1. Banh BeoStreet Food #1: Banh Beo
If bite-sized food, in general, is your thing, then Banh Beo should be your first try. This street food literally means “water fern cake”, served in small discs of rice flour. Popularly for breakfast or snack in Vietnam, Banh Beo is originated from Hue, which is also the origin of other types of food like Baby clam rice and Beef vermicelli.
Made of ground rice flour, scallion oil, it is usually topped with dried shrimps, crispy pork skin and sweet fish sauce (optional). However, Banh Beo from each region will vary depending on the locals’ interest.
For example, in Quang Nam (Central Vietnam), the topping will be a special sauce made of a mix of ground pork, wood ear mushroom, and shrimp. Whereas, in South Vietnam, we tend to add steamed mung bean, pickled carrots, and beet to the ingredient.
Where to go? *Banh Beo Chen Ky Dong
Address: Banh Beo Thanh Nga – 45C Ky Dong, Ward 9, District 3, HCMC
2. Hen Xuc Banh TrangStreet Food #2: Hen Xuc Banh Trang
The second street food you must try next is Hen Xuc Banh Trang (Baby Clams with Rice Cracker).
It is a lovely clam dish/snack which is usually served with a large piece of rice paper. After boiling, we separate the clams from the shells and fry them with other veggie stuff like garlic, onions, chili, ginger, lemongrass, and peanuts.
Although it commonly goes with rice paper, you can be creative about it as you can use this as a topping for your hot steamed rice with a bowl of clam sauce on the side.
Where to go? *Quan Nho – Huong vi mien Trung
Address: 117/3 Tran Ke Xuong, Ward 7, District Phu Nhuan, HCMC
3. Bun Thit NuongStreet Food #3: Bun Thit Nuong
Here comes our third street food recommendation. Bun Thit Nuong means “rice noodles [with] grilled meat (often pork).” Depending on each restaurant, the Bun Thit Nuong will be presented in different ways. For example, in the North, we put rice noodles, vegetables and meat in separate bowls instead of having them together.
However, the ingredients will mostly stay the same since that’s what makes this street food the “Bun Thit Nuong” it always is. Served with grilled boneless pork, crispy spring roll, and salad, Bun Thit Nuong is topped with spoonfuls of fish sauce and chili which adds to the flavor.
Where to go? *Bun Thit Nuong Chi Tuyen
Address: 175C Co Giang, Ward Co Giang, District 1, HCMC
4. Banh XeoStreet Food #4: Banh Xeo
Known as “sizzling cake,” Banh Xeo is one of the most famous street food in Vietnam. With pork strips, shrimp, spring onion, and bean sprouts tucked inside, each folded sheet of the pancake is made from rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk.
Though there is no absolute way of eating it correctly, most people like to eat Banh Xeo with their hands better than with chopsticks. And, in some restaurants, they give a plate of rice paper for us to roll up the mixture of Banh Xeo, lettuce, and Vietnamese perilla tightly, then dip the roll into fish sauce and eat it. Also, some like to just directly dip Banh Xeo into the sauce and eat it too. Either way is ok. Have some fun with it!
Where to go? *Banh Xeo Co Nga – Dac san Phan Rang (Phan Rang Specialty)
Address: 39 Duong Van An, Ward An Phu, District 2, HCMC
5. Bun Rieu CuaStreet Food #5: Bun Rieu Cua
Bun Rieu is a well-known traditional Vietnamese dish that its main ingredient consists of crab and rice noodles. (known as “crab-based noodle soup“)
In Saigon, this version of Bun Rieu also comprises tofu, pork, tomatoes and more. Unlike in Central Vietnam, there are, instead, some meatballs of shrimps and eggs mixed together, and sometimes with Cha Ca (Vietnamese version of fishcake) or small pieces of pork leg.
Where to go? *Bun Rieu Cua Oc Phan Rang – Ninh Thuan
Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Binh, Ward Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1, HCMC