When it comes to culinary adventures, few destinations can match the tantalising flavours and diversity of Vietnam's street food scene. Vietnamese street food is renowned for its rich history, bold flavours, and affordable prices. From bustling markets to tiny street-side stalls, you can embark on a journey that will leave you thinking about it for the rest of your life! Here are some must-try dishes!
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Pho: Vietnam's Iconic Noodle Soup 🍜
No discussion of Vietnamese street food is complete without mentioning pho. This iconic dish is more than just a bowl of noodle soup; it's a cultural symbol and a national treasure. Pho consists of delicate rice noodles submerged in a flavorful broth, typically beef or chicken, and garnished with fresh herbs, lime, bean sprouts, and chilli slices.
👀 Did you know… there are two types of Pho. Hanoi Pho and Saigon Pho.
Following the 1954 partition of Vietnam and French colonisation, many Vietnamese moved to the South to escape communism in the North. In the South, they put their spin on pho, making it spicier and sweeter. This iconic noodle soup can be found by the bowl on most streets and in most restaurants.
Bánh Mì: The French-Vietnamese Fusion Sandwich 🥪
Vietnam's colonial history with France left a delicious mark in the form of bánh mì. This sandwich combines a crispy baguette with various ingredients, such as grilled pork, pate, fresh herbs, cucumber, pickled daikon, and a chilli sauce. Each vendor may have their twist on this classic, ensuring that no two bánh mì sandwiches are quite the same.
Goi Cuon: Fresh Spring Rolls 🫔
Looking for something lighter and fresher with a little crunch? Goi Cuon, or fresh spring rolls, are a fantastic choice. These translucent rolls are made by wrapping rice paper around a filling of shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli, and sometimes peanut sauce. The dipping sauce, typically a sweet and tangy hoisin-peanut mixture, makes them truly special. It's a wonderful medley of textures and flavours and a delightful introduction to Vietnamese street food.
Com Tam: Broken Rice Delight 🍚
Com tam, or broken rice, is a Southern Vietnamese classic. This dish includes fragments of broken rice grains and toppings such as grilled pork, egg, and fish sauce. The crispy and slightly charred bits of rice add a unique texture to the meal, making it a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Che: Vietnamese Sweet Soup 🥣
Don't forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with a bowl of Che. This sweet soup can be found in various forms across Vietnam, and it's the perfect way to end a street food feast. Whether it's a warm bowl of che chuoi (banana sweet soup) or the refreshing che ba mau (three-colour sweet soup), these treats are often garnished with crushed ice, coconut milk, and various toppings like mung beans and tapioca pearls.
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