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

Banh Tam Bi or

Banh Tam Bi

Pork and Coconut Cream Noodles

A combination of thick tapioca noodles, fresh herbs and vegetables, strings of pork skin, lean pork meat, and a generous dressing of coconut cream.

Hu Tieu Nam Vang or Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

Banh Tet

Sticky Rice Cake

Sticky rice is filled with mung bean and pork fat then wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled for hours. A Tet holiday favourite.

Banh Tom Ho Tay or Vietnamese shrimp sweet potato fritter from Ho Tay or West lake

Banh Tom

Sweet Potato Shrimp Cake

Shreds of sweet potato mixed in a flour batter and topped with a shrimp then deep-fried to a crisp. It's a great bar snack. Wrap it in lettuce and you can pretend it's healthy.

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.

Banh Xeo or Vietnamese sizzling pancakes

Banh Xeo

Vietnamese Sizzling Pancake

A savuory crepe filled with shrimp, pork, and vegetables. The batter is made with rice flour and tumeric. Bánh Xèo is usually eaten by tearing a piece off and wrapping it in rice paper along with some herbs and lettuce. It's a cheap and delicious meal.

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.

Bot Chien or Vietnamese Fried Rice Cakes with Egg

Bot Chien

Fried Rice Cakes

An after school favourite with the kids, these little cubes of rice cake are fried up with egg and sprinkled with scallions to make a tasty and filling snack. Dip them in soy sauce along with a helping of shredded papaya.

Bot Khoai Mon or Vietnamese Fried Taro Cakes with Egg

Bot Khoai Mon

Fried Taro Cakes

Much like it's brother, bot chien this dish is popular with the young crowd. It's a greasy, savoury, tasty mess. Instead of rice flour, taro makes up the delicious fried chunks, giving it a fried potato-taste.

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.

Bun Ca or Vietnamese fish noodle soup

Bun Ca

Vietnamese Fish Noodle Soup

Fish is very popular in Vietnam. Depending what area you are in, you'll find fish soup with snakehead fish, mackerel, catfish, and many more varieties. In the north, the broth tends to be tangier. A dill taste is usually present. It's a very fresh tasting dish.

Bun Ca Loc or Snakehead Fish Soup

Bun Ca Loc

Snakehead Fish Soup

Vermicelli noodles in a light broth with crispy fried slices of snakehead fish. Don't be scared away by the type of fish - it's delicious.

Bun Cha Ha Noi or Hanoi Style Grilled Pork and Noodles

Bun Cha

Hanoi Style Grilled Pork and Noodles

Vermicelli rice noodles are served with chargrilled pork meatballs and thick slices of bacon. Accompanied by a sweet broth and a variety of herbs. One of the most popular dishes in Hanoi.

Bun Cha Gio or Noodles and Pork Sausage Spring Rolls

Bun Cha Gio

Noodles and Pork Sausage Spring Rolls

A noodle salad with vegetables and pork sausage spring rolls. The spring rolls are fried in oil and provide a crisp texture that goes great with the freshness of the noodles and greens. Sometimes vaious types of chả are included.