dishes in Vietnam: Vietnamese Cuisine Unleashed

Are you ready to embark on a mouthwatering journey through the popular dishes of Vietnam? If so, we’ve got you covered in this blog post.

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and discover the vibrant flavors that make Vietnamese cuisine truly unforgettable!

From our past experience of leading group trips here, we have immersed ourselves in the culinary wonders of Vietnam and unearthed the most popular dishes that locals and travelers rave about.

So, why should you listen to us? Because we’ve tasted the sizzling grilled meats, savored the aromatic broths, and indulged in the crispy delights firsthand.

Trust us as your guide to the delectable world of popular dishes in Vietnam. Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of this vibrant cuisine together!

1. Pho (Beef Noodle Soup)

Pho (Beef Noodle Soup)

Pho, a quintessential Vietnamese dish, is a symphony of flavors harmoniously combined in a fragrant beef broth. Thin rice noodles swim alongside tender slices of beef, accompanied by an assortment of fresh herbs and condiments.

Savored by locals and travelers alike, Phở is a beloved culinary masterpiece that captures the essence of Vietnam.

  • Where to Eat: Pho Gia Truyen (49 Bát Đàn, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội)
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM

2. Banh mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

Banh mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

A fusion of French and Vietnamese culinary traditions, Banh mi is a delightful marriage of flavors and textures. Crispy French baguettes are filled with an array of ingredients, such as succulent grilled pork, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and a smear of pâté.

The result is a harmonious balance of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors that will leave you craving more.

  • Where to Eat: Banh mi Phuong (2B Phan Châu Trinh, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam)
  • Opening Hours: 6:30 AM – 9:30 PM

3. Goi Cuon (Spring Rolls)

Goi Cuon (Spring Rolls)

Goi Cuon, also known as fresh spring rolls, is a delightful appetizer that showcases the vibrant colors and flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Delicate rice paper is filled with a medley of fresh herbs, vermicelli noodles, and your choice of protein, such as shrimp or pork.

The rolls are served with a delectable peanut dipping sauce, adding a touch of sweetness and nuttiness.

  • Where to Eat: Nha Hang Ngon (160 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh)
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 10:30 PM

4. Bun cha (Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)

Bun cha (Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)

Bun cha is a classic Vietnamese dish that tantalizes the senses with its smoky grilled pork and delicate rice vermicelli noodles. Grilled pork patties and succulent slices of pork belly are served with fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, and a flavorful dipping sauce.

The combination of grilled meats, refreshing herbs, and savory sauce creates a harmonious blend of flavors.

  • Where to Eat: Bun Cha Huong Lien (24 Lê Văn Hưu, Phạm Đình Hồ, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội)
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

5. Ca kho to (Caramelized Fish in Clay Pot)

Ca kho to (Caramelized Fish in Clay Pot)

Cá kho tộ, a popular Vietnamese comfort food, is a succulent dish featuring caramelized fish simmered in a clay pot. The fish is cooked to perfection in a flavorful blend of fish sauce, caramel, garlic, and chili, resulting in tender and savory bites.

This dish is often enjoyed with steamed rice, allowing you to savor every morsel of the rich and aromatic sauce.

  • Where to Eat: Ca Kho To 107 Nguyen Truong Tộ (107 Nguyễn Trường Tộ, Phường 8, Quận 4, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

6. Bun bo Hue (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup)

Bun bo Hue (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup)

Bun bo Hue is a fiery and aromatic soup that originates from the central region of Vietnam. This bold and spicy noodle soup features tender slices of beef, rice noodles, and a rich broth infused with lemongrass, chili, and fermented shrimp paste.

The complex flavors of Bún bò Huế are a testament to the region’s culinary prowess.

  • Where to Eat: Bun Bo Hue Cam 6A (6A Trần Thúc Nhẫn, Phú Thọ, Thành phố Huế)
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

7. Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Savory Pancake)

Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Savory Pancake)

Banh Xeo, a delightful Vietnamese savory pancake, is a crispy and golden delight that bursts with flavors. Made from a rice flour batter infused with turmeric, coconut milk, and scallions, Bánh xèo is filled with a variety of ingredients such as shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.

This savory pancake is typically wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves and herbs, then dipped in a tangy fish sauce.

  • Where to Eat: Banh Xeo 46A (46A Đinh Công Tráng, Tân Định, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

8. Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)

Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)

Bánh cuốn is a delicate and flavorful Vietnamese dish that showcases the art of steaming thin rice flour sheets. These silky rolls are filled with a mixture of minced pork, wood ear mushrooms, and shallots, then served with a side of aromatic fish sauce.

The combination of textures and flavors in Bánh cuốn creates a delightful culinary experience.

  • Where to Eat: Banh Cuon Gia Truyen Thanh Van (12 Trần Khánh Dư, Cửa Nam, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội)
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM

9. Bo la lot (Grilled Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaf)

Bo la lot (Grilled Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaf)

Bò lá lốt is a tantalizing dish that features flavorful beef wrapped in aromatic betel leaves. The beef is marinated in a mixture of lemongrass, garlic, and fish sauce, then grilled to perfection, infusing the betel leaves with a smoky and fragrant essence.

These delicious parcels are often enjoyed with fresh herbs and a tangy dipping sauce.

  • Where to Eat: Quan Bo La Lot Ninh Hoa (185 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường 7, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh)
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

10. Com tam (Broken Rice with Grilled Pork)

Com tam (Broken Rice with Grilled Pork)

Cơm tấm is a beloved Vietnamese dish that showcases the beauty of broken rice paired with succulent grilled pork. The broken rice grains are slightly shorter and wider, providing a unique texture that absorbs the flavors of the accompanying dishes.

The grilled pork, marinated with a blend of spices and sauces, adds a smoky and savory element to the dish.

  • Where to Eat: Com Tam Ba Ghien (84 Đặng Văn Ngữ, 14, Phú Nhuận, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh)
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM

11. Cha gio (Fried Spring Rolls)

Cha gio (Fried Spring Rolls)

Chả giò, or fried spring rolls, are a crispy and savory delight that captivates food lovers with their golden exterior and delectable fillings. These rolls are typically stuffed with a mixture of minced pork, mushrooms, vegetables, and vermicelli noodles, then deep-fried to perfection.

The result is a satisfying crunch that gives way to a burst of flavors.

  • Where to Eat: Quan An Ngon (18 Phan Bội Châu, Hàng Bài, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội)
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

12. Bun rieu cua (Crab Noodle Soup)

Bun rieu cua (Crab Noodle Soup)

Bún riêu cua is a delightful noodle soup that showcases the delicate flavors of crab. The soup features a rich and tangy broth made from tomatoes, fermented shrimp paste, and crab meat.

Soft rice vermicelli noodles swim alongside chunks of tofu, pork, and crab, creating a bowlful of goodness.

  • Where to Eat: Bun rieu cua Thanh Tri (35 Ngõ Gốc Đề, Thanh Trì, Hà Nội)
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM

13. Banh beo (Steamed Rice Cakes with Shrimp)

Banh beo (Steamed Rice Cakes with Shrimp)

Bánh bèo is a delightful dish that showcases the delicate and translucent beauty of steamed rice cakes. These bite-sized treats are topped with a savory mixture of minced shrimp, crispy pork rinds, and scallions, then drizzled with a tangy fish sauce.

The combination of textures and flavors in Bánh bèo creates a delightful culinary experience.

  • Where to Eat: Banh Beo Ba Tam (45 Võ Thị Sáu, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế)
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

14. Cha ca La Vong (La Vong-style Grilled Fish)

Cha ca La Vong (La Vong-style Grilled Fish)

Chả cá Lã Vọng is a specialty dish from Hanoi that celebrates the unique flavors of grilled fish. Tender pieces of marinated fish are sizzled at the table, along with a medley of dill, turmeric, and other aromatic herbs and spices.

The fragrant fish is then served with vermicelli noodles, peanuts, and a variety of fresh herbs, allowing you to create your own flavorful wrap.

  • Where to Eat: Cha ca La Vong (14 Phố Chả Cá, Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

15. Banh canh (Thick Noodle Soup)

Banh canh (Thick Noodle Soup)

Bánh canh is a hearty and comforting noodle soup that features thick, chewy noodles swimming in a flavorful broth. This dish comes in various forms, with options like seafood, pork, or chicken, each offering its own distinct taste.

The silky noodles are accompanied by an array of toppings, such as shrimp, sliced pork, and fresh herbs, creating a satisfying and filling meal.

  • Where to Eat: Quan Banh Canh Cua Lo (123 Đường 2/4, Vạn Thạnh, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa)
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

16. Ga nuong (Grilled Chicken)

Ga nuong (Grilled Chicken)

Gà nướng, or grilled chicken, is a beloved Vietnamese dish that showcases the art of perfectly charred and juicy poultry. The chicken is marinated in a blend of lemongrass, garlic, and fish sauce, then grilled to perfection, resulting in succulent and flavorful meat.

Served with fresh herbs, rice paper, and a tangy dipping sauce, Gà nướng offers a delightful interactive dining experience.

  • Where to Eat: Ga Nuong 7 Mon (97 Bạch Đằng, Hải Châu 1, Thành phố Đà Nẵng)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

17. Bun thit nuong (Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)

Bun thit nuong (Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)

Bún thịt nướng is a delightful combination of smoky grilled pork and delicate rice vermicelli noodles. Marinated in a blend of lemongrass, garlic, and other spices, the grilled pork is juicy and flavorful.

Served with fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, and a tangy sauce, Bún thịt nướng offers a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.

  • Where to Eat: Bun Thit Nuong Co Ba Vung Tau (195 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường 7, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

18. Mi Quang (Quang-Style Noodles)

Mi Quang (Quang-Style Noodles)
mi quang noodle

Mì Quảng is a beloved dish from the Quang Nam province, characterized by its thick rice noodles and rich, flavorful broth. The noodles are accompanied by a variety of toppings, such as shrimp, pork, herbs, and crunchy rice crackers.

The broth, typically made from chicken or pork bones, is infused with aromatic spices, creating a soul-warming bowl of goodness.

  • Where to Eat: Mi Quang 1A (1A Nguyễn Trường Tộ, Phường Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam)
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

19. Banh bot loc (Translucent Shrimp Dumplings)

Banh bot loc (Translucent Shrimp Dumplings)

Bánh bột lọc is a delicate and translucent dumpling filled with succulent shrimp, wrapped in a chewy tapioca flour dough. These dumplings are a true culinary work of art, showcasing the expertise and precision of Vietnamese cooking.

The dumplings are typically served with a tangy dipping sauce and topped with crispy shallots, creating a delightful blend of flavors and textures.

  • Where to Eat: Banh Bot Loc Thanh Mai (6 Lê Thạch, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế)
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

20. Bun mam (Fermented Fish Noodle Soup)

Bun mam (Fermented Fish Noodle Soup)

Bún mắm is a bold and pungent noodle soup that features a complex broth made from fermented fish sauce. This unique soup is packed with flavors, combining sweet, salty, and umami notes.

The dish is typically served with rice vermicelli noodles, tender slices of pork, shrimp, and an assortment of fresh herbs and vegetables.

  • Where to Eat: Ban Mam Dau (79 Yersin, Phước Long, Thành phố Nha Trang)
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

21. Nem Nuong (Grilled Pork Sausage)

Nem Nuong (Grilled Pork Sausage)

Nem nướng is a popular street food delight featuring juicy and flavorful grilled pork sausages. The sausages are made from ground pork seasoned with garlic, sugar, and fish sauce, then skewered and grilled to perfection.

These succulent bites are typically wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves and herbs, then dipped in a tangy sauce.

  • Where to Eat: Nem Nuong Ninh Haa (25 Ngô Gia Tự, Vạn Thạnh, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa)
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

22. Banh Mi Chao (Vietnamese Pan-Fried Bread)

Banh Mi Chao (Vietnamese Pan-Fried Bread)

Bánh mì chảo is a unique Vietnamese street food that features pan-fried bread with a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. The bread is typically filled with a variety of ingredients such as eggs, pâté, pickles, and herbs, creating a delightful combination of flavors and textures.

This satisfying snack is best enjoyed hot off the griddle, providing a delightful contrast between the crispy bread and the savory fillings.

  • Where to Eat: Banh mi chao Ba Hoanh (26 Đường D2, Phường 25, Bình Thạnh, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh)
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

23. Chao long (Rice Porridge with Offal)

Chao long (Rice Porridge with Offal)

Cháo lòng is a comforting rice porridge infused with the rich flavors of offal, creating a hearty and nourishing dish. The porridge is slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in a creamy and velvety texture.

It is traditionally served with an assortment of offal, such as liver, intestine, and heart, along with fragrant herbs and crispy fried dough. This humble dish is a popular choice for breakfast or a light meal.

  • Where to Eat: Chao Long Ma Tram
  • Opening Hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

In conclusion, the popular dishes in Vietnam offer a culinary adventure that will leave you craving for more. From the fragrant bowls of Phở to the crispy Bánh xèo, each dish tells a story and showcases the rich flavors of this remarkable country.

So, grab your chopsticks, venture into the bustling street food stalls, and savor the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you’re a food lover or an adventurous traveler, these dishes will captivate your senses and create unforgettable memories.

What are the must-try Popular Dishes in Vietnam?

When exploring the vibrant cuisine of Vietnam, make sure to indulge in iconic dishes like Phở (Beef Noodle Soup), Bánh mì (Vietnamese Sandwich), and Gỏi cuốn (Spring Rolls). Don’t miss out on Bún chả (Grilled Pork with Vermicelli), Cá kho tộ (Caramelized Fish in Clay Pot), and Bún bò Huế (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup). And for a unique experience, try Bánh xèo (Vietnamese Savory Pancake) and Bánh cuốn (Steamed Rice Rolls).

Where can I find the best Phở in Vietnam?

For an authentic Phở experience, head to Phở Gia Truyen in Hanoi, where the aromatic broth and tender beef create a memorable meal.

Which street food stall offers the tastiest Bánh mì in Vietnam?

Make your way to Bánh mì Phượng in Hoi An for the ultimate Bánh mì experience, where the crispy baguettes are filled with succulent grilled pork, pickled vegetables, and pâté.

What is the best place to enjoy Gỏi cuốn in Vietnam?

Nha Hang Ngon in Ho Chi Minh City is a popular spot to savor the refreshing Gỏi cuốn, where the delicate rice paper rolls are filled with fresh herbs, vermicelli noodles, and your choice of protein.

Where can I find the most delicious Bún chả in Vietnam?

Visit Bún Chả Hương Liên in Hanoi, the very place where former President Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain enjoyed this iconic dish together. The grilled pork and flavorful dipping sauce will leave you craving more.

Which restaurant serves the finest Cá kho tộ in Vietnam?

For a taste of Cá kho tộ, head to Cá Kho Tộ 107 Nguyễn Trường Tộ in Ho Chi Minh City, where the caramelized fish is cooked to perfection in a flavorful blend of fish sauce, caramel, garlic, and chili.

Where can I try the best Bún bò Huế in Vietnam?

Bún Bò Huế Cẩm 6A in Hue is the go-to place for this fiery and aromatic beef noodle soup. The rich broth infused with lemongrass, chili, and fermented shrimp paste will transport you to the heart of Vietnamese cuisine.
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