- Pho – The best places are the ones with no menus and little children’s size tables and chairs out the front that just serve pho. Grab your self a table, try and squeeze your legs underneath the tables (or sit sideways as we alway did) choose chicken of beed and enjoy! Most of the places have names in Vietnamese that we can’t quite remember (sorry), but try Hang Gai St or Nguyen Sieu St.
A big bowl of pho will set you back 30,000 – 40,000VD/ $2-3. Bargain!
- Our second favourite dish would have to be Banh Mi. French baguettes + meat of your choosing (pork, chick, beef, meatballs) + coleslaw + cheese + egg + special sauce = YUM! (costs range between 20,000 – 40,000VD/ $1.50-3) You will find them all over the streets in Hanoi and the ingredients can differ depending of where you get them from. Our favourite place was a little cafe on Nguyen Sieu St.
- Enter coffee addiction – Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, preferably served over ice. Hanoi was our first introduction to these and subsequently became our drink of choice all through Vietnam. A cup/ glass will set you back somewhere between 30,000 – 60,000VD/ $2-4 depending where you go.
- Hue was where we discovered cold bun or Bun Thit Nuong – a nice cold dish was just what we needed in the 40 degree weather. Cold bun is a dish of rice noodles, salad leaves, coriander, meat (generally pork which has been crumbed and fried) carrot and bamboo shoots. It is served with sauce on the side (either a peanut satay or a sweet chilli depending where you are) which you mix in as much or a little as you like ( Our recommendation would be Hang Na Restaurant on Dinh Tien Hong St, very close to the Citadel. We also had hot Bun soup which was very similar to pho (different spices in the broth) and very delicious.
A bowl of either will set you back 30,000VD/ $2
- Cao Lac is the signature dish of Hoi An and is a basically a variation of Pho. Cao Lac is a dish of thick egg noodles served with mixed lettuce leaves, bean shoots, pork pieces and croutons served with a small amount of broth/ sauce/ marinade in the bottom of the bowl. We ate this dish most nights and found the best bowls to be served down by the river by the little street vendors rather than in the restaurants. If you eat down by the river, a bowl with cost you 20,000VD/ $1.50 where as if you order it in a restaurant/ cafe it will cost you upwards of 40,000VD/ $3
Apart from Cau Lac, most of the food found in Hoi An is the same Vietnamese cuisine you will find throughout most of Vietnam Out top 3 Cafe/ Restaurants to try in Hoi An:
- Miss Ly’s (Nguyen Hue St) which was a little more expensive than other places but well worth it.
- Mermaid Cafe (Tran Phu St)
- CocoBox (Le Lou Minh An St) This place was a nice change from all the Vietnamese food in Hoi An and serves pressed juices, smoothies, home made ice creams, vegan cakes and even sells organic chips, nuts, jams and cider to take away.
HO CHI MINH CITY (HCMC)
- Like in Hanoi, we mostly ate Pho in HCMC. We found a great place not far from our hostel (on Le Lai, Ben Thanh, 1) that served enormous bowls of the stuff for only 60,000VD/ $4. A little more expensive than Hanoi, but well worth it. We ate here twice in 2 days.
- Bui Vien St is also another good place to find a delicious meal. The street is full of restaurants, bars, pubs and street food vendors. We chose to eat at Lang Nuong Nho Ba Sau BBQ Saigon Night . This place was full to the brim when we arrived and when we asked for a table, the owner just put an extra table on the road rather than tell us he was full. The food is charged per skewer and is cooked fresh for you. Chicken, beef and pork skewers cost 10,000VD/ $0.70 each, prawns, squid and fish skewers cost 20,000 – 30,000VD/ $1.50-$2 each. They also had a small menu for stemmed rice, fried rice and mixed vegetables.
- Not far from the War Remnants museum and just across the road from the Royal Palace (on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia) you will find numerous restaurant which offer great food and a place to stop and take a break after a day of sight seeing. Here we found Bun Thit Nuong, only this time, served with spring rolls as well as pork. A delicious addition to an already wonderful dish and all for 60,000VD/ $4.