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

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).

Bun Rieu Cua or Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup

Bun Rieu Cua

Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup

Freshwater crabs and tomatoes make up this soup's broth, then rice vermicelli noodles, pork, and tofu soak up the flavours.

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.

Bun Thit Nuong or Grilled Pork and Vermicelli

Bun Thit Nuong

Grilled Pork and Vermicelli

Vermicelli rice noodles with grilled pork, a spring roll, and various greens. Served with nuoc cham.

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.

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.

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.

Com Tam Suon Nuong or Grilled Pork Chop and Broken Rice

Com Tam Suon Nuong

Grilled Pork Chop and Broken Rice

A quick and cheap lunch in Vietnam. A marinated pork chop is grilled over coals and served on top of broken rice.

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.

Goi Tai Heo Rau Ram or Pig Ear Salad with Laksa Leaves

Goi Tai Heo

Pig Ear Salad

Boiled pig ear is chopped and combined with herbs, and a sweet and sour fish sauce combo. The pig's ear is soft on the outside with a crunch of cartillage on the inside. It's an interesting texture that's tossed with a combination of delicous flavours and is best enjoyed with a serving of prawn crackers.

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.

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.

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.

Vietnamese cured pork sausage or nem chua

Nem Chua

Vietnamese Cured Pork Sausage

A lean, well grinded sample of pork is mixed with some spices and sugar, then left to ferment for a couple days. The result is a very sweet and sour tasting pork that goes well with cold beer.

Nem lui Hue, a specialty of Hue - grilled meat with lemongrass

Nem Lui

Lemongrass Skewers

Sometimes pork, sometimes pork and beef, is seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, and I'm sure some secret ingredients, then wrapped around a stalk of lemongrass and grilled to perfection.

Pate Chaud or Hot Pastry Pie

Pate Chaud

Hot Pastry Pie

This French influenced savoury snack is packed with seasoned ground pork and vegetables. It's also called bánh pa tê sô -- which is basically the Vietnamese word for 'cake' plus the phonetic spelling of 'pate chaud'. You can find it at most Vietnamese bakeries.

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.

Xoi Man or Salty Sticky Rice topped with meats


Sticky Rice

A very popular breakfast, lunch, or snack in Vietnam. Sticky rice is steamed and topped with a variety of savoury or sweet toppings. During lunch, schools will empty and students will head to their nearest xoi street food stall to fill up on this cheap but tasty concoction.