Top 9 Must-try Hoi An Street Foods

The super delicious cuisine of Hoi An is hard to resist, especially if you are a foreigner. This time, we will show you the most unforgettable street foods that you must-try while traveling to Vietnam. They may be cheap, but packing with top-class quality and fantastic emotions.

1.    Cao Lau

This special dish is deemed to be the pride of Hoi An and equally or even more popular than Pho in the Central of Vietnam. It is a combination of different ingredients, flavors and cultures.

must-try Hoi An street foods Signature Food in Hoi An

The history of Cao Lau dates back to the 17th centuries when Nguyen Dynasty allows Asian traders such as China and Japan to open their markets in Hoi An. There were different theories about the origin of this food. Some said that it was stated from the Chinese, others assumed Cao Lau was just a variation of Japanese Udon. However, it is hard to confirm whether which one is true and the only fact remaining until today is that Cao Lau has become a symbol for the cuisine of the region.

must-try Hoi An street foods 1A "Mixing Dish"

Cao Lau is no doubt very special street food in the country since there is no soup. If Pho or Bun Bo Hue must have the complex and delectable soup, then Cao Lau is simply a “mixing dish” consisting of various ingredients. At first glance, you may be underwhelming with raw vegetables, pork, and yellow noodle in a bowl of Cao Lau. It is the moment when you mix everything up alongside soy sauce, fish, that this special food will show its true color.

2.    Banh Mi Phuong

Vietnamese sandwich is considered to be the best one in the world and it is simply gaining more fame recently among foreign tourists. Out of all provinces in the country, Hoi An (or Hoi An sandwich) is certainly the best places to try these creative and delicious street foods.

must-try Hoi An street foods 2Inside the Food Heaven

Due to the simple and fast preparation, Banh Mi Hoi An is available around all corners of the old town. Nonetheless, ever since Chef Anthony Bourdain admitted to former President Barrack Obama that Banh Mi Phuong is the best sandwich, food lovers from other countries pour in Hoi An just to try this dish for under 2$. Despite the low price, one bite of Banh Mi Phuong will bring you lots of flavors from the fresh vegetable and tomato, the crunchy and soft bread to the savory pork and Pâté. 

must-try Hoi An street foods 3Various Ingredients in One Banh Mi

3.    Quang Noodle (Mi Quang)

Besides Cao Lau and Banh Mi Hoi An, tourists will definitely be recommended the unique noodle of the region which is Mi Quang, one of top 5 unique Vietnamese foods you should try. While the North and the South has Pho and Hu Tieu respectively, this type of noodle helps create the trinity of Vietnamese cuisine.

must-try Hoi An street foods 4Delicious Bowl of Noodle

The main ingredients are pork, shrimp, soup, noodle and vegetable, and yet it is still far from a complete bowl of Mi Quang. The difference between Mi Quang and Pho is that the broth (or soup) is usually strong flavor and only enough to make the noodle wet. When tasting Quang noodle, it is important to eat together with the rice crackers, herbs, and fried shallots. Extra spices like chili peppers, chili sauce, fish sauce can be added as well to customize your suitable flavors.

4.    Grilled pork (wrapped in rice paper with vegetables)

For such a long name, this is one of the most delicious styles of grilled pork in Hoi An that you must try once. This is a combination of western BBQ and Vietnamese spring rolls and they are perfectly for each other.

must-try Hoi An street foods 5 The Basic Ingredients

First of all, the grilled pork will be prepare in the Vietnamese charcoal grill after marination. You will not eat grilled pork alone, however, because there will also be rice papers and vegetables. Diners will then wrap the tasty pork and vegetable with the rice papers, and dip into the sauce. It is quite difficult in the wrapping process, yet it will be a fun little experience before trying these outstanding street foods.

must-try Hoi An street foods 6How to Make this Special Food

5.    Hoi An tofu

People usually think of Hoi An tofu especially to release the extreme heat of the day. This simple snack can be found everywhere on the streets and even restaurant in Hoi An allowing tourist to try this kind of tofu easily.

must-try Hoi An street foods 7What Vietnamese Needs to Beat the Heat

Hoi An Tofu is available in hot or cold (with ice) provide excellent dessert in both chilly and hot weather.  Basic ingredients included are tofu, coconut, boiled sugar water and ginger. In many stores, local people tend to be creative with this kind of street foods and mix in with jelly, even caramel. Nevertheless, just a small and sweet Hoi An tofu is able to create a little joy in visitors.

must-try Hoi An street foods 9Creative Way to Make Hoi An Tofu

6.    Banh beo (Water fern cake)

From the central to the south of the country, local people absolutely love their traditional cakes and Banh Beo is a common one. Even though water fern cake is extremely small (about the size of your palm) and enough for two or so bites, it is delectable enough to motivate you continue non-stop.

must-try Hoi An street foods 10Extremely Small Dish

Banh Beo is not hard to prepare and each food vendors and stores have their own secret recipes. Therefore, tourists can try water fern cake from many places without worrying to feel bored of it. Banh Beo mostly consists of rice flour, shrimp, pork ground friend onion, roasted peanuts and Ram Gion. Some stores put a little bit of sugar in to make “sweet” Banh Beo as well. You will use (bamboo) spoons to take the cake out of the bowl and dip into the sauce. 

must-try Hoi An street foods 12Simple But Delectable

7.    Banh Trang Kep

Banh Trang Kep is a special dish of the local and much more simple than Banh Beo. This type of cake is available all year-round and must taste while it is still hot which is perfect for a street food.

must-try Hoi An street foods 114A Perfect Snack for Cold Weather

The most important ingredient of Banh Trang Kep must be the Pâté made from fresh pig’s liver. The cook will then take Banh Trang (coated cake) and stuff with Pâté and green onion. The cake will be fried on the Vietnamese charcoal grill before added with chili sauce. Afterward, it is the best when you dip Banh Trap Kep into the sauce and enjoy the spicy snacks in cold weather.

8.    Banh dap

Like the previous one, Banh Dap is a one-of-a-kind food in Hoi An and remains the strong option in the list, although easy to make.

must-try Hoi An street foods 156A Stack of Banh Dap

From the name, tourists have already known how this cake prepare. The word Banh is “rice cracker” and Dap is “crush” in Vietnamese. Therefore, this street food is stacks of rice crackers being crushed together. At the beginning, thin circular rice crackers are steamed and added with melted lard and mung beans. Then, we stack a sticky, wet pancake onto a hard cracker, rinse and repeat. Finally, using our hands to crush all of them and you will have Banh Dap. Grab a piece, dip into Mam Nem (fish sauce in central Vietnam) and taste with grilled pork.

9.    Banh Bot Loc (Vietnamese clear dumplings)

Some of the most unusual cakes in Vietnam can be tried in Hoi An and Banh Bot Loc is no exception. Besides strange (or perhaps funny) design, Vietnamese clear dumplings is easy to enjoy and super tasty.

must-try Hoi An street foods 16Strange Cake in Vietnam

Banh Bot Loc has been famous in Hue since the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam. However, today, you can also try this sophisticated dish in Hoi An as well. There are a lot of variations of Banh Bot Loc such as Banh Bot Loc with or without banana leaf called Banh Bot Loc La (leaf) and Banh Bot Loc Tran (no leaf). Some places fill the dumpling with a whole shrimp with shells while others using shrimp with no shells, ground pork and so on. This delicious dish will be even better when eating along with the authentic sauce.

must-try Hoi An street foods 17Banh Bot Loc La

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