Street Food in Vietnam

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Street food, as any Southeast Asia traveler knows, is one of the culinary highlights of the region! Street food in Thailand may be the most famous, but Vietnam has many delicious specialties worth trying, from Hanoi to Saigon.

Here are some of my favorite dishes, shared by region from north to south:

Pho, or noodle soup, is the staple of the Vietnamese diet, eaten morning, noon, and night — and it’s one of the most popular street foods.  Signs that say pho (noodle soup) and com (rice dishes) are omnipresent.

Though pho bo (beef noodle soup) is the classic, try pho ga (chicken), pho heo (pork) or any other varieties, including all types of seafood!

Every pho vendor serves it with his or her own special homemade chili sauces.  My taste buds are tingling just looking at this picture!

Looking for something exotic but not too exotic (like dog, another Vietnamese specialty)?  Go for frog. You can find frogs at open barbecues on the street — just pick your favorite one out and they’ll grill it up for you!

I saw these primarily in the north — stuffed clams!  Absolutely delicious.  I could have eaten ten of these in one sitting.

Don’t even think of passing through Hoi An without trying cao lao heo — wheat noodles in broth with slices of pork, wontons and salad!  Though this version is from a restaurant, you can find it from street sellers as well.

“Mango, pineapple, banana!” this lady sang out, making us laugh.  After that, how could we not buy from her?

Dragonfruit, the pink and green spiky fruit, is grown in plantations all over southern Vietnam. The fruit is white with black seeds and tastes like a mild kiwi fruit — perfect for a hot day on the beach in Nha Trang!

Steamed buns are available on street corners throughout Saigon.  They’re often filled with pork, but you could find others stuffed with eggs or vegetables.  My advice?  Go for the pork. SO good.

Banh mi, or sandwiches, are most popular in southern Vietnam. Grab a baguette loaded up with all the fillings — usually several kinds of pork, including a spread or two, and add tomato, cucumber, and chili sauce, of course!

Pull up one of those impossibly tiny plastic stools and enjoy — no matter where you are in Vietnam, you’re in for a feast!Street Food in Vietnam

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25 thoughts on “Street Food in Vietnam”

  1. I love Banh Mi !
    Have you tried dao fu? (it’s tofu).. well, that was one of the most memorable food-tasting experience of mine.. not because it’s delicious but because I could even hardly swallow it..! the dao fu was okay, but the sauce.. yeeuuch..
    but that was the only yucky food I tried in Vietnam.. the rest were yummy!

    1. Hmmm. Veggie sandwiches are definitely possible, some steamed buns are filled with veggies and eggs, and and I had a great veggie rice dish with eggplant and black beans. In general, however, I think that most street food options contain meat.

  2. Stuffed clams would be delicious. I wonder if the frog tastes any different than the ones here in the states…

    Is the Vietnamese street food as spicy as the Thai food?

  3. Oh how I miss the food in Vietnam, in Toronto I would eat Pho at least once a week.

    Oh and the coffee, please say you’re drinking the coffee with condensed milk.

  4. I winced when I (mis)read that you ate dog. But yes, frog. Tastes like chicken, right? 😉 My cousin snuck rat on my plate one night – thought it was pork (that’s what it tasted like). Won’t eat it again, but I would die for some of that dragonfruit right now….

  5. Pho is the bomb. It’s all the soup: it really makes or breaks your bowl of noodles.

    You should get a I <3 Pho shirt. I kinda regret not getting one…

  6. some of that looks amazing, I was lucky enough to be part of the trip to Saigon a few years back and since being back in the UK I’ve tried my hand at making my own versions of the Steamed buns and Pho Bo…. never quite the sam though, just can’t beat it.

    Thanks for the great pictures and more ideas 🙂

  7. Hi guys,

    I would love to suggest top 7 streets food must-eat in Hanoi as followings

    #1. Bun Cha (Grilled pork with Vermicelli)

    Where to try : No 01, Hang Manh street or No 67 Duong Thanh Street (closed at 7.00pm)
    Price : 60.000VND (US$2)

    #2. Pho (Rice noodle soup)

    Where to try : No 49, Bat Dan street or No 10, Ly Quoc Su Street
    Price : 40.000VND (US$2)

    #3. Bun Bo Nam Bo (Vietnamese vermicelli with grilled beef (Southern style) )

    Where to eat : No 67, Hang Dieu street
    Price : 50.000vnd (US$2.5)

    #4. Nem Ran (Deep fried springroll)

    Where to eat : No 01, Hang Manh street
    Price : 15.000vnd (75 cents)

    #5. Banh Goi (Pillow cake)

    Where to try : Ly Quoc Su street

    Price : 8.000VND or (40 cents)

    #6. Pho Cuon (Fresh rice noodle rolls)

    Where to try : Ngu Xa street

    Price : 5.000VND (25 cents)

    #7. Banh Mi (Vietnamese Baguette)

    Where to try : Banh My Ba Dan at 34 Lo Su
    Price : 20.000VND (US$1)

  8. Vietnamese food is so yummy.
    Do not miss the best bread – “Banh My Phuong” in Hoian with the price at 25.000 VND
    And some kind of foods like: Bun Cha, Pho Cuon, Pho in the North of Vietnam.
    Happy journey in Vietnam!

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