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

Hoanh Thanh or Vietnamese Wonton

Hoanh Thanh


A Chinese creation that has become popular in Vietnam, and many other areas of the world. You can find these delicious parcels of ground pork in soups, including popular Vietnamese soups like Hu Tieu.

Goi Cuon or Fresh Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Goi Cuon

Summer Rolls

These fresh spring rolls are wrapped in wet rice paper and filled with a mini salad. The protein can be shrimp, slices of pork loaf, grilled pork, tofu, etc. They are a little package of freshness, specially in Vietnam where you know everything is grown locally.

Banh Canh or Vietnamese Thick Noodle Soup

Banh Canh

Thick Noodle Soup

The noodles in this soup are made from tapioca flour, or sometimes a combination of tapioca and rice flour. The ingredients in the soup can vary, but the thick glutinous noodles are what make this soup different from any of the other Vietnamese soups.

Sua Bap or Corn Milk

Sua Bap

Corn Milk

Corn is blended with milk and water to make this simple, but unique drink.

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.

Chao Long or Innards Rice Porridge

Chao Long

Innards Rice Porridge

This may sound like the worst thing ever, but try it before you judge it. A thick, hearty broth is crammed with pig offal -- everything from cheek to liver. It's often served with pieces of fried dough -- maybe that will help.

Mi Quang or Quang Style Noodles

Mi Quang

Quang Style Noodles

Quảng Nam province is probably best known for its turmeric infused noodles. The protein in this dish varies but it's almost always served with sesame rice crackers which provide a brilliant crunch.

Nuoc Chanh or Vietnamese Limeade

Nuoc Chanh


A great way to cool down. Lime, sugar, and ice water make up this simple but refreshing drink.

Suon Non Kho Tieu or Braised Pork Ribs with Pepper

Suon Non Kho Tieu

Braised Pork Ribs with Pepper

Often cooked in coconut water for a touch of sweetness.

Bun Thai or Thai Noodle Soup

Bun Thai

Thai Noodles

A Thailand style spicy broth with vermicelli rice noodles and various proteins. It's often served with seafood like shrimp and squid, but I've also had a vegetarian version with tofu and cha lua.

Banh Bao or Steamed Pork Bun

Banh Bao

Steamed Pork Bun

A dough that's steamed while packed with a savoury filling -- usually pork, but sometimes a combination of chicken, onions, eggs, and vegetables are included.

Bun Xao Chay or Vegetarian Fried Noodles

Bun Xao Chay

Vegetarian Fried Noodles

Stirfried noodles with vegetables. Often a spring roll or a mini version of banh xeo is included.

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.

Bun Moc or Pork and Mushroom Meatball Soup

Bun Moc

Pork and Mushroom Meatball Soup

Pork paste is rolled with chopped mushrooms to make a delicious meatball that happily floats in a light broth with vermicelli rice noodles. Often served with a genrous helping of cha lua (Vietnamese pork loaf).

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.

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.

Bun Mang Vit or Duck and Bamboo Noodle Soup

Bun Mang Vit

Duck and Bamboo Noodle Soup

Vermicelli noodles in a light broth with tender pieces of duck meat, offal, and congealed blood; plus chunks of boiled bamboo shoots. Just add your bean sprouts and shredded water spinach and you'll be one satisfied duck.

Banh Mi Cha Lua or Vietnamese Ham Sandwich

Banh Mi Cha Lua

Vietnamese Ham Sandwich

Vietnamese ham is a very popular thing to add to banh mi. This sandwich focuses on it, and adds some herbs, pork fat, condiments, and veggies to balance it all out.

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.

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.

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.