Throughout Vietnam, you can experience the most delicious and authentic dishes of Vietnamese cuisine. In this article, you will learn more about the street food culture in Vietnam. Ask for a Vietnam visa today to discover this extraordinary street market culture for yourself.
Popularity of street markets in Vietnam
Visiting street markets in Southeast Asia, and especially in Vietnam, is a must-do during your trip. The street markets take place both during the day and at night. You will also find numerous food and drink stalls along the side of the road, which are not part of the street markets. Some Vietnamese even sell food or other goods out of the back of their scooters or from their trucks. One of the best ways to experience Vietnam‘s street markets like a true local is to explore them with your five senses. With a Vietnam visa, you can visit Vietnam up to 30 days. This way, you will have enough time to experience the real street market culture of Vietnam and to indulge your senses.
Tasting authentic dishes in Vietnam
There are countless tasty and unique dishes and drinks to try throughout Vietnam. Some of these dishes differ from north to south in name and how they are prepared. You can taste many dishes at the street markets. Not every street market has street food stalls, so make sure you find out in advance if you don‘t want to miss them.
Street food became popular in Vietnam during the last century. Good food involves authenticity, stories and recipes that are passed on from generation to generation. Throughout Vietnam‘s turbulent history, the influence of other cultures can be seen in Vietnamese cuisine. As you travel from north to south through Vietnam, you will notice the difference between the different regions in terms of taste, preparation and use of ingredients. Below are some street food dishes that are popular in Vietnam.
- Pho: This is a herbal noodle soup. This soup is made with rice noodles, chicken or beef and is cooked in a salty broth. There is also vegetarian pho. This soup is typically Vietnamese and is a common main dish. It can be found throughout Vietnam, although it is prepared with different ingredients in the northern and southern regions.
- Ca phe trung: This is Vietnamese "egg coffee". Although the combination may not seem appealing, the coffee is served with foaming soft egg whites on top of Vietnamese espresso. It is a speciality in Hanoi and can be ordered hot or cold. It is also known as "liquid tiramisu". It is believed that Café Giang in Hanoi invented this delicacy. Coffee is an important part of Vietnamese culture, which is why there are many coffee houses throughout Vietnam where you can enjoy this delicacy.
- Bun Cha: This is a marinated pork dish with rice noodles and spices. It can be served with a fish broth as a side dish. This dish is prepared over a charcoal fire and is popular as a lunch dish in the capital. It is usually served with nem cua be, or deep-fried crab spring rolls. Similar dishes can be found around Hanoi.
- Banh mi: This is a popular sandwich from Vietnam. Some ingredients of this sandwich are baguette, pork, herbs, eggs and tomatoes. It is one of the most popular street dishes in Vietnam and once you have tried it, the taste will stay with you forever. You can find Banh mi at street markets, but also in restaurants.
- Cao Lau: This is a meat dish that combines flavours from different cultures, and is said to have originated in Hoi An. It is usually made with pork, noodles, herbs, vegetables and broth and is usually slightly sweeter than pho.
- Xoi: This is steamed sticky rice, which is an important staple dish in Vietnamese cuisine. Sticky rice can be prepared with different ingredients, such as beans, chicken or peanuts.
Observing interesting sights at street markets
Feast your eyes on all the beautiful colours of the food stalls, the souvenir stalls and the people at the street markets. You will be amazed at what they have to offer. Keep in mind that it can also be crowded. Every street market you visit will have a slightly different appearance, but they also have many similarities throughout the country. If you visit a street market in the evening, the stalls will be illuminated by all kinds of coloured lights.
A stall in a street market in Vietnam where many goods are displayed.
Smelling intoxicating smells
You will not be disappointed by all the smells that can be found in and around the street markets. Everywhere you go in the markets, you can smell the aromas of delicious food. From the smell of grilled food and boiled broth, to the smells of fresh herbs and flowers.
A world of tastes and textures
Whether you are the adventurous type or not, there is enough to taste, touch and discover at the street markets to stimulate your senses. From the soft skin of an apple to the rough exterior of a coconut, both your sense of touch and your taste buds will be in for a treat. At the markets, you can also get hold of local treasures or trinkets. Be careful not to buy overpriced souvenirs, and don‘t forget to haggle.
Mixture of sounds
From the haggling and the scooters, to the preparation of food and vendors setting up their stalls, there are countless sounds to be heard at the street markets. Some markets even have live music for you to enjoy. You will also hear people haggling, trading and selling with each other. At the street markets, locals and tourists mingle. People laugh, talk, sing, enjoy, you can hear it all here.
Plan your trip carefully
When planning your trip to Vietnam, make sure to include several street markets in your agenda. It is always a good idea to visit markets in the north and south of the country. Then you can compare the markets, and find out which part of all the markets was your favourite. You can also try the same dish in different cities, to see how it is made in different places. No matter how you plan your trip, your senses will not be deprived at these street markets.
Apply for your Vietnam visa today
When planning your trip to Vietnam, you will be short of senses for what you can hear, see, smell or taste. Before you explore the diverse and rich street culture of Vietnam, you will need to apply for a Vietnam visa. The advantage of this type of visa is that you can easily apply for it online and you do not have to specify an exact arrival date. Please note that your entire stay in Vietnam, including entry and exit, must be within the 30-day validity period. Therefore, please check before you leave whether you meet the Vietnam visa requirements.