When coming Vietnam, especially Hanoi, visitors should try to street food. It is not only delicious but also cheap. We can find them everywhere at all times of the day. Crackling on a makeshift grill, roasting on the back of a motorbike, steaming in giant cauldrons, baking behind portable glass counters, or getting pummeled in a giant mortar and pestle.
Breads, Dumplings, and Flour Foods
One of the staple street foods in Vietnam is the Banh Mi. A baguette sandwich, this delicious morsel clearly reflects the French roots of Vietnam. Fresh bread is delivered daily to vendors, who stuff the warm, flaky loafs with fresh and pickled vegetables, meats (generally pork), chili, Laughing Cow cheese (optional), and sometimes eggs (Banh Mi Op La.) A delicious and cheap option available all day.
Rice & Noodle Dishes
Rice and noodle dishes are a staple in Vietnam, and, like anything else, are best eaten on a small plastic table, under an umbrella, on the side of the road. Master street-stall chefs craft crazy good batches of pho in giant cauldrons on the street- best eaten for breakfast. For those who love pho, be sure to try its counterpart bun, a similar noodle-based soup. Riding the soup wave, another fantastic street dish is chao. A rice porridge dish, you can get everything from plain rice (bland, generally what babies eat) and chicken to succulent duck porridge, absolutely brimming with flavor.
Salads in Vietnam are called goi (or nom.) They come in a range of flavors and styles from sweet and sour to super spicy. Far from your standard ‘Western’ salad experience (which would then be sa lat), these fresh creations run from chicken salad, papaya salad and green mango salad to dried beef salad, prawn salad, pomelo salad, banana flower salad, and so much more. If you’re looking for a refreshing, yet tastebud-tantalizing meal, always add a salad into the order. You won’t regret it!!
What’s a street food experience without grilled delights? For a night out with friends, head to a ga nuong (grilled chicken) stall. Marinated chicken wings and feet in a sweet honey glaze, these delicious morsels are beautifully accompanied by a glass of iced, cold beer (yes, with ice.) Similarly, you can find stalls that specialize in grilling everything from duck to all parts of a pig… you’ll be able to distinguish what is what on the grill. On the more tame side, bananas have also been known to find their way on grills for a sweet snack while walking around town.