Vietnam is renowned for its vibrant street food culture and delicious snacks enjoyed by locals daily. While not the healthiest options, junk food in vietnam plays a huge role in the cuisine and tasting some iconic favorites should be on every visitor’s foodie bucket list. From crispy snacks to sweet treats, here Quiztravel prepared some of the top junk food in vietnam you don’t want to miss out on while traveling the country.
The Best junk food in vietnam You Need to Try at Least Once
- Street Food Culture – Vietnam has a thriving street food culture where inexpensive snacks and meals are cooked and sold from mobile carts or small stalls. Many popular junk foods originate from this tradition.
- Regional Specialties – Different regions of Vietnam have their own specialized junk foods. For example, hoi an has bánh bèo, a savory pancake, while Phan Thiet is known for banh pon, a sesame-coated confection.
- International Influences – French baguettes and Chinese-style stuffed buns have been adapted into local banh mi sandwiches and bánh cuốn. Vietnam’s history of foreign rule influenced some snack developments.
- Children’s Foods – Common children’s junk food in vietnam include fried dough balls (bánh bò), tapioca pudding (chè bắp), and ice cream coated sticky rice (xôi kem).
This humble sandwich is arguably Vietnam’s most famous culinary export. Thinly sliced pork, pâté and pickled vegetables stuffed between airy bread make for the perfect handheld snack. Bánh mì stalls and shops sell these inexpensive delights all over Vietnam. Try them with chả lụa pork sausage for an indulgent spin on the classic junk food in vietnam.
Corn on the Cob
Junk food in vietnam grows some of the sweetest corn around. Vendors grill rows of ears to tender perfection then drizzle with a savory umami butter or soy sauce. Catch local office workers fueling up with these piping hot corn snacks, especially in cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Grab one roaming to munch on the go.
Xoi (Vietnamese Sticky Rice)
An all-time favorite junk food in vietnam is xoi, or sticky rice blended with various savory or sweet mixins. Toothsome varieties include xoi thập cẩm mixed with a rainbow of nuts, carrot, beans and crispy shallots or xoi gac chak with its litchi and green mango topping. Trays of these tantalizing rice treats are displayed roadside each morning.
Bánh Khoai (Fried Tapioca Chips)
Crispy on the outside yet soft and chewy inside, fried tapioca chips make for addictive snacking. These thin strips of tapioca flour are deep fried to a golden brown then dusted liberally with MSG. Many junk food in vietnam adults and children nibble on bánh khoai daily – you’ll want to give into your craving too!
Cháo Lươn (Eel Porridge)
A specialty junk food in vietnam of Hanoi is cháo lươn, or hearty porridge studded with prized morsels of freshwater eel. Rich and soothing, this comforting breakfast noodle soup is bliss in a bowl. Head to Old Quarter streets to slurp a cheap bowl from traditional food stalls. The eel flakes melt in your mouth.
Che (Vietnamese Fruit Rolls)
Busy markets are filled with che stands laden with plump jellies smartly rolled inside rice paper. Mango, banana, jackfruit and honeydew are commonly used, perfuming the air. Dipped in a blend of sugar and lime, these fruity delights satisfy a sweet tooth on the go – great for snacking during your explorations.
Phở Lá Lốt (Betel Leaf Wraps)
These Vietnam street food parcels are fashioned from betel leaves and crammed with protein, herbs and chili. Seafood or meat is lightly steamed then bundled up for on-the-spot noshing. Their crisp yet tender texture makes for an enjoyable light snack or starter. Look for phở lá lốt stalls around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Bánh Khọt (Coconut Cookies)
You can’t visit Vietnam without taking a package of bánh khọt coconut cookies home as a snack. Their dough is made from coconut milk and rice flour before baking to a light gold. Expect a delicate shortbread-like bite perfect with an iced coffee. Popular brands are Banh Lot and Tu Leaf.
Trà Xanh (Green Tea)
Quench both thirst and cravings with Vietnamese green tea, or trà xanh. Rich in antioxidants and lightly sweet, it cools the body during hot afternoons. Sticky rice vendors pair it with their dishes for the perfect complement. Brewed strong yet slightly bitter, this drink refreshes mind and soul as much as a junk food in vietnam snack satisfies.
Xôi Ngọt (Sweet Sticky Rice Dessert)
Finishing on a sweet note, xôi ngọt marries just-cooked sticky rice with add-ins like mung beans, coconut milk and sugar. Its luscious balance of creamy, nutty and soft textures is gooey satisfaction in every spoonful. Find xôi ngọt displayed for a refreshing treat at roadside shops or stalls.
This small sampling only begins to cover Vietnam’s amazing junk food scene. Be sure to sample these iconic treats during your trip for true cultural immersion through your taste buds. The unique flavors are worth every calorie!