Eating around Vietnam

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October 20th 2014
Published: July 5th 2010
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Bánh xèo (pancake)Bánh xèo (pancake)Bánh xèo (pancake)

Inside the yellow pancake, there are seafood and mushroom. This pancake is very famous in southern Vietnam.
The photos in this blog were taken on my trips to some cities and provinces of Vietnam. Except "thắng cố" (horse meat) of the H'mong ethnic minority people in Bắc Hà town (north west Vietnam) which I didn't eat, the other food in this blog are my favorite ones. You can find various types of food in Vietnam, as the Vietnamese eat almost everything, for example pork, beef, chicken, goat meat, fishes, even snakes, birds, eels, dog meat, snails etc. The only difference in the taste among three regions of Vietnam is that the central and southern people love spicy food, even though the weather there is hot throughout the year. The southerners also put sugar into their food, so the taste is sweeter.

There are some fast food brand names which are available in the big cities like KFC and BBQ chicken. You can find many restaurants that serve foreign food from Italy, France, Russia, Japan, China, Mexico, India etc. There are cooking courses for tourists in Hanoi, Hội An or Sài Gòn, which you can join for a day or two during your trips to make simple Vietnamese food.

In March 2008, I published a blog about Hanoi food with more than 100 photos (see the link at the end of this blog). Following are names and details of some food that I've tasted while traveling around Vietnam. They are local specialties and their tastes are the best when they are cooked right in the place. If you have a chance to visit these cities/towns, maybe you should try these food and I hope you will enjoy them.


Ninh Bình city

Photo No. 17 - Thịt dê (goat meat): This goat meat is eaten with a special sauce made of bean.

Another famous food in Ninh Bình city is "Cơm cháy chan súp gà" (Rice crackers with chicken soup). Any restaurant in this city serves these famous food.

Quảng Ninh province - Hạ Long bay (north east Vietnam)

Photo No. 18 - Bún tu hài (noodle soup with oyster meat) at the restaurants near Cái Rồng port on Vân Đồn island.

Photo No. 19 - Ruốc (little octopus) on Ngọc Vừng island.

Photos No. 20 to photo No. 22 - Seafood in Hạ Long bay (Thủy sâm oysters)

Quan Lạn island (north east of Hạ Long bay)

Photo No. 23 - Sá Sùng (seaworm) is cooked with vegetables and it's one of the famous seafood on the island.

Photo No. 24 - Hàu sống (raw oyster meat): Lemon water is poured over the raw oyster meat before eating.

Cát Bà island (north east Vietnam)

Photo No. 25 - Nem mực (squid spring rolls)

Photo No. 26 - Bánh canh chả cá (noodle soup with grilled fish)

Photo No. 27 - Bánh canh thập cẩm (mixed noodle soup - red noodles)

Sapa (north west Vietnam)

Photo No. 28 - "Lợn cắp nách" is the name of pigs raised by the ethnic minority people at the mountainous farms in Sapa. They are of small sizes (about 10-15kg in weight) and have black skins. The pork is very soft and delicious, as these pigs only eat grass and run around the fields.

Photo No. 29 - Cháo cá hồi (rice porridge with salmon and onion)

Photo No. 30 to photo No. 32 - Các món nướng (grilled food) in the evening.

Bắc Hà (north west Vietnam)

Photo No. 33 - Thắng cố (mixture of all parts of horses) and Rượu Ngô (corn wine) are famous food and drink of the H'mong ethnic minority people in north west Vietnam, especially in Bắc Hà. I didn't dare to try this food, as I felt it was not safe for me.

Yên Bái (north west Vietnam)

Photo No. 34 - Thịt trâu cuốn lá lốt (buffalo meat): Buffalo meat and onion are put onto the leaves then rolled on. Fish sauce is used for eating this food.

Photos No. 35 & 36 - Bánh cuốn chả (steamed rice cake): Steamed rice cake is eaten with sauce which consists of grilled pork and onion.

Photo No. 37 - Bún chả cá (noodle soup with grilled fish)

Lai Châu province (north west Vietnam)

Photo No. 38 - Thịt nhím (porcupine meat)

Hà Giang (the northernmost province of Vietnam)

Photo No. 39 - Cháo ấu tẩu (rice porridge): The rice porridge with pork and special herb (củ ấu) which has bitter taste is a local specialty in Hà Giang.

Photo No. 40 - Thịt trâu gác bếp (buffalo meat) is another local specialty in Hà Giang. The locals in the mountain region often dry pork, beef or buffalo meat in the kitchen and save it for a long time. It is cooked with vegetables.

Photo No. 41 - Thắng cố bò (Beef soup): Traditional food of the ethnic minority people same as in Bắc Hà. They cook "Thắng cố" with all the parts of horses or oxen.

Việt Trì city (northern Vietnam)

Photo No. 42 - Cá lăng (hemibagrus) is a kind of river fish that only lives at the confluence of 3 rivers. The fish soup and green banana can be eaten with noodles (Bún).

Bắc Kạn province - Ba Bể lake (north east Vietnam)

Photo No. 43 - Thịt cầy hương xào lá mác mật (Musk-cat meat with vegetables)

Lạng Sơn province (north east Vietnam)

Photo No. 44 - Vịt quay Lạng Sơn (roasted duck meat)

Photo No. 45 - Khâu nhục (pork with herb)

Photo No. 46 - Bánh áp chao (pancake with onion)

Photo No. 47 - Bún cá trắm (noodle soup with fish and tofu)

Photo No. 48 - Lợn quay Lạng Sơn (roasted pork)

You can find these food at Thảo Viên restaurant, address No. 57, Phai Vệ street, Đông Kinh ward, Lạng Sơn city.

Kim Bôi hot spring - Hòa Bình province (north west Vietnam)

Photo No. 49 - Lợn nướng với lá mắc mật (pork barbecue with mac mat leaves)

Sơn La province (north west Vietnam)

Photo No. 50 - Quẩy nóng (deep fries of sweet and salty type)


Nghệ An province

Photos No. 51, 52 & 53: Eel soup, spicy fried eels and eel noodle soup (Vinh city, Sen village and Cửa Lò beach)

Huế city

Photo No. 2 to No. 9 - Royal dishes at Tịnh Gia Viên restaurant. Address: No. 7, Kiet 28, Lê Thánh Tôn st., Huế city.

Photos No. 14 & 15 - These special cakes "Bánh bèo, bánh nậm, bánh bột lọc, bánh ram, bánh ít and chả tôm" are made of rice and shrimp, eating with sauce. They are my favorite food every time I visit Huế city and I've been there 24 times. The name of this restaurant is "Bánh bèo Cung An Định" inside an alley in Huế city. Address: 31, Kiệt (alley) 177, Phan Đình Phùng street, Huế city. Tel: 054-821962

Photos No. 11 & No. 16 - Nem lụi (grilled pork is covered with rice papers and eaten with vegetables and peanut sauce) and Bánh khoái (pancake with shrimp) at Lạc Thiện restaurant. Address: No. 6, Đinh Tiên Hoàng street, near the Imperial Citadel in Huế city.

Photo No. 10 - Cơm hến (rice with tiny clams)

Photo No. 12 - Bún thịt nướng (noodles with pork barbecue)

Photo No. 13 - Bún bò Huế (beef noodle soup)

Đà Nẵng city

Photos No. 54 - Mỳ Quảng (noodles with chicken, shrimp, egg, peanuts, rice crackers and vegetables) - Address: No. 1, Hài Phòng street, Đà Nẵng city. The restaurant is located near the city's railway station.

Photo No. 55 - Bún thịt nướng (noodles, pork barbecue, vegetables) in Đà Nẵng city.

Hội An city

Photo No. 56 - Bánh bao bánh vạc (white rose dumpling)

Photo No. 57 - Cao Lầu (yellow noodles with pork or shrimp). These food are very popular in Hội An town. You can find them at any restaurant in the tourist area.

Photo No. 58 - Cơm gà Hội An (fried rice, chicken, vegetables)

Photo No. 59 - Sò điệp nướng (grilled oyster meat) in Cù Lao Chàm (Chàm island), Hội An town.

Tam Kỳ city, Quảng Nam province

Photo No. 60 - Cơm gà Tam Kỳ (chicken, veg and rice). The locals use chicken boiling water to cook with rice, so the rice has yellow color and it tastes fatty. Restaurant Cơm gà Tâm Duyên, No. 256 Trưng Nữ Vương street, Tam Kỳ city.

Photo No. 61 - Mì cá lóc (noodles with fish and soup).

Photo No. 62 - Bún cá thu (noodle soup with fish, young bamboo, pumpkin and cabbage).

Photo No. 63 - Mì Quảng noodles. This is a famous food which I found in both Tam Kỳ and Đà Nẵng. There are noodles, pork or chicken, prawn and veg with sauce.

Photo No. 64 - Bún mắm (noodles with prawn sauce, veg and pork) Restaurant at No. 4, Trần Dư street, Tam Kỳ city.

Photo No. 65 - Bún chả cá (noodle soup with fish).

Quảng Ngãi (south central coast of Vietnam)

Photo No. 66 - Ốc xào cay (sea snails, peanuts, chilli & vegetables) at the restaurant of Sa Huỳnh Beach resort, Đức Phổ district, Quảng Ngãi province.

Photo No. 67 - Don (tiny oyster) soup in Quảng Ngãi city

Photo No. 68 - Bánh xèo pancake at Mỹ Khê beach, Quảng Ngãi province

Photo No. 69 - Bánh căng pancake in Quảng Ngãi city

Photo No. 70 - Bánh ít (rice cake) in Quảng Ngãi city

Photo No. 71 - A type of rice cake in Mộ Đức district, Quảng Ngãi province

Photos No. 72 & 73 - Making Bánh xèo pancakes on Lý Sơn island

Photos No. 74 & 75 - Seafood (squid, clams and sea snails)

Phan Thiết city (south central coast of Vietnam)

Photo No. 76 - Xôi gấc (sticky rice with "Gấc" fruit): The locals in Phan Thiết city use baby shrimps, egg and pork to eat with sticky rice. The "Gấc" fruit makes the sticky rice become red.

Photo No. 77 - Mủ trôm (juice made from "trôm" tree)

Photo No. 78 - Chè (puddings) street food

Photo No. 79 - Caramel (pudding with milk and ice) in Mũi Né town

Phú Quý
Cơm Hến (rice with tiny clams)Cơm Hến (rice with tiny clams)Cơm Hến (rice with tiny clams)

You can find Huế city's food at Nam Giao restaurant, District 1, Hồ chí Minh City.
island (south central Vietnam)

Photo No. 80 - Huỳnh Đế crab: This type of crab has red color (US$15 for a kg).

Photo No. 81 - Phở mực (noodle soup with squid)

Photo No. 82 - Grilled "Cá bò" fish

Photo No. 83 - Phá lấu (pig's inner parts & bread)

Photo No. 84 - Mì xào mực (fried noodles with squid)

Nha Trang (south central coast of Vietnam)

Photo No. 85 - Bánh trứng tráng (baked rice paper & quail eggs)

Photo No. 86 - Bún cá lá sứa (noodle soup with jelly-fish)

Photo No. 87 - Mì xào hải sản (fried macaroni with seafood)

Photo No. 88 - Bánh canh cá rô (Fish noodle soup)

Photo No. 89 - Thịt cá sấu (Crocodile meat)

Photo No. 90 - Thịt đà điểu (Ostrich meat)

Photo No. 91 - Chả tôm (pork & shrimp mixture inside leaves)

Photos No. 92 & 93 - Bánh đập rice cakes (Green onion and red shrimp powder inside the rice cakes)

Photo No. 94 - Bánh tẻ, gai, nậm, bột lọc (rice cakes)

Tuy Hoà (south central coast
Bánh khoái (pancake) & Nem lụi in Huế cityBánh khoái (pancake) & Nem lụi in Huế cityBánh khoái (pancake) & Nem lụi in Huế city

Nem lụi (grilled pork is covered with rice papers and eaten with vegetables and peanut sauce) and Bánh khoái (pancake with shrimp).
of Vietnam)

Photo No. 95 - Nem nướng (baked spring rolls)

Photo No. 96 - Mì bò (noodle soup with beef)

Đà Lạt city (Central Highlands)

Photo No. 97 - Kem chiên (Ice cream inside the pancake)

Photos No. 98 & 99 - Cơm gà (rice & chicken)

Photo No. 100 - Bánh giò & Bánh nậm (rice cakes)

Photo No. 101 - Chè đậu xanh (Green bean sweet soup)

Photo No. 102 - Bánh canh (fish noodle soup)

Photo No. 103 - Phở xào gan lợn (fried noodles with pig liver)

Pleiku town (Central Highlands)

Photo No. 104 - Phở khô (fried noodles): The noodles are fried with chicken / beef and vegetables. The soup is separate in another bowl.

Buôn Mê Thuột city (Central Highlands)

Photo No. 105 - Bánh khọt (pancake): same name as pancake in photo No. 109, however it's eaten with papaya pickles and cracklings.

Photo No. 106 - Sò nướng (grilled oyster)

Photo No. 107 - Cháo (rice porridge)

Bình Phước province

Photo No. 108 - Súp cua (crab soup)


Sài Gòn
Bún thịt nướng (noodles & grilled pork)Bún thịt nướng (noodles & grilled pork)Bún thịt nướng (noodles & grilled pork)

Huế city's food at Nam Giao restaurant, District 1, Hồ chí Minh City.
(aka Hồ Chí Minh city)

Photo No. 1 - Bánh xèo (pancake): This is a popular food in southern Vietnam. The cake is fried on the hot pan and it contains vegetables (or mushroom) and shrimp, then it will be folded up and placed on a plate.

Photo No. 109 - Bánh khọt (pancake): Pancake with green bean, shrimp and some special sauce on the surface.

Both pancakes are served at Bánh xèo Mười Xiềm restaurant, 190 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, District 3, HCMC.

Photos No. 110 & 111 - Hủ tíu (or Hủ tiếu): A popular noodle soup in southern Vietnam. It can be eaten with pork, shrimp etc.

Photo No. 112 - Chả giò gấc spring rolls: Inside the spring rolls there are Gấc fruit (red color), pork or chicken.

Photo No. 113 - Phở noodle soup with beef

Photo No. 114 - Bột chiên: Square pieces of sticky rice are fried on hot pan, along with chicken egg. Vegetables and sauce are used when eating this food.

Photo No. 115 - Bánh tét (sticky rice cake of round shape for the Lunar New Year)

Biên Hòa city, Đồng
Bún bò Huế (beef noodle soup)Bún bò Huế (beef noodle soup)Bún bò Huế (beef noodle soup)

One of the famous food in Huế city.
Nai province

Photo No. 116 - Gỏi vịt (salad with duck meat)

Photo No. 117 - Bánh ướt (steamed rice with pork)

Photo No. 118 - Cháo huyết (rice porridge with pig blood)

Vũng Tàu beach city

Photos No. 119 & 120 - Bạch tuộc nướng (grilled octopus)

Photos No. 121 & 122 - Bánh khọt pancake (shrimp & onion)

Photo No. 123 - Cháo vịt (rice porridge & duck meat)

Photo No. 124 - Mực nướng (grilled squids)

Photo No. 125 - Bánh cuốn (steamed rice cake)

Sóc Trăng province (Mekong Delta)

Photos No. 126 & 127 - Bún nước lèo (noodle soup): The soup is sweet as it's cooked from fresh fish. You can eat this noodle soup with shrimp, fish, pork and vegetables. A bowl of this noodle soup costs US$1.

Cà Mau province (the southernmost province of Vietnam)

Photo No. 128 - Ba khía (little crabs): The little crabs meat is delicious during July and August. They can be fried with salt or tamarind. This is favorite food of local men while drinking rice wine. You also can order
Three kinds of cake (Bánh bèo, nậm, lọc)Three kinds of cake (Bánh bèo, nậm, lọc)Three kinds of cake (Bánh bèo, nậm, lọc)

Huế city's food at Nam Giao restaurant, District 1, Hồ chí Minh City.
this food at the restaurants in Cần Thơ (the biggest city in the Mekong Delta).

Trà Vinh (Mekong Delta)

Photo No. 129 - Bún nước lèo (noodle soup): It contains noodles, vegetables, fish soup, grilled pork or spring rolls.

Photo No. 130 - Bánh ống dừa (coconut cake)

Rạch Giá (south west Vietnam)

Photo No. 131 - Pò Pía rolls using rice papers, egg and vegetables

Hà Tiên (south west Vietnam)

Photo No. 132 - Lẩu cá bớp (fish hot pot)

Photo No. 133 - Mì hải sản (seafood noodle soup)

Photo No. 134 - Sò nướng (grilled oysters)

Photo No. 135 - Nước thốt nốt (juice from palm tree)

Photo No. 136 - Bánh thốt nốt (cake from palm tree)

Photo No. 137 - Cơm tấm sườn nướng (rice & grilled rib)

Photo No. 138 - Cá đuối hấp (steamed sea fish)

Phú Quốc island (south west Vietnam)

Photo No. 139 - Còi biên mai nướng (Grilled scallop): Special seafood which is only served on Phú Quốc island. Address: No. 7, Trần Hưng Đạo street, Dương Đông town.

Photo No. 140 - Bún
Rice cakes in Huế cityRice cakes in Huế cityRice cakes in Huế city

Various types of rice cakes at Bánh bèo Cung An Định restaurant. Each cake has its own sauce and it's eaten with shrimp powders.
riêu mực (Noodle soup with crab & squid)

Photo No. 141 - Cầu gai đen, Nhum đen (Black sea-urchin) seafood.

Photo No. 142 - Bánh hỏi (strings of noodles) - Thịt nướng (pork barbecue): At Dinh Cậu night market in Dương Đông town.

Côn Đảo islands (south east Vietnam)

Photo No. 143 - Ốc vú nàng (sea snails)

Photo No. 144 - Ốc bàn tay (hand shaped sea snails)

Address: Phương Hạnh restaurant at 38C Nguyễn Huệ street, Côn Đảo town.

Photo No. 145 - Bún riêu chả cá (noodles with fish) at Côn Đảo market.

Tây Ninh province (southern Vietnam)

Bánh tráng (rice papers) in Trảng Bàng town: Pork and vegetables are placed on these rice papers, then rolled on and eaten with special sauce. This town is also famous, as the photo of napalm girl Kim Phúc was taken during the American war and it was then awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Address of her family's restaurant: 19/26, Trảng Bàng town. Tel: 066-881008. Please read my blog about the meeting with Kim Phúc's brother at this restaurant: The people I met when traveling

My other blogs about Vietnamese food and drinks:

My favorite food in Hanoi
Nem lụi (grilled pork & rice papers)Nem lụi (grilled pork & rice papers)Nem lụi (grilled pork & rice papers)

Huế city's food at Nam Giao restaurant, District 1, Hồ chí Minh City.

"Phở" noodle soup - a feature of Hanoi

Bia Hơi (Vietnamese fresh beer)

Vietnamese seafood

Author's note

I have separated a section named "Vietnamese Food and Drinks" in my blog Vietnam - Guide for trip planners. If you are interested in Vietnamese food and would like to share your blogs or experiences in cooking courses with others, please provide me with the links to your articles, so that I could add them to this section. So far, there are some blogs from me, Rob & Lorenza (blog about north Vietnamese food) and Kent (blog about incubated duck egg). Thank you.

(Blog No. 120, photo No. 4000)

Additional photos below
Photos: 152, Displayed: 34


Dê tái thính (goat meat) in Ninh BìnhDê tái thính (goat meat) in Ninh Bình
Dê tái thính (goat meat) in Ninh Bình

This goat meat is eaten with a special sauce made of bean.
Bún tu hài (noodle soup w/ oyster meat)Bún tu hài (noodle soup w/ oyster meat)
Bún tu hài (noodle soup w/ oyster meat)

Tu hài is a type of oyster which is available in Vân Đồn island district, Quảng Ninh province. US$2 for this bowl of noodle soup.
Ruốc (little octopus) Ruốc (little octopus)
Ruốc (little octopus)

Ngọc Vừng island, Quảng Ninh province

5th July 2010

Thanks so much for publishing another wonderful blog about Vietnamese food, the photos and descriptions are wonderful. Publishing the names and details of the restaurants is also a very good idea as information for tourists. Also, the inclusion of the "Vietnamese Food and Drinks" section in your "Vietnam - Guide for trip planners" blog is a great idea. We should try to promote the wonderful food of your country as much as we can because it is so varied and interesting. The differences in cusine from one district to the next is juyst amazing, Lorenza and I could spend our lives exploring the food of your country. Many thanks!
5th July 2010

so glad you did this blog on vietnamese food. just what we all need --- i just hope i get to remember all those names. Thanks for this blogs, hong.
5th July 2010

Ethnic food
How many colorful foods in Vietnam ! All of them seem hot. I have never been to Vietnam yet, but I think "When in South Asia, you EAT as the people EAT, then you will not be exhausted that I learned. Thanks for many photos. Kob
6th July 2010

food, glorious food!
This post made me very hungry! Thanks for sharing...I have just realised how much food we didn't get to try on our trip to Vietnam. I would have loved to try dishes like Cá lăng and the snail dish... :)
7th September 2010

Hi there
Hi there , Hanoi girl:) I am also Vnese girl , coming from Hai Phong city . I am also crazy about traveling no matter with a partner or alone . Travel blog is great sites cuz there are many professional bloggers . I am enjoying the feeling of reading their stories especially the ones relating our country . Traveling is great way to enjoy ourselves , instantly change the environment and forget stuffs in real life , discover the beauty, hidden charms in places and people at new destinations ... blah blah ... a lot of awesome things . And i am sure you are one of whom understood thoroughly the interest of traveling . So interesting to read your blogs here !!! keep hitting the road and blogging , g'luck !

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