Hoi An attracts tourists for many reasons: beautiful sceneries, peaceful town, unique architecture, and culture, etc. And one of the most important reason is cuisine. Hoi An has plenty of food and street food that can blow your mind away with its delicate taste.
Here are top 10 delicious dishes in Hoi An that you cannot miss in your Vietnam food tour.
Pho Hoi chicken rice
Com Ga Pho Hoi
Rice used for this food is carefully selected with a preference of sticky and soft type. Rice will be added ingredients, then boiled with chicken broth and pandan leaves by charcoal. The chicken must be the young, soft but not friable one. The chicken will be boiled, then ripped into small pieces and added onion, fried red onion, salt, black pepper and Vietnamese coriander.
The decoration of this food is very important. Ripped chicken pieces are put on top of rice dish. It is taken with onion, papaya pickle, Tra Que herbs, pepper sauce and soy sauce. Especially, Pho Hoi chicken rice is featured in a soup made by mixed internal organs of the chicken. With a unique, meticulous cooking method and special materials, people in Hoi An created a unique chicken rice, earning foreign visitor’s trust.
Bà Buội Chicken rice – 22 Phan Chu Trinh Street; Sân Đình Chicken rice – 16 Phan Chu Trinh Street; Bà Hương chicken rice – 18 Le Loi Street; Mermaid Restaurant – 2 Tran Phu Street; Cô Ly Restaurant – 22 Nguyen Hue Street; Canh Buom Trang Restaurant – 34 Tran Cao Van Street; Cô Thuận Restaurant – 17/4 Hai Ba Trung Street.
The elders in Hoi An said that Cao Lầu appeared from the 17th century, during the time Hoi An Port was opened, allowing a lot of foreign traders enter Hoi An. This is the reason why Cao Lầu affected a lot by Chinese Cuisine and a little by Udon noodle of Japanese. However, Cao Lầu keeps one-of-a-kind outstanding features of Hoi An cuisine. This dish can make your Vietnam food tour more special and unforgettable.
Bà Bé Restaurant, Vạn Lộc Restaurant, Trung Bắc Restaurant – Tran Phu Street; Chị Liên Restaurant – Thai Phien Street.
Bánh bao – bánh vạc (White Rose cake)
Banh bao – banh vac
Bánh bao (dumpling) and Bánh vạc are couple cakes with similar materials and processing. The main material is white, sticky rice. Banh vạc is filled in with ground shrimp, mixed with black pepper, garlic, onion and citronella and some other secret ingredients. Bánh bao has pork, jelly ears and sliced onion and secret ingredients inside. The secret ingredients is one of the major reason for the specialty of these two cakes.
Addresses: White Rose restaurant – Nhi Trung Street
This is the name of a pancake made from rice, including two layers: the roasted crispy layer and the wet sticky layer. When enjoying it, you have to use your hand to beat the crispy layer, making it stick with the wet layer. It is pretty simple food but draws the interest of many people.
Another important part to make a perfect banh dap is the sauce. It is processed from mam cai (a kind of Hoi An fish sauce which is made from the best small fishes in Cua Dai sea). A reasonable mixture of fish sauce, sugar, chilly, onion and cooking oil will make a bowl of delicious sauce. Nothing can replace this sauce when enjoying banh dap.
Addresses: Bánh đập Bà Già (Old Lady Restaurant) – Hamlet 1, Cam Nam commune, Hoi An.
Corn sweetened porridge
Che Bap is made of corn
This sweetened porridge is special because it is made from famous Cam Nam corns. The sweetness of this food comes from the natural and light taste of the corn. Unlike other sweetened porridges of the South, Hoi An corn sweetened porridge doesn’t have coconut milk as the sweet soup, so the only flavor is from the corn. The best time to enjoy Hoi An corn sweetened porridge is between March and September, as the harvest season of Cam Nam corn.
Addresses: Corn sweetened porridge stalls on the bank of Hoai River.
Banh beo in Hoi An
Bánh bèo (water fern cake) is mostly made of available local materials, such as pork, shrimp, etc. Although it is a simple ingredient, it can be more specific as the art of making, yet to many Vietnamese people, it is actually the art of enjoying water fern cakes.
A different way to eat banh beo in Hoi An than other places is you have to use a special stick made of bamboo.
Addresses: banh beo is everywhere in Hoi An, but the best is small stalls outside of the ancient quarter such as Cam Chau, Cam Nam.
Mì Quảng (Quang noodle)
When you ask local people what to eat in Hoi An, they definitely recommend you ‘Mi Quang’. The main ingredients of the dish are noodles, meat, and vegetables. Vegetables are placed atop of a bed of rice noodles in a bowl, then topped with pork, shrimp and finally lukewarm broth and meat are added. Mì Quảng is also served with toasted Vietnamese sesame rice crackers, fried shallot and various herbs common in Vietnamese cuisine such as mint, "rau ram" or laksa leaves, perilla, lettuce … Shrimp and Pork are usually the proteins of choice because of their abundance.
Addresses: Mi Quang is everywhere in Hoi An.
Hoành thánh (Wonton)
Wonton is a Chinese food but it has come into existence in Hoi An for a very long time, therefore, it is adopted as a traditional dish of Hoi An. Wonton is made with rice flour and filled with ingredients such as shrimp, pork, egg, and spices. There are many kinds of wonton dishes, such as fried wonton, wonton soup or wonton and noodle soup.
Addresses: Van Loc restaurant – Tran Phu Street; some small stalls on Thai Phien Street.
Banh Trang (steamed rice rolls)
Banh trang is a very light crepe with ground pork, minced jelly ears, and fried onion, eaten by ham, steamed bean sprouts, and cucumbers. Banh cuon in Hoi An is added with shrimp and eaten with mo hanh (sauce of grease and Welsh onion).
Addresses: The cuisine street on the side of Hoai River.
Banh xeo (Rice pancake)
Banh xeo is a very famous dish in Vietnam, but just a few people know that the origin of it is from Hoi An. It is made out of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts and then pan fried. Banh xeo is eaten with fish sauce (mix with water and pepper and lemon) and a lot of herbs. It is a perfect food for the rainy season. In your Vietnam food tour, you can try ‘banh xeo’ in different places across the country to see the differences of ingredients, flavor and also the way of eating.
One of the best impression about Vietnam tour is cuisine. Therefore, when you travel to Hoi An or any place in Vietnam, let’s try the food there and create wonderful memories for your trip.