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The cuisine of Vietnam is, without a doubt, one of the tastiest in the world. Jam-packed with fresh herbs and spices, it encompasses a huge variety of dishes – from the light, balanced flavours and fresh seafood in the north to the spicy cuisine of the centre and the tropical fruits and sweet dishes of the south. But where should you begin getting to know such a varied and wonderful cuisine? Here are a few of our favourite foodie experiences to get you started…
1. Take a street food tour of Hanoi
Not sure where to begin when it comes to street food in Vietnam? Join forces with a local guide for a street-food tour of the city, giving you an in-depth introduction to the local delicacies, markets and eating habits – from delicious café sua da (iced coffee with condensed milk) and French-inspired pastries to pho (noodle soup), seasonal fruit and bun dau (fried tofu). Read more about our street food tours here.
2. Have a culinary adventure on the back of a Vespa
There is no more exhilarating way to discover the cuisine of Vietnam than riding pillion on the back of a vintage Vespa, stopping off at restaurants and drinking holes along the way to sample the local delights. Available in Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi, these tours live up to their slogan – ‘get ready for the ride of your life’! Read more about our Vespa tours here.
3. Get hands-on with a cookery class in Hoi An
With its brightly painted fishing boats, colourful lanterns, and saffron-coloured merchant houses, Hoi An is a perennial favourite among travellers – and deservedly so. But for many visitors, the highlight of a visit to Hoi An isn’t its historic town centre or famous lantern festival, but its world-class food and drink. To get in on the action, we recommend jumping in a basket boat and heading out of town to one of the area’s cooking schools, where you’ll try your hand at some local favourites surrounded by paddy fields and nature. Read more about our cookery classes here.
4. Tuck in to a home-cooked dinner in Hanoi
Eating out is one of the great joys of any holiday, but as delicious as restaurant food can be, it won’t give you a sense of what the average Vietnamese person eats day-to-day. Instead, why not get a true insight into the Hanoian way of life with dinner at a local family home? This is a fantastic chance to see how the locals live, and to ask any questions you have about life in Vietnam’s capital. Read more about dining with a local here.
5. Eat like royalty in the garden houses of Hue
Hue was the last royal capital of Vietnam, and as such it is the home of ‘imperial cuisine’ – the food that once fed the Nguyen emperors. Head to one of the city’s famous “garden houses” and you too can dine like a king – choose your ingredients at the market, join a local chef, and learn how to construct a proper royal meal (and eat it, of course). Read more about our Hue cookery classes here.
If you’re salivating at the thought of all this wonderful food, take a look at our mouth-watering Culinary Vietnam itinerary, which introduces the very best that Vietnamese cuisine has to offer. Alternatively, we can include any of the experiences above in a trip tailored to your specifications – so click here to get in touch.