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 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 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.

Vietnamese fried dumpling or pillow cake (banh goi in Vietnamese)

Banh Goi

Vietnamese Fried Dumpling

Fried is always better (according to your taste buds). This mushroom, glass noodle, and seasoned ground pork dumpling is fried crispy and served with a sweet dipping sauce. It's a fantastic street food snack.

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 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 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 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.

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 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.

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.