Guidebook Eat street food in all its guises

Live like a Local

Eat street food in all its guises

Street food is about more than food, says Vietnam Coracle -- “it’s about atmosphere and ambience.” That’s because many of the most renowned places to eat in Vietnam “are not fancy restaurants or five-star establishments but small, family-owned eateries,” explains The Culture Trip. “These places usually appear to be nothing more than a room full of plastic stools and tables, spilling out on to the pavement. But although they may not be much to look at, often they provide some of the best local dining experiences (and cuisine) in the country.”

What’s the best street food? It’s all a a matter of taste of course, but here’s Pretty Wild World’s simple beginner’s guide to the world of Vietnamese street food:

Banh Mi (which literally means ‘wheat cake’) “is essentially a really nice baguette sandwich … although you may be limited to pork or egg at a banh mi street vendor, filling choices abound at more popular haunts ... my personal favorite is bacon, with beef and egg a close second … it’s topped off with the freshest of leaves and an eye-watering helping of chili sauce.”

Pho is Vietnam’s national dish, “and it’s impossible to walk through any town or city without bumping into a crowd of hungry people slurping noodles at a rickety pho stall … pronounced like the ‘fu’ in ‘fur’, the dish consists of a light beef or chicken-flavored broth, enhanced with ginger and coriander. Added to the mix are flat noodles, spring onions, and bits of pork or beef.”

Cao Lau is “a bowl of thick rice noodles, sliced pork (or tofu, as a veggie option), bean sprouts and pork-rind croutons … these croutons are definitely the stars of the meal.”

Nom Hua Chuoi translates to ‘banana-flower salad’ – “lime and chili are the key ingredients to this bad boy and add a refreshing kick to the shredded veg.”

Bun Cha is “pretty much a DIY hamburger … small pork patties are barbecued on an open charcoal grill and served on a bed of cold rice noodles. Accompanying this meal is a big ‘oul plate of herbs and a side dish of dipping sauce.”

Vietnamese coffee is “unlike anything you’ll have tasted before … an intense, drip coffee that’s made from Robusta beans … and it’s so thick you could stand a spoon up in it … they’ll often add a dollop of condensed milk to the concoction, and because of the hot climate, usually, serve it in a glass of ice.”

“Street food stalls have mastered the art of balancing flavors. Most stalls cook one dish, and so have come to perfect their dish of choice. If you spark up a conversation with a local street food stall owner, you’ll often hear that they learned their cuisine skills from their parents, and their parents learned from their parents (and so on!). Generations of tweaking & perfecting classic recipes have led to many street food stalls being some of the best places to eat in whatever town you may visit.” - Vespa Adventures

Live like a Local
  • Guidebook