There’s no doubt that many countries boast a distinctive street food culture – but amongst all the countries in the world with great street food, everyone can agree that Vietnam is the king. This country in Southeast Asia has a lot to be proud about when it comes to its street food, and people from all over the globe visit Vietnam just to try out its various street food specialities. But if you do go to Vietnam to try out the street food, you’ll be surprised at the broad selection – so, which ones you should try? Here’s an in-depth look at the top street food in Vietnam – and what you should sample.
Pho has been touted as the national dish of Vietnam, and for many good reasons. This tasty, hearty noodle soup comes with different variations using pork, chicken, beef, and seafood, and you can’t take a walk along Vietnam’s streets without encountering a small shop serving Pho. The noodle soup is as simple as it gets – it’s a clear broth with rice noodles and fresh herbs and meat, but as soon as you taste this delicacy, your taste buds will thank you. It’s a simple dish but it’s packed with flavour, it’s cheap and filling, and you can have it at all hours of the day – it definitely ‘fits the bill’ as Vietnam’s number one street food
- Banh Xeo
Another ubiquitous street food must-try in Vietnam is Banh Xeo, and it’s Vietnam’s version of a savoury crepe. The crepe is light and crispy and filled with bean sprouts, shrimp, and pork, and it is loaded with a lot of fresh herbs as well (if you didn’t know it yet, Vietnam’s dishes are often accompanied by a bunch of fresh herbs, such as mint, cilantro, and so on). To eat like a local, just cut up the Banh Xeo into manageable, bite-sized pieces, roll up the Banh Xeo in lettuce leaves or rice paper, and dip it into the special sauce.
- Bun Cha
While Pho takes the top spot amongst Vietnam’s street food concoctions, Bun Cha is so infinitely satisfying that you can’t leave the country without giving it a try. Bun Cha is especially popular as a lunch food, and this is hardly surprising – it’s grilled meat, after all. The smell of marinated pork patties and pork belly hits the streets starting at 11 am, and it’s an irresistible draw for the crowds. The pork patties and belly are served with broth heavy on the fish sauce along with a bowl-full of herbs and some rice noodles.
- Banh Mi
Banh Mi may now be served in many places in the globe, and it’s easy to understand why, as this Vietnamese version of a French baguette sandwich is filled with meat, pickled veggies, and herbs. But be aware that the Banh Mi you get in Vietnam may have different ingredients depending on the part of the country. In the north, Banh Mi sandwiches are simpler, with a combination of margarine, pate, and bread, while in the south, the typical Banh Mi sandwich will have a mix of cold cuts, sausage, pickled vegetables, fried egg, chilli sauce, and cilantro.
Is your mouth watering yet? If it is, and you’re in London, you’re in luck – you can have your fill of these delightful Vietnamese delicacies at a famous Vietnamese restaurant in London, Viet Eat, which features popular Vietnamese street food and a lot more to satisfy your palate.