What to eat and drink in Vietnam


The rich and varied cuisine of Vietnam often sneaks under the radar, but any visitor will tell you that the food here is some of the best in Asia. Vietnam’s chefs look north towards China and west towards Thailand for influences, meeting somewhere in the middle.

The resulting fusion has Southeast Asia’s zeal for herbs and spices, tempered by China’s love of clean, clear flavors. Some of the most popular food and drink in Vietnam also has subtle influences from the country’s six decades under French colonial rule. Needless to say, every trip to Vietnam is a feast.

Cookery classes, market visits, and food-themed walking tours make it easy to discover the country’s culinary heritage, but street food is where the love affair with Vietnamese food is forged – and where you’ll find the best traditional Vietnamese dishes. Combine snacking on the street with fine dining in restaurants set in imperial-era mansions and French colonial villas in cities such as Hanoi and Hoi An.

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Vietnamese food is so much more than the super-popular bowls of pho noodle soup and banh mi sandwiches. Each region has its own specialties based on local produce and local cooking techniques. If you think you know Vietnamese food, head to the tribal communities of the far northwest and you’re sure to find dishes you’ve never encountered before.

Wherever you go, eat like a local and you’ll discover the incredible culinary diversity this country has to offer. Here’s our guide to eating and drinking in Vietnam.

Vietnamese Pho seller on floating market - woman selling noodle soup from her boat in the Mekong river delta, Vietnam. Try Vietnamese Pho…

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