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Vietnam

Vietnam Street Food Guide: Top 8 Street Food You Must Try

Savoring street food plays an essential role in every tourist’s journey to Vietnam. It’s so difficult to refuse any kinds of Vietnamese cuisine on streets. So, if you are an open-minded foodie, Vietnam is the top paradise to look for mouth-watering street foods. However, before visiting Vietnam, you might be hesitant on what are the must-try street foods. Then, don’t panic, MyProGuide considerately collects some of the best choices for all street-food lovers. Just take action and keep your mouth picky. You won’t regret following the list.

1. Bánh mì(Vietnamese sandwich):

When Vietnamese mention street foods, bánh mì is probably the first delicacy that comes in mind. Bánh mì is considered as Vietnamese-style sandwich. Perhaps because of French colonial history, Vietnamese stuff baguette, rarely seen in Asian countries before, with many ingredients, including tomato and cucumber slices , braised meat, and carrot pickles, etc..

Taste of bánh mì varies in Vietnam’s different region, but to visitors’ relief, bánh mì can capture everyone’s appetite for sure.

2. Vietnamese-style coffee(Cà phê sữa đá):

Vietnam own a productive coffee industry. Every year, coffee brings quite a fortune to Vietnamese people. Nonetheless, if you are so used to “normal” coffee, and take Vietnamese-style coffee as the common type of drink which you usually enjoy, then, Vietnamese-style coffee is ready to surprise you with its contrasting mix of cloying and bitter taste.

In fact, Vietnamese people use metal filter to make a local coffee. Once they add hot water, the metal filter releases coffee drop into the cup. To sweeten coffee, Vietnamese people usually blend coffee with iced condensed milk. That’s the key ingredient to transform a “normal” coffee into so-called Vietnamese-style coffee.

Also, don’t worry to waste much time on finding Vietnamese-style coffee, because Vietnamese people are accustomed to sipping a cup of coffee, no matter in the morning or in other free time. You can easily grab a cup of Vietnamese-style coffee on the streets. Enjoy this taste and drink as local in Vietnam.

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3. Phở(Vietnamese rice noodle with soup):

When it comes to Vietnamese street foods that are popular even among foreigners, no one could forget the name and smell of phở. If you order phở, you will get Vietnamese rice noodle with soup. Regarding meat selection, you can choose either beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà). Also, Vietnamese people usually put a lots of herbs, lemons, and chilies to level up the flavor of phở. New visitors to Vietnam can taste and try to find your preferred kind of phở.

Where to have delicious phở? Easy! Phở is pretty common to taste in many chain stores, like Phở 24, Phở Hùng, and Phở 2000, etc.. They all serve quite good quality of phở, but you need to spend more money as well. So, if you notice a simple stand that sells phở on streets, why not give it a try. Perhaps this bowl of phở would be the most unforgettable memory during your trips.

4. Bánh xèo (Sizzling pancake):

(Credit: stu_spivack on flickr)

Bánh xèo stands for Vietnamese crepes, or literally named as “sizzling pancake” because of the sizzling sound when a Vietnamese cook pour rice flour on hot skillet.

As many sorts of pancakes, bánh xèo usually covers fresh ingredients, such as pork, sprouts and shrimps. Vietnamese locals will savor bánh xèo with raw vegetables and cucumbers at the same time. Maybe you should dip some chili sauce aside to taste typical Vietnamese style of street food.     

5. Gỏi cuốn(Vietnamese cold spring roll):

(Credit: moonberry on flickr)

Gỏi cuốn is a traditional Vietnamese dish that contains cooked pork, shrimp, raw vegetables. Vietnamese people wrap these ingredients with Vietnamese rice paper to make as roll shape. So, gỏi cuốn is also named as Vietnamese cold spring roll. Although in some visitors’ opinions, gỏi cuốn looks similar to Chinese spring rolls, gỏi cuốn tastes different from Chinese spring rolls.

Gỏi cuốn is stuffed with salty cooked meat and seafood, while Chinese-style one tastes sweet. Moreover, gỏi cuốn is really easy to find. Even if you take a walk on the streets, you can see certain Vietnamese people carry shoulder poles to sell typical prepared foods. Gỏi cuốn is the most common street food you can savor anywhere in Vietnam.

It probably satisfies most tourists’ sensation of taste. So, next time please don’t miss out this yummy street out just because of its simple look and size.

6. Cá kho tộ(Caramelize and braise catfish):

(Credit: diadiemdulich)

In Vietnamese, cá means “fish”. For local people in Vietnam, having seafood is a daily must to gain natural nutrition. As generally introduce in travel guidebook, Vietnamese living in the South feed on fresh fish and other seafood caught from adjacent Mekong River. Vietnamese locals take advantage of their natural resources and inherent cooking talent to make delicious cuisine full of Vietnamese culture. They caramelize and braise catfish with onions, celery, and chilis in a hot pot.

Thus, the braised sauce consists of seafood, seasonings, herbs, and hot steam. It’s so tasty that is considered the best appetizer for rice. Rice goers will definitely have one bowl after one bowl once you get cá kho tộ on table.

7. Gỏi khô bò(Green papaya salad):

Once you visit Southeast Asian countries, don’t forget to buy green papaya salad on streets. Perhaps you might get this cuisine from Thai food recipe. However, Vietnamese people is also proud of this street food. It also attracts a lot of foodie bloggers to prove how amazing this cuisine is.

Gỏi khô bò consists of julienne green papaya, basil leaves, and beef shreds. As generally known, Vietnamese people are fond of seafood, so sometimes they add shrimps and other seafood(like fish shreds).

To multiply the taste, Vietnamese people will sprinkle roasted peanuts on top of salad. It’s truly astonishing. You can enjoy sweet, spicy, salty, and sour tastes mixed altogether in mouth. Right at the moment, you’ll appreciate and be more familiar with Vietnamese street food culture.

8. Chè(Vietnamese Dessert and Beverage): 

Che with coconut milk
(Credit: somethings2consider on flickr)

Chè is a general Vietnamese word to describe Vietnam’s sweet dessert and beverage. As you may learn on streets, due to various kinds of ingredients in chè, glasses display colorful look that appeals to many youngsters go and buy chè. Chè is customized drink, so you can select preferred ingredients such as pudding, jelly, tapioca, etc. to make your unique and favorite kind. Don’t forget to ask the shopkeeper to add coconut milk to thicken the  flavor.

Wow! Vietnam is really a paradise for street-food lovers, right? It’s always wonderful to greeting nice local people and experience the authentic street foods. Then, remember to “stay hungry, stay foodie” during your journey here in Vietnam.

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Author

Hello, Yu is my middle name. Currently an full-time media editor, also lifelong traveler. Easily attracted by exotic culture. Once exploring a new place, I feel like travel spirit get refreshed thousand times. So far, have lived in Vietnam, Korea and Spain for quite a while, and been to Portugal, Japan, etc.. Journey never ends...Feel free to share with me your travel stories:shonelouis@gmail.com