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

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 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.

Bot Chien or Vietnamese Fried Rice Cakes with Egg

Bot Chien

Fried Rice Cakes

An after school favourite with the kids, these little cubes of rice cake are fried up with egg and sprinkled with scallions to make a tasty and filling snack. Dip them in soy sauce along with a helping of shredded papaya.

Bot Khoai Mon or Vietnamese Fried Taro Cakes with Egg

Bot Khoai Mon

Fried Taro Cakes

Much like it's brother, bot chien this dish is popular with the young crowd. It's a greasy, savoury, tasty mess. Instead of rice flour, taro makes up the delicious fried chunks, giving it a fried potato-taste.

Vietnamese sticky rice with ice cream

Kem Xoi

Ice Cream and Sticky Rice

With the exception of rice pudding, the western world doesn't really do rice desserts. If you want to dip your toes into the combination, try kem xoi. Pandan sticky rice and coconut ice cream -- a great combination of flavour and texture.

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.

Ca Phe Sua Da or Vietnamese Iced Coffee with milk

Ca Phe Sua Da

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Thick, sweet, chocolaty liquid that refreshes you, energizes you, and leaves you wanting more. Vietnam's coffee is unique and a must try.

Ca Phe Trung or Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Ca Phe Trung

Egg Coffee

Egg coffee is quite difficult to find outside of Hanoi. An egg is frothed with sugar and poured on top of a cup of thick, rich Vietnamese coffee. You can also get it with sweetened condensed milk, and can usually choose whether you want it hot or cold.

Ca Tim Chien Gion or Deep Fried Eggplant

Ca Tim Chien Gion

Deep Fried Eggplant

Simply, sliced eggplant battered and deep fried. Dip it in chili garlic sauce (tương ớt tỏi) or Vietnam's famous nước chấm.

Che Bach Qua or Ginkgo sweet soup


Vietnamese Sweet Soup

Chè isn't your typical dessert. It's can be made with beans, fruit, jelly, rice, tubers, grains, or a variety of other ingredients. The liquid is sweet and refreshing. Sometimes it's served with coconut cream.

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.

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.

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.

Sinh To Bo or Avocado Shake

Sinh To Bo

Avocado Shake

A delicious and nutritious shake that will cool you down and surprise you with it's tastiness.

Sinh to ca chua - a popular Vietnamese drink made with tomatoes, sugar, and ice.

Sinh To Ca Chua

Tomato Shake

Most cafes will offer this refreshing drink. It's basically sweetened tomato juice with ice. The sweetness may come from sugar, honey, or condensed milk. Even if you aren't a huge tomato fan, you should give this drink a try as the tomato taste isn't too overpowering.

Sua Bap or Corn Milk

Sua Bap

Corn Milk

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