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During our recent trip to Hoi An in Central Vietnam, we devoured a wide array of cheap and delicious local street food dishes. From wonderful White Rose dumplings to the best Bánh Khọt to the choicest Cao lầu, we really were in food heaven and have decided to write up our findings in our best street food in Hoi An food guide! So here is our list of the best local Hoi An street food dishes you must try on your visit, plus some other food related tours and experiences.
Hoi An street food guide
White Rose is a Hoi An specialty and you cannot leave Vietnam without trying them! They are small dumplings made from translucent white dough which are filled with minced shrimp or pork, topped with crunchy bits of garlic and served with a sweet dipping sauce. The dumpling looks like a white flower which is where it’s name originates from.
The best place to try these are at the White Rose Restaurant (533 Hai Bà Trưng). Most of Hoi An’s White Rose dumplings are made by the family who work there and distributed to many restaurants in town.
Fried Wonton (Hoi An pizza)
Fried wontons look a bit like pizza but instead have a light and crispy dough base, which are then topped with tomato sauce, prawns, coriander and other veggies. We ate this dish at the White Rose Restaurant again and the version we tried had a small pocket in the dough base which was filled with pork – yum!
Hoi An Bánh Mì
Bánh Mì is an iconic Hoi An street food and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s best sandwiches. A Banh Mì consists of a crunchy french baguette filled with meats such as pork, pâté, or ham, coriander and vegetables such as radish, carrot, and cucumber. Sometimes an egg is added too and always a dash of chilli sauce!
The most popular places in Hoi An to try Bánh Mì is at Banh Mi Phuong (once visited by the great Anthony Bourdain), and Madam Phuong. Expect very long queues at both restaurants so try and arrive early before the lunch rush!
Bánh Bèo (Steamed Rice Water Fern Cake)
Bánh Bèo are small steamed cakes made from a mix of rice flour, fish sauce and dried shrimps, topped with deep-fried cao lầu noodles and a special orange sauce made from ground pork, shrimp and wood ear mushrooms. The dish is eaten with a flat wooden stick which slides underneath the cake making it easy to scoop out from the bowl. Bánh Bèo is usually eaten as a late afternoon snack and one small bowl will cost around 2000 VND each.
We tried this Hoi An street food dish on a Walking Tour with Hoi An Food Tour, and was one of the foodie highlights of the afternoon. You can also try find this dish at Bánh Bèo Chén (located at 48 Trần Phú) or Aunt Bay’s “Banh Bèo” restaurant on the corner of the old wall on Hoang Van Thu Street (open late afternoon onwards).
Mì Quảng is a delicious noodle dish that is widely eaten for breakfast in Hoi An. The main ingredients for this dish are soft flat rice noodles, hard boiled quail eggs, pork, Vietnamese herbs, lettuce, crushed peanuts and a small amount of flavoured broth. Some places dye the noodles yellow using either food colouring or turmeric powder.
The best version of Mì Quảng we tasted was at the STREETS Restaurant’s Oodles of Noodles noodle making class during our Classic Vietnam tour with G Adventures. I think you can only do the class as part of this particular tour, but try eating at their restaurant to enjoy this tasty dish.
The Cao Lầu dish comprises of the signature plump Cao Lầu noodles which can only be made in Hoi An with water from the Ba Le Well (the water from this well is mixed with a specific type of ash from local trees). The ash from the water give these noodles a rough and chewy texture.
A traditional bowl of Cao Lầu will include slices of barbecue pork, flat square croutons (made from dried cao lầu noodles), bean sprouts, lettuce, Vietnamese herbs and a small amount of broth.
We tried a version of this at the Central Market for 30,000 VND, but we saw several Hoi An street food stalls selling this dish for as low as 20,000 VND.
Bún Bò Noodle Soup
Bún bò is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup made from a spicy meaty stock containing rice vermicelli, beef, Vietnamese herbs and lemongrass. Add extra chilli for flavour! The dish originates from the nearby town of Hue, but is a very popular street food dish across the whole of central Vietnam.
We tried the dish (pictured below) on an Afternoon Street Food Walking Tour with Hoi An Food Tour.
Fried Spring Roll
Vietnamese spring rolls are our favourite type of Asian spring rolls, and you will not have any trouble in Hoi An finding places that serve them. The fillings usually contain minced pork, shrimps, and mushrooms – which are mixed together before being wrapped with rice paper and deep fried in hot oil. Many food stalls or restaurants will serve them with vermicelli noodles, herbs, lettuce and a dipping sauce.
Try the spring rolls at Com Linh restaurant (43 Phan Chu Trinh) as we really enjoyed eating them from there!
Bánh Xèo (Hoi An Crispy Pancakes)
The Bánh Xèo is a savory crispy crepe made from a rice flour mix which is deep fried and filled with bean sprouts, pork, prawns or vegetables. The crepe’s yellow colour comes from the tumeric spice powder used as one of the ingredients.
We ate a delicious version of this dish at a restaurant called Com Linh (43 Phan Chu Trinh), where the serving staff showed us the correct way to eat it. To do this you must take a piece of the Bánh Xèo and place it onto a sheet of rice paper, add some mint and lettuce before rolling it up like a spring roll and dunking it into some dipping sauce!
(Savoury Coconut Pancake)
These super tasty bite sized tarts are a fried mix of rice flour batter and coconut milk, and are crunchy on the outside but deliciously moist on the inside. They are usually sprinkled with chopped spring onion, but sometimes topped with prawns.
A popular Hoi An street food dish – we saw many stall holders selling these around town so they shouldn’t be too hard to find if you want to try them!
(Black Sesame Sweet Soup)
This dessert dish looks a little uninviting but it tasted better than it looks! Xi Ma is a hot thick, black syrup which gets its colour from it’s main ingredient (black sesame seeds). It is said to have strong healing properties and is usually sold by street vendors as a mid afternoon snack. A bowl will usually cost around 10,000 VND.
We tried the dish (pictured below) on an Afternoon Hoi An Street Food Walking Tour with Hoi An Food Tour.
Hoi An on a rainy day
Hoi An food guide – Central Market
The food hall in Central Market is a lively place to eat and you will find a wide variety of cheap Hoi An street food dishes. Prices here are wallet friendly and you can purchase a bowl of noodles for around 30,000 VND. There are around 25 food stalls and the majority of them are tourist friendly with english picture menus! The food hall is open every day from 6am to 7pm.
Note – avoid eating Vietnamese dishes in the tourist restaurants along the Thu Bon river as the food we ate in a few of the bars there were really terrible! The western dishes tended to be a bit better but still not great.
Hoi An street food guide – Hoi An street food tour
If you are a foodie and fancy eating your way around some hidden local spots a little off the beaten track then we highly recommend a Hoi An food tour with a company called – Hoi An Food Tours. They offer a variety of different food tours to suit your schedule including ones where you visit local places whilst riding on the back of a moped! We enjoyed the 4 hour Afternoon Street Food Walking Tour which also included a visit to a local’s house for a huge Vietnamese feast!
Hoi An street food guide – Cooking Class
After trying many delicious dishes in Vietnam, you may want to recreate them back at home. We booked an inexpensive, morning cooking class with Hoi An Eco Cooking Class which also included a visit to a local fresh market and a bamboo basket boat ride!
We cooked so many Hoi An dishes including Phở Bò (beef noodle soup), Banh Xèo and fresh spring rolls, which we got to eat at the end of the session. The class was very entertaining and it was the perfect rainy day in Hoi An activity (we visited during a very wet December).
Download the Grab app
Grab taxis are widely used by both tourists and locals, and the fares are really cheap! Download the Grab app here and use the code GRABCKTRAVELS to earn a free ride when you sign up.
Other blog posts you might like
- The ultimate guide to Hoi An
- What to eat in Japan – the best Japanese foods
- Top things to do in Hoi An on a rainy day
- Highlights of Hanoi, Vietnam (plus a few lowlights)
- Visiting Vietnam’s Lady Buddha in Da Nang
- Be aware in Marble Mountains – how I was robbed in Da Nang, Vietnam
- Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An accommodation
Here are some accommodation recommendations if you are planning a trip to Hoi An.
On a budget?
These backpacker hostels are highly rated online and in super locations:
Here are some super nice places if you really want to treat yourself on your Hoi An trip!
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