I was in Vietnam for a month and was not disappointed by a single meal. Much like Malaysian food (MOST DELICIOUS THINGS I'VE EATEN IN MALAYSIA), I may have been ruined for all other food forever. WORTH IT. (But okay I just got to the Philippines and very excited to eat adobo and pancit and lumpia!!!)
  1. Pho
    Duh. Usually for breakfast. Especially helpful after a night of drinking. I like rare beef and brisket, plus lots and lots of basil, chili sauce, bean sprouts, and a healthy squeeze of lime.
  2. Banh mi
    Banh mi with pâté and cold cuts, banh mi with pork belly, banh mi with chicken, banh mi with unidentified meats. Banh mi in the morning, banh mi in the afternoon, and banh mi very late at night while extremely intoxicated. ALL THE BANH MI PLEASE.
  3. Cao lao
    Super chewy noodles (made from sticky rice and soaked in water from one particular well in Hoi An) with tender sliced pork, basil, bean sprouts, and lots of chili sauce (optional but encouraged)
  4. White rose
    A specialty in Hoi An, white rose is a shrimp dumpling with crispy onions and sweet chili sauce for dipping. It's really simple but REALLY delightful.
  5. These DIY spring rolls
    Grilled meats!!!
  6. These other DIY spring rolls
    Crispy rice pancake (banh xeo) filled with bean sprouts!!
  7. And these other other DIY spring rolls
    Pan-fried fish with grilled onions, plus herbs and vermicelli to roll it up with. Had no idea that roll-your-own spring rolls were so big here but they were everywhere and all so so good!
  8. Mango cake
    Another Hoi An specialty, these lil cakes are super chewy, like mochi, with an unexpected peanutty filling and powdered sugar on the outside.
  9. Snails stuffed with pork
    Lemongrassy, porky, snaily goodness.
  10. Fried wontons with pork and shrimp
    They were like lil Asian tostadas!!! Loved the fresh veggies that were just barely stir-fried so they were still crisp.
  11. Floating cakes (dessert soup)
    Kind of like sweet dumpling soup? Ginger broth with peanuts and coconut cream with one black sesame dumpling and one mungbean dumpling. The ginger broth was SO good.
  12. Mi quang
    Noodle soup with all kinds of goodies like shrimps and quail egg and herbs and chili, it's like a treasure hunt in a bowl!
  13. Bun bo Hue
    Noodle soup with beef and onions and meatballs and herbs from the former Imperial Capital, Hue.
  14. Egg chocolate (or coffee)
    A Hanoi specialty that was invented in the 1940s and the same family restaurant still makes it. Hot chocolate or coffee with a delicious custard on top -- so creamy!!
  15. BBQ
    Cook-your-own beef and vegetables, this was big in Hanoi (and is big throughout SEA but what made this one different was the kumquat, salt, pepper, and chili dipping sauce that came on the side, I could have DRANK it, it was so good)
  16. And another dish that came with pork in a sweet-ish broth with noodles on the side that you dipped in the broth with your chopsticks and also lots of lime and herbs omg what was it called it was really good????
  17. A noodle dish with cilantro and beef and peanuts that I wish I could remember the name of???
    I know it was a southern specialty even though I ate it in Hanoi 🤔🤔
  18. Papaya salad with shrimp and squid
    I learned how to make this in a cooking class in Hoi An so WATCH OUT WORLD