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  • Writer's pictureDavid Cheung

Eating in Vietnam

Vietnamese cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors and aromas that delight the senses. Tourists visiting Vietnam are in for a treat as they explore the country's diverse culinary landscape. With its unique blend of fresh herbs, spices, and contrasting textures, Vietnamese cuisine has gained worldwide recognition and is a must-try for food lovers.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what to expect when eating in Vietnam and some tips for tourists to enjoy the food culture to the fullest.


Pho is one of Vietnam's most famous dishes and can be found in almost every corner of the country. This traditional noodle soup is made with beef or chicken broth, rice noodles, and a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables. It is usually served with lime wedges, bean sprouts, chili peppers, and hoisin sauce. Pho is perfect for breakfast or as a light meal at any time of the day.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that has become increasingly popular worldwide. It is made with a crusty baguette filled with meat, vegetables, and a variety of sauces. The most common filling is pork belly or pate, but there are also vegetarian options available. Banh Mi is a quick and affordable meal that can be found at street food stalls or cafes throughout Vietnam.

Bun Cha

Bun Cha is a Hanoi specialty and is made with grilled pork, rice noodles, and fresh herbs. It is typically served with a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and chili peppers. Bun Cha is a flavourful and healthy dish that is perfect for lunch or dinner.

Com Tam

Com Tam is a popular rice dish that is served with grilled pork, a fried egg, and pickled vegetables. It is often accompanied by a small bowl of soup and a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, and chili peppers. Com Tam is a hearty and filling meal that is perfect for lunch or dinner.

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is a must-try for caffeine lovers. It is made with strong, dark-roasted coffee beans and sweetened with condensed milk. It is usually served over ice and is a refreshing and energizing beverage. Vietnamese coffee is available at cafes and street food stalls throughout the country.

Tips for Eating in Vietnam:

  • Try the local street food - Vietnam is famous for its street food culture, and trying the local specialties is a must-do for any tourist. Be adventurous and try dishes that you may not have heard of before.

  • Be cautious with raw vegetables - Raw vegetables and herbs are an essential part of Vietnamese cuisine, but they may not always be washed with purified water. Tourists should exercise caution and wash them thoroughly before consuming.

  • Be mindful of the spices - Vietnamese cuisine uses a variety of spices and chili peppers, which can be quite potent. If you are not used to spicy food, start with milder dishes and work your way up.

  • Watch out for food hygiene - Food hygiene can be a concern in some areas, particularly with street food stalls. Look for stalls that are popular with the locals and have high turnover.

  • Drink bottled water - Tap water in Vietnam may not be safe for drinking, so tourists should stick to bottled water or other packaged drinks.

Eating in Vietnam is an exciting and delicious experience that should not be missed by any food lover. With its vibrant street food culture and unique blend of flavors, Vietnamese cuisine is sure to delight the senses. Tourists should be adventurous and try the local specialties while exercising caution with food hygiene and raw vegetables. With these tips in mind, tourists can fully immerse themselves in Vietnam's food culture and create unforgettable culinary memories.

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