Central Vietnam has its own spicy, strongly-flavored cuisine, distinct from the Chinese-influenced fare of the North and the light tropical flavors in the steamy South.
Hue, capital city of the ancient Nguyen empire, is famed for its imperial cuisine—a banquet-style procession of elaborate dishes—but it also boasts a colorful, snack-heavy street food culture. Hoi An, a historic trading port-turned Unesco World Heritage site, is influenced by a confluence of Vietnamese-Japanese-Chinese-Mediterranean cuisine, and is home to both a noodle soup of mythical proportions and what might be the best bahn mi in all of Vietnam (I said it).
Between the two cities, there are enough unique dishes to almost make you forget about the food other parts of Vietnam. (Almost.) Here's a look at 14 reasons I didn't want to leave this winter.
- Banh Ep (griddled pork pancakes)
- Banh Trang Trung (rice cracker pizzas)
- Banh Beo (glutinous rice cakes)
- Banh Khoai (sizzling egg pancakes)
- Bun Bo Hue (spicy noodle soup)
- Bun Thit Nuong (BBQ pork and noodle salad)
- Nem Lui Hue (lemongrass pork skewers)
- Com Hen and Bun Hen (clam rice and noodles)
- Vegetarian Delight
- Cao Lau (thick wheat noodle soup)
- White Rose Dumplings
- Fried Wontons
- Com Ga (chicken rice)
- Banh Mi