Saturday , July 13 2024

Michelin recommends not missing these five Vietnamese dishes

Michelin Guide recommends tourists try five common Vietnamese dishes, from rice rolls to noodle bowls, at select locations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The Michelin Guide, well-known for its culinary evaluations, says that the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine will surprise both new and familiar faces.

In June, Michelin Guide honored 106 Vietnamese restaurants across four categories: some were awarded Michelin Stars, others were named as Michelin Selected eateries, some were put on the Bib Gourmand list, and others got Michelin Guide Special Awards.

In the beginning of December, Michelin inspectors created a list of five dishes from numerous restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City that travelers should not overlook when visiting Vietnam.

Banh cuon (steamed rice rolls)

Banh cuon is commonly served as a street food item. These steamed rice rolls are prepared upon request, and come in two main varieties: one filled with minced pork and wood ear mushroom, and another version featuring a soft poached egg.

Một suất bánh cuốn nhân thịt bằm, mộc nhĩ và nước chấm chả. Ảnh: Quỳnh Mai

Hanoi-style rice rolls are commonly accompanied by a bowl of fish sauce, containing pork rolls. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Mai

Additions can include extra pork rolls, Chinese sausage, and a selection of condiments such as fresh herbs, chili, lime, fried shallots, or garlic slices to season the fish sauce dip. The dish is known for its thin and translucent rice sheets.

Suggested location: Banh Cuon Ba Xuan at 16 Doc Hoe Nhai Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.

Hu tieu (Pork and seafood noodle soup)

Hu tieu is a noodle soup, a fusion of Teochew and Khmer cuisine. It was introduced to the southern region by Vietnamese repatriates from Cambodia in the 1970s.

In Saigon, hu tieu comes in various styles, such as My Tho, Nam Vang, or dry one.

The Nam Vang variation features a colorful array of ingredients, including sliced pork and shrimp. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

The Nam Vang variation features a colorful array of ingredients, including sliced pork and shrimp. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

Originating from My Tho in the Mekong Delta, hu tieu My Tho features rice noodles with toppings such as garlic, pork, eggs, and shrimp. The broth, simmered for hours, includes beef, pork, and chicken bones, grilled onions, pineapple, seafood, ginger, and spices.

Hu tieu Nam Vang is a Vietnamese adaptation of Cambodian-Chinese roots, named after Cambodian’s capital Phnom Penh (Nam Vang). It offers a clear broth made from pork bones, pork, dried squid, and shrimp. Noodles can be rice or egg noodles, with toppings like pork, quail eggs, and shrimp.

Hu tieu kho is a dry noodle dish, featuring rice noodles with white radish, shrimp, ground pork, quail eggs, garlic, soy sauce, and scallions. The broth, served separately, includes shrimp, white radish, sliced pork tenderloin, and pig bones. It is often topped with peanuts, chili sauce, and vegetables like herbs and cabbage.

Suggested location: Hu Tieu Hong Phat at 391 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3, HCMC.

Bun cha (Vermicelli noodle with grilled pork)

Bun cha is a pork and noodle dish intricately linked to Hanoi, and is believed to have originated in the city. This noodle dish includes grilled pork served in a fish sauce broth, rice noodles, and a medley of greens like perilla leaves, lettuce, and coriander.

A bowl of bun cha includes grilled meat dipped in fish sauce broth, along with pickles. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

A bowl of bun cha includes grilled meat dipped in fish sauce broth, along with pickles. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Thuy

The dish gained international recognition in 2016 when featured on the show “Parts Unknown”, with host Anthony Bourdain and former President Barack Obama savoring the dish.

In Hanoi’s Old Quarter, you’ll find popular bun cha spots. They often offer side dishes like fried spring rolls. The meat is marinated before grilling over charcoal and is later immersed in a sweet and sour fish sauce, enhanced by a variety of herbs.

Suggested locations:

– Bun Cha Ta: 21 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

– Bun Cha Dac Kim: 1 Hang Manh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

– Bun Cha Tuyet 34: 34 Hang Than Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.

Xoi (sticky rice)

Sticky rice in Vietnam comes in various versions and is widely available, from roadside vendors to different restaurants. It’s made with steamed sticky rice, either in a savory or sweet style, typically served in banana leaves.

Một suất xôi đầy đủ ở quán Xôi Bát, quán xôi duy nhất được Michelin đề xuất. Ảnh: Vân Khanh

A portion of sticky rice comes with kimchi and carrot soup at Xoi Bat. Photo by VnExpress/Van Khanh

This dish is commonly eaten as a quick breakfast, snack, or dessert. Ingredients for savory sticky rice often include pork rolls, Chinese sausage, shredded chicken, dried shrimps, and chicken or pork floss. Savory sticky rice is seasoned with garlic, soy sauce or scallion oil, and a sprinkle of chili flakes.

On the sweet side, the sticky rice can feature a variety of ingredients, including fruits like mango, gac – sweet gourd, durian, coconut, or even mung beans.

Suggested locations: Xoi Bat at 8 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Binh Thanh District, HCMC.


According to Michelin, departing Vietnam without savoring several bowls of pho is “inconceivable.” Both beef and chicken pho are local favorites that are recognized globally. Diners can add herbs and spices like lime, garlic vinegar, or chili sauce to customize their pho experience.

A bowl of beef pho sold at a store in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Mai

A bowl of beef pho sold at a store in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Mai

Traditionally made with bone broth simmering for at least three hours, the dish includes rice noodles with chicken or beef slices. Vietnam has two main types of pho – the northern version known for its clear broth and delicate flavor, and the southern version enriched with spices, bean sprouts, various toppings, fish, and hoisin sauce.

Suggested locations:

– Beef pho Au Trieu: 34 Au Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

– Chicken pho Nguyet: 5b Phu Doan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

– Pho Minh: 63/6 Pasteur Street, District 1, HCMC.

– Pho Hoa Pasteur: 260C Pasteur Street, District 3, HCMC.

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