The street food scene in Vietnam is Phenomonal. Better than any other country I have ever been to. Words can not explain how good and cheap this stuff is but I will try. Here’s a rundown of a few of the dishes and about what they should cost you. For clarification purposes anytime I mention greens it means any of the following, spinach, lettuce, bac choi, basil and about 5 other types of spices and wild herbs I don’t know the names of. (knock on wood now) Almost two months into the trip and I have not gotten ill, a first for me while traveling in far away lands. I truly expected at some point to have stomach issues, like I did in Nicaragua, Peru, and even Europe. Crossing my fingers my luck continues on that train. Alright, Food Time!
Bahn Mi Sandwiches ($1) – It comes in many different versions but this is the best one. A french baguette loaded with pork strips, liver pate, spinach or lettuce, strips of green beans, hot sauce, and a fried egg on top. If your lucky you may get some moo cow soft cheese on it too. If your unlucky you won’t get pate, or good pork strips, you’ll get the compressed congealed pork.
Pho ($1-$3) – Pho dishes range from simple to intricate. A simple soup would be noodles, chicken and greens. Others will throw in things like wontons, crispy fried pork fat, or bean sprouts. I can’t count the amount of Pho’s I have had, but I remember the best one: It was shrimp, crab, and fish, my favorite type of noodles (the thinner ones), some great spices, and on the side was 3 types of greens to throw in and fried bread. The other great thing is they always have on the table for your taste buds all kinds of sauces. I usually put in a little of the chili paste, squeeze a lime or two, and maybe top it off with some soy sauce. Yummie!
Cau Loa ($2) – Almost like a Pho dish but it comes completely ready in the bowl and you don’t have any options, Sold As Is. Simple but very good soup: your basic noodles, pork strips, greens, bean sprouts and what I call fritos (basically crunched up crispy tortilla).
Rice Pancakes -It’s not my favorite but it is interesting and costs less than a dollar. Basically it’s a fried tortilla (not american kind of tortilla, it’s really greasy and easily falls apart) made with mashed rice and egg and then fried and filled with bean sprouts. You then rip of parts of this, take a handful of greens, and wrap both in rice paper to make a spring roll type thing and dip it in a spicy sauce. Here’s a pic. Since it’s really hard to explain.
Hot Pot! ($5-$8) Feeds two or three people though! This is my favorite dish for sure. They bring out a boiling pot of broth with a burner under it. Sometimes the food comes in it already and other times you have to throw it all in and wait till it cooks. You can get anything from beef and chicken to any kind of seafood you want. We liked the mixed seafood: fish, shrimp, and squid. Noodles of course, and greens.
Fruit Shakes ($1) – Epic! Fresh Fruit! Anything you want: mango, papaya, pineapple, orange, banana, stawberry, dragon fruit, aloe, avocado, carrot, spinach, and more. They are amazing, often I would just get one of these for breakfast and start my day off right. No pictures of the smoothies, but these strawberries were delicious.
You also find lots of random street food vendors, like this guy who had the most amazing shrimp tempura and pork spring rolls. Fried up as soon as you order and ready in minutes, this was a unique and wonderful street food experience.