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

Ba Roi Nuong Rieng Me or Grilled Bacon with Galangal

Ba Roi Nuong

Grilled Pork Belly

Chunks of pork belly are marinated with herbs and spices then grilled over an open flame. This salty meat can be eaten with a side of rice, or as an appetizer along with some cold beers and cheerful friends.

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.

Banh Beo or Steamed Rice Cakes

Banh Beo

Steamed Rice Cakes

Small circular blobs of steamed rice flour are used to hold ground shrimp or pork, along with some complimentary ingredients like scallions, mung bean paste, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrot, toasted bread crumbs, or small pork crackling bits. They are usually dipped or covered in sweet fish sauce with chili.

Banh Bong Lan or Sponge Cake

Banh Bong Lan

Sponge Cake

Introduced by the French, bánh bông lan is now a popular dessert or snack that can be found in most Vietnamese bakeries. There are many Vietnamese varieties that will surprise you (and probably won't sound too tasty), have a look at the profile and see which ones sound the most delicious to you.

Banh Cam or Orange Cake

Banh Cam

Orange Cake

A fried doughnut type pastry filled with sweet mung bean. It's called orange cake because of its resemblance not taste (there is no orange in it).

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.

banh can cha ca - Vietnamese fish cake soup

Banh Canh Cha Ca

Fish Cake Soup

A light clear broth with slices of fish cake and tapioca flour noodles. Bánh, which means cake, actually refers to the thick noodles, not the fish cake.

Recipe Video

Banh Chuoi Chien or Deep Fried Banana

Banh Chuoi Chien

Deep Fried Banana

One of my favourite desserts period. Deep fried bananas are crispy, gooey, and oh so good.

Banh Cuon or Pork and Mushroom Stuffed Rice Rolls

Banh Cuon

Pork and Mushroom Stuffed Rice Rolls

Steamed rice noodle is rolled up with wood mushrooms and ground pork. Served with a sweet sauce and herbs.

Bun Thang or Vietnamese combo soup with chicken, pork, and egg.

Bun Thang

Combo Soup

A combo of pork, chicken, egg, and whatever else is floating around the fridge. This light, slightly sweet broth is soaked up with vermicelli noodles and a variety of vegetables. Traditionaly, it's eaten during Tet, but don't worry, nowadays a tasty bowl can be found all year round.

Banh Khoai or Hue Happy pancakes

Banh Khoai

Happy Pancake

Before there was banh xeo, an emporer in Hue's Forbidden City was eating one of these delicious pork and shrimp filled pancakes. They're similar to the more popular and larger banh xeo, but in many ways they're quite different.

Banh Khot or Mini Shrimp Pancakes

Banh Khot

Mini Shrimp Pancakes

A batter is made from rice flour and coconut milk then fried up in a special pan. The mini pancakes are topped with shrimp, mung bean, scallions, garlic, and cilantro. They'll come on a plate along with a pile of herbs. Wrap a selection of greens and the pancakes in a leaf of lettuce then dip in the sweetened fish sauce.

Banh Mi Ca Moi or Vietnamese Sardine Sandwich

Banh Mi Ca Moi

Vietnamese Sardine Sandwich

Canned sardines in tomato sauce are heated up in a frying pan and spread on a fresh baguette with cilantro, pickled carrot and daikon, and cucumber. It's a very tasty sandwich that melts in your mouth. Just look for a banh mi stand with a pile of small cans with a picture of a fish on them.

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.

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.

Banh Mi Doner Kebab or Vietenamese Doner Kebab

Banh Mi Doner Kebab

Vietenamese Doner Kebab

Doner Kebab can hardly be called Vietnamese food. It originated in Turkey, but the Vietnamese have adapted it -- pork is used instead of beef or lamb, it's served on a Vietnamese style baguette instead of flat bread, and pickled carrot and daikon provides a sourness that you don't get with traditional doner kebab.

Banh Mi Heo Quay or Vietnamese Roasted Pork Sandwich

Banh Mi Heo Quay

Vietnamese Roasted Pork Sandwich

One of the more popular types of banh mi, pork is roasted and shaved to be the highlight of this delicious sandwich. Along with the flavourful pork, you'll find typical banh mi toppings like: cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon, chilli peppers, Chinese chives, cilantro, mayo, hot sauce, and sometimes pate.

Banh Mi Op La or Vietnamese Egg Sandwich

Banh Mi Op La

Vietnamese Egg Sandwich

For a quick breakfast, stop at a banh mi stand and pick up one of these sandwiches. The bread is fresh and crusty, the egg is fried up on the spot, and the rest of banh mi's fillings come together perfectly.

Banh Pia or Pia Mooncake

Banh Pia

Pia Mooncake

Bánh pía, or bánh bía consists of a flaky crust filled with sweetened mung bean paste, durian, and sometimes shredded lard, salted egg yolk, or coconut.