Vietnam has 63 provinces in total, and each area bears a distinctive culture and history. We believe that the best way to learn about an area’s lifestyle is to explore its signature cuisines, as not only is it incredibly appetizing, but you can learn about the background stories over the years that are condensed into one flavorful dish. Here is the full list of Vietnam’s best foods by province from north to south.
Northwest Vietnam is adjacent to China’s borders and is an area with a high density of ethnic minority groups. As a result, the food culture has certain influences from Chinese food and the ethnic people’s culinary creations.
Au Tau is supposed to be a poisonous root in nature, but thanks to the skillful cooks, Au Tau becomes a yummy and nutritious porridge
Other honorary dishes in Ha Giang: stir-fried veggies with Ha Giang’ signature rice cakes, banh cuon nuoc xuong (steamed rice batter with bone broth), bayberry wine
Banh Cuon in Cao Bang is usually enjoyed with a bowled of broth with a poached egg in it, as well as some pickled bamboo shoots as a side dish
Other honorary dishes in Cao Bang: pho with roasted pork/duck, smoked sausages, khau nhuc (Cao Bang’s take on Chinese braised pork)
Other honorary dishes in Bac Kan: Na-Ri people’s glass noodles, Cooc-mo’s sticky rice cakes
Other honorary dishes in Lang Son: Sour Pho, Mau Son Wine, Peach Wine
A bottle of Mau Son Wine is excellent as a souvenir
Thai Nguyen - Green Tea
Other honorary dishes in Thai Nguyen: stir-fried snails, banh chung (square sticky rice cakes)
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Other honorary dishes in Bac Giang: Van Village’s rice wine, Yen The’s chicken
Other honorary dishes in Tuyen Quang: persimmons, sticky rice wrapped in wild banana leaves
Other honorary dishes in Phu Tho: sour pork, braised fish with salted vegetables
Cha Muc is widely popular in the north
Other honorary dishes in Quang Ninh: Quang Ninh’s mixed salad, Yen Tu’s baby bamboo shoots, seafood
Similar to the Northwest region, Northeast Vietnam’s cuisines also have significant traits of the ethnic groups’ cultures. In addition to that, the ingredients are indigenous to the mountainous region and can be easily found in the forests.
Other honorary dishes in Lao Cai: herbs and spices from the forests, Sa Pa’s salmon, San Lung’s rice wine
Other honorary dishes in Yen Bai: dried buffalo meat, black chicken
Smoked ox meat is great to pair with some rice wine
Plums are grown widely in verdant terraced fields in Moc Chau (Son La)
Other honorary dishes in Son La: rice with boiled chicken, grilled chicken, buffalo skin salad
Other honorary dishes in Dien Bien: soup with buffalo skin, bitter bamboo shoots, deep-fried rice doughnuts
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Mountain’s snails are much crunchier and can only be found in stone caves
Other honorary dishes in Hoa Binh: grilled fish, Da’s river fish, chicken with sour bamboo shoots
Vietnam's Best Cuisines by Province: the Red River Delta
As the biggest delta in Vietnam, the Red River Delta is a prosperous land so you can spot a variety of main ingredients of the area’s signature dishes. Since the land has been established for thousands of years, the history of the food is also interesting to take in.
Other honorary dishes in Vinh Phuc: Yen Lac’s grilled meat, Lap Thach’s fish paste
You can find pho virtually everywhere, but Hanoi is famed for being the birthplace of this Vietnamese soul food
Other honorary dishes in Hanoi: egg coffee, baby glutinous rice, bun dau mam tom
Other honorary dishes in Bac Ninh: pho with pork liver
Other honorary dishes in Hai Duong: sandworm hotpot, fried fish noodle soup
Other honorary dishes in Hai Phong: water fern cakes, spicy fish noodle soup, baguette sticks dipped in whipped egg cream
Other honorary dishes in Hung Yen: longans sweet soup, eel noodle soup, Dong Tao’s chicken
Other honorary dishes in Ha Nam: Phu Ly’s steamed rice rolls, Vu Dai Village’s braised fish
Other honorary dishes in Nam Dinh: baguette with pate spread, Nghia Hung’s candy, sticky rice
Grilled goat in Ninh Binh
Other honorary dishes in Ninh Binh: scallion rolls, Kim Son’s salad
The North Central Coast is the area that usually has to face frequent storms and floods, and nature here is not as prosperous as in the major flatlands of the country. As a result, the food here is typically more simple, yet that taste is no less delectable.
Other honorary dishes in Thanh Hoa: fish salad, deep-fried shrimp paste, steamed rice rolls
Other honorary dishes in Ha Tinh: Cu Do’s candy, deep-fried rice doughs coated in sugar
Other honorary dishes in Nghe An: eel porridge, eel glass noodle soup
Other honorary dishes in Quang Binh: rice noodle soup, braised fish with turmeric
Other honorary dishes in Quang Tri: tapioca noodle soup with seaweed, fish soup with green bananas
Other honorary dishes in Hue: traditional sticky rice cakes, Bun Bo Hue (beef noodle soup), sweet soup with roasted pork
Com Hen in Hue is accompanied by a soup bowl of baby clams broth
Food in the coastal region obviously carries the taste of the sea. Fresh seafood is abundant here and the locals have always been so creative with the omnipresent ingredients.
Mi Quang has little soup at the bottom with multiple toppings and thick noodles
Other honorary dishes in Da Nang: vermicelli with fermented shrimp paste, Nam O’s fish salad, vermicelli soup with deep-fried fish cakes
Other honorary dishes in Quang Nam: smoked goat meat, Hoi An’s cao lau, Tam Ky’s chicken rice
Ram Bap and BBQ skews
Other honorary dishes in Quang Ngai: baby jackfruit salad, steamed water fern cakes
Banh Xeo in the Central is smaller compared to that in the South, and much crunchier
Other honorary dishes in Binh Dinh: banh hoi (ice vermicelli rolls) with pig’s offals, triangle sticky rice cakes
Other honorary dishes in Phu Yen: banh can (steamed mini pancakes), chives tapioca soup
Other honorary dishes in Khanh Hoa: banh mi stuffed with deep-fried fish paste, banh can (steamed mini pancakes)
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Ninh Thuan - Phan Rang’s Vietnamese Pancakes
Other honorary dishes in Ninh Thuan: sea snails, seafood, wild goat
Other honorary dishes in Binh Thuan: mi Quang with duck meat, duck vermicelli soup, roasted spring rolls
As highlands terrain with great coverage of forestry and cool climate, the Central Highlands is blessed with amazing conditions for temperate fruits and vegetables that normally are not grown widely in a tropical country like Vietnam.
Other honorary dishes in Kon Tum: chicken hotpot with wild vegetables, sticky rice with bamboo shoots
Other honorary dishes in Lam Dong: Vietnamese pizza, banh can (steamed mini pancakes), tea
See also: What to do in Da Lat
Gia Lai’s pho has the broth and the noodles served separately, and ultimately it is an amazingly unique version of the typical pho
Other honorary dishes in Gia Lai: roasted chicken over charcoal, crab “stinky” vermicelli soup
Southeast Vietnam has a strong influence of Chinese cuisines on the local cuisines due to the high population of Chinese residing in the area. Nonetheless, the local dishes here still acquire the unique taste of each province.
The bite-sized crispy pancakes
Other honorary dishes in Vung Tau: seafood, fish spring rolls, Chinese hollow doughnuts
Other honorary dishes in Tay Ninh: Trang Bang’s tapioca noodle soup (banh canh Trang Bang)
A serving of banh canh Trang Bang
Com Tam is perfect for any meal of the day
Other honorary dishes in Ho Chi Minh City: banh mi, mixed rice paper
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Apart from the Chinese trademarks, the impact of the Khmer’s culture on the Mekong Delta’s food is much more significant. Food in the Mekong Delta is generally sweeter and much more flavorful than in other provinces.
Other honorary dishes in Can Tho: stewed duck with fermented bean curd
Other honorary dishes in An Giang: sponge cake made with palm sugar, buffalo hotpot,
Other honorary dishes in Bac Lieu: banh tam bi (tapioca noodles and meatballs with fish sauce and coconut milk)
Ben Tre’s locals put coconut in almost every food of their daily lives
Other honorary dishes in Ben Tre: rice starch noodle soup, grilled bananas, rice paper wrapper
Ca Mau is famous for all kinds of crabs
Other honorary dishes in Dong Thap: roasted mice, Sa Dec’s rice noodle soup
Other honorary dishes in Kien Giang: bun quay (mixed vermicelli soup), fish vermicelli soup
Bun Quay earns its name as you can mix your own sauces for a personalized taste on the dish
Other honorary dishes in Tien Giang: My Tho’s rice noodle soup
It is a fact that each province boasts more than just one famous dish and only when you spend sufficient time to savor different dishes in each area can you truly acquire the characteristics of each place’s cuisine. However, should you have time to venture out to multiple provinces of Vietnam, this list can be a starting point to have a taste of what Vietnamese cuisine has to offer.
© Written by Kim Hoang for itourvn.com
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