You can rock pho and banh mi all through Vietnam but if there’s one place to hold your horses, it’s Hue. The former capital offers a wide range of mouth-watering, heavy-on-the-spices plates that’ll make you rethink about Vietnamese cuisine. Here are our top candidates to try out on your trip.
Scoop the cakes out of these tiny bowls when you eat Banh Beo
Banh Beo is a beloved breakfast and lunch. The ingredients are simple: cooked rice flour, minced dried shrimp, scallion oil, crispy pork skin/bread crumbs, and sweet fish sauce. The combination of crunchy condiments and melt-in-your-mouth cake will be unforgettable.
Banh Ram It is a fun-size Banh Beo
If you love Banh Beo then don’t miss its cousin - Banh Ram It! The little delight has almost the same ingredients but made crispier with a deep-fried rice cracker base, and the top has a more mochi-like texture, thus chewier.
Prepare to get your hands dirty
Unlike many best dishes to try in Hue, Banh Bot Loc has a signature chewy texture due to tapioca flour. The filling can be either shrimp or minced pork, and you have to open a banana leaf wrapper to get the good stuff inside. This dish is so popular that it appears as a side dish to many other Hue delicacies.
Recommendation (for Banh Beo - Ram It - Bot Loc): Hang Me (45 Vo Thi Sau Street, Phu Hoi Ward)
Price: VND 50,000 - VND 100,000
One portion typically contains 10 pieces
Banh Ep has a crepe-like appearance. Each crepe is a mixture of eggs, flour, and meat. Then you roll it with pickled vegetables and other greens. Among all Central Vietnam food, it is one of the lightest on the stomach.
Recommendation: Banh Ep Gia Di (101 Ba Trieu Street, Xuan Phu Ward)
Price: VND 10,000 - VND 20,000
Crispy, glistening, delicious, little pieces
For fun-size fans, behold Banh Xeo’s version: Banh Khoai. A serving is no larger than an adult’s palm, filled to the brim with pork, mung bean sprouts, shrimp, and sometimes cold cuts. You can dip it in the peanut sauce directly or as a roll with other herbs.
Recommendation: Banh Khoai Lac Thien (6 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Phu Hau Ward)
Price: VND 50,000 - VND 70,000
Com Hen has a dry and wet version (Picture: dry)
Com Hen is an economical dish that can be your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All ingredients are local: clams caught in the surrounding riverbanks and estuaries, herbs, peanuts, and pork. The most famous place to try is at Hoa Dong Restaurant on Con Hen (Hen Dune) though the address is difficult to find.
Recommendation: Quan Nho (28 Pham Hong Thai Street, Vinh Ninh Ward)
Price: VND 10,000 - VND 30,000
Bun Bo is a staple Vietnamese meal
If you don’t eat Bun Bo then you’re not in Hue! It is the most famous creation of the city with an aromatic broth that’s easily one of the best blends of herbs and spices ever. The toppings are to-die-for as well: pork and beef slices, trotters, and bean sprouts.
Recommendation: Bun Bo Hue Ba Tuyet (47 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Phu Hoi Ward)
Price: VND 20,000 - VND 40,000
The soup gets the vibrant red color from crab roe
If you love Vietnamese Tapioca Noodle Soup, then prepare to try its slurpier friend: Banh Canh Nam Pho. The broth here is thicker, vibrant red, and it is usually served in small bowls so don’t hesitate to order 2 or 3 servings.
Recommendation: Thuy (16 Pham Hong Thai Street, Vinh Ninh Ward)
Price: VND 5,000 - VND 15,000
There are over 30 types of Che in Hue
Lastly, to dilute all the goodness you’ve had, taste Che - a type of Vietnamese dessert. There are many good flavors like Banana Sweet Soup and Lotus Seed Sweet Soup. Though for adventurous eaters, don’t miss the “avant-garde” signature of Hue - Roasted Pork Sweet Soup!
Recommendation: Che Mo Ton Dich (in front of Thuong Bac Park - 02 Tran Hung Dao Street, Phu Hoa Ward)
Price: VND 8,000 - VND 20,000
Apart from royal tombs and the UNESCO World Heritage - Imperial City, Hue is a great destination for any foodies worldwide. We’re sure with this list, you’ll be able to discover all the dynamic mixes of herbs and spices of the city.
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© Written by Ngan Mai for itourvn.com