Snapshots from Vietnam: 14 Great Central Vietnamese Dishes

Banh Ep and Banh Trang Trung

Pancake-like Hue street snacks hugely popular, for whatever reason, with the city’s teenage population. Ep (left) are doughy and porky, while trang trung (right) is crisp and eggy. Trang trung toppings vary, but in this case, included a hotdog-esque Vietnamese sausage, sweet chili sauce, and mayo, which may explain its appeal to the young’uns.

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.

More Snapshots from Vietnam!

A Basic Introduction to Vietnamese Food
20 Vietnamese Dishes You Should Know
A Guide To Hanoi's Best Street Food