Must-tried Vietnamese street food

  1. Bún riêu cua (rice vermicelli soup with crab)

Pronounced: ‘Boon reel kua’


Bún riêu cua is a rice vermicelli-based dish served in a sourish broth with crab cakes. Both the broth and crab cakes are made from freshwater crabs that are commonly found in rice fields. The broth gets it distinct sour taste from tomatoes, also one of the main ingredients used to prepare this dish.

  1. Bánh cuốn (rice noodle roll with minced meat)

Pronounced: ‘Bun kwoon’


The bánh cuốn looks like the chee cheong fun we have back at home. The thin and translucent rice paper sheet is usually filled with minced pork and mushrooms. Other types of fillings are also available, depending on the stall. The dish is then topped with fried shallots, with some fish sauce at the side.

  1. Bánh rán (deep-fried glutinous rice ball)

Pronounced: ‘Bun run’


Don’t they remind you of the deep-fried red bean paste balls you usually see at the cha kueh stall? The bánh rán is similar to that, but the filling is made from green beans and jasmine flower essence. An interesting fact about is that the filling should always be separate from the fried shell – so you could actually feel the green bean paste move when you shake the deep-fried snack.

  1. Bò bít tết (beef steak)

Pronounced: ‘Bowh bit tet’


Originally a French dish, the beef steak is adapted by the Vietnamese and has since became a popular street food among the locals (there’s even a Beef Steak Street in Hanoi). The beef steak is served on a hot plate, topped with fries, beef pâté, and an egg, drenched in thick brown sauce. Locals eat the dish with the Vietnamese baguette – bánh mì, but you can eat the dish by itself if you like.

  1. Trà chanh (lemon tea)

Pronounced: ‘Chia chien’


The Vietnamese lemon tea a favourite among the young locals. It just feels great to chill on the streets of Hanoi, sitting on a plastic chair like the locals with a glass of the refreshing drink.

  1. Bún bò huế (rice vermicelli soup with beef)

Pronounced: ‘Boon bowh hway’


This rice vermicelli soup with beef dish is named bún bò huế because it originated from the former capital, Huế. What makes it so amazing is that you can taste four different flavours in the dish: sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and spiciness. It’s also said to be cooked in exactly the same way as the royal chefs did back then.

  1. Op la (fried eggs with sausages)

Pronounced: ‘Ou-p la’


This is a classic Vietnamese breakfast that comes in personal-sized pans. The eggs are cooked to perfection along with various types of Vietnamese sausages. Like the bò bít tết, locals usually eat it with bánh mì.

  1. Nộm bò khô (papaya salad with dried beef)

Pronounced: ‘Nom bowh core’


If you enjoy Thai salads, you need to try this. First introduced in Hanoi, this local favourite is served with shredded papaya, dried beef slices, crushed peanuts, and basil. It’s served with a special type of dressing, made from sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, chilli, and soy sauce.

  1. Chè khúc bạch (lychee syrup with almond pudding)

Pronounced: ‘Chie cook bak’


This is a great dessert to have if you’re visiting Vietnam during the dry season. It’s usually just soft almond puddings served in cold lychee syrup, topped with some almond flakes. Some stalls have variations where the almond pudding is also infused with different flavours, like strawberry and watermelon. You can also find some that serve the dessert with different types of sliced fruits.

  1. Bún thịt nướng (rice noodles with grilled meat)

Pronounced: ‘Boon tit nung’


Fish sauce lovers will love this. The bún thịt nướng is usually served with grilled pork, but you can find variations that come with grilled beef as well. It also comes with some salad, basil, mint and bean sprouts. The dish is drenched in fish sauce and topped with crushed peanuts.

  1. Bánh khọt (rice pancakes with shrimp)

Pronounced: ‘Bun cot’


It’s like the Chinese prawn cake we have in Malaysia, but smaller and topped with different herbs. Locals usually wrap it in a piece of fresh lettuce and dipped in fish sauce. You can also eat it as it is!

Have you tried any other Vietnamese street food that you like?

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