Best places to try traditional Vietnamese food
Food & health

Best places to try traditional Vietnamese food

Vietnamese cuisine is a vibrant and diverse tapestry of flavors, influenced by a rich history and a variety of regional ingredients. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the serene landscapes of Hoi An, Vietnam offers a culinary journey that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression. In this article, we will delve into the best places to try traditional Vietnamese food, each location offering a unique and authentic culinary experience.

Best places to try traditional Vietnamese food

Hanoi – The Heart of Vietnamese Cuisine:

Hanoi - The Heart of Vietnamese Cuisine
Hanoi – The Heart of Vietnamese Cuisine

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a treasure trove for food enthusiasts. The Old Quarter, with its narrow streets and bustling markets, is a haven for street food lovers. Try the iconic Pho, a noodle soup with fragrant broth and tender slices of beef or chicken, at Pho Gia Truyen. For a taste of Hanoi’s famous Bun Cha, grilled pork served with rice vermicelli and fresh herbs, locals recommend Bun Cha Dac Kim.

Hue – Imperial Delights:

As the former imperial capital, Hue boasts a unique culinary tradition that reflects its royal past. The Imperial City offers a variety of dishes, including Bun Bo Hue, a spicy beef noodle soup with lemongrass-infused broth. To experience authentic Hue flavors, visit Hanh Restaurant, known for its traditional dishes like Banh Beo (steamed rice cakes) and Nem Lui (lemongrass skewers).

Hoi An – Culinary Harmony by the Riverside:

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is celebrated for its well-preserved architecture and delectable cuisine. The charming streets are dotted with eateries serving Cao Lau, a noodle dish with pork and local greens. Dive into the local market, where you can taste White Rose Dumplings, a specialty unique to Hoi An. Morning Glory Restaurant is a popular spot offering a diverse menu of Hoi An’s culinary delights.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) – A Fusion of Flavors:

Southern Vietnam, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, offers a vibrant and diverse culinary scene influenced by various cultures. Bánh mì, a French-inspired baguette filled with a variety of savory ingredients, is a must-try. Head to Banh Mi Huynh Hoa for one of the city’s best sandwiches. For a taste of Southern Vietnamese cuisine, try Hu Tieu, a noodle soup that blends Chinese and Cambodian influences. Quan An Ngon is a popular restaurant offering a wide range of Southern dishes in a charming setting.

Dalat – A Mountain Retreat for Foodies:

Dalat - A Mountain Retreat for Foodies
Dalat – A Mountain Retreat for Foodies

Nestled in the Central Highlands, Dalat’s cooler climate and fertile land make it a haven for fresh produce and unique dishes. The city is famous for its artichoke tea and fresh strawberries. Don’t miss the local specialty, Nem Nuong Dalat, grilled pork sausage served with rice paper and herbs. Dalat Night Market is an excellent place to savor the city’s distinctive flavors.

Phan Thiet – Seafood Paradise:

If you’re a seafood lover, Phan Thiet, a coastal town, is the place to be. Known for its fresh seafood, particularly fish sauce, the region offers delightful dishes like Banh Canh Ca Loc (thick noodle soup with snakehead fish) and Cha Ca (grilled fish with herbs and rice vermicelli). Visit Cay Bang Restaurant for an authentic taste of Phan Thiet’s seafood delights.

Nha Trang – Coastal Gastronomy:

Nha Trang, with its stunning beaches and clear waters, is not only a paradise for sun-seekers but also a haven for seafood enthusiasts. The city is renowned for its delicious seafood, and one of the must-try dishes is Bun Ca Sua, a noodle soup featuring jellyfish and other seafood delights. Visit Lac Canh Restaurant for a delightful seafood feast and savor the flavors of the ocean in a vibrant coastal setting.

Can Tho – Mekong Delta’s Culinary Gem:

Can Tho, situated in the heart of the Mekong Delta, offers a unique culinary experience influenced by the fertile lands of the delta. The floating markets are a must-visit, and while you’re there, try Hu Tieu Nam Vang, a noodle soup with pork, shrimp, and quail eggs. Ong Pagoda’s vicinity is known for its excellent Hu Tieu, and you can enjoy this flavorful dish while taking in the picturesque surroundings of the delta.

Quy Nhon – Seafood and Specialties:

Quy Nhon, a coastal city in central Vietnam, is a hidden gem for those seeking authentic Vietnamese flavors. Famous for its seafood, Bun Ca (fish noodle soup) and Bun Cha Ca (grilled fish cake noodle soup) are local specialties not to be missed. Head to Cha Ca Quy Nhon for a delightful experience, where the friendly atmosphere complements the rich seafood offerings, showcasing the city’s culinary prowess.

Mui Ne – Culinary Delights by the Sand Dunes:

Mui Ne - Culinary Delights by the Sand Dunes
Mui Ne – Culinary Delights by the Sand Dunes

Mui Ne, known for its stunning sand dunes and unique landscapes, also boasts a distinctive culinary scene. The town is renowned for its fresh seafood, and a visit to Lang Chai (fishing village) is a must for seafood lovers. Try the local delicacy, Bau Trang Banh Can, small rice cakes cooked on hot sand, providing a unique culinary experience by the mesmerizing dunes.


Vietnamese cuisine is a symphony of flavors, and each region contributes its own unique notes to the melody. From the northern charm of Hanoi to the southern vibrancy of Ho Chi Minh City, exploring the diverse culinary landscape of Vietnam is an adventure for the senses. Whether you’re savoring a bowl of Pho on the streets of Hanoi or indulging in fresh seafood in Phan Thiet, the best places to try traditional Vietnamese food offer a culinary journey that reflects the country’s rich history, culture, and dedication to the art of gastronomy.