February 18, 2020

When travelling to Vietnam, you shouldn’t miss eating Vietnamese cuisine. The local food is one of the most interesting, exciting, and delectable meals you’ll ever have.

The Vietnamese people are proud of their local cuisine. The ingredients are specially mixed with surprising ingredients which makes Vietnam a major gastronomic destination in South East Asia for foodies like us. 

Let’s get into the top 8 things about Vietnamese cuisine that you probably didn’t know about:

1. The cuisine specialty varies per region. 

The interesting about travelling around Vietnam is that the food is always never the same. Each region has its own specialty and we highly encourage you to try the local Vietnam food wherever you go so that you can taste the distinct and exciting flavors each region presents.

A trip to the coastal side of the country offers you a specialty in seafood dishes which are also the staple dishes in Vietnam. When you’re in the mountainous regions of northern Vietnam, it is common for the locals to serve soup particularly PHO. 

Meanwhile, in central Vietnam, the locals are more experimental when it comes to cooking dishes. The southern part of the country, on the other hand, are more into spicy food including coconut-based curry dishes served with fruits and veggies.

2. The most delicious foods in Vietnam are mostly on the streets. 

Do you often search for Michelin-rated restaurants during your trips abroad? When you’re in Vietnam, we urge you to forget about high-end restaurants and instead go for casual dining. 

Unlike western countries where you’ll often find the best dishes in top-rated restaurants, Vietnam is all about casual dining. In fact, the best and most delicious Vietnamese cuisine you’ll ever come across is often right beside the streets.

You’ll often see locals and tourists hunched with their soup bowls sitting in plastic stools and small tables along the sidewalk. Another interesting to note is that Vietnamese people eat close to the ground which explains why their stools are low and are often around 30 inches above the ground.

3. Vietnam is the second-biggest coffee producer in the world. 

Vietnamese coffee beans are strong and flavorful. Vietnamese coffee is locally referred to as Caphe.

There are different ways to serve the local coffee whether its hot or iced. However, one of the best ways to drink the local coffee is with sweetened condensed milk.

Ca phe TRUNG or egg coffee is the most popular coffee concoction in the north. The dark coffee is mixed with egg and condensed milk to form a frothy texture.

The best coffee shops are usually the ones tucked in the old buildings.

4. The food often ends up on the floor.

When you’re eating in a traditional Vietnamese restaurant, don’t be surprised when you see food waste being thrown on the floor. It is actually a custom habit in most eateries.

While most cafeterias have small garbage bins, most of the food doesn’t make it to the trash bin. You’ll usually find one garbage bin in a table for sharing.

5. Vietnamese love eating liquid desserts.

Usually because of the hot climate in Vietnam, the locals enjoy delicious cold liquid desserts referred locally as Chè. This type of dessert includes drinks, puddings, and soup.

It is usually concocted with coconut milk, fruits, and kidney beans. However, some desserts have additional ingredients including banana milk, sweetcorn, and rice pudding. 

These refreshing desserts are served over ice in a glass and spoon. However, some restaurants also serve Chè hot.

6. Vietnamese eateries often have their specialty.

Want to eat a particular Vietnamese cuisine but don’t know where to find the best restaurant? Most locals go to specific Vietnamese restaurants and eateries to taste a particular Vietnamese food.

For example, if you want to eat a traditional banh mi sandwich, then you should go to a street vendor that is known for creating the most authentic local sandwich of Vietnam. The best way to experience and try all the yummy local dishes is to go food hopping.

You’ll be surprised to find a lot of vendors who specialize in different local dishes along the streets. All you have to do is explore the wonderful streets of Vietnam.

7. Vietnamese food often comes with five flavors. 

Vietnam food combines certain principles when it comes to food preparation. The philosophies highlight the significance of creating balance for a person’s overall well-being.

Hence, each dish is carefully curated with an interesting combination of five flavors such as sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and hot. This combination creates a tasty, aromatic, and mouth-watering experience that is unforgettable.

8. Vietnamese food is full of herbs. 

Have you noticed how Vietnamese dishes are always full of flavor? This is because the locals prepare and incorporate tons of herbs in the dishes.

The herbs add more texture to the food. You can use a variety of herbs to spice up your meals.

At the same time, it makes your dish feel and taste fresh. The herbs are usually served in a separate bowl where the ingredients are chopped, mixed, and rolled.

Fresh herbs are an essential part of the Vietnamese food culture because it brings out the delicious flavor of your meal.

Bottom line:

Vietnam is a fascinating country. The local Vietnamese cuisine is as rich as the country’s history and culture

Therefore, Vietnam is one of our top choices in South East Asia as the best gastronomic travel destinations in the world. Now that you are aware of how the locals carefully prepare their dishes, you’ll probably want to try Vietnamese food for yourself.

Whether you want to try PHO, Chè or Caphe, Vietnam has a huge variety of dishes to choose from. Each local dish has its own special and unique offering.

We recommend you try each dish mentioned on this list. Let this article serve as your guide to your food adventure when you visit Vietnam.

Don’t forget to try all the Vietnamese cuisine and specialities per region as you travel across Vietnam from north to south. 

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