A Guide to Vietnamese Street Food ....
Before visiting Vietnam I already loved the cuisine thanks to the exploding popularity of Vietnamese food in Australia. Although there are many good places to try here at home, nothing beats the real thing and I spent my 10 days in Vietnam eating my way through the country the best way possible – on the street. My suggestion is to ditch any restaurant reservations you have and eat like the locals do, you will have some of the best food you will ever taste.
How to find good street food:
- If you see small plastic table and chairs – gravitate towards them. No, this isn’t a set up for a kids party, this is just how to eat in Vietnam. If you see local people gathering around them, join in. If they look at you funny, this is a good sign, it means they don’t accommodate for tourists and their food is authentic.
- If you see people standing around or visiting a glass box with a lady standing behind it, line up. This usually means she is preparing delicious food, like banh mi, made to order.
- If you see a congregation of scooters on the street, it usually means there is a congregation of locals enjoying lunch. Where ever the locals are eating, you should be eating.
- If you want a coffee, listen for the loud pop or techno music and look out for lots of people sitting around – this is usually a good sign of a great coffee shop.
The best Vietnamese street foods to try:
Phở bò (beef noodle soup) – This is the bacon and eggs of Vietnam and the breakfast of champions. Pho (pronounced ‘fur’) is made from thinly sliced rare beef thrown into a steaming soup with rice noodles. Add chilli, bean shouts, lime and fresh herbs to suit your taste and enjoy.
Bánh mì (sandwich) –Thanks to the French influence, the Vietnamese have become masters at making the perfect baguette. You can fill our banh me with any combo you like – my favourite being the traditional roast pork with pate, chilli and fresh salad.
Cà phê (Iced Coffee) - Coffee in Vietnam is made with condensed milk and the results are phenomenal – icy, sweet and strong coffee make for the perfect combination.
Cao lầu (pork noodles) is a regional Vietnamese dish made with noodles, pork, and local greens, that is only found in the town of Hội An, in the Quang Nam Province of central Vietnam.
Cháo vịt-(duck noodles)- This dish is light, refreshing and made from shredded roasted duck with noodles, fresh vegetables and fried noodles for an extra crunch all swimming in a sweet sauce.
Cơm tấm (broken rice) – perhaps one of the most famous street foods is made from small rice, pork chops, fried eggs, sliced cucumber and tomatoes all brought together with a chilli flavoured fish sauce.
Gỏi cuốn (rice paper rolls) – another very popular dish in Australia which originated in Vietnam – fresh sheets of rice paper filled with vermicelli noodles, prawns and vegetables dipped in a sweet peanutty soy sauce.
There are just a few, there a millions more and I would love you to let me know which are your favourites so I can try them next time if I haven't already.