Food & Cuisine in Vietnam
Vietnamese food is as strikingly different as the countries geography, and blends together the influences of its long history. Rice is the cornerstone of the diet, as it is almost everywhere in Asia. However, noodles come a close second. Fish, seafood and chicken are common throughout the country. Herbs, spices and vegetables play a major role in Vietnamese food.
Eat to your heart's content in Vietnam - with different cuisine found from north to south!
Just reading this Vietnam Cuisine & Food Guide will be sure to make you hungry. So, after an exciting Vietnam Shopping spree, there is nothing better than to relax in beautiful surroundings and taste a variety of dishes to your heart's content. To check out information about local food & cuisine, as well as suggestions from us on where to have a meal - check out our destination restaurant pages:'
Vietnam Food & Cuisine Guide
Most hotels in Vietnam usually have a restaurant. Small guesthouses or hotels in Vietnam may not. Each Vietnam hotel page shows if they have a restaurant.
Throughout Vietnam, dishes are usually all served at the same time - if there is enough room on the table! Chopsticks are used, sometimes together with a spoon or fork. Knives are generally for preparation only and not considered cutlery, although if your food keeps "escaping", you can ask for a knife and fork.
Meals in Vietnam are communal and convivial. Vietnamese diners select dishes by consensus. Food is shared from a common plate but eaten from individual bowls. Condiments are used to "season" dishes to the diner's taste.
Other than formal dinners, dining etiquette is generally more relaxed the further south you travel. It is polite to wait for the host to invite people to eat. The host will usually dish out the first portions, and younger people will also do this for their elders as a mark of respect. Other than that, there are few hard and fast rules. Just watch what others do.
The Chinese influence can easily be seen in a Vietnamese meal in the north. The use of soy sauce is more prevalent, beef is popular and hearty soups and stews help stave off the winter chill.
Central Vietnamese food is fit for a King! Well, an Emperor at least. The influence of the former Imperial court in Hue on local food is seen in the sometimes elaborate and complex dishes. The inventiveness of Court chefs is all the more remarkable when one understands central Vietnam is the agriculturally poorest region of the country.
Southern meals feature the widest range of ingredients and are usually accompanied by a light, clear broth to cleanse the palate. Pork and chicken are popular, and chillies are used extensively. Southern food can be very spicy!