When you think of Vietnamese cuisine, what’s the first dish that comes to mind? Is it pho, banh mi or iced coffee? These are all classic dishes, and you’ve already covered three out of the dishes on our list. However, there are still plenty more to explore.
Recently, CNBC has included pho, banh mi, and iced coffee in its list of must-try dishes and drinks in Southeast Asia, praising the fresh and vibrant flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.
Pho noodle soup is a popular Vietnamese dish made with savory broth, rice noodles, and thinly sliced beef or chicken. The most beloved version is pho bo, which features raw or cooked beef, brisket, and tendon. Although pho originated in Hanoi, it is considered a national dish and can be found all over the country, with each region adding its own unique touches. A bowl of pho bo costs between VND30,000 to VND50,000 ($1.32-$2.20) in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Banh mi is Vietnam’s take on the sandwich and is a beloved street food that has gained global popularity. It is a fusion of cold cuts and vegetables, such as coriander, cucumber, pickled carrots, and daikon, combined with French-inspired condiments like pate and mayonnaise. Vendors add a variety of fillings, including Vietnamese pork bologna, grilled pork, fried eggs, and meatballs, to enhance the flavor. A banh mi sandwich costs between VND15,000 to VND50,000, depending on the added toppings. However, the Anan Saigon Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City serves a $100 banh mi.
CNBC also recommends trying a cup of ca phe sua da, which is a refreshing pick-me-up on a hot afternoon. It is made by pouring strong coffee over ice and mixing it with condensed milk, usually served in a tall glass. A cup of ca phe sua da costs between VND10,000 to VND15,000 at street-side stalls and VND40,000 to VND60,000 at high-end cafes.
In addition to Vietnamese cuisine, CNBC also recommends trying Thai street foods like tom yum and pad Thai, as well as Indonesia’s nasi goreng and satay skewers, as must-try dishes in Southeast Asia.