Whatever your flavor, Vietnam has it. Expect affordable dishes in every variety of fish, port, noodles, rice, broth and vegetables you could ever imagine. Book a food tour and experience the best this country has to offer or head out on your own seeking these easy and exciting local dishes:
One of the most accessible dishes to try is pho. We have variations of it all over the United States and it resembles something we already know and love, noodle soup. Pronounced “fuh,” pho is a staple in the Vietnamese diet. Picture a salty broth seasoned with salt, fresh herbs and loaded with protein and fresh rice noodles.
Another dish you may have seen or tried in the States is a bánh miì, developed in the 1950s in Ho Chi Minh City. Built on a Vietnamese roll, this sandwich is filled with pickled vegetables, protein and is super savory. Vegetarians will have no trouble as you can opt for tofu at most establishments.
Another fun handheld is goi cuon. This dish is a bit lighter, greener and perfect for a quick snack. The translucent wrap resembles a spring roll filled with sliced vegetables, shrimp or meat if desired and served with a dipping sauce, likely peanut or fish.
Now, back to rice bowls. Grab a seat and enjoy a bowl of xio, pronounced “soy.” Served with sticky white rice topped with chicken, pork, fried eggs, vegetables and really anything else you want included, this dish is like a build-your-own meal — completely customizable by appetite and taste.
Dining on street food from local vendors is commonplace in Vietnam. One must try is a bun cha, pronounced “boon cha,” essentially super crispy pork in a bowl of fresh herbs, fish sauce (or soy sauce) and rice noodles. You may remember this dish famously enjoyed by President Obama and Anthony Bourdain in Hanoi on Bourdain’s show, Parts Unknown.
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