1. Basic information about Vietnamese cuisine
2. Raw materials in Vietnamese cuisine
3. Beverages in Vietnamese cuisine
4. Most famous dishes
5. Pho – soups with noodles
6. Eating among ethnic groups
7. Streetfood in Vietnam
8. Other dishes
9. Exotic fruits
10. Other popular dishes + photos
11. FOODY – virtual guide to restaurants in Vietnam
Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines of the world.
Vietnamese cuisine is made up largely of vegetables, fruits, herbs, rice and meat, and it is also very healthy. Traditional Vietnamese dishes are varied, distinct and are comparatively low in fat and high in carbohydrates.
Catering is an important group event of the day for the Vietnamese. Contrary to our style of eating, you have to get used to munching and burping, which are a sign of satisfaction with the food! Mess and litter around the tables and on the floor in street cafeterias is rife, you just have to put up with it.
Street food is standard – Hanoi is a paradise for the street food.
At almost every corner you will find a stall or a restaurant with soups, rice, a variety of meat or noodles. The street restaurants are often focused on only two or three meals, but the choice of restaurants is great and all their meals are different. This is especially so in Hanoi – it is a veritable paradise for street food. In the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam eating is a little more limited, and a little less variety but still not difficult to find.
The base ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine are rice and fish sauce.
Vietnam is the second-largest rice exporter in the world after Thailand. Rice is found growing throughout the country, from the fields in the lowlands to the mountain terraces. It is most bountiful in the Mekong Delta down south and you will see it when traveling in Vietnam. Rice appears at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. There’s rice-rice of course as well as rice noodles, rice paper wrappers, rice porridge, sticky rice with fruit, fried rice, puffed rice snacks, and rice wine.
Fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices are commonplace.
In northern Vietnam, the cuisine varies a bit depending on where you are, whether in the mountains or in the city. In the city there’s a vast selection of food, you can taste almost everything here, while in the mountains it is largely represented by rice, fresh vegetables, herbs and meat. Meat is an expensive commodity for the people from ethnic minorities.
You can purchase excellent coffee, beer, hard liquor, juices or shakes in Vietnam.
Drinks in Vietnam are mainly, juices, tea (Tra Viet), mineral waters, and beers (Hanoi beer, Dai Viet, Bia Hanoi). There is also a good choice of fruit shakes (Sinh to). A specialty is the excellent and popular strong Vietnamese coffee (Ca Phe Sua). Coffee is often served with the sweet condensed milk at the base of a glass with ice cubes , and filter coffee poured on top, (If you order Cafe Fin you will get filter coffe in this style) . Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of Robusta coffee.
Want to see northern Vietnam? Go by motorbike!
Taste a wide selection of fresh exotic fruit drinks.
In mountainous areas rice wine (Ruop Nep cam) is also very popular as the main beverage. In shopping centers in the larger cities it is easy to find strong alcohol. If you want more information about the beers sold in Vietnam, you can visit the website Beervn.
The most famous dishes of Vietnamese cuisine:
• a variety of chicken and beef soup (Pho Bo, Pho Ga, Bun Bo Hue)
• rice (Com), noodles (Bun) – in several ways, all with rich Annex vegetables
• rolls, rolls (banh cuon, Goi cuon, Nem cuon, plagues DEU) vegetables or other attachment.
• meat Dishes – Bun Cha (grilled meat with noodles and vegetables), Bo kho (braised beef with vegetables and noodles)
• Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches, in mountainous areas, however, I have seen
• Banh Chung sticky rice cake and Banh Beo steamed rice cakes
• Goi Vietnamese salad (beef, chicken, vegetarian, shrimp…)
• Bahn Xeo pancakes
• seafood and incomprehensible to us – snakes, frogs, dog meat
The staple favorite Vietnamese food – PHO soup:
• soups – eaten for breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner
• favorite street food of Vietnamese cuisine
• special and specific taste and flavor
• ingredients and spices can differ from place to place (chilli sauce, onion, cilantro, herbs, lime, pepper …)
• Banh Mi is Vietnamese sandwich
• rice noodles are an important ingredient made from Gao Te fragrant rice
• beef Pho Bo, chicken Pho Ga, stir-fried noodles Pho Xao
• recipe for Pho Bo
Vietnamese food at the festivities of ethnic people in the villages.
Vietnamese food and catering in villages or in the mountains is an important part of the traditional celebrations and festivities. Various ceremonies and rituals can be seen mainly in mountainous areas with ethnic people. Weddings, funerals, the Tet feast or the birth of a child is accompanied by a large feast in the community. The intervention of the Vietnamese government has eliminated some spiritual celebrations of ethnic populations in the mountains.
The food of ethnic residents in the mountains is different from urban areas
The most popular food at these celebrations has become mainly pork, chicken and vegetable dishes served with rice. As a complement to these foods alcohol is served – rice wine. Meals are usually eaten with chopsticks. Festivities are socially important because they provide a context in which people maintaingood social cohesion. The situation is similar in urban areas, meals, however, are richer and can be supplemented with traditional liquor and alcohol.
Food on the streets of Hanoi (Hanoi street food).
When moving around in Hanoi you will see the constant presence of street vendors with food. Hanoi is a popular place for street food and the locals eat on the street everyday and all day . Most of the locals eat out with hundreds of small tables and chairs set up mostly in the evening. Hundreds of mini-restaurants, stalls, small mobile shops on wheels, women with hanging baskets of fruit, varied, tasty and healthy meals, you’ll see it all in Hanoi!
You can also go on a „Street food tour“ in Hanoi.
This way of eating is also for many people their only source of livelihood. Prices for food purchased on the street are very low, but at the historic sites they may be a little bit higher. The best place to try local cuisine in Hanoi is the Old Quarter. The most common dishes that you can try are Pho soup, rice in several ways (Com Tam, Xoi), Bahn Mi sandwiches, rice noodles (Bun), Rolls (Banh Cuon), salads (Goi) and other dishes. If you want to learn more about vietnamese cuisine and try very unusual dishes then try a “Street food tour“.
Restaurants with European dishes can only be found in tourist places.
Restaurants with European cuisine do exist, but, I can say that the quality of food isn‘t up to European standards, and meals are overpriced. These foods from Europe and America do not fit in anywhere with Vietnamese cuisine. In Vietnam you can also find dog meat and various cattle offal and larvae and snails. During my traveling i have seen these foods every now and again.
I fully recommend eating in the street restaurants, it’s very cheap and often very tasty, but be careful about hygiene. Real Vietnamese cuisine is only found on the street.
Exotic fruit in Vietnam is very widespread and very tasty.
Vietnam lies in the tropics and therefore you can taste lots of interesting exotic fruit. The best conditions and places for fruit cultivation is in southern Vietnam. However, even in the north, of course, you can buy exotic fruits. In northern Vietnam there is also cultivation of apples, strawberries, grapes, peaches, pears and plums as well (a bit different than we are familiar with). Juices, jams and other desserts are also produced from the exotic fruit.
The fruit is also used as an ingredient in food and fruit desserts.
The most abundant fruit in Vietnam is bananas, tangerines, grapefruits, mangoes, limes, lemons, rambutan, pineapple, mangosteen, papaya, jackruit, pitahaya (dragon fruit), lychee, durian, star apple … Tropical Fruit provides a number of vitamins (A + C) and it is rich in carbohydrates, minerals and fiber. The fruit is certainly healthy, in cities it may be a little contaminated. It is better to buy fruit out of town and not on the main busy street.
Other popular dishes of Vietnamese cuisine:
> Bun bo Hue (Bún bò Huế)
– well-known food mainly in Hue (central Vietnam)
– soup contains rice noodles (Bun) and beef (Bo)
– spicy, sour, salty, sweet taste, aroma of lemon grass
> Banh canh (Bánh canh)
– broth with strong noodles, can be made from tapioca flour or mixtures of rice
– various kinds – with crab, pork, shrimp, fish
> Banh xeo (Bánh xèo)
– crispy pancake made from rice flour with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, herbs
– Ban xeo is dipped into special sauce
– in southern Vietnam with coconut milk
> Banh cuon (Bánh cuốn)
– Banh cuon is made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice
– filled with boiled pork, mushrooms, onion
– „cha lua“ pork sauce, cucumber, bean sprouts
> Nem ran (Nem rán)
– crispy spring rolls filled with vegetables, meat
– herbs, vegetables, lime, dipped in spicy sauce
> Bun rieu (Bún riêu)
– soup with rice noodles and meat, there are several types of this dish
– served with tomato, crab broth, supplemented with shrimp paste
– supplemented by also tamarind paste, fried tofu, mint, bean sprouts
Foody – guide to restaurants and cafes in Vietnam
You arrive in Vietnam, for example you are going to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. You want to go out for dinner, lunch or coffee. But how to make sense of those hundreds and thousands of restaurants that you will see in the streets. But where to find quality restaurants and cafes in Vietnam? How’s the food looks and how much it costs? Maybe it will help a great vietnamese mobile application – Foody (available also in English). This application will show you almost all restaurants, cafes and bistros on the map. And not only that. But shops and some tourist attractions but also some places for recreation. Preliminarily, you can also look on the web Foody.vn.
– application is for Android, iOS and Windows Phone
– localized to English (the names of dishes and promotions are in Vietnamese)
– allows the delivery to the address (depending on the price of the order), or restaurant reservations
– in the selection are other restaurants with a specific cuisine (European, Korean, Italian …)
– restaurant reviews, visitors and thousands of photos of dishes bistros, cafes … growing daily
– more information about Foody
A few recommendations in Vietnam:
> Wash purchased fruits, vegetables and herbs and buy only bottled water!
> When you have indigestion, try using probiotics!
> It is not recommended to drink tap water!
> Do not eat smelly food!