Vietnam Country Guide




The most authentic Vietnamese food is found at street side "restaurants" comprising a collection of plastic outdoor furniture placed on the footpath. There are definite regional styles comprising of northern, central, and southern cuisines, each with its unique dishes. Central style is perhaps the most celebrated, with dishes such as mi quang (wheat noodles with herbs), banh canh cua (crab soup with thick rice noodles) and bun bo hue (beef soup with herbs and noodles).
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National Dish
Vietnam's national dish is pho, a broth soup with beef or chicken and rice noodles (a form of rice linguini or fettuccine). It is the original fast food and though usually available throughout the day, it is most often eaten for breakfast.
Pho is normally served with plates of fresh herbs, cut limes, hot chiles and and scalded bean sprouts which you can add in according to your taste, along with chili paste, chili sauce, and sweet soybean sauce. Pho bo, the classic form of pho, is made with beef broth that is often simmered for many hours and may include one or more kinds of beef. Pho ga is the same pho bo, but with chicken broth and chicken meat. Generally speaking, pho served at the roadside stalls tend to be cheaper and taste better than those served in fancier restaurants.


If you like seafood, you may find heaven in Vietnam. The ultimate seafood experience is traveling to a seaside village or beach resort area in the south to try the local seafood restaurants that often serve shrimps, crabs, and locally-caught fish. Follow the locals to a good restaurant and you will find the fish still swimming in the tank until you order it. The fish served will be well-prepared, very affordable by Western standards and often served in friendly surroundings with spectacular views and often a beach view.

Vietnamese shrimp toast by Fish

French Food
Coffee, baguettes, and pastries were originally introduced by the French colonials, but all three have been localized and remain popular contemporary aspects of Vietnamese cuisine. Ca phe are Vietnamese coffee shops that also serve light fare and can be found in almost every village and on multiple street corners in the bigger cities. Banh mi are French bread sandwiches, freshly baked white bread baguettes filled with grilled meats plus fresh herbs and vegetables. Most pastry shops serve a variety of sweets and quick foods, and are now owned by Vietnamese.

Banh Mi by jeffreyw

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