Vietnamese food: top 10 traditional foods must eat

Like many countries in the world, the Vietnamese food is also leaving a no small impression in the hearts of foreign tourists. That means the famous Vietnamese cuisine not only are favored by Vietnamese but also are received a lot of praises of international tourists and the Press. It has gradually confirmed its position and appeal. And below are 10 world’s well-known Vietnamese dishes which have been recognized by many foreign tourists.

1. Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho)

Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho)


Vietnamese Noodle Soup is ranked in the list of 50 most delicious dishes in the world by CNN. Mentioning Vietnamese cuisine without talking about Pho is a flawed result. It pervades the majority of culinary magazines even is lovingly called by the world’s leading chefs, is praised in the most upscale restaurants.

The bowls of delicious Vietnamese noodle soups created from great broth having a sweet taste from bones and soft noodles scented rice make many foreign tourists even people seem to just eat dairy products be addicted from the first eating time.

Specifically, the beef noodle soup (Pho Bo) is probably the most familiar dish to foreign tourists visiting Vietnam. With the traditional processing, the beef noodle soup always has a strong Vietnamese taste so it leaves a special impression for foreign tourists. In particular, this dish is also served in many countries all over the world such as England, France, and America.

2. Vietnamese traditional bread (Banh Mi)

Banh Mi - Vietnamese food

Banh Mi

In 2014, Vietnamese traditional bread has created a new craze of street food around the world so it’s no wonder that it is in the top list of the world’s 20 most delicious street dishes, according to Huffington Post. This kind of bread is derived from the baguette bread which was brought into Vietnam by French.

Over time, in the adapting process, Vietnamese in general and Saigonese in particular have turned Baguette into the kind of typical bread of Saigon with the shorter length, only about 30-40 cm.

Vietnamese traditional bread of each region is different but whether you enjoy one in Hanoi, Danang or Saigon, you will also love the bread with dozens of stuffing: meat, paste, vegetables and so on… Not to mention, this dish’s price is super cheap, only 15.000 VND for a super-delicious bread.

3. Vietnamese spring rolls (Goi Cuon)

Vietnamese spring rolls

Vietnamese spring rolls

In addition to Vietnamese Noodle Soup, Vietnamese spring rolls are also one of the Vietnamese dishes in the top list of the world’s 50 most delicious dishes of CNN. Goi Cuon is easy to make and easy to eat. You just need to roll stuffing: meat, shrimp, vegetable, and so on into a rice paper then dip it in the sweet and sour sauce or thick sauce made from liver, meat… (so yummy).

All rolls are rolled cleverly to show the colors of the inside ingredients such as the red color of shrimp, the pale pink color of meat, the green color of vegetables, the white color of rice vermicelli. Aside from the great taste, Vietnamese spring rolls please eaters thanks to its cool, low-fat taste, especially it is very cheap.

In the Vietnamese cuisine, there are probably not as any “pleasant” dishes as Vietnamese spring rolls. You can enjoy it as a kind of snack or as a main dish without being cloying. Goi Cuon has become an indispensable dish in the menus of Vietnamese restaurants in the West. French calls this dish “Rouleaux de Printemps” – the rolls of spring.

Perhaps that’s because of the interesting combination of colors in a roll. With the only bite of Goi Cuon, the chewy taste of rice paper, the strong fatty taste of pork side mixed the sweetness of boiled shrimps with a little salty taste of sauce plus the cool and pungent taste of vegetables will create an accompaniment making up your taste.

4. Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup (Bun Bo Hue)

Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue

The Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup has been present in all regions of the country even it is extremely popular with both locals and foreign tourists.

This noodle soup has the sweetness from beef and pork bones plus the special taste of shrimp paste, not to mention each bowl of Bun Bo Hue is served with beef, pig’s feet, banana flowers, sprout, and vegetable. The world’s famous American chef – Anthony Bourdain uttered that “Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup is the best soup all over the world” when he had the opportunity to be tasted this dish in the Dong Ba Market, Hue.

The erstwhile Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle is usually enjoyed in the early morning. Gourmets prefer the common shops specializing this dish, they just sell until their broth pot is out of (usually just until 8:00 a.m). Now, I still think these places are the most “delicious shops”.

However, due to the demands of the tourist activities, there are many Bun Bo Hue shops work throughout the day and night. I believe that this is a good change because it increases the opportunities so that this dish becomes more familiar to everyone, especially foreign tourists. The most important thing is that they can keep the typical taste of Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup like keeping their own culture.

5. Vietnamese pancake (Banh Xeo)

Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo

Vietnamese Pancake is considered as the world’s most delicious pancake. At the same time, it used to be honored at The 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in America. Even both well-known writers of CNN who specialize cuisine also write a lot of praises for this street food. A delicious Vietnamese pancake will have a golden and crispy crust with the stuffing mixture of shrimp, pork, sprouts served with vegetables and extremely savory sauce.

Specifically, in Hue, this dish is usually called “Banh Khoai” and served with grilled meat, the sauce mixture – a broth of liver, peanuts, and so on. In the southern Vietnam, people add egg and eaters will enjoy with the sweet and sour sauce. In the Northern Vietnam, its ingredients of stuffing like in other places but it is added extra sliced Pachyrhizus or sliced taro.

6. Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu Cua)

Bun Rieu Cua - Vietnamese food

Bun Rieu Cua

Bun Rieu Cua has an average sour taste so it will be very cool when eating in summer. In Vietnam, it is so popular that the Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup mushroomed.

In 2012, according to CNN, Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup has been on the top list of Asia’s most attractive street foods. The main ingredients of this dish simply include rice vermicelli (Bun Roi or Bun La) and minced crab in spices but it is hard to resist the cool taste of crab soup, tomatoes and great taste of shrimp paste.

Crab is the most important main ingredient of this dish so besides how to cook, the cook has to know how to opt for the good crabs as well as how to prepare them properly. Field crabs are the most appropriate choices, especially you should buy female crabs because their meat is sweeter than male crabs.

7. Grilled Banana wrapped in Sticky Rice (Chuoi Nep Nuong)

Chuoi Nep Nuong

Chuoi Nep Nuong

In Vietnam, the banana seasons are all year round so they are applied in many kinds of dishes. Chuoi Nep Nuong is one of them – a simple snack. However, to make this dish, the option should be the average ripe large bananas. The green bananas or the unripe bananas will be not sweet. Otherwise, the soft ripe bananas have a too sweet taste so it is very easy to be cloying.

At the World Street Food Congress in Singapore 2013, Grilled Banana wrapped in Sticky Rice was voted the most favorite dish. The sweetness of banana mixed with sticky rice, coconut fragrance, and peanut makes tourists remember that taste forever.

How to make Grilled Banana wrapped in Sticky Rice is quite simple. Cook sticky rice then thin to wrap a banana, finally grill it on charcoal. When eating, the seller will pour little coconut milk on the surface. This dish is very popular on the streets in the South.

8. Vietnamese Egg coffee (Caphe Trung)

Vietnamese Egg coffee

Vietnamese Egg coffee

With the first-time try, most tourists feel strange but once enjoyed, all are “addicted” this Caphe Trung. According to votes and suggestions of the famous website – Buzzfeed, Vietnamese Egg coffee has topped the list of 17 kinds of coffee you should drink when traveling around the world. Its ingredients made from egg yolk, condensed milk, sugar, and coffee are mixed together so it is compared to the sweet, bitter and greasy tiramisu dish.

How to make Egg coffee is quite simple. However, bartenders have to choose the fresh chicken eggs without causing fishy. Coffee must also be an excellent pure type of Vietnam with the passionate fragrance. Just take egg yolk then whip well by hand or by egg-beater until there is a fragrance like the cake smell after that pour in the middle of a cup. The egg yolk will be emergent on the surface in a while.

9. Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli (Bun Cha)

Bun Cha - Vietnamese foods

Bun Cha

As the name suggests, this Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli is created from rice vermicelli, grilled pork fried on charcoal and a bowl of sweet, salty, spicy and sour sauce.

This dish is derived from the Northern Vietnam so it is considered as one of the typical specialties of the Hanoi. Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli has the similar features to Vietnamese Grilled Pork & Rice Noodles (Bun Thit Nuong) of the Central and Southern Vietnam but its sauce has a lighter taste.

According to votes of the National Geographic in 2014, Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli (Bun Cha) of Hanoi is in the list of the world’s 10 best street foods. How to make this dish is not difficult but it is not easy to make the pieces of savory grilled pork without burning the most important ingredient.

10. Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls (Nem Ran)

Nem Ran

Nem Ran

With Vietnamese, Nem Ran is also called Cha Gio, Cha Cuon, Cha Ram, Cha Nem which is a delicious and famous dish of Vietnamese as well as many people from all over the world. It is derived from Dimsum of China and is cooked from ingredients easy to look, moreover, how to make is not complicated.

According to the vote result of CNN Travel, Vietnam is the country where has a culinary favorite especially our Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls are on that list.

In terms of form, this dish is not too special but once tasted, it is hard to refuse the taste of this dish. The greasy, crispy rice paper combined with the variety of sweet, fleshy stuffing creates a perfect taste. It is more special when you eat with sweet, sour sauce and vegetable.