Vietnamese beef soup – Pho bo (Phở bò)
1. Basic information about Vietnamese cuisine
2. Raw materials in Vietnamese cuisine
3. Beverages in Vietnamese cuisine
4. Most famous dishes
5. Pho – soups with noodles
6. Eating among ethnic groups
7. Streetfood in Vietnam
8. Other dishes
9. Exotic fruits
10. Other popular dishes + photos
11. FOODY – virtual guide to restaurants in Vietnam
The current image on the street in Vietnam. This stand cooks noodle soups
Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines of the world.
Vietnamese cuisine is made up largely of vegetables, fruits, herbs, rice and meat, and it is also very healthy. Traditional Vietnamese dishes are varied, distinct and are comparatively low in fat and high in carbohydrates. Now, even well-promoted. However, this must be done with reserve. Lots of fried, but very sweet foods, beverages and meals are not healthy enough.
Catering is an important group event of the day for the Vietnamese. Contrary to our style of eating, you have to get used to munching and burping, which are a sign of satisfaction with the food! Mess and litter around the tables and on the floor in street cafeterias is rife, you just have to put up with it.
Street food is standard – Hanoi is a paradise for the street food.
At almost every corner you will find a stall or a restaurant with soups, rice, a variety of meat or noodles. The street restaurants are often focused on only two or three meals, but the choice of restaurants is great and all their meals are different. This is especially so in Hanoi – it is a veritable paradise for street food. In the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam eating is a little more limited, and a little less variety but still not difficult to find.
Pho Bo Vien – beef soup with the meat balls.
The base ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine are rice and fish sauce.
Vietnam is the second-largest rice exporter in the world after Thailand. Rice is found growing throughout the country, from the fields in the lowlands to the mountain terraces. It is most bountiful in the Mekong Delta down south and you will see it when traveling in Vietnam. Rice appears at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. There’s rice-rice of course as well as rice noodles, rice paper wrappers, rice porridge, sticky rice with fruit, fried rice, puffed rice snacks, and rice wine.
Fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices are commonplace.
In northern Vietnam, the cuisine varies a bit depending on where you are, whether in the mountains or in the city. In the city there’s a vast selection of food, you can taste almost everything here, while in the mountains it is largely represented by rice, fresh vegetables, herbs and meat. Meat is an expensive commodity for the people from ethnic minorities.
Vegetables and fruits is the daily food ingredient in Vietnam
You can purchase excellent coffee, beer, hard liquor, juices or shakes in Vietnam.
Drinks in Vietnam are mainly, juices, tea (Tra Viet), mineral waters, and beers (Hanoi beer, Dai Viet, Bia Hanoi). There is also a good choice of fruit shakes (Sinh to). A specialty is the excellent and popular strong Vietnamese coffee (Ca Phe Sua). Coffee is often served with the sweet condensed milk at the base of a glass with ice cubes , and filter coffee poured on top, (If you order Cafe Fin you will get filter coffe in this style) . Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of Robusta coffee.
Want to see northern Vietnam? Go by motorbike!
Taste a wide selection of fresh exotic fruit drinks.
In mountainous areas rice wine (Ruop Nep cam) is also very popular as the main beverage. In shopping centers in the larger cities it is easy to find strong alcohol. If you want more information about the beers sold in Vietnam, you can visit the website Beervn.
Typical coffee in Vietnam – Ca Phe Sua
The most famous dishes of Vietnamese cuisine:
• a variety of chicken and beef soup (Pho Bo, Pho Ga, Bun Bo Hue)
• rice (Com), noodles (Bun) – in several ways, all with rich Annex vegetables
• rolls, rolls (banh cuon, Goi cuon, Nem cuon, plagues DEU) vegetables or other attachment.
• meat Dishes – Bun Cha (grilled meat with noodles and vegetables), Bo kho (braised beef with vegetables and noodles)
• Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches, in mountainous areas, however, I have seen
• Banh Chung sticky rice cake and Banh Beo steamed rice cakes
• Goi Vietnamese salad (beef, chicken, vegetarian, shrimp…)
• Bahn Xeo pancakes
• seafood and incomprehensible to us – snakes, frogs, dog meat
Spring rolls in Vietnam
The staple favorite Vietnamese food – PHO soup:
• soups – eaten for breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner
• favorite street food of Vietnamese cuisine
• special and specific taste and flavor
• ingredients and spices can differ from place to place (chilli sauce, onion, cilantro, herbs, lime, pepper …)
• Banh Mi is Vietnamese sandwich
• rice noodles are an important ingredient made from Gao Te fragrant rice
• beef Pho Bo, chicken Pho Ga, stir-fried noodles Pho Xao
• recipe for Pho Bo
The most popular and best-known dish in Vietnam – Pho Bo.
Vietnamese food at the festivities of ethnic people in the villages.
Vietnamese food and catering in villages or in the mountains is an important part of the traditional celebrations and festivities. Various ceremonies and rituals can be seen mainly in mountainous areas with ethnic people. Weddings, funerals, the Tet feast or the birth of a child is accompanied by a large feast in the community. The intervention of the Vietnamese government has eliminated some spiritual celebrations of ethnic populations in the mountains.
The food of ethnic residents in the mountains is different from urban areas
The most popular food at these celebrations has become mainly pork, chicken and vegetable dishes served with rice. As a complement to these foods alcohol is served – rice wine. Meals are usually eaten with chopsticks. Festivities are socially important because they provide a context in which people maintaingood social cohesion. The situation is similar in urban areas, meals, however, are richer and can be supplemented with traditional liquor and alcohol.
Vietnamese food among ethnic minorities in the north (tofu, vegetables, rice, pork, beef)
Food on the streets of Hanoi (Hanoi street food).
When moving around in Hanoi you will see the constant presence of street vendors with food. Hanoi is a popular place for street food and the locals eat on the street everyday and all day . Most of the locals eat out with hundreds of small tables and chairs set up mostly in the evening. Hundreds of mini-restaurants, stalls, small mobile shops on wheels, women with hanging baskets of fruit, varied, tasty and healthy meals, you’ll see it all in Hanoi!
You can also go on a “Street food tour” in Hanoi.
This way of eating is also for many people their only source of livelihood. Prices for food purchased on the street are very low, but at the historic sites they may be a little bit higher. The best place to try local cuisine in Hanoi is the Old Quarter. The most common dishes that you can try are Pho soup, rice in several ways (Com Tam, Xoi), Bahn Mi sandwiches, rice noodles (Bun), Rolls (Banh Cuon), salads (Goi) and other dishes. If you want to learn more about vietnamese cuisine and try very unusual dishes then try a “Street food tour“.
Restaurants with European dishes can only be found in tourist places.
Restaurants with European cuisine do exist, but, I can say that the quality of food isn‘t up to European standards, and meals are overpriced. These foods from Europe and America do not fit in anywhere with Vietnamese cuisine. In Vietnam you can also find dog meat and various cattle offal and larvae and snails. During my traveling i have seen these foods every now and again.
I fully recommend eating in the street restaurants, it’s very cheap and often very tasty, but be careful about hygiene. Real Vietnamese cuisine is only found on the street.
Exotic fruit in Vietnam is very widespread and very tasty.
Exotic fruit in Vietnam is very widespread and very tasty.
Vietnam lies in the tropics and therefore you can taste lots of interesting exotic fruit. The best conditions and places for fruit cultivation is in southern Vietnam. However, even in the north, of course, you can buy exotic fruits. In northern Vietnam there is also cultivation of apples, strawberries, grapes, peaches, pears and plums as well (a bit different than we are familiar with). Juices, jams and other desserts are also produced from the exotic fruit.
Pitahaya (Dragon fruit)
The fruit is also used as an ingredient in food and fruit desserts.
The most abundant fruit in Vietnam is bananas, tangerines, grapefruits, mangoes, limes, lemons, rambutan, pineapple, mangosteen, papaya, jackruit, pitahaya (dragon fruit), lychee, durian, star apple … Tropical Fruit provides a number of vitamins (A + C) and it is rich in carbohydrates, minerals and fiber. The fruit is certainly healthy, in cities it may be a little contaminated. It is better to buy fruit out of town and not on the main busy street.
Bahn Mi sandwiches in Vietnam
Other popular dishes of Vietnamese cuisine:
> Bun bo Hue(Bún bò Huế)
– well-known food mainly in Hue (central Vietnam)
– soup contains rice noodles (Bun) and beef (Bo)
– spicy, sour, salty, sweet taste, aroma of lemon grass
> Banh canh(Bánh canh)
– broth with strong noodles, can be made from tapioca flour or mixtures of rice
– various kinds – with crab, pork, shrimp, fish
Bun bo Hue and Banh canh
> Banh xeo(Bánh xèo)
– crispy pancake made from rice flour with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, herbs
– Ban xeo is dipped into special sauce
– in southern Vietnam with coconut milk
> Banh cuon(Bánh cuốn)
– Banh cuon is made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice
– filled with boiled pork, mushrooms, onion
– “cha lua” pork sauce, cucumber, bean sprouts
Banh xeo and Banh cuon
> Nem ran(Nem rán)
– crispy spring rolls filled with vegetables, meat
– herbs, vegetables, lime, dipped in spicy sauce
> Bun rieu(Bún riêu)
– soup with rice noodles and meat, there are several types of this dish
– served with tomato, crab broth, supplemented with shrimp paste
– supplemented by also tamarind paste, fried tofu, mint, bean sprouts
Nem ran and Bun rieu
Foody – guide to restaurants and cafes in Vietnam
You arrive in Vietnam, for example you are going to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. You want to go out for dinner, lunch or coffee. But how to make sense of those hundreds and thousands of restaurants that you will see in the streets. But where to find quality restaurants and cafes in Vietnam? How’s the food looks and how much it costs? Maybe it will help a great vietnamese mobile application – Foody (available also in English). This application will show you almost all restaurants, cafes and bistros on the map. And not only that. But shops and some tourist attractions but also some places for recreation. Preliminarily, you can also look on the web Foody.vn.
– application is for Android, iOSandWindows Phone
– localized to English (the names of dishes and promotions are in Vietnamese)
– allows the delivery to the address (depending on the price of the order), or restaurant reservations
– in the selection are other restaurants with a specific cuisine (European, Korean, Italian …)
– restaurant reviews, visitors and thousands of photos of dishes bistros, cafes … growing daily
– more information about Foody
Foody application is very clear, fast to use. Thousands of beautiful photos of various dishes and restaurants.
A few recommendations in Vietnam:
> Wash purchased fruits, vegetables and herbs and buy only bottled water!
> When you have indigestion, try using probiotics!
> It is not recommended to drink tap water!
> Do not eat smelly food!
>> 30 best Vietnamese restaurants and bistros in Prague + Map <<
In the streets of Vietnam.
(CNN) — Vietnamese cuisine doesn't win any points for complexity. Many of the most popular dishes can be made just as well on the side of the road as in a top-end restaurant.
But it's precisely this simplicity, the subtle variations by region and the fresh ingredients, that keep us pulling up a plastic stool for more.
Here are 40 foods from Vietnam you can't miss:
Cheap can be tasty too.
Courtesy kaz k/creative commons/flickr
What list of Vietnamese cuisine would be complete without pho?
It's almost impossible to walk a block in Vietnam's major destinations without bumping into a crowd of hungry patrons slurping noodles at a makeshift pho stand. This simple staple consisting of a salty broth, fresh rice noodles, a sprinkling of herbs and chicken or beef, features predominately in the local diet -- and understandably so. It's cheap, tasty, and widely available at all hours.
Just look out for a mass of people on plastic stools -- or try a tried and tested favorite: Pho Thin, 13 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
2. Cha ca
A food so good they named a street after it.
Courtesy Alpha/Creative Commons/Flickr
Hanoians consider cha ca to be so exceptional that there is a street in the capital dedicated to these fried morsels of fish. This namesake alley is home to Cha Ca La Vong, which serves sizzling chunks of fish seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric and dill on a hot pan tableside.
Cha Ca La Vong may be the busiest but the service is a bit gruff and the food overpriced. Instead make your way to Duong Than in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem district, where you'll find plenty of more affordable but just as tasty options.
3. Banh xeo
A crepe you won't forget.
Courtesy Alpha/Creative Commons/Flickr
A good banh xeo is a crispy crepe bulging with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, plus the garnish of fresh herbs that are characteristic of most authentic Vietnamese dishes. To enjoy one like a local, cut it into manageable slices, roll it up in rice paper or lettuce leaves and dunk it in whatever special sauce the chef has mixed up for you.
Banh Xeo 46A has mixed reviews but judging by the crowds that swarm there each night they must be doing something right. Banh Xeo, 46A Dinh Cong Trang, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
4. Cao lau
Soft, crunchy, sweet, spicy -- a bowl of contrasts.
This pork noodle dish from Hoi An is a bit like the various cultures that visited the trading port at its prime. The thicker noodles are similar to Japanese udon, the crispy won-ton crackers and pork are a Chinese touch, while the broth and herbs are clearly Vietnamese. Authentic cau lao is made only with water drawn from the local Ba Le well.
Try Morning Glory, 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An
5. Rau muong
Some might call it river weed -- with good reason -- but that doesn't stop the masses from scarfing down platefuls of morning glory, usually stir-fried and seasoned with slithers of potent garlic. Rau muong is common at Vietnamese restaurants and beer gardens.
Chung Den Bia Hoi, 18B Hang Cot, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
6. Nem ran/cha gio
Vietnam's bite-sized crunchy spring rolls might not enjoy the same popularity as their healthier fresh equivalent, but they deserve a special mention. The crispy shell with a soft veggie and meat filling dunked in a tangy sauce gets the gastronomic juices flowing before a main course. In the north these parcels go by the name nem ran while southerners call them cha gio.
Bun Cha, 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
7. Goi cuon
A healthier choice for spring roll fans.
Courtesy Ducson Nguyen
These light and healthy fresh spring rolls are a wholesome choice when you've been indulging in too much of the fried food in Vietnam. The translucent parcels are first packed with salad greens, a slither of meat or seafood and a layer of coriander, before being neatly rolled and dunked in Vietnam's favorite condiment -- fish sauce.
Quan An Ngon, 18 Phan Boi Chau, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
8. Bun bo Hue
Central Vietnam's take on noodles caters to carnivores with its meaty broth and piles of beef and pork. The thick slippery rice noodles also make for a heartier meal than noodles found in the north and south.
You don't have to go to Hue to enjoy this dish; if in Ho Chi Minh City try Tib Express, 162 NguyenDinh Chieu, District 3, HCMC
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9. Banh khot
Bite-size, delightful Vietnamese pancakes.
Courtesy kennejima/creative commons/flickr
This dainty variation of a Vietnamese pancake has all the same tasty ingredients but is a fraction of the size. Each banh knot can be scoffed in one ambitious but satisfying mouthful. The crunchy outside is made using coconut milk and the filling usually consists of shrimp, mung beans, and spring onions with a dusting of dried shrimp flakes on top.
Co Ba Vung Tau, 59B Cao Thang, District 3, HCMC
10. Ga tan
Got the sniffles? Opt for ga tan, a broth that's Vietnam's answer to the proverbial cup of chicken noodle soup. Sure it's not quite how your mother used to make it, with its greenish tinge from the herbs and hunks of chicken parts, but it's worth a try if you're needing a Vietnamese tonic.
Try this at one of the street stalls on Hanoi's Tong Duy Tan aka Pho Am Thuc, or "Food Street," Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
11. Nom hoa chuoi
Vietnam's banana flower salad packs a much bigger punch than a typical plate of mixed greens. Banana flowers (thick purple lumps that will later turn into bunches of bananas) are peeled and thinly sliced then mixed with green papaya, carrots, and cilantro along with chicken and a heavy-handed pour of a salty fish sauce dressing and crunchy peanuts.
Highway 4 restaurant, 3 Hang Tre, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
12. Bun bo nam bo
One of Vietnam's most-loved noodle dishes.
Courtesy Guilhem Vellut/Creative commons/Flickr
This bowl of noodles comes sans broth, keeping the ingredients from becoming sodden and the various textures intact. The tender slices of beef mingle with crunchy peanuts and bean sprouts, and are flavored with fresh herbs, crisp dried shallots, and a splash of fish sauce and fiery chili pepper.
67 Hang Dieu, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
13. Hoa qua dam
This chunky blend of fresh tropical fruit in a cup is the perfect local treat when the heat of Vietnamese summer starts to wear you down. It could be considered a healthy alternative to ice cream -- if you stick to the shaved ice variation -- but for the full experience it's best had with diabetes-inducing condensed milk mixed in.
14. Pho cuon
Pho cuon packages the flavors of pho and goi cuon in one neat little parcel. This Hanoi take on fresh spring rolls uses sheets of uncut pho noodles to encase fried beef, herbs and lettuce or cucumber.
The best place to find them is on Ngu Xa island on the capital's Truc Bach Lake -- specifically at 26 Nguyen Khac Hieu, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi
15. Ga nuong
This beats KFC any day.
Courtesy Ducson Nguyen/Creative Commons/Flickr
KFC may be everywhere in Vietnam these days, but skip the fast food for the local version. Honey marinated then grilled over large flaming barbecues, the chicken legs, wings and feet served are unusually tender, while the skin stays crispy but not dry.
Viet Ha on Ly Van Phuc, Dong Da district, Hanoi
16. Pho xao
Pho xao may just be a slightly healthier take on my xao -- but the beauty is in the details. The flat, smoother pho noodle doesn't crisp up like its pre-boiled instant cousin. When done well the outer edges acquire a browned crunchiness, whilst the center stays soft and glutinous. This dish tastes best with a fried egg and seasoned with chili or soy sauce.
26 Nguyen Khac Sieu, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
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17. Ca phe trung
Vietnamese "egg coffee" is technically a drink but we prefer to put it in the dessert category. The creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam perched on the dense Vietnamese coffee will have even those who don't normally crave a cup of joe licking their spoons with delight.
In Hanoi, follow the tiny alley between the kitschy souvenir shops at 11 Hang Gai into the clearing, and up several flights of increasingly dicey stairs to pair your ca phe trung with an unbeatable view of Hoan Kiem Lake.
18. Bo la lot
Vietnamese are masters of wrapping their food. Bo la lot is neither raw nor deep-fried, but flamed on an open grill to soften the exterior and infuse the betel leaf's peppery aroma into the ground beef inside.
3T Quan Nuong, 29-31 Ton That Thiep, District 1, HCMC
This savory sticky rice is a meal all on its own.
Savory sticky rice is less of an accompaniment to meals in Vietnam, more a meal itself. The glutinous staple comes with any number of mix-ins (from slithers of chicken, or pork to fried or preserved eggs), but almost always with a scattering of dried shallots on top.
Xoi Yen, Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
20. Banh cuon
Delicious savory pancakes.
Courtesy Reuben Strayer/Creative Commons/Flickr
These rolled up rice flour pancakes are best when served piping hot, still soft and delicate. Although seemingly slender and empty they have a savory filling of minced pork and mushrooms. Zest is also added by dunking the slippery parcels in a fishy dipping sauce.
21. Ca tim kho to
Eggplant alone tends not to get us excited. Although when it's diced and sauteed in a clay pot along with tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and (depending on the recipe) minced meat, the once bland vegetable redeems itself.
Pineapple Restaurant, 35 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
22. Bot chien
Bot Chien is Vietnamese street food at its best.
Saigon's favorite streetside snack, bot chien, is popular with both the afterschool and the after-midnight crowd. Chunks of rice flour dough are fried in a large wok until crispy and then an egg is broken into the mix. Once cooked it's served with slices of papaya, shallots and green onions, before more flavor is added with pickled chili sauce and rice vinegar.
Night-time food vendors sell this at the corners of Pham Ngu Lao and Cong Quynh, District 1, HCMC
23. Bun dau mam tom
This plain-looking tofu and noodle dish is served with mam tom sauce -- the Vegemite of Vietnam. The pungent purple dipping sauce is used to flavor the slabs of deep-fried tofu that are at the core of the meal.
24. Banh goi
These pockets of deep-fried goodness are often described as the equivalent of a Cornish pasty or as a Vietnamese samosa, depending on the nationality of the person explaining. Inside the crispy exterior you'll find that it's similar to neither description, with its filling of finely minced pork, mushrooms and vermicelli noodles.
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25. Com suon nuong
This simple meal is the Saigonese equivalent of bun cha -- with rice in place of noodles. A tender pork cutlet is barbecued over hot coals to give it a rich, smoky flavor, and laid over the fluffy white "com" or broken rice.
Com Tam Cali has a number of branches across HCMC. Try Tam Cali 1 at 32 Nguyen Trai, District 1, HCMC
With its thick and creamy texture Vietnam's rice porridge is the best pick when your queasy stomach can't handle much else. If you want to jazz it up you can always add slices of chicken, fish, beef, duck or pork ribs, along with a sprinkling of herbs and shallots.
Chao Ca specializes in fish chao, 213 Hang Bong, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
27. Bo luc lac
Cubes of beef are tossed around a steaming wok with garlic, pepper, and some vegetables to make shaking beef. There's nothing special about the beef that makes it shaking. The name is just a literal translation that refers to the process of mixing the beef around while cooking.
Nha Hang Ngon, 160 Pasteur, District 1, HCMC
28. Hat de nong
The smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire can bring back fond memories of Christmas carols -- until a moped transporting a giant blow-up Santa whizzes by. Pick the street vendor with the most enticing smell.
29. Banh uot thit nuong
It's all about the marinade when it comes to the grilled pork in fresh rice paper rolls that are popular in Central Vietnam. The typical mixture coats the meat in a blend of sugar, salt, chili, lemongrass and fish sauce. Cilantro, basil and mint are added when it's served up to add some green to the appetizer.
Morning Glory, 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An
30. Bun cha
The perfect lunchtime treat.
Courtesy Greg Willis/Creative Commons/flickr
Pho might be Vietnam's most famous dish but bun cha is the top choice when it comes to lunchtime in the capital. Just look for the clouds of meaty smoke after 11 a.m. when street-side restaurants start grilling up small patties of seasoned pork and slices of marinated pork belly over a charcoal fire. Once they're charred and crispy the morsels are served with a large bowl of a fish sauce-heavy broth, a basket of herbs and a helping of rice noodles.
Hanoi's most famous bun cha outlet is 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
31. Banh mi
The world-famous banh mi sandwich.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The French may have brought with them the baguette, but Vietnam takes it to a different level. How exactly depends on what end of the country you're in.
In the north, chefs stick to the basic elements of carbohydrate, fat and protein -- bread, margarine and pata -- but head south and your banh mi may contain a more colorful combination of cheese, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, sausage, fried egg, fresh cilantro and chili sauce.
One of the better baguette vendors in Saigon sets up shop beside the Cherry mini-mart on DoQuang Dao, District 1, HCMC
Eating this hodgepodge hotpot dish is a communal affair with everyone digging in to the oversized boiling pot. We've found that just about anything can (and will) go into this soup from tofu to frogs. It's best to stick to one main protein rather than opting for the mix of meat, poultry and seafood together.
On the northern edge of Hanoi's Truc Bach lake you'll find a number of restaurant staff crossing the street to deliver lau to lake-side diners
33. Banh bao
The Vietnamese take on steamed pork burns.
Courtesy Edsel Little/Creative commons/Flickr
Steamed pork buns aren't traditionally Vietnamese, but that doesn't stop the spongy rolls from being sold by street vendors and in traditional Vietnamese restaurants. The best buns have a hard-boiled quail egg buried within the minced meat, while the cheaper ones come without any filling at all. Remember the lower the price the less stuffing, so you might not be getting the good deal you thought you were.
Often sold by wandering vendors patrolling Hanoi's Old Quarter at all hours. In the south try Banh Bao Tho Phat, 78 Nguyen Tri Phuong, District 5, HCMC
34. Com rang
Fried rice may not be the most adventurous option, but sometimes you just want some familiar grub done right. Baby-sized chunks of meat and colorful vegetables are mixed with soy and fish sauce in a wok streetside to create a rice dish that is still moist but slightly smoky. Make it Vietnamese by supplementing with Bia Hanoi.
Try one of the vendors on Tong Duy Tan aka "Food Street," Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
35. Bo bit tet
Vietnam's equivalent to steak and eggs fills the void when you're hankering for some greasy pub tucker. The thin flank steak is usually served with eggs, thick potato wedges, and Vietnamese meatballs on a sizzling cast iron plate.
36. Com chay
Com chay refers to two things in Vietnam: vegetarian food, or Vietnam's homemade rice crispies that are popular with children. Unlike the sweet treats in the United States, Vietnam's version of a crispy comes with meat instead of marshmallows. Vietnam's vegetarian restaurants use mock meats to create all the traditional dishes and usually do a pretty good job. Although some places include artificial creations we would rather not try. Fake rubbery snails anyone?
Try Hoa Dang vegetarian restaurant, 38 Huynh Khuong Ninh, District 1, HCMC
This dessert can be served in either a bowl or a glass. The latter is the more enticing option with the visible layers of bean jelly, coconut milk, fruit, and ice. Best had when you're craving something sweet on a scorching day in Saigon.
Nha Hang Ngon, 160 Pasteur, District 1, HCMC
38. My xao bo
Mix noodles with a dollop of oil, then add beef, onions, garlic, morning glory and some tomato for color and you have a platter of my xao bo. The whole dish takes about as long to make as instant noodles -- but oh so much more flavor.
Any bia hoi establishment serves this dish, but the eateries on Tang Bat Ho, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, have perfected it
39. Dau phu sot ca chua
The English translation of "tofu in tomato sauce" doesn't really do this dish justice. The slabs of deep-fried soy are doused in a rich fresh tomato and spring onion coating, and seasoned with a speckle of fresh herbs.
Chim Sao at 65 Ngo Hue, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi
40. Canh bun
Another hearty soup that's high on the lunchtime agenda, this is a crab and morning glory noodle soup. Canh bun is similar to the more well-known bun rieu crab soup, but has a small handful of variations -- including the type of noodle used.
Look for street food vendors with Canh Bun on handwritten signs surrounded by lunchtime crowds, or visit Bun Saigon at 73 Ly Tu Trong, District 1, HCMC
Editor's note: This article was previously published in 2011. It was reformatted and republished in 2017.