When you walk around the streets In Vietnam. You will always see people outside on the streets, sitting on little plastic chairs, Indulging In many different types of food. Sometimes there will be just a lady with just a big pot by her side. A customer walks by and Suddenly a plastic chair will be pulled out and she serves up something up to them, from her pot Street food is the main way locals eat In Vietnam and most the time it’s for all 3 meals of their day. If you wander around in the early part of the morning, there will already be a congregation of people on the street enjoying their first meal of the day.
Trying to order street food In Vietnam, without knowing what it is, or without speaking the language, can be quite Intimidating. So luckily the hostel I was staying at Mojzo Dorm, was offering a street food tour. I also really recommend this hostel, If you are looking for hostel type accommodation. The girls who run it, are so friendly and helpful there. The tour takes you around the best local street food vendors, In Nhatrang, with many different types of food on offer to try. Most hostels offer street food tours here, so just ask at your desk, to get Involved in one. Hungry and ready to go, me and a Dutch couple, followed the lead of our Vietnamese guide to head to the first street vendor.
Bánh bột lọc.
We approached to the first street vendor, where we could see a woman, in her traditional Vietnamese hat, busily pre preparing food for her customers. Our guide told us she was preparing, what is called Bánh bột lọc. It is a small, clear-looking, chewy tapioca dumpling, that can be eaten as appetizers or small snacks. They are usually filled with shrimp, ground pork and mushrooms. I was a bit dubious at first, from how they looked and the rubbery texture, but once I had taken a bite, my mind had been changed. They are usually served with fish sauce, but you can take it or leave, depending on your taste.
Next it was time to try some Vietnamese style pancakes, known as Bánh xèo. Now when most people think of pancakes, they associate it with, a sweet dish. These Vietnamese pancakes, are a savoury dish, made with rice flour. They are usually filled with either shrimp, pork or beef, with diced green onion, and bean sprouts. I really loved these pancakes, maybe even more than the western style. You have the nice crispy outside, combined with the delicious fillings. These are found In most parts of Vietnam, so you can check them out, even If you are not In NhaTrang
Bánh chuối and Bánh chuối khoai
After filling up on these delicious pancakes, we were treated to 2 different varieties of this next food. One Is a sweet style, made with banana. Which I think the Vietnamese term is Bánh chuối, translating as banana cake. The other, a savoury style, filled with sweet potato, called Bánh chuối khoai. These both were very delicious and I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. We were given a bag of each flavour to take away and there was so many we couldn’t finish them all in the end. These are great as a snack or the banana ones as a dessert.
This one called Bánh tiêu, which is a Hollow doughnut with sesame seeds. These are thin and crispy on the outside and hollow on the Inside. They don’t taste the same as western style doughnuts, but still tasted great. You could eat a lot of these things, as I found them pretty addictive.
These are like little mini egg type cakes and are filled with a variety of fillings. Mainly beef/chicken/prawn/squid/. We ended up trying all of them, apart from squid, which was not available. Also very delicious and great to have a variety of toppings to choose from.
Other foods we tried
These are the other two dishes we tried, I am unable to remember the name of these (If anyone knows, please comment and let me know) The first one is a starter/snack style dish. A crispy texture and a savoury taste. These were very addictive and you have to be careful not to eat to many, if they are a pre main meal food. The second dish, was a sweet dessert, which tasted amazing and wanted more of. It is a Tapioca based pudding, with coconut and almonds on top.
I really enjoyed the NhaTrang street food tour. Not only did I get to taste a lot of delicious Vietnamese food, but I learned a bit, about how they cooked and prepared it. It was really Interesting watching them put these dishes together. The tour cost 20,000VD each. I think most street food tours, arranged at hostels will roughly cost this. You do get to eat a fair bit of food though, so you do really get your money’s worth. Me and the Dutch couple were so full when we were done, that we couldn’t think about eating for days afterwards. So If you are a foodie, this tour is for you. I highly recommend doing one, it’s a great Insight into local food and you will get to try food, you may not normally get to try.