11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

The best authentic Vietnamese dishes to eat for foodie enthusiast. You are a food tripper, and you are searching for the best dishes all over the world? Why don’t you arrive in Vietnam – a country with diversified food culture? Your trip will be much more meaningful at the moment as the Vietnamese Government is promoting tourism by attracting international tourists through traditional cuisine. Depending on different areas and seasons, Vietnamese people create their specialties, taking advantages of nature. Here, we will introduce to you top 11 must-eat foods in Vietnam. Remember that your trip will be half without eating these recommended delicacies.

Find out 11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die :

1. Hanoi Grilled Pork Vermicelli – Bún Chả Hà Nội

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

Originating from Hanoi, this delicious food is nowadays sold in many traditional restaurants in Vietnam. It uses rice noodle and grilled fatty pork as the main ingredients, combining with dipping sauce and herbs. Additional components of “Bún Chả” are green papaya, carrot, garlic, red chili, sugar, salt, and vinegar.

To eat “Bún Chả,” it is necessary to use chopsticks. It is sometimes quite difficult for foreign tourists, but it is a must. First, pick some white rice noodle and dip it into the dipping sauce filled with green papaya and carrot. Then, enjoy it together with fresh herbs.

The way sellers making the dipping sauce and marinating meat will decide the flavor of this dish, so you should choose restaurants with famous recipes such as:

  • Bún chả Obama at No. 24, Le Van Huu Street
  • Bún Chả Bach Mai at No. 123, Bach Mai Street
  • Bún chả Dac Kim at No. 01, Hang Manh Street
  • Bún chả Hanoi at No. 34, Hang Than Street

There is lost of Hanoi food to try and more mentioned in the article.

2. Vietnamese Fresh Rice Noodle Rolls (Phở Cuốn)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

Recently, Hanoi people create a new kind of traditional “Phở,” which is called “Phở Cuốn” or Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls (in the English language). This dish is said to be originated from a shop on Ngu Xa Street in Hanoi city. The owner of this shop used rice noodle sheets to roll beef with some vegetables and had some customers to enjoy it. After they gave good comments, he opened a new restaurant and started to sell this fresh food.

Main ingredients to cook Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls are rice noodle sheet, beef, carrot, ginger, garlic, spices such as fish sauce, sugar, red chili, lemon juice, cooking oil, rice vinegar, and herbs including lettuce, basil, bean sprouts, and so on.

So, where are the best places to enjoy “Phở Cuốn” in Hanoi:

  • Phở cuốn Hưng Bền at No. 44, Ngu Xa Street
  • Phở cuốn Hương Mai at No. 25 – 27, Ngu Xa Street
  • Phở cuốn Thanh Hằng at No. 29B, Ngu Xa Street

3. Trang Tien Ice Cream (Kem Tràng Tiền)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

In Hoan Kiem Lake, you will see a big ice cream shop at No. 35 Trang Tien Street. In a tropical country like Vietnam, having ice cream on a hot summer day is great. Although not being sold in luxurious places, this fast food still attracts many tourists, both domestic and international thanks to the typical flavors and color.

There are four main types of Trang Tien ice cream: ice cream on sticks, ice cream on cones, soft serve, and ocha, followed by five fundamental flavors: green beans, cocoa, coconut milk, and taro. Ice cream on cones is the best selling as it is not soft but icy.

4. Vermicelli With Fried Tofu & Shrimp Paste (Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

“Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm” is a traditional food of Hanoi – Vietnam’s capital. Nowadays, it is sold everywhere in this city, from street corners to luxurious restaurants. This dish is a combination of fatty fried tofu, fresh noodle, pork, and grilled chopped fish. This delicious but straightforward eating of Hanoi is eaten with shrimp paste, herbs, and cucumber. To make it more delicious, Hanoians often add some red chili, ground garlic, and some kumquat juice to the shrimp paste. The yellow of fried tofu, white of noodle, red of chili, and green of herbs contribute to creating “Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm” an attractive color. That is also the reason why it is a favorite food of all ages and genders. Here are some of the most popular addresses to have vermicelli with fried tofu and shrimp paste in Hanoi:

  • Bún Đậu Ngõ Trạm at No. 1B Ngo Tram Street, Hoan Kiem District
  • Bún Đậu Cây Bàng at No. 129, Dai La Street, Hai Ba Trung District
  • Bún Đậu Hoàng Cầu at No. 21, Lane 16, Hoang Cau Street, Ba Dinh District

5. Vietnamese Pancake (Bánh Xèo)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

For a long time, “Bánh Xèo” is said to bring special characteristics of Vietnamese villages, especially those in the middle and South. No one knows where exactly this dish comes from because it appears in every part of the country and in each part, it has different cooking recipes. “Bánh Xèo” is made from flour, water, beer, coconut, salt, turmeric, scallion, pork, shrimp, onion, bean sprouts, mung bean, ginger, pepper, and fish sauce.

The name “Bánh Xèo” is originated from the sizzling (Xèo) sound when people pour batter into the hot pan. Because of the different cooking recipes, the flavor and appearance of Vietnamese pancake differ from place to place. In Hue and Phan Thiet, it is made with small size, while in the Southwest region, the big ones full of fillings are more popular.

“Bánh Xèo” is eaten with fresh herbs such as lettuce, kale, basil, star fruit, thin green pepper slices, and dipping sauce, which is made from fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar, sliced carrot, pepper.

Where to eat “Bánh Xèo” in Vietnam:

  • Bánh xèo Nam Bộ – Tạ Quang Bửu at No. 2A, Ta Quang Buu Street, Hanoi
  • Bánh xèo Mười Xiềm at No. 190, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Bánh Khoái Hồng Mai at No. 78, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hue City
  • Bánh xèo Tôm nhảy Cô Ba at No. 248, Trung Nu Vuong Street, Hai Chau district, Da Nang City

6. Fried Spring Rolls (Nem Rán)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

This is also a popular food of Vietnamese food culture. It is mostly sold in luxurious restaurants of Hanoi city. To make a set of “Nem Rán,” it needs pork, glass noodle, mushroom, bean sprouts, carrot, jicama, egg, onion, and black pepper. Mix all of these ingredients after cutting them into small pieces and roll the above mixture in rice paper. Put these rolls into the boiling cooking oil and wait until it turns into yellow. This eating is often enjoyed with vermicelli or is a part of “Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm” dish.

Where to eat “Nem Rán” in Hanoi:

  • Bún chả Dac Kim at No. 01, Hang Manh Street
  • Club de L’Oriental Hanoi at No. 22, Tong Dan Street
  • Noodle and Roll at No. 39, Ly Quoc Su Street

7. Hanoi Sandwich (Bánh Mì Hà Nội)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

Together with “Phở,” “Bánh Mì” is a highly appreciated street food of Hanoi. This eating came from France; however, when it was imported into Vietnam, it changed to satisfy Vietnamese people’s taste. Hanoi sandwich is made from pork, egg, sausage, pickle, pate, chili sauce, cucumber, and fresh herbs. The key ingredient that decides the flavor of this dish is bread or baguette, so you can ask the seller to remove any of the above-recommended components without worrying about losing its original taste.

If you like this then read my full 2 weeks Vietnam itinerary.

Where to eat “Bánh Mì” in Vietnam:

  • Bánh mì Nguyên Sinh at No. 201, Doi Can Street, Hanoi
  • Bánh mì bít tết Hàng Bài at No. 53, Hang Bai Street, Hanoi
  • Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa at No. 26, Le Thi Rieng Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

8. Snail Vermicelli (Bún Ốc)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

During the trip to Hanoi, many tourists may choose to wander at Hanoi Old Quarter or around their hotels, and they will easily see some snail vermicelli stalls. “Bún Ốc Hà Nội” is frugal but diversified; it makes diners think of Hanoi people’s life. This is also the reason why many people love this dish. Through the time and the development of the country, some changes were made in snail vermicelli to satisfy modern customers; however, it stills remains the first smell and taste.

Ingredients to cook “Bún Ốc Hà Nội” include snail, pig bone to make delicious broth, fried tofu, vinegar, pepper, green onion, salt, perilla, and fresh herbs. Snails must be meaty and soaked in rice water for about 45 minutes before being boiled. After marinating cooked snails with vinegar, people fry it with pepper and onion. At the same time, the broth is prepared. Vermicelli used in this dish is often small and dipped through boiling water. Each step must be implemented carefully to ensure the full flavor of this eating.

Where to eat “Bún Ốc” in Hanoi:

  • Bún ốc cô Thêm at No. 6, Hang Chai, Hang Ma, Hoan Kiem District
  • Bún ốc Bà Lương at No. 64, lane 191, Khuong Thuong Street, Dong Da District

9. Sticky Rice (Xôi)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

This traditional food of Hanoi is more and more diversified nowadays with plenty of choices for diners such as steamed sticky rice, peanut sticky rice, black bean sticky rice, corn sticky rice, chicken sticky rice, crab pie sticky rice, braised meat sticky rice, salted shredded meat sticky rice, and so on. At any time and any place in Hanoi, you can easily find a street vendor who sells sticky rice. So, give it a try to fully enjoy the fat, sticky, and fleshy taste of this special food.

10. Mixed Shredded Rice Paper (Bánh Tráng Trộn)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

“Bánh Tráng Trộn” appeared in Saigon in 2005 – 2007 and soon became a favorite snack of students. At this time, Saigon people bought rice paper and spices such as chili salt, dried shrimp, dried beef, quail eggs, Vietnamese coriander, etc. and mixed them to make a new dish – mixed shredded rice paper.

In spite of being a snack, “Bánh Tráng Trộn” attracts people of all genders and ages. People in Saigon have it whenever they want, even at lunch. Although many new kinds of snacks appear and disappear due to the social effect, mixed shredded rice paper still retains its position. Some people believe that this will always be the first choice of snatch.

In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it is not difficult to find a food stall with this unique eating. Therefore, give it a try when you have a chance to visit these cities. Also, you can sit on tiny plastic chairs on the pavement while enjoying it. This will be an unforgettable experience.

11. Grilled Rice Cake (Bánh Tráng Nướng)

11 Authentic Vietnamese Dishes To Eat Before You Die

This is a familiar dish of people in the middle, Tay Nguyen, and Dalat, Vietnam. To make a delicious grilled rice cake, it needs quail eggs, oil, onion, minced pork, fried shrimp, and rice paper. These are quite similar to mixed shredded rice paper’s. However, the cooking method is different. First, place a rice paper on a charcoal stove. Then, gradually spread all of the above ingredients to the surface and continue to grill until it is well-cooked. “Bánh Tráng Nướng” is of the best to eat on cold days in winter or cold area like Dalat.

Where to eat “Bánh Tráng Nướng” in Dalat:

  • Bánh Tráng Nướng Dì Đinh at No. 26, Hoang Dieu Street, Dalat city
  • Bánh tráng nướng Bà Khùng at No.61, Nguyen Van Troi Street, Dalat city

Above is the list of 11 authentic Vietnamese dishes to eat at least once in a lifetime. There are some more delicacies such as egg coffee, crab soup, fried vermicelli, etc. All will contribute to making your trip enjoyable and unforgettable.

You need to read my article Backpacking: 15 things you need to know before you visit Vietnam.

Comment down below any another Authentic Vietnamese Dishes you think needs to be added to the list.

Author bio:

I am Emily Pham. I was born in Vietnam – a country with many unknown beaches, historic sites, and tourist attractions. Understanding that Vietnam nowadays is a famous destination, I establish the blog site vina.com with the purpose of introducing the elegant beauty of Vietnam to friends around the world. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, our blog will provide you with essential information on where to go and what to do in our country.


  1. I now realize how ignorant I was about Vietnamese food. After reading about the wide variety, I am comfortable going into a local Vietnamese restaurant (I live in a very multicultural city) and now I know what I am ordering. Thanks for the info!

  2. Your photos had me jumping up and down! Wow, what great variety of food! And most importantly, it looks sumptuous and hearty unlike the small bites you get across Europe. I can’t wait to lay my hands on that ice cream!

  3. My husband and I are living in Hanoi right now so I’m glad we came across this list! Your #1 being Bun Cha is so accurate! It’s my favorite food here now and I crave it like every day! lol I’ll work on trying the others before we leave!

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