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

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 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.

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 Mam or Fermented Fish Soup

Bun Mam

Fermented Fish Soup

This noodle soup might not be for everyone. The broth is made with fermented fish or shrimp paste, which means there's a bit of a fish funk to it. It has lots of flavour, and hits all your basic tastes, but it really makes an impact on the umami taste. The soup is usually packed with meat including seafood, fish, and pork.

Canh Chua or Tamarind Broth Soup

Canh Chua

Tamarind Broth Soup

A popular dish in the Mekong Delta, this sweet and sour broth soup is made with tamarind and usually comes with pineapple, elephant ear stalk, bean sprouts, tomato, okra, and fish from the Mekong River. When accompanied with rice, it makes a great meal. Check out the dish's profile to see popular variations of canh chua.

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.