10 Most Popular Dishes in Vietnam

Are you keen to taste some of the best food in Vietnam? Great, you’re in the right place.

This list of the most popular dishes in Vietnam is a good place to start. There is so much to discover about this excellent cuisine.

10 Most Popular Dishes in Vietnam

Are you keen to taste some of the best food in Vietnam? Great, you’re in the right place.

This list of the most popular dishes in Vietnam is a good place to start. There is so much to discover about this excellent cuisine.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

We may earn affiliate commissions from websites we link to, at no cost to you. Click here for details.

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Hoi An

If you’re wondering what is typical Vietnamese food and the famous dishes in Vietnam, we’ll cover that too.

The variety of foods from Vietnam is endless! A trip through this country is a culinary adventure for sure!

So, prepare your tastebuds for some new flavours, textures, and mouthwatering foods that are sure to please.

10 of the Most Popular Dishes in Vietnam:

1) Banh Mi (Bánh Mì)

What’s the secret to this incredible sandwich?

It has to be the freshest, crunchiest baguette to start. But, of course, the Vietnamese have the French to thank for introducing amazing bread to the country. 

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Banh mi vendor sandwich
Most popular dishes in Vietnam – Banh mi sandwich

The Banh Mi has all kinds of ingredients as fillings. The textures, crunch, sweet, salty, and freshness layers are perfect. 

Fillings include a slathering of butter, pâté with ham, steamed pork roll or other Vietnamese luncheon meats. These days, you can find Banh Mi with crispy pork, too.

Then, thickly sliced cucumber, pickled carrots & daikon to add crunch. It’s finished with fresh coriander, chilli (optional), and a drizzle of Maggi seasoning sauce. Absolute bliss! 

Honestly, Banh Mi is my favourite sandwich in the world, and I’ve eaten sandwiches in every country. This one beats them all!

The best Banh mi I’ve eaten in Vietnam was in the charming city of Hoi An.

I’ve listed it in our Food Lovers Guide to Hoi An. This guide also includes a hand-picked list of my favourite dishes in Hoi An and where to find them. 

2) Banh Cuon (Bánh cuốn)

Another one of the best dishes in Vietnam eaten at breakfast time is Banh Cuon. You can also find a similar version of these delicate parcels of goodness in Thai cuisine, known as khao phan.

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Banh Cuon

Bánh cuốn are steamed rice rolls filled with pork, mushrooms, or both ingredients. A fried shallot dip or Nước chấm dipping sauce comes with it, in addition to a medley of fresh herbs and lettuce on the side.

These lovely steamed rolls take skill and patience to prepare, and honestly, they are one of the most memorable foods from Vietnam that you must taste.

My favourite place to enjoy this dish is at Banh cuon Ba Xuan in Hanoi (here’s the address on Google Maps).

A fresh and delicious serving is 40,000 VND, and if you score a seat inside, you can watch the ladies cooking this delicate dish.

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3) Pho (Phở)

If we’re talking about the most famous dishes in Vietnam, then Pho would take first place. Considered to be Vietnam’s national dish, there is something special about enjoying a fragrant bowl of Vietnamese soup.

If you search ‘Vietnam food pho’ online, you will find images of clear bone broth covering flat wide rice noodles, fresh herbs, and thinly sliced meat. Usually, a plate of bean sprouts, fresh herbs, limes, and chilli is served on the side to add crunch and texture to the dish.

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Pho
One of the most famous dishes in Vietnam – Pho

Chicken (Pho Ga) and beef (Pho Bo) are the primary Vietnamese Pho dishes. Many vendors serving Pho will generally serve one or the other, and it’s usually the aromatic and flavourful broth that keeps their customers returning for more.

My Tip: If you see a Pho vendor with a long line of people, I recommend you get in the queue. It’s going to be fantastic!

And, so you sound like a food pro when ordering this dish, the correct pronunciation of “pho” is “fuh“.

4) Sizzling Vietnamese Crepes – Banh Xeo (Bánh xèo)

It’s hard to walk past any Banh Xeo street food vendor while travelling in Vietnam and not stop to get one. This dish smells fantastic, and the sound of it cooking makes you instantly hungry. 

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Banh Xeo
Popular Dishes in Vietnam – Banh Xeo

The sound of the rice batter sizzling away in the skillet is heavenly.

Bánh xèo is a crispy, stuffed crepe or rice pancake. If you wonder if it’s cheap to eat in Vietnam, stick to the street food classics like this, and you will spend very little. 

Pronounced “boon say-oh”, expect fillings like juicy pork belly, chicken, shrimp, shallots, spring onion, and bean sprouts in your Banh Xeo.

If someone asks me, “what is Vietnam food famous for?”, my answer would be that they’re genius at creating a mouthwatering dish from only a few ingredients and sauces.

5) Ca Kho To (Cá Kho Tộ)

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Ca Kho To

A classic Vietnamese dish, often cooked in a clay pot. This dish is all about caramelised, salty and sweet braised fish. The best part about Ca Kho To is the flavourful sauce.

Served over a heap of steamed white rice, you’ve got one of the best Viet dishes in the country.

6) Xoi Xeo (Xôi Xéo)

Sticky Rice and Mung Bean (Xoi Xeo) is a typical Vietnamese breakfast dish (equally as popular to eat for breakfast as Pho).

This much-loved dish features soft and chewy golden sticky rice, nourishing mung beans and crispy fried shallots that add texture and balance.

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Xôi Xéo

It may not sound like a top contender for the best food in Vietnam, but there’s a reason why locals love this warming food. Any food that is topped with crispy fried shallots is amazing in my book.

It just works; trust me on this one. Try it and find out for yourself. We’ve listed the most popular place to enjoy this dish in our Complete Food Lovers Guide to Hanoi.

7) Bun Cha (Bún chả)

There are few things better in the culinary world than Bun Cha. 

Essentially, this is Vietnamese fatty grilled pork served over a plate of fresh rice vermicelli noodles (bún) with loads of fresh herbs plus a side dish of Nước chấm ( a dipping sauce made with fish sauce, fresh lime juice, garlic & sugar).

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Bun Cha
Famous Vietnam dishes to try – Bun Cha

If you’re feeling super hungry, ask for a side of Nem (little deep-fried spring rolls); they perfectly accompany Bun Cha.

I love the additional texture or crunch that it adds to the experience.

8) Fresh Spring Rolls (Gỏi cuốn)

We’d have to call this one of the most famous Vietnam dishes. Of course, it’s not only one of the most popular dishes in Vietnam; you can find fresh spring rolls in many countries worldwide.

But honestly, there is much to love about fresh rice paper rolls in Vietnam.

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Fresh Spring Rolls Gỏi cuốn
Fresh Spring Rolls are up there with the famous Vietnam dishes. They’re just soooo good!

If you ask a local what typical Vietnamese food is, they may direct you to try Gỏi cuốn.

Ingredients include freshly cooked prawns, grilled meats, noodles, lettuce, vegetables, and herbs. 

Then, these ingredients are rolled into bánh tráng (rice paper) and usually eaten with Nước chấm or peanut sauce. I can’t get enough of this popular dish in Vietnam.

9) Cau Lau (Cao Lâu)

Cao Lau is the most famous dish in Hoi An. This city needs to be part of your Vietnam travel itinerary because they have some excellent food.

And I need to mention this Evening Food Tour in Hoi An – it is AMAZING! You will eat your way through the Old Town with a passionate guide who will ensure you get to taste a bit of everything.

The chewy, smoked noodles used in this dish have a remarkable flavour and are produced solely in Hoi An. 

I like this dish because it differs from other Vietnamese noodle dishes. The main difference is thick, robust rice noodles served in a bit of broth, accompanied by thinly sliced pork, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and crisp croutons of rice noodles. 

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Cau Lau

This is one of the popular dishes in Vietnam because it incorporates everything that makes Vietnamese food so good.

Well-balanced broth/sauce, crunch, texture, freshness, and the freshest noodles that are hard to beat!

You won’t stop at just one bowl. Trust me – this is a winning dish!

10) Broken Rice – Com Tam (Cơm tấm) 

Cơm tấm is a dish made from broken rice grains that get damaged during harvesting or milling.

Broken rice has a more delicate texture than unbroken grains, absorbing liquid and flavour easier and quicker.

Popular Dishes in Vietnam Com Tam Broken rice

Tấm is the damaged rice grains, while cơm means cooked rice.

Cơm tấm is known as the most popular Saigon street food. Traditionally, it’s eaten with pork chops, pork loaf, pork skin or shredded pork and an egg.

And you guessed it, the famous Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nước chấm, is usually served alongside to add more flavour.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vietnamese food

Popular Dishes in Vietnam

What is typical Vietnamese food?

As you may have guessed from reading our 10 most popular dishes in Vietnam, this cuisine is all about balance. Vietnamese people are magicians in creating mouthwatering dishes with the perfect balance of aromatics, heat, sour and sweet notes too.

They grow huge amounts of rice, fresh herbs and green vegetables in this country, so it makes sense that this makes up the bulk of their cuisine.

How much is a meal in Vietnam?

If you stick to the street food vendors and small eateries and restaurants (if you ask me, this is where you’ll find the best food anyway), then on average, a bowl of Pho costs around VND 30,000 ($1.25). 

A banh mi sandwich will set you back between VND 20,000 – 30,000 ($0.80 – $1.25). 

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Is it cheap to eat in Vietnam?

As you can probably guess from the above prices, eating in Vietnam is affordable. This is one of the most affordable countries in Southeast Asia. It also features in our post about the 21 cheapest countries to visit.

Accommodation and transport options are also very affordable. 

Is Vietnamese food spicy?

I’d say it’s not really a spicy cuisine. However, you can always add chilli or heat to the dish if you wish it to be spicier.

Join a Small Group Tour in Vietnam or SE Asia

Have you considered travelling around Vietnam on a small group tour? We highly recommend G Adventures. They offer 40+ different itineraries in Vietnam, so there is a trip to suit everyone. Check out their tours in Vietnam here.

Alternatively, check out the fantastic range of G Adventures Southeast Asia Tours.

Travel Tips for Vietnam

We have many travel guides and tips for Vietnam—what a vibrant and delicious country!

Start by tasting these 10 popular Vietnamese dishes and then explore more of this incredible cuisine. We love to eat here, and Vietnam is featured among our top 10 best countries for food lovers.

Our packing list for Southeast Asia covers what to take (and what to leave at home).

If you plan on visiting Hanoi, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best restaurants in Hanoi (and what you should order).

We recommend you join a food tour in Hanoi; read about our food tour experience here.

If you decide to visit Danang, a delicious city by the coast, our food guide on the Danang’s best restaurants and places to eat is essential reading!

And, the charming city of Hoi An is unmissable! Check out these 15 best places to eat in Hoi An.

For adventure seekers, I highly recommend travelling to northern Vietnam and doing the Ha Giang Motorcycle Loop – read our complete guide for more information (and inspiration).

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Vietnam. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View options for eSIM in Vietnam or the regional Asialink eSIM (which covers 13 countries).

If your travels in Vietnam are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

Want to travel in Vietnam with like-minded travellers? View the best deals on group adventures in Vietnam.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

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