One thing I very love when travel is trying the local food and here are some most mouth-watering foods I tried in Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue. In case you wanna taste it there but have no idea where to try, don’t worry, places and prices are all mentioned as below 😉
1 – Slice pork rolled with rice paper (Banh trang cuon thit heo)
Well known as one of the best specialties in Da Nang, Slice pork rolled with rice paper is definitely the must-try food in your life. It is also a favourite dish of the local. The dish are combined by those very simple, rustic and healthy ingredients namely slice pork, rice paper, fresh vegetables (salad; slices of cucumber, green banana, green mango; fishy-smell herb…) and the fish sauce, but once all these get into a roll, its like an explosion, very delicious, yummy. You just cannot imagine that those ordinary elements just make an extraordinary dish. Personally, I love the dipping sauce the most, think it’s a highlight of the dish. A little bit salty, spicy, sweet and it’s the one that makes the tasteless roll suddenly become tasting 🙂
- Where to eat: Quê xưa, 165 Nui Thanh, Hai Chau, Da Nang.
- Price: 72k (for two people)
2 – Quang noodle (Mi Quang)
Each area in Vietnam has its own signature noodle and in Da Nang, Hoi An the most famous noodle is Quang noodle. Quang noodle looks colourful with the green from fresh herbs and spring onion, yellow from the pasta and crushed peanuts, red from local river shrimps, brown from boiled quail eggs and dark brown from moist roasted pork. Each ingredients with each colour brings its own significant taste. And together it makes a perfect combination. The salty shrimps, pork and the soup was well balanced by the fresh herbs and the pasta. But to me the thing that makes Quang noodle is one of a kind is its soup which is not too much water and saltier than others but brings strong smell of the pork and the shrimps.
- Where to eat: I ate Quang noodle at a small street vendor near An Bang beach, Hoi An.
- Price: 20k.
3 – Fish cake noodle soup (Bun cha ca)
Another must-try food in Da Nang is Fish cake noodle soup. Like other noodles, Fish cake noodle soup includes the noodle, the soup and the topping. What makes Bun cha ca different from others is the fried chopped fish (aka fish cake) which is known as a specialty in those coastal provinces in middle of Vietnam. The fish cake is usually a bit tough and salty-savory-sweet, spicy with lotsa pepper corn inside (to lower fishy odour). Fish cake noodle soup doesn’t really bring special taste like those dishes above but it is sorta a refresh and eatable dish. It’s kind of, just to me, is an ocean taste where the soup is the sea and the cake is the fish.
- Where to eat: Unknow street vendors are good choice.
- Price: 15-20k.
4 – Bun mam
If Saigonese has Bun thit nuong, Da Nang people would be proud with their Bun mam. Bum mam is a very famous food in Da Nang. It includes the noodle, crushed peanuts with fine cut of cucumber, green papaya, garden egg, pork, beef bologna and vietnamese fermented pork roll. To enjoy Bun mam , you will mix those ingredients with “mam nem” – a sauce made of fermented fish, this kind of fish sauce has a very pungent taste, a bit stinky, sweet-and-sour and spicy because it is commonly mixed with sugar, pinapple and spices. In Bun mam, mam nem is the key ingredient, the sauce is actually the soul of the food. So if you are not afraid to tast mam nem, try Bun mam once! I swear u won’t regret!
- Where to eat: Bun mam ba Thuyen. K424/03 Le Duan, Da Nang.
- Price: 40k ( a bit expensive to me lol)
5 – Cao Lau and Hoi An chicken rice
Cao lau and Chicken rice are Hoi An signature foods. Cao lau is actually the symbol of the area and it is much more like Quang noodle but a bit harder to eat (I dont know if every one feels the same or it just me find the saffron smell unattractive but its yellow colour does add to the dish the “Hoi an vibes” cause Hoi an is full of yellow walls and it becomes the town’s iconic feature). Usually the dish goes with grilled rice paper (or dry pancake) which is very crispy but very yummy.
Like Cao lau, Chicken rice is also a dish u may see everywhere in Hoi an. And again, it has the yellow colour too (the colour of the rice). It’s not much different from Hainanese chicken rice I think, if you order one serving, you will get exactly the whole combo including the dish with chicken, rice, a small bow of fish sauce and a bigger bowl of the chicken soup. What makes it “Hoi An” is definitely the salty fish sauce which is 100% from Hoi an and the local rice and chicken. Once you taste this, you feel like you are home, eating mum’s food.
- Where to eat: 11 Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An. Or you can try chicken rice at Com ga A Hai in Da Nang (94, Thai Phien)
- Price: 40k for both Cao Lau and Chicken rice
6 – Hue beef noodle soup (Bun bo Hue)
Hue beef noodle soup is probably everywhere in Vietnam now and I thought it is just the same “Bun bo Hue” I get in Saigon, but no, it’s not. The soup is much more greasy and super spicy which is definitely an A+ ;). The strong citronella smell in the soup is good too. You may not get the beef bologna like the one in Saigon but there are a lot of beef and congealed pig/beef’s blood. Remember to add the fresh vegetable and spring onion before enjoy truly Bun bo Hue.
- Where to eat: Probably everywhere in Hue has bun bo Hue. I just stopt by a small restaurant and just cant remember the address…
- Price: 30k