After spending a few months backpacking in Southeast Asia, I’ve concluded that Vietnam was my favorite country in the region for several reasons. I fell in love with the vigorous and hospitable locals, the hustle and bustle of each city, the flavorful cuisine, the rich – and very depressing history, and the relaxed countryside. Spending only 17 days there wasn’t nearly enough time to see and do all that I wanted, but all the more reason to go back! Here is your complete travel guide of the country that stole my heart.
I absolutely ate my way through Vietnam, and you will want to do the same, because the cuisine here is known as one of the best in the world. There are plenty of touristic restaurants all serving pizza and burgers, but that’s not the reason you came to Vietnam – eat local! If you’re eating at street stalls and small local restaurants, you will not spend more than $1.50 USD on a single meal – if you do, then you’re either ordering several dishes or going to very touristy spots. Here are some amazing local favorites that you’ll want to recreate as soon as you’re home.
Popular foods in Vietnam
Pho – Pronounced “fuh” is a noodle dish absolutely everywhere, and served at all hours. You can usually choose between chicken, beef, and sometimes a vegetarian tofu, and it’s loaded with vegetables and lots of noodles. Pho is a very popular dish in Vietnam so you can enjoy this dish at any restaurants in Vietnam.
Com – Com is a popular rice dish that comes with whatever is freshly cooked that day poured on top. This can include chicken, beef, vegetables, noodles, and tofu. It’s a very filling dish for very cheap!
Banh Mi – You will die over banh mi. A fresh baguette is used to create a sandwich loaded with beef or chicken and vegetables, with lots of sauces added on top. There are also vegetarian versions of banh mi with tofu and mock meats.
Famous drinks in Vietnam
Coffee – Drinking coffee anywhere else in the world is now a disappointment; Vietnamese coffee is by far the richest and most fresh coffee I have ever tasted. It’s very strong and thick, and a local way to drink it is by pouring condensed milk in the bottom, and doing a pour-over technique with your choice of coffee bean. Also try ordering an “egg coffee.” It’s essentially a thick, creamy latte and prepared with egg yolks, sugar, and condensed milk. Depending on where you buy the coffee, it shouldn’t be more than $1 USD.
Beer – Tiger and Saigon are Vietnam’s local beers, starting at 25 cents USD for a glass. Going out won’t burn a hole in your budget as more popular licensed beers and spirits are equally as cheap.
Please visit our website to explore more about Vietnamese cuisine.