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At the fish market in Hoi An.  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.de/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Vietnam

Vietnam Restaurants & Eating

  
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Food sits at the very centre of Vietnamese culture: every significant holiday on the Vietnamese cultural calendar, all the important milestones in a Vietnamese person's life, and indeed, most of the important day-to-day social events and interactions - food plays a central role in each. Special dishes are prepared and served with great care for every birth, marriage and death, and the anniversaries of ancestors' deaths. More business deals are struck over dinner tables than over boardroom tables, and when friends get together, they eat together. Preparing food and eating together remains the focus of family life.

Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine varies slightly from region to region, with many regions having their own specialities. Generally, northern Vietnamese cuisine is known for being bland while southern Vietnamese cuisine is known for being spicy.
At the same time, the Vietnamese are surprisingly modest about their cuisine. (And old proverb/joke says that a fortunate man has a Western (French) house, Japanese wife, and Chinese chef.) High-end restaurants tend to serve "Asian-fusion" cuisine, with elements of Thai, Japanese, and Chinese mixed in.

The most authentic Vietnamese food is found at street side "restaurants" (A collection of plastic outdoor furniture placed on the footpath), with most walk-in restaurants being mainly for tourists. Definite regional styles exist -- northern, central, and southern, each with unique dishes. Central style is perhaps the most celebrated, with dishes such as mi quang (wheat noodles with herbs, pork, and shrimp), banh canh cua (crab soup with thick rice noodles) and bun bo Hue (beef soup with herbs and noodles).

Food hawkers ply the streets in Ho Chi Minh City.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.de/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Eateries

In rural and regional areas it is usually safest to eat the locally grown types of food as these are usually bought each day from the market. It is not uncommon, that after you have ordered your meal a young child of the family will be seen running out the back towards the nearest market to purchase the items.

Most restaurants/cafes in Vietnam will have a bewildering variety of food available. It is very common for menus to be up to 10-15 pages. These will inlcude all types of vietnamese food, plus some token western food, possibly some chinese and maybe a pad thai as well. It is generally best to stick with the specialty of the area as this food will be the freshest and also the best prepared.

Vegetarian food

Vegetarian food is quite easy to find anywhere in Vietnam due in large part to the Buddhist influence. These restaurants will run from upscale to street stall. Basically any Vietnamese dish with meat can be made vegetarian with the abundance of fake meats. Besides the Buddhist influence of 2 vegetarian days a month, Cao Dai people eat vegetarian 16 days, and followers of the bizarre Quan Yin method eat vegan daily. Look for any sign that says Com Chay or simply remember the phrase An Chay.

Vietnamese spring rolls. Also available as a fried version.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.de/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Coffee, bread and pastries

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. More on cà phê below, but coffee shops that also serve light fare can be found in almost village and on multiple street corners in the bigger cities.

Bánh mì Hanoi are French bread sandwiches: freshly baked white bread baguettes filled with grilled meats or liver or pork pâté, plus fresh herbs and vegetables. Most pastry shops serve a variety of sweets and quick foods, and are now owned by Vietnamese.

Seafood

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 shrimp, crab, and locally-caught fish. Follow the locals to a good restaurant: the food will still be swimming when you order it, it will be well-prepared, very affordable by Western standards, and often served in friendly surroundings with spectacular views.

Restaurants in Vietnam

International Daluva
Wine and Tapas Bar/Restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food caters for all tastes including vegetarians. Ranging from small tapas plates to main courses of hearty Western and Asian fare. It's a modern p... more
 1 Fans, Mid Range, in Hanoi
Local Bun Cha
some rate this as one of the best examples of Bun Cha in Hanoi, and therefore Vietnam (apparently in the south, Bun Cha is specifically advertised as Hanoi-style). For about 60,000 dong each, you'll get a bowl full of tiny pork-mince rissoles that have been ... more
Low Budget, in Hanoi
 
International Cafe 69
Good place to eat Western food in the heart of the Old Quarter, although some travellers find it expensive and the food inferior quality.Directionsopposite Friendly Hotel
Low Budget, in Hanoi
Local Com Binh Dan
these are an excellent way to get an inexpensive, home-cooked Vietnamese meal. The best ones have loyal followings of workers who eat there every day.DirectionsHang Bo, several side streets in Old Quarter
Low Budget, rice with two or three toppings (which you select from several dishes): 15,000-30,000 VND, in Hanoi
 
Vegetarian Com Chay Nang Tam Vegetarian Restaurant
This excellent restaurant is your best vegetarian option in town and will please both vegetarians and non-vegetarians with its wide range of innovative dishes, which include fake meat dishes. Restaurant is comfortable with good ambience, and dishes are value-pri... more
Low Budget, Set dinner with a selection of four dishes, soup, and rice: 40,000+ VND, in Hanoi
Local DAC KIM
Try BBQ pork (slice) in soup with vermicelli and lots of vegetables. They serve spring rolls too.
Low Budget, in Hanoi
 
International Hebe Cafe
Cheap local and Western food.Directionsinside Hanoi Youth Hotel - near the Hoan Kiem lake, in the center of Old Quarter
Low Budget, breakfasts: US$1; pizza: US$2; hot pot: US$8, in Hanoi
International Huy Caf&#xE9; & Pizza Inn
Low Budget, large Italian dinner combo (garlic bread, soup/salad, pizza/pasta, drink): 65,000 VND, in Hanoi
 
Bakery Joma Bakery Caf&#xE9;
Fair-trade certified, organic coffee prepared by some of the best baristas in town. Add to your smooth cappuccino a sweet-smelling cinnamon bun or a much-loved bagel egger. Everything here is homemade and fresh. Excellent breakfast menu and lunch/dinner options,... more
Low Budget, 20000-80000 dong, in Hanoi
International Kem Tr&#xE0;ng Ti&#x1EC1;n
popular spot for ice cream on a hot day. Beware of motorbikes when entering the establishment, since it is sort of a drive-thru/drive-in ice cream shop. Make sure to try the local cóm or đậu xanh flavors. Also to note that the hygine in the are... more
Low Budget, Ice cream bars: 5,000-8,000 VND. Cones are a bit more expensive., in Hanoi
 
These are just 10 of 214 Restaurants in Vietnam. Show more.




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