You are probably familiar with the awesomeness of Thai food but have you ever taken the plunge with some Vietnamese favourites?

Vietnamese food is similar to its Thai counterpart in that they use similar ingredients but the history of Vietnam has had a marked impact on their food.

Having been colonised by the French from the 1880s until the early 1950s, French food and flavours have had an impact on Vietnam. Whether that influence is felt in the amazing bread produced daily, or some of the best coffee you’ll ever drink anywhere in the world – Vietnamese food is one of the highlights of the country.

You’ll try all kinds of Vietnamese goodness during your time with Ultimate Vietnam. You’ll be take on an incredible, foodies dream tour of Hanoi. We’ll stop off at local favourites and get you eating the best Vietnamese food you’ll ever taste!

You’ll also be able to try your hand at creating some of the Vietnamese classics with your very own Vietnamese cooking class! On your 15-day Ultimate Vietnam adventure you’ll eat some of the best food you’ll ever taste and then be able to make it for everyone else when you get back home!

Without further ado, here are some of the Vietnamese classics that you’ll absolutely love when you take head out on Ultimate Vietnam!


The quintessential Vietnamese food, Pho (pronounced ‘fahr’ not ‘fo’) is a big bowl of the best broth you’ve ever tasted. You’ll see pho on pretty much every menu in Vietnam and you’ll see (and hear) people slurping pho on practically every corner.

A gorgeous, salty broth, packed with rice noodles, herbs and spices with your choice of meat (usually beef), pho is a staple of the Vietnamese diet. You’ll get mammoth portions of pho anywhere you stop so prepare to be full to the brim once you’re done!

You haven’t been to Vietnam if you haven’t gorged on pho so put this on the top of your Vietnamese food list!

Bánh mì

Bánh mì, the humble Vietnamese pork roll, is one of Sydney’s favourite dishes. Whether you’ve been to Marrickville for the best pork roll in Sydney (there is no contest) you need to try a true Vietnamese pork roll, in Vietnam!

Bánh mì is a marriage between the French colonial culture and traditional Vietnamese food. The baguette was introduced in Vietnam by the French and the Vietnamese have created one of the finest sandwiches in the world with it!

The gorgeous bread is about the only constant with a Vietnamese pork roll. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, even what part of a city you’re in, you’ll get a totally different sandwich! We are talking pork though, probably two ways, with a pate thrown on there too. Pickled vegetables, coriander and cucumber are usually there too but your best bet is to try a lot of them!

Gỏi cuốn

Vietnamese spring rolls are another classic of the country. Not to be confused with the greasy favourites of your local Chinese restaurant, Vietnamese spring rolls are wrapped in rice paper which makes them transparent!

Whether you want a vegetarian option or a meaty option, Vietnamese spring rolls are the best. The rice paper makes them so much fresher than the greasy wrap you’ll be used to and the tương xào (hoisin sauce to you and me) is the perfect dipping partner. To be honest though, you can dip them in fish sauce, peanut sauce or nothing at all and they’re still amazing!

Find yourself some grilled pork spring rolls or prawn if you like seafood and you’ll never look back!

Rau muống

Something for the vegetarians, rau muống is also known as morning glory or water spinach and can be prepared in many ways…and you’ll try a lot of them during your time in Vietnam.

A great little healthy bar snack, morning glory is usually stir-fried with a bit of garlic to add to the flavour. Rau muống is a perfect side dish as well, so when you order too much food you’ll probably find a bowl of this somewhere on the table!

It’s like any other spinach but when stir-fried with garlic, is an absolute dream! A good antidote for a lunch after a massive meal the night before…trust us.

Bánh tét

This is a little bit special and is only served around the New Year celebration of Tét held at the end of February. Bánh tét is a rice cake wrapped in a banana leaf filled with other Vietnamese delicacies like mung bean paste – not the tastiest sounding name but they are amazing!

Normally a savory, you can get bánh tét with sweeter fillings like banana and sweet red beans but whichever way you go, if you are in Vietnam around Tét you’ve got to try these bad boys!

Ca phe da

Another holdover from French colonialism, the Vietnamese love a good coffee. Vietnam are the second biggest coffee producer in the world (Brazil top the list for the trivia hunters) so it is no surprise that Vietnam is famed for its coffee.

Ca phe da is actually Vietnamese ice coffee which is a local delicacy that is catching on around the world. Whatever type of coffee you fancy, whether you want it hot or warm, Vietnam has some of the best brews in the world. Starbucks is slowly creeping into the country but stay away from the more expensive chains and find somewhere local for a real taste of Vietnamese coffee.

Ca phe da is perfect for cooling down on a humid day and giving you that extra boost of energy. It’s also great for curing a hangover…trust us, we know!

If you’re interested in Ultimate Vietnam or any of our Ultimate trips, get in touch with us and we’ll help you out!

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