Vietnamese main diet is rice, with noodles as a popular alternative at breakfast or as a snack. A typical Vietnamese meal includes rice, fish or meat as the main dishes, vegetable and soup and is eaten on a communal basis. The dishes are accompanied with fish sauce, chili or soy sauce.
The most famous Vietnamese dish is perhaps Pho, the noodle soup with meat, either beef or chicken. Vietnam food is also separated from region to region. In the North, food is impacted by the centuries of Chinese occupation. Comforting noodle dishes, generally mild flavors and rustic elegance are features of the region’s cuisine. It is best known for Pho (noodle soups), Bun Cha, Banh Cuon, meat and seafood stir-fries.
The central region has some of the most elaborate dishes, the result of moderation and balance. Local people cook and turn their modest resources into fare fit for an emperor. Besides, the region’s cuisine seems to be spicy-hotter than other two regions because of people’s love of chili. Some featured dishes of the regions are Banh Khoai, Bun Bo Hue (Rice-noodle soup with beef), and Com Hen (steamed rice served with tiny clams). While in the south, food tends to be sweeter with the influences of Indian and Thai cuisine.
With more than 3,000km coastline, seafood in Vietnam is abundant. Seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables are widely available and vary by region and season.
Vietnam is a beer culture and Hanoi is the Bia Hoi capital of the country. Bia Hoi or draught beer is a must while you are here. It’s the most popular drink throughout the country and the cheapest beer in the world, only 5,000 to 7,000 VND per glass. Beside beer, tea and coffee are among popular beverage.
Tips: Tram phan tram! And Zho zho!
Remember these words well as all over Vietnam, glasses of beer or wine are raised and emptied, cries of “100%” or “bottoms up” and “cheers!” echo around the table.