10 Local foods to try if you visit Vietnam

|by Contributor |with 0 Comments

Vietnamese food – it’s unforgettable, exotic, inexpensive and tasty as hell...

Vietnamese food – it’s unforgettable, exotic, inexpensive and tasty as hell.

Here’s the Contiki guide to the Vietnamese dishes you need to indulge in while you’re there, because food is definitely one of the many reason why we enjoy travelling so much. Right?

So get your taste buds ready…

1. Pho – The national dish of Vietnam. It is a delicious rice-noodle broth, flavoured with chicken or beef, and topped with an assortment of herbs. It’s normal to eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And it’s pronounced ‘fuh’.

2. Goi cuon and com chien – Rice paper rolls filled with prawns that have satay sauce drizzled and a side of fried rice mixed with sausages.

31740889 - traditional vietnamese beef soup pho on a wooden background

3. Nam Neung – are so cheap and the best way to consume copious amounts of pork rolls WITH crackling and dipping sauce. It's also really fun rolling your own!

4. Thit Nuong – The crispy pork wins our heart every time. Go local, and head into authentic Vietnamese joints, where you'll find it served with rice noodles! You won't regret it.

5. Drip coffee or in Vietnamese terms, ‘Ca phe sua da’. It’s dark roasted coffee, passed through a drip filter over condensed milk, that is then mixed with ice. The first time you try it, you won’t understand it. But it will grow on you, and you will learn to love it!

35994717 - dual coffee vietnamese style in local cafe terrace.

Check out the markets for a taste of how the locals do business

Bến Thành Market in Ho Chi Minh and the local food market in Hoi An are two of the best. There are markets and street vendors everywhere but especially in Ho Chi Mihn, Hoi An and Hanoi! If you decide to go on a cooking tour, they will guide you on the kinds of produce you should be buying, and how to cook authentic Vietnamese dishes (worth it).

6. Cao lầu is a unique dish that is usually only found in Hoi An. It consists of noodles, thinly sliced pork, bean sprouts, greens and it’s truly delicious.

7. Banh Bao Vac or 'white rose dumplings' can also be found in Hoi An, and if you love dumplings, you will go crazy for this dish. It’s shrimp wrapped around translucent white rolls with toasty bits of garlic and sweet dipping sauce.

8. Delicious assortment of stir-fried dishes. Hail to the tuna, mixed seafood and vegetables dishes. So simple, yet so gratifying.

9. Com Ga – Possibly one of the best meals in Vietnam. It’s crispy chicken over a bed of rice and if you take a close look at that little bowl with a lime in it - they mix salt and pepper together, and squeeze lime over it to complement your chicken!

10. Delicious chicken rissoles drizzled with a home-made sweet chilli sauce.

Hot tips for a trip to Vietnam

- Nước chắm: Let those words sink into your brain. This is the famous Vietnamese dipping sauce that's usually accompanied with most dishes. It's sweet, sour and a lil' spicy.

- Ca Phe is coffee. When you're on the road, you'll no doubt need a hit of caffeine, and the Vietnamese sure know how to make good coffee.

- Goi: Vegans and vegetarians ... this will be the most important word for you in Vietnam. It means 'salad'. So when in doubt - 'Goi'.

Why not start the foodie adventure across Asia your hungry heart always desired?

Check out the trips we run that'll have you dropping delicious food, left right and centre and if you book and pay your deposit before end April you’ll save 10%. Contiki’s Vietnam Adventure starts from R20 736 for 12 days exploring the length and breadth of Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi and Halong Bay.

Call Contiki on (011) 280 8400 or visit contiki.com for more inspiration.