10 Local Foods to Try in Vietnam • The Blonde Abroad

10 local foods to try in vietnam

Vietnamese cuisine uses fresh ingredients and not a whole lot of oil or dairy, making it one of the healthier cuisines around the world — common ingredients include fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, noodles, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, and different proteins.

In fact, to me, it’s the perfect balance of fresh and light food that doesn’t weigh you down too much, yet it’s still filling.

If you’ve ever had phở (pronounced like fuh), you know it’s the kind of soup that can put you back together. The delicious soup, similar to a chicken noodle (but in my opinion SO MUCH TASTIER!), is packed with flavor. However, there are so many other Vietnamese dishes to try.

Don’t know where to start? Here are 10 local foods to try in Vietnam!

Goi Cuon

Many people are familiar with the fried spring rolls but gỏi cuốn is the lighter and healthier alternative.

The fresh spring rolls consist of thin vermicelli noodles, pork, shrimp, lettuce, and mint, all tightly wrapped in translucent rice papers. Because of their mild flavor, they’re usually dipped in a peanut or fish sauce.


hoi an noodles

Coa Lau

When exploring the ancient towns of Vietnam, trying coa lầu is a must. This Hội An noodle dish is topped with pork, crunchy rice crackers, spices, and a handful of fresh herbs and lettuce.

A little bit of broth rests at the bottom of the bowl; both the texture and color of the dish set it apart from other Vietnamese noodle dishes.

Bún Bò Xào

Bún bò xào is a noodle salad—in Vietnam, it’s considered a light meal rather than an appetizer.

Served in layers, the dish consists of rice noodles, vegetables, beef that has been marinated in lemongrass, roasted peanuts, crispy fried shallots, and lots of fresh herbs such as cilantro, lemon, basil, and mint.

com tam broken rice vietnam

Com Tam

Com tam, also known as broken rice, is traditionally served with a fried egg, grilled pork, prawns, or beef, and both fresh and pickled vegetables.

It’s a popular dish for breakfast or lunch and is an extremely inexpensive option. Street markets and food stalls sell it for VND 20,000. That’s less than $1 USD!

Bonus: Vietnamese Coffee + Breakfast

Vietnamese coffee is quite different than what you would expect from a typical cup of Western coffee.

It’s especially sweet as it’s typically served with sweetened condensed milk—because of this, fresh milk, sugar, or cream are not necessary.

A typical Vietnamese breakfast will likely consist of noodles (phở) or sticky rice (xoi). In Saigon, if you’re craving eggs, you can order com tam. In some areas, you might find bánh bao—a Vietnamese bun similar to dim sum—which is a great “grab-and-go” breakfast.

Quick Guide to Ordering for Vegetarians

If you’re in Vietnam and you want to tell someone that you’re vegetarian, you can say “toi an chay.”

To avoid meat, you can say “khong thit,” but that doesn’t mean a dish will be strictly vegan. Though there won’t be any meat, there will still likely be fish sauce or a meat-based broth. These can be especially hard to avoid at street markets.

Tofu is a very common protein in Vietnamese cuisine too, so that will be an option most places!

You can order Phở Chay for a “vegetarian, tofu phở,” but only more tourist locations will use a vegetable broth rather than a meat broth.

Heads up: You can order Báhn Mì with “no meat,” but they will still put the pâté—which is a meat paste.

vietnamese rolls


There are honestly so many delicious Vietnamese dishes to try…it was difficult to narrow down this list! What’s your favorite one? Let me know in the comments below!

Recommended Food Tours in Vietnam!

Source link