Five Must Try Dishes In Vietnam

Vietnam is famous for its amazing variety of cuisine from across all parts of the country. Each dish has a unique flavour and you won’t get the same dish twice because each region usually has its own variety of flavour and preparation.

Vietnam has unique food that can’t be found anywhere else in the world with some amazing flavours.

All of the dishes listed below can also be tried in vegan or vegetarian options and there are hundreds of vegan/ vegetarian only restaurants in Vietnam. The word for vegetarian in Vietnam is “An Chay”.

While there are definitely speciality dishes in each region of Vietnam that need to be tried, this article is a list of general dishes in Vietnam that you need to try. They are my favourite dishes from my time in Vietnam and are popular with the locals and tourists alike!

1. Pho

Pho is world famous. Many people have heard of Pho before they even get to Vietnam or have even tried it in their home country. However, no Pho is like home-made Vietnamese Pho! You can choose between vegetarian (usually mushroom or tofu), chicken or beef and all of this meat is off the bone and has been slowly cooked (for days) until tender. The meat in this dish is fairly minimal, as it comes in a huge bowl of rice noodle soup. The thing that makes Pho so wonderfully delicious is the amazing broth that it is cooked in. This broth consists of many secret herbs and spices and no chef makes it the same. The juice of the meat is also added to the broth and it is slowly simmered for a long time before being served piping hot everywhere from high-end restaurants to street food stalls!

2. Bun Cha

Bun Cha is deliciously cooked BBQ pork, with cold rice noodles and crunchy salad, served with a scrumptious fish sauce. It’s served with a whole load of green veggies for the health conscious among you and the contrast of the cold, fresh noodles with the hot, crispy BBQ is just awesome. There are usually two types of pork served and one is meatballs and the other is actual pork pieces. I prefer the pork pieces but try both and decide for yourself!

3. Banh Xeo

Do you like pancakes? These are pancakes with a difference! (For a start, they are savoury…) This pancake again comes served with crunchy, fresh salad and veggies and fish sauce. Inside this crispy dish there is beansprouts, onion, sometimes carrots and other veggies, pork and shrimp. What a great combination! Now the tricky part… You have to break apart the pancake and wrap it in a piece of circular rice paper, remembering to add those fresh veggies. Then roll it nice and tight, dip it in the fish sauce and tada! It’s a great snack or a whole meal, depending how many people you share it with.

4. Bun Bo Hue

So, as you can maybe tell from the name, this dish originates from Hue in the South but it can be found all over Vietnam and each city makes it slightly differently. The main dish is another type of noodle soup, but whereas the Pho noodles are quite thin, these noodles are very thick. The meat in this dish is pork and also beef bones, which are usually added on top. Annatto, shrimp paste and lemon grass are also used to give it a truly unique flavour. There’s also a whole load of different herbs included and for the best taste squeeze a tasty fresh lime over the dish. Some places may also add crab balls, sliced brisket or congealed pigs blood as an added extra!

5. Street BBQ

Vietnam does BBQ really well. There are various options where you can BBQ your own (Korean style) or they will BBQ different dishes for you and bring it to your table. You can choose from pork, chicken, beef and seafood and it will be served with a number of different veggies such as peppers, mushrooms and onions. They also serve an amazing side sauce which is a mix of salt and pepper and you then squeeze cumquat (like lime but sweeter) into the dish and mix it up before dipping your freshly cooked BBQ into it. Don’t worry, everyone gets their own mini dish so you can dip it as much as you like!

What are you waiting for? Get trying these unique and great dishes!

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