Have you ever wondered: What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam?

  • June 14,2023

Vietnam is a country rich in cultural diversity and breathtaking landscapes. It is also celebrated for its vibrant and tantalizing cuisine. So what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? From hearty soups to fresh and flavorful street food, Vietnamese food is a delight for the senses. Let us show you all these delicious dishes right away!

Features of Vietnamese culinary culture

Vietnam is an agricultural country belonging to the hot, tropical monsoon region. In addition, the territory of Vietnam is divided into three distinct regions: the North, Central, and South along with 54 ethnic groups.

The characteristics of geography, culture, ethnicity, and climate determine the specific characteristics of the cuisine of each region. Each region has a distinctive feature and taste that contribute to the richness and diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.


The characteristic of Northern cuisine is that the dish has a moderate taste, frugal, and lightness. Although the dishes are colorful, the taste is usually not bold with the spicy, sweet, and fatty flavors. This is the characteristic and bold character of a long-standing culture.

The spices used a lot in Northern dishes are lemon, vinegar, crocodile, pepper, chili, ginger, onion, garlic, diluted fish sauce, and shrimp paste. A common feature that can be clearly seen in the dishes of the Northern people is that they have little taste and give off a specific aroma during processing.


Central cuisine is a balanced, harmonious, and delicate whole. Central’s dishes are mostly spicy and salty. The people of this region also like sweetness but in moderation. In other words, even if a dish is simple, it must have a strong taste. According to the concept of Central Vietnamese people, the dish must be rich to be delicious.

Central people especially like to eat spicy food, from ordinary everyday dishes to high-quality delicacies. It is indispensable for the very special spicy taste of chili. Chili is considered the soul of Central cuisine. In food processing, from breakfast dishes to dipping sauces… all must be spicy. The experience of enjoying the flavors of Central dishes is truly unique and attractive to tourists.

what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? - Central region food

Quang Noodles is a dish with a rich flavor of Central Cuisine


The South is fertile land, accreted by a system of interlaced rivers and canals. This place is always endowed by nature with a lot of diverse and rich products. 

Southern cuisine has a liberal and wild character because of the rich and generous nature of the southern river region. The cuisine tends to be sweet and sour, this is a place heavily influenced by Chinese, Cambodian, and Thai cultures. 

In this region, local people often add sugar and use coconut milk to season food. This creates a sweet and fatty taste for each dish as well as a characteristic flavor for this region.

Southern Vietnamese cuisine gives tourists a glimpse of its bold and diverse flavors. All these reflect the region's fertile Mekong Delta, tropical climate, and multicultural influences.

So what are you waiting for without finding the answer to the question that anyone who comes to this country wonders: What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam?

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What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? 


To answer the question of what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam, Vietnam-Evisagov.com must mention an iconic dish that is famous all over the world – Pho.

Pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam, specifically in Hanoi. Over time, Pho spread throughout the country and has become a national culinary treasure. Nowadays, Pho is ranked 28th, in the list of 50 delicious dishes in the world voted by CNN. 

what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? - Pho

Pho is the national dish of Vietnam and is widely known by international tourists

This is a deceptively simple dish that requires skill and attention to detail. The foundation of Pho is its aromatic broth. Which is typically made by simmering beef bones, charred onions, ginger, and spices such as star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. This slow-cooked process extracts the deep, complex flavors and creates a rich, fragrant broth.

The key component of Pho is the rice noodles which are soft, flat, and translucent. These noodles are soaked in hot water to soften them before being added to the soup.

Pho is traditionally served with various toppings and accompaniments. Thinly sliced beef, typically raw or lightly cooked in a hot broth, is a common choice. Other options include well-done beef, beef meatballs, or even chicken. 

Fresh herbs like Thai basil, cilantro, and sawtooth coriander, as well as bean sprouts, lime wedges, and thinly sliced chili peppers, are also provided for customization. Its harmonious blend of flavors, the comforting warmth of the broth, and the texture of the noodles make it a universally appealing dish. 

That’s why Pho has become an ambassador of Vietnamese cuisine, representing the country's culinary heritage worldwide.

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Bun Cha is a delightful Vietnamese dish that originated in Hanoi and has gained popularity throughout the country and beyond. It is a perfect representation of the balance of flavors and textures that characterizes Vietnamese cuisine.

Bun Cha consists of four main components: grilled pork patties, slices of succulent grilled pork belly, a side of rice noodles with herbs, and a bowl of dipping sauce.

The grilled pork patties are made by combining minced pork with various ingredients such as garlic, shallots, fish sauce, sugar, and spices. The mixture is shaped into small patties and then grilled until cooked through, acquiring a smoky and slightly charred flavor.

what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? - Bun Cha

The delicious look and wonderful taste of Bun Cha make it worthy of being added to your What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam's list

The slices of grilled pork belly are marinated in a blend of fish sauce, garlic, lemongrass, and other spices. They are grilled to perfection, rendering them tender with a delightful caramelized exterior.

Rice noodles are used as a base for Bun Cha. These thin, translucent noodles are cooked until al dente and then served cold or at room temperature. They provide a light and chewy texture that complements the flavorful grilled meats.

To complete the dish, a plate of fresh herbs and vegetables is served alongside the Bun Cha. Common herbs include Thai basil, mint, perilla leaves, and cilantro. Bean sprouts and thinly sliced cucumbers are often added for freshness and crunch.

If now Vietnam-Evisagov.com asks you what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? Would your answer be Bun Cha?


Banh Mi is a delightful fusion of Vietnamese and French culinary influences, resulting in a sandwich that is both satisfying and bursting with flavors. According to TasteAtlas, "the world's culinary map" which has just announced a list of the 50 best street foods in the world, Vietnamese Banh Mi ranks 6th on this list.

A typical loaf of bread will include a crispy, fragrant bread crust on the outside. The Banh Mi’s crisp crust provides a satisfying contrast to the fillings within. Banh Mi offers a wide range of filling options, allowing for a diverse and customizable experience. It usually includes roasted pork, Vietnamese ham, carrots, grated radish pickled with cilantro, and sauce.

what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? - Banh Mi

A loaf of Banh Mi is full of fillings inside and crispy on the outside

But today many chefs or sellers prepare and create Banh Mi in a variety of ways with many choices. From Grilled Chicken Banh Mi, Grilled Ribs Banh Mi, or even Tofu types for vegetarians.

Banh Mi stands as a testament to Vietnam's culinary ingenuity and the ability to create something extraordinary by blending diverse culinary traditions. Whether enjoyed on the bustling streets of Vietnam or in various corners of the world, Banh Mi offers a truly delectable experience for food enthusiasts everywhere.

So in the list of what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam, you will definitely have to write Banh Mi, right?

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What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? A famous Vietnamese noodle soup that originates from the city of Hue in Central Vietnam can not be ignored is Bun Bo Hue. This flavorful and spicy dish is known for its robust broth, tender beef, and an assortment of vibrant herbs and vegetables.

The heart of Bun Bo Hue lies in its rich and aromatic broth. Traditionally, the broth is made by simmering beef bones, oxtail, and pig's feet with lemongrass, shrimp paste, chili oil, and a blend of spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. This slow-cooking process extracts deep flavors and creates a vibrant, spicy, and slightly sweet broth that sets Bun Bo Hue apart from other Vietnamese noodle soups.

The dish features round rice noodles, called Bun, that are slightly thicker and denser compared to the noodles used in Pho. These noodles have a chewy texture that adds a satisfying bite to each spoonful.

what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? - Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue is a dish that any tourist who comes to Vietnam must try once because of its unforgettable taste

Bun Bo Hue is typically served with a variety of beef cuts. Slices of tender beef shank and beef brisket are commonly included. Sometimes, beef tendon or pig's knuckles are added for an extra gelatinous texture. The beef is often cooked in the simmering broth or blanched separately before being added to the bowl.

To complement the bold flavors of the broth and beef, a medley of fresh herbs, vegetables, and condiments is served alongside Bun Bo Hue. Common accompaniments include shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, banana blossoms, lime wedges, mint, and Thai basil with chilies.

The spicy and aromatic broth combined with the variety of ingredients creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that make Bun Bo Hue a delightful and satisfying culinary experience. Whether enjoyed in Hue or in Vietnamese restaurants worldwide this noodle soup offers a unique taste of the region's culinary heritage and remains a favorite among lovers of Vietnamese cuisine.

All of these special features make Bun Bo Hue worthy to have appeared in the What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam list. Besides, this dish will also be your first choice whenever you travel to the Central region of Vietnam.


What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? Absolutely is Banh Xeo! Why? Let VietnamBooking tells you!

Banh Xeo is a popular Vietnamese dish that is often described as a savory pancake or Vietnamese crepe. The name "Banh Xeo" translates to "sizzling cake" in Vietnamese, referring to the sizzling sound it makes when the batter is poured onto a hot skillet.

The main ingredients of Banh Xeo include rice flour, water, turmeric powder, and coconut milk, which are combined to make a thin and yellow-colored batter. The batter is typically filled with various ingredients such as shrimp, thinly sliced pork, bean sprouts, and green onions. The choice of fillings may vary depending on personal preferences and regional variations.

what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? - Banh Xeo

Vietnam has countless types of Banh Xeo from small to large

To prepare Banh Xeo, the chef heat a skillet or a flat non-stick pan with a small amount of oil. Once the pan is hot, a ladleful of the batter is poured onto the pan and quickly spread to cover the surface, creating a thin and crispy Banh Xeo. The fillings are then added to one half of the pancake, which is folded over to create a half-moon shape. The cake is cooked until crispy and golden brown on both sides.

Banh Xeo is typically served with fresh lettuce or green vegetables, along with herbs such as cilantro, mint, and Thai basil. It is common to wrap a piece of Banh Xeo in a lettuce leaf, along with herbs, and dip it into a fish sauce-based dipping sauce. 

The combination of the crispy pancake, the flavorful fillings, and the fresh herbs creates a delightful contrast of textures and flavors. Is that enough to prove that Banh Xeo should be added to the list of what are the top 5 foods in Vietnam?

Important notes when enjoying Vietnamese dishes

  • Using chopsticks: As in some other Asian countries, using chopsticks is a very interesting feature of Vietnamese cuisine. You can use chopsticks in almost any dish, from stir-frying, frying, stocking, or even eating soup and noodles. Along with that, using chopsticks is also an art, you should be careful to pick up so that the food does not fall.

  • Community in meals: Community is very evident in Vietnamese cuisine. There is always a bowl of fish sauce in the meal that everyone shares, and then people separate each small bowl from the common bowl.

  • Hospitality: Since ancient times, before each meal, Vietnamese people often have the habit of inviting others. Invitations show communication, affection, hospitality, and concern for others. So don't be too surprised if an overly hospitable person invites you to try one dish after another

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Vietnamese food is a captivating fusion of flavors, textures, and cultural influences. It reflects the country's rich history, agricultural abundance, and culinary creativity. From humble street stalls to refined restaurants, Vietnamese cuisine offers a journey of exploration and an opportunity to savor the delights of this gastronomic wonderland. 

Above are all the answers to your question: What are the top 5 foods in Vietnam? Have you got it all yet? If so, don't hurry to go to Vietnam to fully enjoy these wonderful dishes. Hope you have the best experience with Vietnamese cuisine!

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