Vietnam Street Food Guide

Vietnam has made quite a name for itself in having some of the best street food around the world, and usually at a fraction of the cost of what a normal meal in the west would cost. When you can get a hefty dinner for $6, the temptation to try it all is very high. But before you jump in blind, it’s worth knowing a few of the best dishes to get started with. Below we have outlined some of Vietnam’s most iconic street food to help you get started if you head to the land of the Ascending Dragon. (Psst – read until the bottom for a special offer…)

Bánh Mì

We’ll start off easy with a fairly recognizable item – the Bánh Mì. This sandwich is a visible remnant of French occupation, but with Vietnamese flair. It consists of a baguette filled with your choice of meat, egg or tofu accompanied by a range of items but most commonly a spreading of pate, grated carrots, cucumber, cilantro and chili sauce. Many vendors have their own style, with some opting for a saucy bread layered in meat sauce and mayo and others presenting a lighter, crispier version, perhaps heavier on the veggies. Our suggestion? Make your own tour-de-báhn-mì to find your favorite stall in the city.

Bánh Rán

Round little “donuts,” these delicious little treats are fried dough balls, coated in sesame seeds and filled with mung bean. Take a bite into one of these sweet donuts, and let your mouth salivate over the crispy fried coating and soft inner paste. You’ll find many different varieties of these delicacies, with both sweet and savory fillings. They all have their own charm, so go ahead, be adventurous and try them all!

A word to the wise: don’t get your donut fix from the ladies selling out of baskets on the streets, but rather find a place serving them up freshly fried for the best texture and taste.

Bánh Bao

While not originally Vietnamese, these traditionally Cantonese fluffy steamed buns are so popular in Vietnam that we simply had to add it to the list. They can be grabbed on the go for a quick snack or make for a light meal and feature a wide variety of fillings. Choose, for example, from tasty ground pork, Chinese sausage and hard boiled egg, chicken, chay (vegetarian), or sweet options, such as the purple taro (a root vegetable) or green bean. No matter what flavor you choose, you’re sure to get satisfaction from ripping open your bun and savoring the contrast of the melt-in-your-mouth dough with the textured stuffing.


No guide to Vietnamese street food could be complete without mentioning the ever famous phở (pronounced “fuh”). The locals generally eat this noodle soup for breakfast, meaning the vendors are awake at the crack of dawn to prepare it in time for those on their way to work. You can enjoy this dish at any time of the day, however – in fact, the wait time may be shorter if you wait until the community has gotten their morning chow. Go for the classic phở bò (thinly sliced beef), which pairs well with the veal bone broth, rice noodles, herbs, and spices that personify this dish. Don’t forget to add chili slices and kumquat juice for a complex array of flavors in an otherwise simple meal.

These are just a few of the many, many options available to you on the busy streets of Vietnam. In this part of the world, the best food doesn’t usually come from a fancy restaurant. They actually come from unassuming carts set up on the sidewalks or the ladies squatting by a pot of coals, grilling up some meat on a stick outside a convenience store.

Get involved in an integral part of daily Vietnamese life and sit down on a minuscule plastic chair. You won’t be disappointed.


There is no better way to experience Vietnam cuisine than on our Ultimate Vietnam group tour. Save 25% when you travel on any tour before 30 September 2019. Enter Promo code STREETFOOD when processing your booking to save an additional $50AUD. Book before 30 June 2019. Offer not combinable with any other discount codes.

Ultimate Vietnam - Book Now!
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *