Vietnamese food and drink

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What to do in Vietnam?

Someone talks about Vietnam and you automatically think of spring rolls, pointed hats or shoulder yokes, those large sections of bamboo and their two suspended woven baskets. Our collective imagination has been flooded with these images... But do they correspond to the current reality of Vietnam? Even if they are not all representative of life in the cities, they still subsist in the countryside... However, Vietnam cannot be summarized by these few clichés. Its people have come far with a particularly turbulent 21st century. The country is now decidedly turned towards the future: Vietnam changes and evolves. The former children of the “boat-people” are returning to Saigon to fulfil their dreams and seek success. Hanoi has opened superb art galleries... For many, Vietnam consists of mountains and plateaus, Vietnam is marked by two major waterways, the Red River to the north, and the mother of all rivers, the Mekong to the south. Between equatorial plains, temperate plateaus and high summits, you will be awestruck by the tender green rice paddies, the canyons of Red River and the superb Mekong Delta.... And if beyond its people and nature you still need a reason to visit Vietnam, let’s mention gastronomy! Vietnamese cooking is one of the most renowned worldwide, light and refined by the same token: spring rolls of course, but also Pho, Cha cà, Oc nhoi and other delicious meals...

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When to go in Vietnam?

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Start planning your Vietnam food tour

Vietnam is one of the world's most exciting food destinations thanks to its fresh, flavorful dishes and the variety of unique delicacies. A Vietnam food tour is an experience not to be missed, and it’s a great way to experience this southeast Asian country's diverse tastes and culture.

What makes Vietnam a great destination for foodies?

Many culinary enthusiasts dream of taking a food tour in Vietnam. Taste meatballs with noodles in the capital of Hanoi, fried crepes filled with sizzling pork, fresh seafood in southern Ho Chi Minh City, or ‘white rose’ dumplings in historic Hoi An. Rice fields and terraces dot the countryside here, and you’ll eat the staple in all sorts of dishes from pho rice noodle soup to fried rice variations. 

The best gastronomy tours in Vietnam

Vietnam extends for more than 1,000 miles from north to south. The country is home to numerous ethnic groups, each with their own specialties. Here’s what to try on a food tour of Vietnam. 

Sample sizzling banh xeo at Ben Thanh Market

The busy Ben Thanh Market is the largest in Ho Chi Minh City, situated in the center of this dynamic metropolis. This is one of the best places to try the local specialty, banh xeo. A crispy rice-battered crepe bursting with bean sprouts and shrimp or pork, this will become a new favorite. 

Eat white rose dumplings in Hoi An

A food tour of Vietnam would be incomplete without visiting the historic silk town of Hoi An. In restaurants sitting amid cobbled streets and swinging lanterns, you can taste banh bao vac. Known as ‘white rose dumplings’, these delicate, translucent creations come filled with pork or seafood. 

Mix and match bun cha

Bun cha is a specialty in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, served at restaurants all over the city. Pork meatballs, grilled pork, and vegetables are served separately from the rice noodle base, allowing diners to mix these ingredients together as they please.

Take banh mi to go

Banh mi is one of the staples of the Vietnamese diet, and is commonly eaten for lunch. These simple yet delicious sandwiches are often filled with assorted meats, along with fresh or pickled vegetables and herbs in a baguette-style bread. You'll find them on many a street corner.

Have a bowl of pho

Another dish that's readily available on Vietnamese streets is the legendary noodle soup, pho. In recent years, this has become a popular take out dish across the world, but there's no better place to have it than at an open-air stall in Vietnam. Savor the combination of rice noodles, meat, bean sprouts, and herbs in fragrant, slow-cooked broth.

Tips for planning a food tour in Vietnam

Vietnam is famous for its street food culture. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, there are hundreds of vendors serving up authentic, delectable dishes. This is one of the best ways to experience authentic Vietnamese food, but use caution and always check salad hasn’t been washed with unfiltered water. For full confidence, book a food tour with an English-speaking local guide to help direct you to the best street food vendors.

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