A Food Lover's Travel Guide to the Best of Vietnamese Food

Banh Mi Cha Bo or Vietnamese Beef Sandwich

Banh Mi Cha Bo

Vietnamese Beef Sandwich

Beef is steamed in a banana leaf then sliced and added to this sandwich with a plethora of delicious flavours including: pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, cucumber, chilli peppers, mayo, and more.

A rice paper mixture called banh trang tron in Vietnamese.

Banh Trang Tron

Rice Paper Salad

This quick and cheap hodge podge is a popular street food in Vietnam. Toppings include: dried shrimp, Vietnamese beef jerky, shredded green mango, peanuts, hard boiled quail eggs, Vietnamese coriander, and a nice kick of spice courtesy of chili paste. The flavour and texture combinations are fantastic.

Bo Kho or Vietnamese Beef Stew

Bo Kho

Vietnamese Beef Stew

Hunks of beef are slowly cooked in a rich flavourful broth with carrots, star anise, and lemongrass. It's usually served with banh mi, steamed rice, or noodles.

Bo Luc Lac or Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Bo Luc Lac

Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Stir-fried hunks of beef with onions and sometimes peppers. Can also be found with trung (egg). Often eaten with rice or banh mi (bread). Best served on a sizzling cow shaped plate.

Bo Nau Tieu Xanh or Green Pepper Cooked Beef

Bo Nau Tieu Xanh

Green Pepper Cooked Beef

Green pepper seeds are heavily used to cook tender cuts of beef.

Bo Ne Trung or Beef Steak and Eggs

Bo Ne Trung

Steak and Eggs

Beef steak served on a sizzling platter alongside an egg and a fresh baguette.

Bun Bo Heo Gio or Beef and Pork Knuckle Noodle Soup

Bun Bo Heo Gio

Beef and Pork Knuckle Noodle Soup

This soup is similar to the very popular bun bo Hue. Thick round noodles float in a tangy broth with tender slices of beef and pork knuckle. The broth has hints on lemongrass in it and a bit of a kick to it, specially if you add some chili paste, which I recommend trying. You may get some extras, like congealed pig's blood, in the bowl as well.

Bun Bo Hue or Hue Style Beef Noodle Soup

Bun Bo Hue

Hue Style Beef Noodle Soup

A beef soup that's spicier than pho, has a lemongrass infused broth, and uses thicker, round rice noodles. It usually contains slices of beef shank, and sometimes chunks of pig's feet, congealed pork blood, and cha lua (Vietnamese pork loaf).

Vietnamese beer stir-fry - bun bo nam bo or bun bo xao

Bun Bo Xao

Vietnamese Beef Stir-fry

With tastes of lemongrass, garlic, and chili, this noodle salad is very flavourful and addictive.

Com Chien or Fried Rice

Com Chien

Fried Rice

You've probably had many versions of fried rice, but Vietnam's version has something that you just can't get in the western world -- freshness. Vietnam is one of the top five largest producers of rice in the world. The quality of rice here is top-notch.

Goi Co Hu Dua Thit Bo or Beef and Palm Heart Salad

Goi Co Hu Dua Thit Bo

Beef and Palm Heart Salad

Tender slices of beef are tossed with coconut palm heart, vegetables, lime, fish sauce, oil, salt, and chili. It's often served in a giant crispy piece of fried rice paper, or alongside a plate of smaller ones. The rice paper adds a nice crunch and makes eating it more convenient.

Goi Du Du or Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad

Goi Du Du

Green Papaya Salad

Shredded green papaya and a combination of herbs are dressed with a sweet and sour fish sauce and peanuts. It's often topped with beef jerky, shrimp, or strips of pig ear. The combination of flavours and textures make this salad a Vietnamese favorite.

Hu Tieu Nam Vang or Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

Hu Tieu Nam Vang

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

A hearty noodle soup filled with a variety of protein -- pork, beef, seafood, etc.

Pho Bo or Beef Noodle Soup


Vietnamese Noodle Soup

If you're new to Vietnamese food it's probably best to start here. This is Vietnam's most widely recognized dish. Noodles in an incredibly flavourful broth with chicken or beef.

Pho Cuon or beef pho rolls in Vietnam

Pho Cuon

Pho Rolls

An uncut sheet of rice noodle is used as a wrapper for this take on the popular soup. Pho rolls are simple, but tasty and they're growing in popularity, especially in Hanoi around Truc Bach lake where they are said to be invented.