Explore the world through your taste buds with food travel! Read on to explore some of the best culinary tourism destinations to embark on a journey of flavor and culture.
Food travel has become such a popular trend in recent years, with more and more people seeking out culinary experiences that are unique, authentic, and unforgettable. Vietnam, known for its rich culinary traditions and flavors, has been attracting food lovers from all four corners of the world. Read on to explore the TOP 10 destinations to try the best dishes during your Vietnam travel.
1. Overview of food travel: Definition and current trends
What is food travel? Food travel, also known as culinary tourism, is a popular form of travel that involves discovering and experiencing different cuisines and food cultures in various regions and countries. This type of travel not only allows tourists to indulge in delicious food but also gain insights into the local culture and way of life.
There are different trends within food travel, each offering unique experiences and a deeper understanding of the local cuisine. Some of the popular food travel trends include:
- Local food experiences: Immerse yourself in the culture of the destination by enjoying traditional local dishes. During Vietnam food tours, tourists can savor various iconic foods while traveling, such as spring rolls, noodles, and many more.
- Food-related activities: Travelers can participate in cooking classes and food tours with the local guides, who can share their knowledge on the origins, ingredients, and preparation methods of each dish.
- Street food travel: Take a food trip around various tourist spots and wander through street vendors, night markets, and food streets. Street food is now thriving in many countries worldwide. In Vietnam, it is particularly popular in places such as Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, and Phu Quoc.
2. Top 10 highly-rated food travel destinations in Vietnam
Vietnamese foods are renowned worldwide for their unique flavors, fresh ingredients, and diverse cooking techniques. Thus, Vietnam has become a famous destination for food travel in recent years, with each region offering its own specialties and culinary traditions. Let’s explore the top 10 places that you should not miss out on in Vietnam!
2.1. Hanoi food tour
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a food paradise that offers a wide range of local delicacies, so exploring the city’s food culture is a must for any foodie during their Hanoi travel.
One popular destination on a Hanoi food tour is the Old Quarter, which is famous for Hanoi street food vendors and traditional restaurants. You can also find a variety of dishes in Hanoi, such as pho, bun cha, turmeric fish cake, spring rolls, and sweet creamy egg coffee.
2.2. Hoi An food tour
Hoi An, located in Central Vietnam, is known for its rich cultural heritage and charming ancient town. It is also an ideal place for food travel holidays, with a diverse array of delicious dishes and snacks waiting to be discovered.
One of the best ways to start a food tour in Hoi An is by visiting the local markets. Hoi An Central Market and Hoi An Night Market are a few great places to begin. Visitors can try many local dishes such as banh mi Hoi An, Hoi An chicken rice, mi Quang, banh xeo, and cao lau.
2.3. Da Nang food travel
Da Nang is a beautiful coastal city known for its diverse and unique flavors influenced by the central region’s cuisine. Thus, Da Nang food tours offer a wide range of culinary experiences.
One of the most popular food travel destinations in Da Nang is Han Market, located in the heart of the city. Coming here, you can find many mouth-watering Da Nang foods such as mi Quang, banh xeo, and many more.
2.4. Nha Trang culinary tourism
Nha Trang, located in the south-central coast of Vietnam, is famous for its stunning beaches, beautiful islands, and exciting water activities. The city is also known for its unique cuisine that combines the flavors of the mountains and the sea.
Visiting Nha Trang, visitors can explore the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine, with local specialties that are hard to find elsewhere. Banh can, fish noodle soup, grilled seafood, and steamed rice cakes are some of the best foods in Nha Trang that will definitely satisfy your cravings.
2.5. Ho Chi Minh food tour
Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a bustling metropolis in Southern Vietnam with a vibrant food scene. The city’s diverse cultural influences are reflected in its cuisine, making it an ideal destination for food travel.
A must-try dish of Saigon cuisine is Vietnamese broken rice, which is made with broken rice grains served with grilled pork, shredded pork skin, and a fried egg. It is a simple yet flavorful dish that is loved by not only locals but also visitors. There are also a variety of Saigon noodles to choose from, such as hu tieu, bun thit nuong, etc.
Especially, your Vietnam food tour will not be complete without trying a banh mi, another popular and delicious food in Ho Chi Minh City. You can easily find banh mi at almost every street corner in the city.
2.6. Phu Quoc food tour
Phu Quoc, a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Thailand, is known for its pristine beaches, clear waters, and lush forests. In addition, Phu Quoc is also famous for its diverse and unique cuisine.
One of the must-try Phu Quoc foods is the famous Ken noodles. This dish is made with fresh noodles, broth, and pork, and is topped with a variety of fresh herbs, roasted peanuts, and fried shallots.
There is also a wide range of fresh seafood available in the local markets. Some of the popular seafood dishes include grilled sea snails, grilled scallops, and steamed crabs.
Taste all of the most delectable dishes in Phu Quoc Island (Source: Collected)
2.7. Ha Long food travel
Ha Long Bay is one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam, and its cuisine is no less impressive than its stunning scenery. It is an excellent location for Vietnam food travel, offering a variety of delicious dishes that reflect the region’s culture.
Seafood is the highlight of Ha Long cuisine, with a wide variety of fresh seafood caught from the nearby sea. Some must-try dishes include Ha Long squid sausage, grilled squid, fried clams with herbs, and steamed crabs with beer.
Besides seafood, visitors can also try local dishes such as banh cuon Ha Long (steamed rice rolls), or banh tom Ha Long (deep-fried shrimp cake). These dishes are made from local ingredients such as rice flour, shrimp, squid, and herbs.
Visiting the local markets, fishing villages, and seafood farms are also a must. There, tourists can learn about the ingredients used in the local cuisine and watch how the dishes are prepared.
2.8. Hai Phong food tour
Hai Phong, located in the northern part of Vietnam, is known for its seafood and traditional dishes. A Hai Phong food tour will take you on a gastronomic adventure, where you can sample some of the best local delicacies.
Seafood is a must-try when in Hai Phong, and you can find an array of fresh seafood dishes in the city’s many seafood markets and restaurants. The most famous seafood dishes include steamed crab, grilled squid, and fried fish.
Another Hai Phong specialty is banh da cua (crab noodle soup) and bun ca cay (spicy fish noodle soup). You can also visit the local markets and street food stalls to try a wide range of snacks such as nem chua, banh mi, or banh cuon.
2.9. Hue culinary tourism
Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, is a must-visit destination for food lovers. The city is renowned for its royal cuisine, which features unique and intricate dishes that were once served to the emperors and their guests.
Visitors can try a variety of local Hue foods such as banh khoai (Hue crispy rice pancake), banh bot loc (shrimp and pork dumplings), or bun bo hue (Hue beef noodle soup), etc.
For vegetarians, there are plenty of food options in Hue, such as banh beo chay (steamed rice cakes with vegetarian fillings), or bun thit nuong chay (grilled pork noodles).
2.10. Northwest food travel
Northwest Vietnam is a region with a unique culinary culture that attracts foodies from all over the world. If you are planning a food travel adventure in Vietnam, be sure to add Northwest Vietnam to your itinerary.
One of the most popular destinations in this region is Sapa, a picturesque mountain town known for its rice terraces and stunning landscapes. Coming here, you can try many traditional dishes such as thang co (a soup made from horse meat and organs), grilled fish in bamboo, smoked buffalo meat, bamboo-tube rice, or five-colored sticky rice.
For a more immersive culinary experience, travelers can visit the region’s local markets, such as Bac Ha Market and Can Cau Market, where they can find a wide variety of fresh produce and traditional snacks.
Other top destinations for food travel in Northwest Vietnam are Mu Cang Chai, Moc Chau, or Ha Giang. These areas offer stunning natural scenery and a rich cultural experience, along with mouth-watering food.