10 must-try dishes when in Vietnam

by TAA on May 5, 2015

Vietnamese food is known for its balance between salty, sweet, hot and normally go with sauce. Following are recommendations for dishes you should try when in Vietnam.

Fresh Spring rolls

Considered as one of the most famous dishes in Vietnam, fresh spring rolls is the combination of rice paper, rice noodle, fresh herbs, pork and shrimp. This dish is normally served with light fish sauce that contains vinegar, sugar, sliced green papaya and chili.

In the south Vietnam especially Saigon, this dish has a little modification with roasted pork belly, sliced green banana, star fruit and served with stronger sweet and sour sauce or thick peanut sauce.

Pho cuon, a kind of spring roll, with shrimp, pork, vermicelli, lettuce, beansprouts

Vietnamese sandwich – Banh My

Known as one of the best street foods in the World, ’ Banh My’ is a great combination of crispy French style baguette, lettuce, carrot, coriander, pate, egg, pork and sometimes sausage…

The balance of tastes and harmony of colors make ‘Banh My’ make it undefeatable amongst the list of must-try dishes when you come to Vietnam.

banh my

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Banh Xeo – Vietnamese pan cake

Very popular in Centre and South of Vietnam, this type of pan cake is made of rice tinted yellow with the use of turmeric cooked on hot large pan with bean sprouts, pork and shrimp.

To eat this beautiful stuff, use dry rice paper to wrap a piece of this crispy cake along with green herb including lettuce and serve along with sour and sweet sauce. 

vietnamese pan cake - banh xeo

Bun Cha – Roasted pork noodle

A specialty of Hanoi and you can find it in street food restaurants, the best way to have a good one is to come to places that specialize in serving this dish only.

A portion of this beautiful dish includes meat balls and bacon roasted on embers, fried crab spring rolls, white noodle, light fish sauce with chili, vinegar, sugar and sliced green papaya. The dish is served along with lots of green herbs and some other fresh spices available on table.

bun cha


You can eat this dish as breakfast, lunch or dinner but it is popular amongst locals as breakfast.

A bowl of Pho includes fresh flat rice noodle, beef (rare, medium or well-cooked) or chicken, bean sprouts, herbs all are served in beautiful broth.


Cao Lau

This is a specialty of Hoi An. A bowl of Cao Lau includes noodle that cooked with water from Ba Le well in Hoi An ancient town, bean sprouts, herbs, slices of roasted pork and crispy rice crackers on top and served with special broth.

cao lau hoi an

Cha Ca

The dish is so famous that the street in the old quarter of Hanoi where the restaurant located name after.

Cha Ca is made of special catfish from the Red River that is marinated with galingale and turmeric powder, rice ferment, black pepper and roasted on ember before serving in oiled pan with spring onion and dills.

Cha Ca is eaten along with rice noodle, roasted peanut, fresh green herb and shrimp paste or fish sauce.

cha ca la vong hanoi

Mi Quang

Very popular in Hoi An, this dish include rice noodles, shrimp, pork or chicken or even fish. The broth is made by simmering the meat in water, seasoned with fish sauce, black pepper, shallot and garlic. Extras include hard-boiled egg, crushed peanuts, pepper or chili sauce, fresh herbs, sliced banana flower and pieces rice crackers.

mi quang hoi an

Nom hoa chuoi – Banana flower salad

A beautiful dish that contains main ingredient of sliced young banana flower petals. Threads of banana flower is mixed with shredded pork or chicken and green herb including basil, perilla, peppermint and crushed peanut. Apart from those ingredients, sliced chili and lime juice also make the flavor of this dish more typical.

The dish can be also made as vegetarian without any meat.

banana flower salad

Broken rice

Very popular in the south of Vietnam especially Saigon, ‘Com tam’ is steamed broken rice served along with roasted pork, egg, shredded pork skin and greens. The sauce for this type of rice is normally sour and sweet fish sauce with a little chili.

com tam saigon

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