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DELVING DEEPER INTO VIETNAMESE STREET FOOD

When it comes to discover a new culture, tasting local food is a must step to immerse yourself into unexplored paths. In Vietnam, a tradition shines through: street-food. At different times of the day, local merchants get busy preparing and serving delicious meals with their small stands on the sidewalk. The art of cooking in the street is an integral part of Vietnamese daily life with regional culinary values such as quality, sharing and tradition.

From tasty soups to delightful rolls, Vietnam street food is rich of tastes and colours as locals excel in the art of balancing flavours. Moreover, Vietnam is a country where many people coming from contrasting backgrounds or cultures settled and influenced its cuisine. Hence, their gastronomy is based on culture and history.

Street food in Vietnam is placing greater emphasis on the expression: “bang for your buck”. Indeed, most street food ranges from 1€ to 3€ per dish, and usually the dishes are decent portion sizes. It is a good way to spend or save your money.

Besides, authenticity is at the core of Vietnamese street food as locals put their heart and soul while cooking, passing on their skills and knowledge through generations. Refining & perfecting classic recipes have led many street food stalls to become some of the best places to eat.

It may be impressive to venture the street food wonder of Vietnam, as the lack of food description can be at first glance quite confusing. Besides, being unfamiliar with vietnamese language can emphasize this feeling of bewilderment. However, it can be pretty exciting to delve into the unknown and try a challenging experience that could make your taste buds tingle!

 

So, let’s take a look at some of the most famous dishes that will tempt you for sure!

TRADITIONAL VIETNAMESE SOUP PHỞ

One of the great families of Vietnamese street-food dishes is probably Phở soup (rice noodle soup). Originally from the north, this dish, a culinary symbol of Vietnam, can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

The original broth is composed of marrow bones, beef strips, aromatic herbs, onions, spices, nuoc mam and rice noodles. There are also Phở with chicken, beef dumplings and other aromatic herbs for a variety of taste pleasures.

Where to eat:

Ho Chi Minh: Pho Le, 415 Nguyễn Trãi, Phường 7, Quận 5
Hanoi: Pho Bo Mau, 01 Ngõ Bảo Khánh, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm

THE BANH MI, VIETNAMESE SANDWICH

Resulting from a culinary mix between Vietnam and France, “Bánh Mì” is a term that initially refers to the Vietnamese style baguette. It is traditionally filled with roast pork, pâté, many vegetables, but the choice of ingredients remains that of the consumer. There is a wide variety of banh mi like the fried egg “banh mi op la” in Vietnamese, and all are tasty.

Where to eat:

Ho Chi Minh: Bánh mì Huỳnh Hoa 26 Lê Thị Riêng, P, Quận 1
Hanoi: Banh Mi 25, 25 Hàng Cá, P, Hoàn Kiếm

CƠM TẤM

In the 80s, due to the shortage of food, decent quality rice was hard to find. Therefore, people have to collect the small piece of rice that broken. The broken rice is small and pretty hard to cook, but when cooked perfectly, they taste better than normal rice. The broken rice dish is usually served with sunny side up eggs, roasted pork chops, oil spring onions, fried pork skin, etc, with homemade mixed fish sauce poured on top.

Where to eat:

Ho Chi Minh: Cơm Tấm Cali, 449 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 5, Quận 3
Hanoi: Cơm Tấm 11, 11 Phùng Hưng, Hàng Mã, Hoàn Kiếm

BOT CHIEN

Ho Chi Minh City’s favourite street snack, bot chien is popular with both the after-school and the after-midnight crowd. Chunks of rice flour dough are fried in a large wok until crispy, and then an egg is broken into the mix. Once cooked, it’s served with slices of papaya, shallots and green onions, before more flavour is added with pickled chili sauce and rice vinegar.

Where to eat:

Ho Chi Minh: Bột Chiên Đạt Thành, 277 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 5, Quận 3

MÌ QUẢNG

From Quảng Nam province in central Vietnam, must-eat noodle dish is widespread around the country.

Mì Quảng is made of yellow rice noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs as a main base. Pork and/or shrimp are also usually added, as well as sesame rice creckers.

Where to eat:

Ho Chi Minh: Mì Quảng Sâm, 8 Ca Văn Thỉnh, Phường 11, Tân Bình
Hanoi: Vị Quảng Restaurant, 35 Trần Hưng Đạo, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoàn Kiếm

BANH XEO

The Bánh Xèo is naturally intriguing because of its yellow shades. Roughly, it’s the Vietnamese version of a salted pancake. But in fact, it’s much more than that: the cake is not made from eggs, but from rice flour that is fried outside to obtain this golden and crispy texture. Inside the cake, the filling consists of beef, lots of soya, onions and possibly mung beans, with one last surprise to get used to, shrimps with their shells.

To enjoy one like a local, cut it into manageable slices, roll it up in rice paper or lettuce leaves and dunk it in whatever special sauce the chef has mixed up for you.

Where to eat:

Ho Chi Minh: Banh Xeo 46A, 46A Đinh Công Tráng, Tân Định, Quận 1
Hanoi: Bánh Xèo Sáu Phước, 74 Cầu Đất, Chương Dương Độ, Hoàn Kiếm

Vietnam is among the greatest food destinations in the world. A country that is worth visiting due to its culture and gastronomy that will leave you speechless but definitely fill your stomach!

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