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

Bun Ca

Fish Soup

In Vietnam, fish soup comes in many varieties. Usually, it depends on where you are. In Nha Trang, a coastal city, you'll probably get an ocean fish like cá thu (mackerel). In the Mekong Delta, ca loc (snakehead fish) is a popular choice. The fish is either sliced or made into fishcakes, and fried so it's slightly crispy on the outside. Bun noodles are rice noodles with a medium thickness. The broth is usually pretty light with hints of dill. In the north it tends to be a bit tangier with tomatoes and sometimes a chunk of pineapple floating in it. With so many varieties of fish in Vietnam, this dish could surprise you every time you eat it.

Popular Types

  • Bún cá basa - catfish
  • Bún cá cam - greater amberjack fish
  • Bún cá Campuchia - Cambodian style (mostly found in the Mekong Delta), usually with coconut and snakehead fish
  • Bún cá Châu Đốc - Châu Đốc is a city in the Mekong Delta, snakehead fish will probably be used
  • Bún cá Ha Noi - Hanoi style, tangy with tomatoes and sometimes pineapple
  • Bún Cá Hai Phong - Hai Phong style, a coastal city in the north. Fish is usually mackerel, carp, or catfish -- sometimes a combination of the three.
  • Bún cá hồi - salmon
  • Bún cá lóc - snakehead fish (probably the most popular fish to use)
  • Bún cá Nam Dinh - from Nam Dinh, a small town close to Ha Noi -simple recipe with fried up slices of carp
  • Bún cá ngừ - tuna
  • Bún cá rô đồng - anabas fish
  • Bún cá sứa - jellyfish
  • Bún cá thu - mackerel (probably the most popular if you are in a coastal city)
  • Bún chả cá - fishcake (see our guide to Vietnamese cha for more info)

Where To Find It:

Ho Chi Minh City
Quán Bún Cá Sứa Nha Trang - 399 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, District 3
Bún cá Hải Phòng - 77 Đường Thành, Hoàn Kiếm
Bun Ca Ha Noi - Fish soup Hanoi style.

Hanoi-style fish soup, bun ca Ha Noi

Bun ca loc - snakehead fish noodle soup

Bun ca loc or snakehead fish soup.