What first time visitors must eat in Vietnam

👉 Pho

👉 Banh Mi

👉 Egg Coffee

👉 Mi Quang

👉 Banh Xeo

👉 Banh Cuon

👉 Goi Cuon

The cuisine in Vietnam is some of the best in the world. If you like hearty, flavorful dishes, you will love the food in Vietnam. But for first time visitors, it’s not always easy navigating around the foo scene. That’s why we created this list of what first time visitors must eat in Vietnam, to help you out on your food journey. Check it out!


The staple dish of Vietnam will probably be the first thing that people recommend you to try when traveling in Vietnam. It’s one of the most popular Vietnamese food in the world and definitely lives up to its reputation. Pho is a noodle soup dish that’s normally topped with herbs, meat, hot peppers and lime. It was invented in Hanoi, in the early 20th century, but you can find this beloved dish throughout the country. The broth and toppings vary though depending on which region you are in, so make sure that you try pho in every place you go to! And believe us, you will want to.

Banh Mi

After pho comes banh mi, another staple dish of Vietnam. This dish was inspired by the French and consists of a baguette with lots of different types of fillings. Banh Mi is usually eaten as a street food snack but there’s really no rules when it comes to banh mi. Once you’re in Vietnam, you’ll notice that there’s plenty of vendors selling their version of banh mi. However, if you’re a vegan, it can be a bit tricky to get a fully vegan banh mi. But Vietnam is surprisingly easy for vegans to travel in so if you do your research beforehand, you’ll notice there’s lots of spots who makes kick ass vegan banh mi’s.

Egg Coffee

This delicious drink was invented in Hanoi and consists of black coffee, sweetened condensed milk and whisked egg yolk. When milk was scarce, the idea of drinking coffee with a whisked egg yolk was born. Although it might not sound strange, it’s a tasty drink that you can find in almost any café. But if you’re in Vietnam, make sure to pop by the original egg coffee café “Cafe Giang”.

Mi Quang

This popular dish can be mostly found in central Vietnam, especially in Da Nang. It was here that it was invented and it’s here where you can find the arguably best Mi Quang. The dish is a local favorite and consists of thicker rice noodles served with a choice of proteins such as tofu, chicken, pork, shrimp, mussels or quail eggs, all served in a soupy broth. It usually comes with a salad as well on the side and some sauce. It might sound like a very simple dish, but the taste is anything but simple.

Banh Xeo

Just like banh mi, this dish was also inspired by the French kitchen. Banh Xeo are sizzling yellow pancakes filled with a mix of ingredients such as herbs, vegetables and a choice of protein. They also wrap the pancakes in either a rice paper and dip them in a peanut sauce or you can also wrap the pancake in a lettuce leaf. Although it’s not as popular as the other dishes listed here, it’s just as good.

Banh Cuon

If you want to try a typical Vietnamese breakfast, opt for the banh cuon. It’s steamed rice rolls that are usually filled with either mushrooms or pork. You then dip the rice rolls in a sweet dipping sauce. It’s not fancy food perhaps, but it’s typical food you’ll see many of the locals eating. It’s also one of the cheaper meals you can buy in Vietnam so if you’re on a stricter budget, you know what you can eat for breakfast.

Goi Cuon

The fresh spring rolls are good for whichever occasion. They’re healthier than the deep-fried egg roll you can find and they’re super delicious. The fresh ones usually consist of thin vermicelli noodles, herbs and some sort of meat, although you can easily find vegetarian and vegan options. The rolls are then dipped in a hoisin-based dipping sauce that’s topped with crushed peanuts.

Does this make you want to book your flight to Vietnam just to eat the food? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who feels this way! Not only does the country have delicious cuisine to offer, you also have amazing landscapes, local hospitality, pristine islands and a fascinating culture that makes traveling in Vietnam always thrilling.

Before you book your ticket, make sure that you check through the visa requirements. Most nationalities must obtain a valid Vietnam visa before entering the country. If you’re on the list, you have to make sure that you apply for a visa in good time before visiting Vietnam. There are three visa options: Visa on Arrival, E-Visa or go to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate to apply with them. Do note that the E-Visa is only eligible for certain countries in the world.