Hoi An cuisine is well-known for a good reason, thanks to its traditional and mouth-watering delicacies. Especially, Hoi An street food, which is teeming with rich flavors and appeals to adventurous appetites, will sneak its way into your list of favorite foods in no time.
Hoi An fantastic cuisine has evolved over time by combining Chinese, French, and Japanese influences, but it remains unique with local recipes and flavorful ingredients. Hoi An street food is considered the most symbolic and rewarding with its classic specialties and reasonable prices. To enrich your food adventure in the cultural city, Vinpearl has rounded up 13 of the finest Hoi An street food and one of the best places to eat them below.
1. Banh mi – The world-famous Vietnamese street food in Hoi An
Banh mi, meaning “bread,” is a Vietnamese version of a French baguette with balanced ingredients and scrumptious local tastes. Banh Mi is thin and crunchy bread stuffed with various fillings, generally pork, fried eggs, pate or chicken, and homemade tangy sauce. The classic Hoi An Banh Mi is distinctive in that it has a lot of vegetables, such as lettuce, cucumbers, pickled carrots, and coriander. Every bite into a Banh Mi consists of a perfect combination of spicy, salty, sweet, and crispy textures.
Banh Mi has unarguably gained worldwide popularity and local preference thanks to its exquisite flavor, cheapness, and convenience. As the favorite Hoi An street food, Banh mi is found on every street corner in the town. One of the most reputable Banh Mi shops is Banh Mi Phuong, which has obtained approval from food reviewers and travel journalists, notably celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
- Average costs: 15.000 ~ 40.000 VND/ a Banh Mi
- Where to eat Banh Mi: Bánh Mì Phượng – 2B Phan Chau Trinh Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City
2. Quang noodle – The best street food Hoi An you cannot afford to miss
Mi Quang (Quang-style noodle) is an exclusive Central Vietnamese noodle dish that originated from Quang Nam province, where Hoi An is a part of it. A typical bowl of Mi Quang contains many ingredients, including flat rice noodles, a little bone broth, slices of pork, beef or chicken, shrimp, and quail eggs. To balance its flavors, the dish can be ordered with rice crackers, fresh vegetables, and herbs like basil, peanuts, mint, and coriander.
Some people may hesitate because of the yellow color of the noodles in Mi Quang. But it comes from turmeric and is totally healthy. Having a bowl of warm Mi Quang is such a great way to start your day in Hoi An city.
- Average costs: 30.000 ~ 45.000 VND/ a bowl
- Where to eat Mi Quang: Dì Hát (Quang Hat Noodles) – 81 Phan Chau Trinh Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City
3. Cao Lau – The iconic food of Hoi An cuisine
Cao Lau is a renowned noodle specialty invented in Hoi An. It embodies the delicious fusion of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese cuisine. This Hoi An iconic dish includes Japanese udon-like noodles, pieces of roasted pork resembling Chinese Char Siu, raw greens, beansprouts, crunchy croutons, along with the Hoi An-style special sauce. Locals often mix Cao Lau with lime juice, Vietnamese chili paste, and fresh sliced chili to add extra flavors.
It has been said that the secret recipe of the authentic Hoi An Cao Lau uses water from an ancient mysterious well – Ba Le well, jungle wood ash from Cham islands, and organic herbs from Tra Que gardens. This is the reason why you should not miss out on the unique Cao Lau in Hoi An city.
The origin of Cao Lau’s name also arouses the curiosity of foodies. Cao Lau means “high storey” in Vietnamese because back in the 17th century, it was an exclusive dish served for the upper classes who would dine on the upper floors of restaurants. The social hierarchy has been removed in modern times, but people still keep its name as a signature of the Hoi An street food.
- Average costs: 25.000 ~ 44.000 VND/ a bowl
- Where to eat Cao Lau: Bà Bé Cao Lau – Central Market, 19 Tran Phu Street, Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An City
4. Wonton – A signature dish in Hoi An style
Wonton, known as Hoi An Pizza (Hoanh Thanh Chien in Vietnamese), was first introduced by Chinese traders and adjusted to local taste. The Hoi An Wonton features unwrapped deep-fried wontons topped with some salsa-like mix of shrimp, husked pork, minced onions, vegetables, and different spices. The richness of the dumplings is softened by dipping them with a mixture of chili sauce, soya sauce, and vinegar.
- Average costs: 40.000 ~110.000 VND/ a plate of Wontons
- Where to eat Wontons: Van Loc Restaurant – 27 Tran Phu Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City
5. Water fern cake – The delicious street food in Hoi An Vietnam
Bánh Bèo (Water Fern Cake) is a small steamed rice cake smothered by an orange sauce of dried shrimp, ground pork, scallions, oil, and rice vinegar. The savory cake is also finished with fish sauce and crispy fried shallots. Vendors often serve a round tray of five tiny cups of Banh Beo and flat teaspoons for customers to scoop the cake out easily.
- Average costs: 2.000 ~ 5.000 VND/ a cup
- Where to eat Water Fern Cake: Bà Bảy (Aunt Bay’s Banh Beo) – 2 Hoang Van Thu Street (on the corner of the old wall), Hoi An City
6. Chicken rice – A delectable Hoi An specialty
The origin of Hoi An chicken rice is associated with the famous Hainanese chicken rice brought by Chinese immigrants in Quang Nam Province. Hoi An locals used seasoned pilaf rice and shredded poached chicken as major ingredients and added assorted salads of shredded green papaya and carrots, onions, and herbs to meet Vietnamese taste.
Hoi An chicken rice also goes with rubbery hard-boiled egg yolk, chicken broth, soy sauce, and chili jam. The fragrant rice is cooked with poached chicken broth, turmeric, and pandan leaves on a wooden stove, giving it an appealing golden yellow color.
- Average costs: 35.000 ~ 40.000 VND/ a plate
- Where to eat Chicken Rice: Cơm gà Bà Buội – Phan Chau Trinh Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City
7. Grilled pork over vermicelli – A tasty dish in Hoi An street food markets
Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled pork over vermicelli) is slightly different from Bun Cha of Ha Noi. This Hoi An street food basically involves a healthy mix of white vermicelli rice noodles (bún), green chilies, chopped lettuce, cucumber, basil, mint, and peanut-based gravy. The dish is then filled with sweet and peppery pork slices (thịt nướng) grilled over charcoal stoves. Finally, fresh herbs and fish sauce come along with Bun Thit Nuong, which determines this Hoi An food’s delicate texture.
- Average costs: 30.000 ~ 45.000 VND/ a bowl
- Where to eat Bun Thit Nuong: Cô Bảy – Section 5 of Central Market, 19 Tran Phu Street, Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An City
8. Wet cake served with grilled meat (Banh uot thit nuong)
Wrapping grilled meat skewers (thịt nướng) with wet cake (bánh ướt) is another way to savor this ubiquitous street food in Hoi An. The meat is first marinated in spicy powder, pepper, lemongrass, shallot, rice wine, and honey, then gripped into bamboo sticks before being grilled over charcoal. If prepared well, wet rice papers are wrapped around the grilled meat with aromatic herbs, pickles, and sour slices of star fruit. Its decisive condiment is the thick and spicy dipping sauce blended with soybean paste, peanuts, and chilies. Indeed, all these ingredients create a fabulous fusion of flavors that will captivate you on the first bite.
- Average costs: 15.000 ~ 40.000 VND/ a tray
- Where to eat Wet cake and grilled meat: Bale Well Restaurant – 45/51 Tran Hung Dao Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City
9. Vietnamese spring rolls
Fans of Vietnamese food are definitely familiar with the typical favorite – spring rolls (Gỏi cuốn). This Hoi An street food is packed with rice vermicelli, veggies, slivers of meat, and shrimp, before being neatly rolled in a soft rice paper and dunked in fish sauce or peanut sauce. Vietnamese spring rolls are a healthy choice for an appetizer because they taste refreshing and yummy with little oil and almost zero fat.
- Average costs: 5.000 VND/ a roll
- Where to eat Spring Rolls: Ram Spring Roll Restaurant – 33 Cua Dai, Hoi An City
10. Vietnamese pancake – An unmissable delicacy in the Hoi An food tour
The Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese pancake) is a sophisticated delicacy that can be found all over Vietnam, but its Hoi An version has a characteristic flavor. Banh Xeo features a savory and crispy crepe made of deep-fried rice flour squeezed with coconut milk and turmeric spice powder. The pancake is then dressed with abundant toppings, typically pork, prawns, sliced onions, bean sprouts, garlic chives, and mushrooms.
The proper way to eat a Vietnamese pancake is to wrap it in a sheet of rice paper with some lettuce leaves and herbs before dipping it into fermented peanut sauce or fish sauce. The size of Hoi An Banh Xeo is smaller than that of other versions, which makes it easier to roll up. You can find the pancake at roadside food stalls, local markets, and street restaurants in Hoi An.
- Average costs: 30.000 ~ 40.000 VND/ a plate
- Where to eat Vietnamese Pancake: Bánh Xèo Sông Hoài (Bánh Xèo Cô Anh) – 59/32, 18/8 Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City
11. Mango cake – A special Hoi An street food
Unlike mango cakes in Nha Trang, Hoi An Mango Cake (Bánh Xoài) surprisingly contains no mango among its ingredients. The name comes from its mango-like shape. The cake is likened to Japanese mochi covered by chewy sticky rice. However, the Hoi An Mango Cake’s fillings include crushed peanuts mixed with sugar which add a soft and mildly sweet texture. As Banh Xoai is a beloved Hoi An dessert, you can buy them at street vendors around the Old Town.
- Average costs: 3.000 ~ 10.000 VND/ a Mango Cake
- Where to eat Mango Cake: Hoi An Market – 19 Tran Phu Street, Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An City
12. Corn sweet soup – A “sweet gift” of Hoi An street food
Chè Bắp (Corn Sweet Soup or Corn Sweetened Porridge) is a popular dessert in Hoi An. Its key ingredient is made from the best flavored Cam Nam corns that provide the soup’s mildly sweet and natural flavors. The luscious iced/warm corn soup, drenched in thick coconut milk, will surely indulge your sweet tooth.
- Average costs: 8.000 ~ 15.000 VND/ a cup
- Where to eat Corn Sweet Soup: Chè Bắp Cô Nga – 45, Le Loi Street, Hoi An City.
13. What to eat in Hoi An: White rose dumpling
Bánh Bao Bánh Vạc (White Rose Dumpling), another regional street food, should be on every tourist’s must-try list. The nickname simply comes from its likeness to white roses. The steamed dumplings have chewy rice wrappers and succulent fillings of shrimp, minced pork, and mushrooms. Chefs will place them nicely on a plate sprinkled with crispy shallots and green onions, then serve them with a mixture of fish sauce, chili, and sugar.
- Average costs: 40.000 ~ 70.000 VND/ a plate
- Where to eat White Rose Dumplings: Bong Hong Trang Restaurant – 533 Hai Ba Trung Street, Cam Pho Ward, Hoi An City
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