VietnamFood & DrinksVietnamese Snacks and Street Eats

Vietnamese Snacks and Street Eats

Street foods are everywhere in Vietnam, a paradise of flavorful and delicious food. Trying these Vietnamese snacks and street foods while sitting on the street sides is an unforgettable experience.

There are loads of Vietnamese snacks and street eats in the 3 regions: North, Center, and South regions. The distinct cultures and cuisines somehow create signature street snacks for each region.

Vietnamese Snacks and Street Eats in Nothern Vietnam

As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a place to go for street food eaters. Sightseeing and trying snacks in every corner of Hanoi Old Quarter brings you a great eating experience. There are many names of Vietnamese snacks we can list.

Goi cuon (summer rolls)

vietnamese snacks street eats goi cuon
Vietnamese spring/summer rolls

Vietnamese summer rolls are made by rolling rice vermicelli on rice paper with stir-fried or steamed peeled shrimp, boiled meat, and herbs. The dipping sauce, with a brownish color and a bold taste, made with peanuts, is vital to the flavor of the snack. This is a healthy snack with fresh ingredients and a nutty sauce.

Banh gio (pyramidal rice dumpling)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh gio
Vietnamese pyramidal rice dumpling with meat and mushrooms

This hot snack is essential, especially on cold or rainy days, because of the savory minced meat, mushroom, and exceptionally soft rice coat. To enhance the flavor, many vendors serve the pyramidal rice dumpling with Vietnamese pork sausage, chili sauce, and sliced cucumber. You can quickly get full but still want a second helping because of its great taste.

Banh goi (pillow-shaped cake)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh goi
Scrumptious Vietnamese pillow-shaped cake

With the crispy yellow coat and the cake inside filled with different ingredients, including rice vermicelli, mushroom, minced pork, kohlrabi, egg, and onions, the cake is really savory and flavorful. All preprocessed ingredients, the complicated coat made with all-purpose flour and the seasonings make a great combination. In addition, the sauce made with garlic and chili helps to enhance the bold taste.

Tao pho (sweet tofu)

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Sweet tof is similar to sweet soup, but with a silken tofu base

This kind of snack made of soybean with a sweet gingery soup can be seen in small bike vendors in Hanoi. This cool Vietnamese snack is a good dessert in summer. Different flavors of coffee, strawberry, mung bean, and toppings such as lotus seeds are added to the syrup to make the snack more attractive.

Banh duc (steamed rice-tapioca cake)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh duc
Vietnamese steamed rice-tapioca cake

Banh duc is made of rice flour, served with fried ground onions, some stir-fried mushrooms, and a special sour and sweet sauce from fish sauce to cover the cake. This dish is perfect when you want to taste something savory and a bit sweet at the same time.

Vietnamese Snacks and Street Eats in Central Vietnam

The snacks and the food in Central Vietnam are quite spicy, and there is a handful of good snacks in the area for you to try.

Nem lui (lemongrass skewer)

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Lemongrass skewer and its special sauce

The seasoned meat wrapping the lemongrass stalks is grilled on charcoal, making the snack mouthwatering. Having the food with the taste of grilled meat and lemongrass is something you will want on the second try. Also, the sauce is a mixture of ground peanut, ground pork, and fish sauce, creating a thick consistency. The dish is still a big part of Hue cuisine.

Banh beo (water fern cake)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh beo
Vietnamese water fern cake as a famous snack

The water fern cake is a signature snack with rice flour, chopped shrimp, pork, fried onion, and rather sweet sauce from the formal royal capital, Hue. Most of the time, the batter is steamed in a small bowl before being served with the rest of the ingredients.

Banh bot loc (tapioca dumpling)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh bot loc
Vietnamese tapioca dumplings

As the name suggests, the main ingredient is tapioca flour, with shrimps and pork on the inside. There are many versions of the said food depending on the city, despite its reputation as the Central specialty. In Hue, banh bot loc is individually wrapped in banana leaves. Meanwhile, in the coastal areas, banh bot loc is sold in a big plastic container.

Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh xeo
Crispy Vietnamese pancakes

Banh xeo is one of the most popular street foods. You can have it in the main meals as well as a hearty snack. The yellow turmeric powder color and rice flour’s texture create a crispy and toothsome taste. The inside consists of pork belly, mushroom, shrimp, or other seafood and bean sprouts. The vegetable wrapping, such as mustard greens, lettuce, and fish sauce, really needed to complete the flavor of this dish.

Banh can (mini Vietnamese pancake)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh can
Vietnamese mini savory pancake with prepared sauce

The snack is most popular in South Central Vietnam. The pancake has a small round shape consisting of grilled rice flour, eggs, and green onion oil. Banh can often has sliced green mango and a diluted sauce of garlic and chili oil on the side

Vietnamese Snacks and Street Eats in Southern Vietnam

Southern Vietnam with Saigon as a representative is a street snacks planet. There are vendors everywhere, and you can try tons of kinds of snacks they serve.

Banh trang tron (mixed rice paper)

In Banh trang tron, you can taste a party of spiciness, sweetness, and a bit of sourness coming together. The local ingredients include rice paper, peanuts, beef jerky, quail egg, dried shrimp, sliced unripe mango, green onion oil, soy sauce, and tangerine. Trying the food with chopsticks must be a really fun experience.

Banh trang nuong (Vietnamese pizza)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh trang nuong
Vietnamese pizza on a charcoal grill

Coming from Da Lat, Banh trang nuong has become more popular in Saigon, and Vietnamese pizza vendors are seen on every corner of the city. It is made from thin rice paper with beaten egg, green onion oil, ground pork, and the snack. All are grilled on charcoal, letting out an attractive smoke. The crunchiness of the rice paper and the flavor of the egg, and pork inside make this enjoyable snack a must-try one.

Pha lau (Vietnamese offal stew)

vietnamese snacks street eats pha lau
A set of Vietnamese offal stew

The dish is special because it is made from beef organs like the intestines, liver, and stomach. The cook uses pineapple to hide the smell of the organs and bring sourness to the food. You can simultaneously feel the good savor of coconut juice, pork, beef and rice wine in the tempting broth. It can be eaten with bread or noodles.

Sup cua (crab soup)

Crab soup has a condensed and gluey texture from the cornstarch. Crab, mushroom, quail eggs, and chicken bone broth are other ingredients. You will just need a few minutes and sips to finish one portion.

Bo bia (Vietnamese fresh spring roll with jicama and egg)

Bo bia is another Vietnamese snack with rice paper. The ingredients, including dried shrimp, jicama, egg, carrot, Chinese sausage, and Vietnamese herbs, are wrapped in rice paper. A sweet and savory peanut sauce enhances the flavor of the dish as a whole.

Banh bo (Vietnamese steamed honeycomb cake)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh bo
Colorful Vietnamese steamed honeycomb cakes

The catchy look of the cake will attract you, and the flavor of rice flour, tapioca starch, and coconut milk will not disappoint you. This steamed rice cake may be a perfect option if you have had enough oily fat snacks. The inside part looks like small honeycombs, thus the name’s translation in English. Besides, to increase your appetite, you can choose to eat this soft and spongy cake with sesame seeds or peanut salt.

Goi kho bo (beef jerky salad)

vietnamese snacks street eats beef jerky
A portion of such delicious beef jerky salad

The snack is a mixture of strips of unripe papaya, beef jerky, white vinegar, peanuts, soy sauce, pepper, and Thai basil. It is much loved here in Vietnam for any gourmet food. You can order from the street vendor and then take it to enjoy on the go.

Find out Why the Beef Jerky Salad is Hanoi’s most Favorite Snack!

Chuoi nep nuong (Vietnamese grilled banana)

vietnamese snacks street eats banana
A dish of Vietnamese grilled banana with coconut milk dressing

Originating from Ben Tre, grilled banana is now an irreplaceable snack in Saigon and Vietnam. People grill peeled bananas wrapped in sticky rice on charcoal and pour the cooked coconut milk on the plate. The seasoning can be different among vendors and in general, but it is one of Vietnam’s most delectable street snacks that you must try.

Xoai lac and Trai cay lac (shaking mango and fruits)

Shaking fruit is everywhere in Saigon. The sliced of sour fruits like unripe mango are shaken in a small plastic container with fish sauce, sugar, chili powder, beef jerky, and fried squid. You take the snack and shake it, stirring it to mix the different flavors of spiciness, sourness, and sweetness.

Trai cay dam (macerated fruits)

vietnamese snacks street eats fruits
Diced Vietnamese fruits, shaved ice, syrup, and condensed milk

Trai cay dam is almost like a sweet version of shaken fruits. Instead of sour fruits as a base, train cay dam tends to have sweeter ones, such as watermelons, avocados, ripe mangoes, and apples. The shaved ice, syrup, and condensed produce a smoothies-like taste and consistency, but with more bites and freshness from the fruit pieces.

Banh trung nuong (grilled egg cake)

vietnamese snacks street eats banh trung
Vietnamese grilled egg cake divided into equal parts

There are 2 kinds of grilled egg pancakes: sweet cake and salty ones. The first one requires preparation when processing the batter by mixing it with egg yolk, sugar, and milk cream. Grilled on charcoal in molds, you can get luscious egg pancakes. As for the kind version, people use quail eggs, sausage, cheese, seasons, and onions for a great mixture grilled on burning charcoal.

Banh tieu (Vietnamese hollow donut)

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Some Vietnamese hollow donuts

Banh Tieu is made of self-rising flour, and the flour is preprocessed before being kneaded. The floating hollow donuts when getting deep-fried is so appetizing and it is served in a lot of eateries in Saigon.

These are just the most common snacks in Southern Vietnam and other parts of Vietnam. The list goes on to the others with grilled cassava cake, Vietnamese sesame balls, grilled Vietnamese honeycomb cake filled with coconut, and deep-fried sticky rice. But just wander around the districts in Saigon, and then you will catch sight of the food streets with vendors serving such interesting and savory snacks.

Summary of Vietnamese Snacks and Street Eats

Vietnamese snacks are served on the streets and in small stores as well. They reflect greatly Vietnamese culture and cuisine. There are different kinds of snacks in 3 areas and most of them are portable, tasty and fun to try.

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