Southeast Asia – a Street Food Paradise (Part 2: Vietnam)

“Bun Cha should be more famous than how it is now. It’s really hard to find someone who doesn’t love it. Street food in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam? Bun Cha should meet your expectations perfectly!”

Continuing our insightful series on street cuisine (read “Part 1: Thailand” here), we expand our exploration into Southeast Asia’s al fresco food scene with another destination featured in the super Netflix series “Street Food” – Vietnam.

Vietnam is a vast country that can be dissected by geography, by weather and by cuisine. The North, Center and South of the captivating country all possess a variety of similarities but also curious contradictions, and none more so than in the food.

With many dishes taking on characteristics of the region, a dish by the same name can taste different depending on where it’s ordered. Vietnam cuisine is also very regional with some dishes never gaining popularity outside their natural home, such as bun cha, a favorite of Hoang Son, our Product Executive in Hanoi.

Bun cha should be more famous than how it is now,” explained Son when we asked him about his tasty tip for travelers. “It’s really hard to find someone who doesn’t love it. If you’re looking for street food in Hanoi, bun cha should meet your expectation perfectly!”

Bun Cha

This geographical diversity can certainly be a challenge for agents making bookings for travelers, especially for those customers who are less curious or “safe” eaters. Knowing bun cha is a good local dish is one thing; knowing the best restaurant suitable for foreign travelers is another. Again, this brings added value to our specialized food tours, which when selected during the first day a traveler spends in a destination can truly make their first impression a great one.

Easia Travel’s taste-filled tour “Hanoi – Evening story of street food” takes travelers to test another of Hoang Son’s favorite dishes banh cuon, delicious rolled rice pancakes filled with minced pork, mushrooms and onions mixed together with spices. Served with fresh herbs and fish sauce, banh cuon is light yet filling and (most importantly) delicious.

Banh Cuon

For those travelers who love to learn by doing, cooking classes are a wonderful way to experience a local cuisine and culture, and also take home a new skill to wow friends and family. The Hands-on Vietnamese cooking class in Hanoi offers all this and more, with a half-day immersive experience to understand the process from market to dining table in an old, elegant house.

Moving south away from the capital, the Imperial City of Hue is a destination packed with moments made for foodies. Our Vietnam Product Manager Brice recently told us his insider tips for 2019 and tasting one local specialty there was in the top 5!

“Try a food tour in Hue; banh beo is really a must-try in Vietnam,” said Brice. “It’s really different from what you have in Northern or Southern Vietnam yet it’s easy to eat and makes a perfect starter to share with friends or family. The iconic bun bo Hue is another signature dish from the city and is usually bursting with flavor. Nem lui is also fantastic: grilled pork with herbs rolled in rice paper and dipped into a special sauce. A perfect fit for families!”

On a recent inspection trip, Brice helped put together the “Hue – Discover Hue street food by cyclo”, a unique experience that gives travelers the chance to taste hard-to-find treats and delicacies only locals know.

In Hoi An, the introduction to local cuisine is made easy for travelers with our Hoi An – Discover Hoi An street food tour, which ensures none of the culinary highlights are missed. The tour menu allows guests to explore the taste sensations of Hoi An’s specialty white rose and cao lau among others.

And in the south, Ho Chi Minh City commands its own share of the spotlight, with tours such as Ho Chi Minh City by night on a Vespa. This exhilarating tour combines the local experience of street food and riding pillion on a motorbike with the sites and sounds of Saigon by night. “Banh xeo” is among the various treats sampled in the tour, as well as fresh seafood and a stop in a hidden coffee shop.

Banh Xeo

To help make educated choices for their customers, Easia Travel partners can also benefit from our restaurant guides, which are available within our new Agent Hub via the following links (log-in required): Easia Travel – Restaurant Guide – Vietnam (EN) or view all of Southeast Asia at Easia Travel – Restaurant Guide – Regional (EN).

For bookings or more information, please contact our teams HERE

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