Vietnam was truly a food-lovers paradise. Finding great-quality food in Ho Chi Minh took a tiny bit more effort, but once we got to Hoi An, there really wasn’t much effort needed. Walk into any restaurant, order any dish, enjoy the deliciousness. Repeat. I salivate just thinking of some of the amazing things we ate in Vietnam! Plus, everything is very cheap (by Western standards). Cheap + delicious food? Heaven. Here were some of our favorites!
Pho (Vietnamese Soup)
You can’t go to Vietnam or talk about Vietnamese food without mentioning the country’s famous soup, pho. Surprisingly, we didn’t have pho very often, because it’s traditionally a breakfast food, and we didn’t usually make it out in time for breakfast. What can I say? We’re night owls.
One particularly delicious bowl of pho came from the restaurant Bun in Ho Chi Minh City. Some of my friends had been to Vietnam several years ago and they recommended this place. After several Google searches and a lot of walking, we finally found it, and boy was it worth it!
Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)
This is basically the only other Vietnamese food I knew about before going–delicious Vietnamese sandwiches. Since Vietnam was a long-time colony of France, a lot of random French culture has seeped through, including a love of good coffee, pastries and bread. Banh Mi are made on baguettes and are topped with a variety of meats and veggies. About halfway through our stay in Ho Chi Minh, we discovered a banh mi cart we liked a lot and proceeded to go there for the next several meals. This particular stand slathered the bread in Laughing Cow cheese, an omelette, pickled veggies and mayo. Delicious!
Vietnam really knows how to make coffee delicious. Traditional Vietnamese coffee is brewed in individual servings, with a little filter perched atop a cup. The espresso is brewed very strong, and then it’s served with sweetened condensed milk. You can get it hot or over ice…both ways are extremely delicious! Just from looking at my pictures of the coffee we had in Vietnam while writing this post, I got a craving and had to go take a break to make myself a Vietnamese-style coffee!
Cao Lau is a Hoi An specialty. It’s made of flat noodles, pork slices and crispy rice crackers. We had heard from several people that this was a must-try dish. Since I don’t usually eat pork I only tasted a noodle, but overall, it was too porky tasting for me. Matt loved it though!
Com Ga (Chicken Rice)
Chicken rice was one of our favorite dishes in Vietnam! This delectable dish includes toasted jasmine rice with garlic, shredded chicken, Vietnamese coriander, and garlic and ginger sauce. YUM. We had the best chicken rice of our lives at the amazing Morning Glory Restaurant in Hoi An. Everything in this place is high quality and delicious, but the chicken rice was particularly memorable.
Cha Gio (Spring Rolls)
Of course we had spring rolls….they’re a favorite wherever we go! We had two especially memorable batches of spring rolls. The first (pictured above) was an amazing creation by the Morning Glory Restaurant in Hoi An–open faced crab spring rolls. They were….so good. Think mini tortilla chips with crab (or maybe it was shrimp?) shredded on top. The second (pictured below) were your more standard variety of spring rolls from a little restaurant on the beach and they were good because they were REALLY fried. Who doesn’t love fried carbs??
I wish I could be more specific here, but sadly, we didn’t keep track of the names and/or ingredients of most of these dishes. But like the rest of Southeast Asia, there are a plethora of tasty stir frys made of fresh veggies, a variety of meats, noodles, and savory sauces.
The desserts in Vietnam are mostly of Western origin-the French influences are very evident in the country’s coffee shops and pasty selections. Some of our favorites included cheesecakes, crepe-wrapped bananas, and sweet waffles. Bon appétit!
This is another one that’s not specific to Vietnam. All over Asia you’ll find fresh and delicious shakes made of tropical fruits. My favorite is mango, and Matt loves papaya. We spent several afternoons and evenings in Hoi An sipping fruit shakes ocean-front, thanking our lucky stars that this is our life!
Random Delicious Things
And last (but not least), here are some photos of the random other delicious things we consumed in Vietnam. If I’ve left you salivating and researching tickets to Vietnam, I’ve done my job!
If you could put any of these things in your mouth RIGHT NOW, which would you choose?