Food culture is a natural culture formed in a country’s life and development process. For many peoples and nations, cuisine is not only a material culture but also a spiritual culture. Through cuisine, one can understand the culture that expresses human dignity and the cultural level of the nation with morals, rules, and customs in the way of eating.

Vietnam is not only known as a country with various unique customs but also mentioned for its rich and diverse cuisine, which you must try when arriving there. Vietnamese Traditional Food promotes its characteristics and absorbs the quintessence of world cuisine. Therefore, Vietnamese cuisine has diversity, harmony, and attraction to tourists.

Are you ready to join us to explore the famous Vietnam Dishes? Follow VM Travel on this article to ensure you get all the valuable info about the best food and local restaurants in Vietnam!

hanoi street food tour
Vietnam Famous Food

Taste of Vietnam – Exploring the Richness of Vietnam Famous Food

1. VietNam Traditional Food

Vietnam – known as a culinary paradise, the dishes here are diverse in color and flavor and unique in typical processing styles. And it will surely make you remember these flavors forever! The cuisine of Vietnam has been named in the cuisine map of all over the world. Some dishes in Vietnam Traditional Food were recognized by the Oxford Dictionary, including Pho and Banh Mi. Below are the top Vietnam Famous Food suggestions you should taste when coming to beautiful Vietnam.

ma dam lan restaurant
VietNam Traditional Food

2. Top 14 most famous food in VietNam

2.1 Pho – Classic and Typical Vietnamese food

Pho is the most famous food in vietnam and is considered one of the typical dishes of UNESCO for Vietnamese cuisine. The main ingredients of Pho are Pho cakes and broth, along with thinly sliced beef or chicken. The broth for the noodle soup pot is usually a clear broth simmered from meat (or pork bones), accompanied by a variety of spices, including cinnamon, anise, grilled ginger, cardamom, cult, cloves, coriander seeds, grilled dried onions. The meat used for pho is beef or chicken. “Pho cakes” are traditionally made from rice flour, coated into thin sheets, and cut into fibers. Pho is always enjoyed when it is hot. In Vietnam, Pho can be used in the morning, noon, evening, anytime, and even in the middle of the night.

pho - the best vietnam traditional food
Pho – the best Vietnam Famous Food

2.2 Bun Bo Hue – Savoring the Soul of Central Vietnamese Cuisine

Hue beef noodle soup is loved for its eye-catching form and unforgettable rich flavor. Therefore, Hue attracts tourists not only for the beauty of the Perfume River, Ngu Mountain, and Lang Co Beach, but also for the specialty flavors of Bun Bo Hue in the ancient capital. Hue beef noodle is a unique dish that attracts domestic and foreign tourists. And obviously, this dish must be tasted in Hue, already a specialty of Hue.

Back to the Central – the poetic, beautiful city of Hue, we can easily find a restaurant selling Hue beef noodle soup. There is no need to go to luxury restaurants, even street shops. This taste also makes us remember it forever. Imagine tasting a delicious bowl of Bun Bo Hue in the street store vendors and slowly enjoying the pace of local life in the ancient capital Hue.

You can try Madam Thu Restaurant, where they have Hue specialties, as well as delicious dishes from Vietnam. This is a place you can research when coming to Hue. Not only that, but diners can also experience cooking delicious Vietnam popular food at Madam Thu Restaurant.

bun bo hue
Bun bo Hue

Location: Madam Thu Restaurant – 04 Vo Thi Sau, Hue city

Price: 45.000 VND – 55.000 VND ($1.84 – $2.25)

Opening hour: 10:00 a.m – 10:30 p.m

2.3 Nem Lui – The Secrets of Nem Lui Revealed

Nem Lui – a dish spread throughout all regions of Vietnam. You can find Nem Lui Nha Trang or  Nem Lui Hue when searching for this keyword. However, each area has a different flavor. Coming to Hue, you can use this dish with pork peanut sauce soup. As for Nem Lui Nha Trang, you can use them with dipping sauce cooked from fish sauce, peanuts, and onions. It is also served with crispy ram cakes and vermicelli. Several other ways of processing Nem Lui also exist, depending on the region. Here are some suggestions when you want to taste this special dish

nem lui
Nem Lui

2.4 Banh Mi – The soul of Vietnamese cuisine

Banh Mi is no longer a strange keyword in the international cuisine arena. Referring to bread, people often think of loaves of bread with external crunch. Inside is a blend of many quintessential ingredients of Vietnamese cuisines, such as spring rolls, shumai, and more. More specifically, the bread is also anti-choking with many special Vietnamese vegetables. We can easily see places selling Banh Mi, from sidewalk carts to luxury restaurants, even on big and small streets.

banh mi
Banh Mi

2.5 Goi Cuon – Savor the freshness of Vietnamese cuisine

Goi Cuon, often referred to as Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls, is a delectable and healthy dish that exemplifies the vibrant flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. It features translucent paper wrappers at its heart, encasing fresh herbs, rice vermicelli, and protein like shrimp, grilled pork, or tofu. The accompanying dipping sauce, typically a hoisin-peanut sauce, truly sets Goi Cuon apart, which adds a sweet, tangy, and nutty dimension to the rolls.

One of the most appealing aspects of Goi Cuon is its health-conscious preparation. These rolls are not fried but are instead fresh and light, making them a guilt-free and nutritious option. Goi Cuon is a delightful mix of contrasting textures and flavors. So, when you’re in Vietnam, take the chance to savor the delicious simplicity of Goi Cuon.

You can find Goi Cuon at any restaurant or sidewalk store in Vietnam:

goi cuon tom thit
Goi Cuon

Location: Restaurant Wap and Roll – 62 Hai Ba Trung Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Price: 25.000 VND – 399.000 VND ($1.02 – $16.36)

Opening hour: 11:00 a.m – 10:30 p.m

Aside from that, take advantage of savoring the fresh and light of Goi Cuon at famous local markets, including Ben Thanh Market, Tan Dinh Market, or Ba Chieu Market. While enjoying the tasty flavors of Goi Cuon, take a moment to observe the daily activities of locals at vibrant Vietnam markets.

2.6 Bun Cha – Grilled Pork and Noodles, a Taste of Hanoi

Bun Cha is also known as “Kebab rice noodles Hanoi”, a beloved Vietnamese dish from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. At its heart, Bun Cha is all about harmony. It typically consists of two main components: succulent grilled pork patties and vermicelli noodles. The meatballs are seasoned with garlic, fish sauce, and a touch of sugar, all combined to create an unforgettable taste. These patties are then grilled to perfection, imbuing them with a smoky and slightly charred aroma.

The noodles, however, provide a delicate balance to the dish. Soft and slightly chewy, they are the ideal canvas for the rich, savory sauce accompanying Bun Cha. This fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and lime concoction, adds a tangy and slightly sweet note. Fresh herbs and vegetables, such as lettuce, mint, and coriander, add freshness to the meal. In Hanoi, tourists can easily catch street stores with seducing aromas of pork grilled. Such a unique taste of Hanoi!

You can taste the authentic flavor of Bun Cha at 25 years old Bun Cha eatery

Grilled Pork and Noodles

Location: 74 Hang Quat Street, Old Quater, Hanoi City

Price: 45.000 VND – 50.000 VND ($1.92 to $2.13)

Opening hour: 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m

2.7 Cao Lau – A Hoi An Noodle Like No Other

Cao Lau is one of the most famous dishes in the charming town of Hoi An. The heart of Cao Lau lies in its thick, chewy noodles, made from a secret recipe known to only a few local families. These noodles are the essence of Cao Lau, setting it apart from other Vietnamese noodle dishes. They are distinctively flavored with ash and water from the town’s ancient Cham wells, giving them a slightly smoky, nutty taste and a beautiful golden color.

Cao Lau is typically served with slices of succulent barbecue pork, fragrant herbs, bean sprouts, and crispy rice crackers. The dish is further elevated by a drizzle of rich, savory broth made from simmering pork and local herbs for hours. The contrast of textures and the harmonious blend of flavors in Cao Lau create a unique flavor that can only be found in the World Heritage Site Hoi An. To truly savor the essence of Hoi An, enjoy a steaming bowl of Cao Lau at one of the town’s local eateries.

cao lau
Cao Lau

Location: Cao Lau Ba Le – 45/3 Tran Hung Dao Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An

Price: 25.000 VND – 50.000 VND ($0.95 – $1.9)

Opening hour: 11:00 a.m – 9:00 p.m

2.8 Com Tam – A Taste of Saigon’s Broken Rice

Com Tam, or broken rice, is one of the must-try dishes when you come to the most dynamic city in Vietnam. At the core of Com Tam is the broken rice itself. These smaller, fragmented grains are known for their unique texture and ability to absorb flavors exceptionally well. Com Tam is often served with various accompaniments, making it a delightful and diverse dish. Grilled pork, succulent shrimp, or tender chicken marinated with aromatic herbs and spices. Fresh vegetables, pickled daikon, carrots, and dipping sauce (a sweet and tangy dipping sauce) complete the ensemble.

What sets Com Tam apart is its rich history and cultural significance. It’s a dish that resonates with Saigon’s working-class roots, offering a hearty and affordable meal for all. When you savor a plate of Com Tam in the bustling streets of Saigon, you’re not just enjoying a delicious meal, you’re connecting with the heart of this vibrant city and its people. Saigonese frequently eats Com Tam like Hanoian eats Pho. So, the next time you visit Saigon, enjoy a plate of Com Tam, the perfect flavor of Saigon.

Find yourself in the delicious Com Tam eateries in Ho Chi Minh City below

Broken rice
Broken rice

Location: Com Tam Ba Ha – 389 Hung Phu Street, District 8, HCMC

Price: 35.000 VND – 60.000 VND ($1.44 – $2.46)

Opening hour: 4:00 p.m – 08:30 p.m

2.9 Bun Thit Nuong – Grilled Pork, Vermicelli, and So Much More

Bun Thit Nuong is one of the most famous Vietnam dishes. This dish is often known as “grilled pork vermicelli noodles”. At the heart of Bun Thit Nuong are the moist and tender slices of grilled pork marinated with tasty flavors that include lemongrass, garlic, and fish sauce. These marinated pork pieces are then perfectly grilled, infusing them with a smoky, savory essence. The grilled pork is typically served over a bed of cool vermicelli noodles, creating a delightful contrast of temperatures and textures. Accompanied by an assortment of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts

One of the defining characteristics of Bun Thit Nuong is its versatility. Diners can customize their bowls with various condiments and sauces, including the ubiquitous sauce, a sweet and tangy dipping sauce that elevates the dish to new heights. Bun Thit Nuong is a harmonious blend of the smoky and sweet, the hot and cold, the soft and crunchy. Tourists can enjoy Bun Thit Nuong in many places and cities in Vietnam, including Hue, Ho Chi Minh, and Dalat. 

Top must try Bun Thit Nuong Restaurants in Hue and Ho Chi Minh City

bun thit nuong
Bun thit nuong – Grilled Pork

Location: Madam Thu Restaurant – 04 Vo Thi Sau, Hue city

Price: 45.000 VND – 55.000 VND ($1.84 – $2.25)

Opening hour: 10:00 a.m – 10:30 p.m

2.10 Banh Xeo – An authentic golden Vietnamese pancake

Unlike expensive delicacies, Vietnamese pancakes are simple but bold with their own cuisine. From ingredients, processing, and enjoyment, blending together gives people a feeling of authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The name “Banh Xeo” translates to “sizzling cake,” indeed, it sizzles with a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. A perfect Banh Xeo has a golden crust outside and diverse ingredients inside, including shrimp, bean sprouts, pork, and onions. 

The point that makes Banh Xeo into the heart of many people is the thin, golden-yellow rice flour pancake, which is skillfully crafted in a way that results in a delicate, lacy edge that’s both crispy and satisfyingly chewy. The batter is made from rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric, giving it a distinctive hue and a hint of nuttiness. What makes Banh Xeo genuinely exceptional is the art of assembling and folding the pancake. 

Satisfy your taste buds with some delicious Banh Xeo restaurants below:

banh xeo
Banh Xeo

Location: Banh Xeo Binh Dinh – 238 Le Duc Tho Street, Go Vap District, HCMC

Price: 15.000 VND – 30.000 VND ( $0.61 – $1.23)

Opening hour: 09:00 a.m – 00.00 a.m

2.11 My Quang – The Soul Noodles of Quang Nam

Mi Quang, also known as “Quang Noodles”, is a noodle dish from Quang Nam province, Vietnam. What makes Mi Quang special is a bed of turmeric-infused rice noodles, which give the dish its signature golden hue. These noodles are thicker than traditional rice vermicelli, offering a delightful chewiness that’s satisfy diners. Mi Quang is typically served with various ingredients that create harmonious flavors. Shrimp, pork, and chicken are often mixed with fresh herbs, peanuts, and crispy rice crackers. These elements come together to form a delicious bowl of Mi Quang. 

What sets My Quang apart is its luscious broth, a delightful blend of regional flavors and depth. This dish also offers many variations, including shrimp noodles, chicken noodles, frog noodles, beef noodles, and more. The broth is a harmonious combination of fish sauce, bone broth, garlic, onion, and other local species to make Mi Quang’s broth have natural sweetness. Quang Noodles conquered the most fastidious guests from the visual to the taste. Come to Hoi An, Quang Nam to immerse yourself in the ancient beauty and savor the tasty flavors of Quang Noodles. 

Some local restaurants to enjoy Mi Quang at Hoi An Ancient Town

my quang
My Quang

Location: Mi Quang Ong Hai – 6A Truong Minh Luong Street, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province

Price: 15.000 VND – 40.000 VND ( $0.61 – $1.64)

Opening hour: 06:00 a.m – 10.00 p.m

2.12 Bun Cha Ca – The Fusion of Seafood and Vietnamese Cuisine

Bun Cha Ca is also known as Fried Fish Cake Noodle Soup, a specialty of Central Vietnam, especially in Danang City. The dish is famous in Central Vietnam cause the region has a long coastline. Bun Cha Ca features a delectable broth, rich and aromatic, which is infused with the essence of the sea. The special broth for Bun Cha Ca is made from fish or pork bones, cabbage, and tomatoes, while the fish cakes are moisty fish fillets to tender fish cakes, and sometimes even fish balls.

But Bun Cha Ca isn’t just about the fish and noodles. It’s an ensemble of flavors and ingredients, including other common ingredients like vermicelli noodles, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, dill, and shrimp paste. Bun Cha Ca reflects the coastal lifestyle and the Vietnamese love for seafood. Come to Danang Beach City to lay on the pristine beaches and enjoy the golden sunshine while savoring Bun Cha Ca’s tasty flavor that transports you to the shores of Central Vietnam.

Bun Cha
Bun Cha Ca – Fusion of Seafood

Visit our recommended delicious Bun Cha Ca restaurants in Danang City below:

Location: Bun Cha Ca 109 – 109 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Hai Chau District, Danang City

Price: 30.000 VND – 60.000 VND ($1.23 – $2.46)

Opening hour: 06:30 a.m – 10.00 p.m

2.13 Hu Tieu – Enjoy the Southern Vietnam Noodles

Hu Tieu is a popular noodle in Southern Vietnam. While North Vietnam enjoys Pho, Central Vietnam enjoys Bun Bo Hue, the South Vietnam enjoys Hu Tieu. Hu Tieu is served either in soup or in dry. Hu Tieu can be served with various ingredients, such as misty shrimp, tender slices of pork, or fresh seafood. Fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and fragrant cilantro refresh the dish. 

The broth is the soul of Hu Tieu, characterized by its harmonious blend of flavors. It’s often a clear and savory broth made from simmering various ingredients, including pork, seafood, or chicken. Many kinds of noodles are used in Hu Tieu, including soft rice, egg, or chewy tapioca noodles. Visit South Vietnam to immerse yourself in the elegant flavors of Southern Vietnam Noodles. 

Savor a bowl of delicious Hu Tieu to satisfy your stomach right now:

hu tieu
Hu Tieu

Location: Hu Tieu Hong Phat – 62 Ton That Thiep Street, District 1, HCMC

Price: 30.000 VND – 50.000 VND ($1.23 – $2.05)

Opening hour: 06:00 a.m – 10:00 p.m

2.14 The – Discovering the Soul of Vietnamese Sweet Soup

Sweet soup, known as “Che” in Vietnam, is a Vietnam traditional food, mainly traditional sweet desserts. Che is a typical process in soup and puddings as well. The sweet soup is also served hot and cold in a bowl or a glass, making it suitable for all seasons. What makes Che truly special is the diversity of Vietnam’s common ingredients, including beans, fruits, jellies, and more. There are many regional and seasonal variations, each with unique ingredients and preparation methods. 

You can find “Che” made from mung beans, red beans, lotus seeds, taro, cassava, corn, and even tropical fruits like jackfruit, lychee, longan, and mango. Using ingredients like coconut milk, pandan leaves, and even durian gives “Che” its distinct and attractive flavors. The Vietnamese dessert is also eaten with a layer of sweet, tangy, and nutty coconut creme. She is often made at home during special events, including Vietnam New Year, death anniversary, or just a daily sweet dessert for loved ones without any occasion.

You can find Che in Vietnam from the North to the South, but Hue Sweet Soup is exceptional, with hundreds of Che dishes. Below are some Che eateries to savor the Hue’s sweet flavors

Vietnamese Sweet Soup

Location: Che Hem – No.01, 29 Alley, Hung Vuong Street, Phu Hoi Ward, Hue City

Price: 12.000 VND ($0.49)

Opening hour: 10:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m

3. Tips for enjoying food in Vietnam

Vietnam is a food heaven with thousands of mouthwatering traditional foods for reasonable prices. To enhance your cuisine experience in beautiful Vietnam, you can note pocket tips to bask in the Vietnam culture and enjoy rich cuisine here. Enjoy our helpful tips below now!

  • Local Delicacies: Seek out local eateries and street stalls for an authentic cuisine experience. These spots often offer the most genuine and flavorful dishes.
  • Explore Local Markets: Visit bustling local markets or Night Markets in Vietnam to understand Vietnam’s food culture. You can sample various famous Vietnam dishes and observe the vibrant market scenes.
  • Streetwise Selection: Trust the places with a steady stream of locals. It’s a good indicator of tasty and safe options.
  • Sip Local Beverages: Don’t forget to try traditional Vietnamese beverages, like coconut coffee, egg coffee, and sugarcane juice, to fill your experience.
  • Open Palate: Be adventurous and open-minded. You’ll find diverse dishes and ingredients, so take advantage of the opportunity to try something new.

The journey to Vietnam will only be fulfilled if you satisfy your taste buds with plenty of delicious Vietnam traditional food. Enjoying Vietnamese cuisine is also an ideal way to understand Vietnamese culture. So why wait? Visit peaceful Vietnam and make your trip here more memorable with a Vietnamese cuisine experience.