Exploring Vietnam’s Vibrant Street Food Culture


Welcome, travelers, to the tantalizing world of Vietnam’s vibrant street food culture. Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable journey as we delve into the mouthwatering delights that await you in the bustling streets of this Southeast Asian gem. From savory bowls of pho to crispy banh mi sandwiches, Vietnam’s street food scene offers a symphony of flavors and aromas that will leave you craving for more. Join us as we embark on a culinary adventure, exploring hidden food stalls, meeting passionate local vendors, and savoring the authentic tastes that define Vietnam’s street food heritage. Get ready to dive into Vietnam’s culinary tapestry, where every bite tells a delicious story. Let’s satisfy our wanderlust for Vietnam Street Food together!

Overview of Vietnam’s street food scene

Vietnam Street Food

Vietnam’s street food scene is a vibrant and mouthwatering culinary adventure for travelers. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the lantern-lit alleys of Hoi An, every city and region offers its own unique specialties. The influence of French and other foreign cuisines adds an extra layer of deliciousness to the already diverse street food options. Get ready to indulge in banh mi, pho, and countless other flavorful delights as you explore Vietnam’s street food scene.

Must-Try Vietnamese Street Food

Although the list is almost endless, we’ve listed 6 of our favourite Vietnames Street Food dishes that you really must try!

1. Pho – Vietnam’s iconic noodle soup

Pho is Vietnam’s iconic noodle soup that has gained worldwide fame for its delicious flavors and diverse variations. It is a must-try dish for travelers visiting Vietnam, as it offers a unique culinary experience that reflects the country’s rich cultural heritage. From the classic beef pho to vegetarian options and regional specialties, Pho has something to satisfy every palate.

Street Food Vietnam

2. Banh Mi – The delectable Vietnamese sandwich

Banh Mi is a mouthwatering Vietnamese sandwich that puts a delightful twist on the classic French baguette. It’s a must-try for travelers seeking a burst of flavors. Stuffed with a variety of common fillings like grilled pork, pickled veggies, fresh herbs, and spicy mayo, Banh Mi offers a perfect blend of textures and tastes. Trust me, you won’t be able to resist its savory goodness!

Banh Mi

3. Bun Cha – Grilled pork served with noodles and herbs

Bun Cha is a delicious Vietnamese dish that consists of juicy grilled pork served with rice noodles and fresh herbs. It’s a popular street food in Hanoi and a must-try for food lovers visiting Vietnam. The pork is marinated in a flavorful sauce, grilled to perfection, and then served with a side of rice noodles, fresh lettuce, herbs like cilantro and mint, and a tangy dipping sauce. The combination of smoky grilled pork, fragrant herbs, and the refreshing noodles makes Bun Cha a delightful and satisfying meal that showcases the unique flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.

4. Goi Cuon – Fresh spring rolls bursting with flavors

Goi Cuon, also known as fresh spring rolls, are a tasty Vietnamese dish that will blow your taste buds away. The flavors in these rolls are simply incredible. Imagine biting into a combination of fresh herbs, crunchy vegetables, succulent shrimp or meat, all wrapped in a soft and unfried rice paper. It’s like a burst of deliciousness in every bite. Whether you’re a foodie or just love trying new flavors, Goi Cuon is a must-try dish for any traveler.

Goi Cuon

5. Banh Xeo – Crispy Vietnamese pancakes

Banh Xeo is a must-try when you’re in Vietnam. These crispy Vietnamese pancakes are a culinary delight! Each region has its own local specialty, but the Banh Xeo from Hue is something special. The pancake is made from rice flour batter and filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs. It’s then wrapped in rice paper and dipped in a delicious sauce. Trust me, you won’t be able to resist this tasty treat!

6. Com Tam – Broken rice dishes with flavorful toppings

Com Tam is a another type of street food not to miss out on for travelers visiting Vietnam. This popular street food features broken rice topped with a variety of flavorful toppings. From grilled pork chop to shredded pork skin and fried egg, each bite is a burst of deliciousness. Don’t miss out on trying different local specialties like Com Tam Suon Bi Cha Trung – it’s a flavor explosion you won’t forget!

7. Egg Coffee – A unique Vietnames Coffee Experience

Egg Coffee is a must-try when visiting Vietnam. This unique beverage combines the richness of Vietnamese coffee with the smoothness of egg foam, creating a delightful and creamy concoction. Originating from Hanoi in the 1940s, Egg Coffee has become a beloved local specialty and a symbol of Vietnamese coffee culture. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience during your travels in Vietnam!

Where to Find the Best Street Food in Vietnam

From the aromatic pho in Hanoi to the savory banh mi in Hoi An, and the fiery bun cha in Ho Chi Minh City, each city has its own unique regional flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Don’t miss out on exploring the bustling street markets and local food stalls that serve up these delectable delights.

Hanoi – The street food capital of Vietnam

Vietnam Street Food

The Hanoi street food scene is a food lover’s paradise. From steaming bowls of pho to crispy banh mi sandwiches, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Head to the bustling Old Quarter for a taste of the city’s best street food. Don’t miss the iconic egg coffee or the mouthwatering bun cha, a local specialty. Explore the narrow alleyways and follow the tantalizing aromas to discover the hidden gems of Hanoi’s vibrant street food scene.

Vietnam Street Food
Train Street an excellent place to get an Egg Coffee

Check out our Hanoi page for more information on Vietnam’s fascinating capital.

Ho Chi Minh City – Bustling food stalls and markets

Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and bustling metropolis known for its amazing food stalls and markets. The city’s street food scene is legendary, offering a diverse array of flavors and dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. From mouthwatering pho and banh mi to delicious spring rolls and grilled meats, you’ll find a plethora of local specialties to indulge in. To experience the best of Ho Chi Minh City’s street food, head to popular spots like Ben Thanh Market and Nguyen Hue Street, where you’ll find a wide variety of vendors serving up authentic and delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnam Street Food
Ho Chi Minh City

Check out our Ho Chi Minh City page for more tips and insides on HCMC.

Hue – Explore street food with imperial influences

When in Hue, make sure to explore the street food scene with its delicious imperial influences. For the best food experience, head to Dong Ba Market where you can find a wide variety of local delicacies. Try the iconic bun bo Hue, a flavorful beef noodle soup, or the banh khoai, a crispy pancake filled with shrimp and pork. Don’t forget to indulge in the mouthwatering sweet treats like banh nam and banh beo. Hue’s street food will take your taste buds on a culinary adventure through the city’s rich history and flavors. Rather tast street food in a restaurant setting? Head to Madam Thu and sample their Street Food Platter.

Vietnam Street Food
Hue Street Food Platter

Check out our Hue Page for more insights on Hue.

Hoi An – A culinary paradise in Central Vietnam

Hoi An, a culinary heaven in Central Vietnam, is a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts. The streets of this charming town are lined with countless food stalls offering a diverse range of delectable street food. From the iconic Cao Lau noodles, savory Banh Mi sandwiches, to mouthwatering White Rose dumplings, Hoi An is a haven for foodies looking to indulge in the best street food the city has to offer.

Check out our Hoi An page to get more tips on sights, hotels and restaurants in Hoi An.

Da Nang – A diverse street food scene by the beach

Da Nang is a foodie’s destination, especially if you’re into street food by the beach. Make sure to hit up the bustling Han Market for a taste of local delicacies like banh mi, a crispy baguette stuffed with savory fillings. Don’t miss out on the fresh seafood delights at My Khe Beach, where you can feast on grilled fish, succulent shrimp, and mouthwatering squid. For a sweet treat, head to Ba Thien Hau Temple and indulge in some banh xeo, a crispy Vietnamese pancake filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. Your taste buds will thank you!

Tips for Exploring Vietnam’s Street Food Culture

Embrace the street food experience

Embrace the street food experience and dive into the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese life. In every corner, the tantalizing aromas of sizzling meat, flavorful herbs, and exotic spices beckon you to join the locals in their culinary adventure. By indulging in the street food scene, you not only satisfy your taste buds but also immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Vietnam. So, go ahead, grab a plastic stool, sample the diverse delicacies, and embrace the Vietnamese way of living one delicious bite at a time.

Be adventurous and try new flavors

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous and try new flavors! When traveling, it’s the perfect opportunity to taste different dishes and expand your culinary horizons. Don’t worry too much about trying something you might not like – you won’t accidentally end up eating a dog! Most of the time, the ingredients are clearly visible beforehand, so you can make an informed choice. So go ahead, embrace the unknown, and let your taste buds embark on a flavorful journey!

Observe locals and follow their lead

When exploring a new place, it’s always a good idea to observe the locals and follow their lead. One great tip is to look for places where locals queue up to get their favorite dishes. These hidden food spots often serve up authentic and delicious meals that you won’t find in touristy areas. Plus, eating street food is also an excellent way to chat and interact with locals. They’ll be thrilled to show you their local treats and share their stories with you. So, follow the locals and embark on a culinary adventure that will give you a true taste of the place you’re visiting.

Pay attention to hygiene and cleanliness

When trying street food, it’s important to pay attention to hygiene and cleanliness. Look for vendors who have clean and well-maintained cooking equipment, as well as proper food handling practices. A good indicator is if the food is cooked fresh in front of you. Additionally, make sure to check if the vendor has handwashing facilities available. By being mindful of hygiene and cleanliness, you can minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses and enjoy your street food experience with peace of mind. Check out our Health and Safety page for more information.

Explore Street Food off-street!

Still a bit hesitant in sampling street food? Eat it in restaurants! Anan in Saigon is a prime example of how you can enjoy street food in a restaurant setting. Don’t worry about health and safety concerns – even michellin star establishments are serving up these delicious dishes! So if you’re a traveler hesitant to try street food, give Explore Street Food off-street a go and savor the flavors without any worries!

Vietnam Street Food
Banh Mi at Anan Saigon

In Hue restaurant like Madame Thu and Banh Ganh are excellent places to sample street food.

Vietnam Street Food


To sum it up, Vietnam’s vibrant street food culture is a must-explore for travelers. From mouthwatering dishes like banh mi and pho, to delectable snacks like banh xeo and goi cuon, there is an incredible variety of street food waiting to be discovered. So, grab a stool, mingle with the locals, and dive into the tantalizing world of Vietnamese street food. Your taste buds will thank you for it!

Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s vibrant street food culture and discover the flavors of this fascinating country at home.

Want to explore these tasty dishes at home and have a try at preparing them yourself? Check out these Vietnam Street Food recipes.

Explore Vietnam

For tips on what places to visit around Vietnam check out our Destination pages. For information on how get around Vietnam check our Getting Around Pages. For other practical tips for travelers in Vietnam refer to our Practicalities pages where you can find information on Visa Requirements, Weather, Money, Health and Safety and how to Keep Connected.