Aside from the picturesque surroundings of the old town, Hoi An ancient town in Quang Nam province also draws tourists with its mouthwatering street food. You may explore and enjoy Hoi An food right now with our list of the best dishes and the best spots to eat them.
This article will take you on a culinary journey through the top 11 delicious Hoi An street food items. Each dish offers a unique experience, ranging from well-known specialties to hidden gems. You’ll also experience the unique blend of flavors and ingredients that make Hoi An’s food unique in the wide world of Vietnamese food at large.
So, get ready to immerse yourself in the mouthwatering world of Hoi An street food and discover why this ancient town is a true culinary gem!
Love street foods in Vietnam? Discover the top 10 must-try street food experiences!
Why Is Hoi An A Must-Visit Spot For Gourmets?
The World’s Top Culinary Spot
The world heritage site, Hoi An ancient town, was listed among the 25 most beautiful cities in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2023!
It is also one of the world’s top culinary destinations, blending Vietnamese, Chinese, and French cuisines. The cuisine is characterized by its emphasis on using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, a delicate balance of flavors, and the use of herbs and spices that give each signature dish an unforgettable taste.
Looking for an immersive experience? Join the charming Hoi An Lantern Festival, which takes place every lunar month!
Many Iconic Dishes To Satisfy Your Taste Buds
Hoi An offers an incredible range of dishes that will tantalize your taste buds, from street food in Hoi An’s central market or along its charming avenues to high-end dining in its indoor establishments. So whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a luxurious feast, Hoi An’s food scene has something for everyone. It’s no wonder that food lovers from all over the globe flock to Hoi An to experience its exceptional cuisine.
Learn to cook authentic Vietnamese cuisine in our Hoi An cooking class.
Top 11 Must-Try Hoi An Food Experiences
When it comes to unique Vietnamese food, Hoi An is a paradise. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, the town is filled with culinary delights that will leave you wanting more.
Here are the top 11 must-try foods in Hoi An that will take your taste buds on a journey.
1. Cao Lau – Iconic Hoi An Food!
Cao Lau is a Vietnamese noodle dish famous in Vietnam's central area, notably in the city of Hoi An. Learn more!
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Cao Lau is perhaps the most iconic Hoi An food. It is a rice noodle dish that comes topped with cha siu pork, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, rice crackers, crispy fried shallots, and deep-fried squares of roasted pork and skin. The noodles are doused in a bit of broth carrying a sweet, salty, and smoky flavor.
To make the most authentic Cao Lau, water from the Ba Le Well, an old Cham well, must be used. The alkaline water from the well is then mixed with wood ash from Cham Island trees to make a lye solution that’s used to pre-soak the noodles.
The etymology of the name Cao Lau intrigues foodies as well. Cao Lau, which translates to “high story” in Vietnamese, was a cuisine only available to the elite who would dine in restaurants on upper stories of tall restaurants during the 17th century. While modern society has eliminated that particular class hierarchy, people continue to use the name as a symbol of Hoi An street cuisine.
The unusual yellow tint and chewier texture of Cao Lau noodles are due to its unique lye solution. The noodles are smoked in an ash-burning furnace after soaking to give Cao Lau its distinctive smoky flavor. Unfortunately, some Cao Lau vendors (especially those outside Hoi An) skip the soaking step and just add turmeric to the noodles to give them a yellow color. The flavor is just not the same, though, so you should make sure the Cao Lau you’re getting is authentic before you sit down!
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- Price range: 25.000 ~ 44.000 VND (1 ~ 2 USD) / a bowl
- Famous eatery: Ba Be Cao Lau – Central Market, 19 Tran Phu Street, Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An
2. Banh Mi – Popular Hoi An Street Food
Banh Mi /ˌbɑːn ˈmiː/
Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that has acquired popularity both in Vietnam and beyond. Learn more!
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Banh Mi is present throughout Vietnam’s street food scene, but the Hoi An version of Banh Mi is distinct. In Hoi An, the traditional Banh Mi is characterized by an abundance of vegetables, including lettuce, cucumbers, other pickled vegetables, carrots, and coriander. The Banh Mi offers an ideal balance of spiciness, saltiness, sweetness, and crispiness in every bite.
Thanks to its delicious flavor, affordability, and convenience, this Vietnamese food has gained popularity and become a favorite Hoi An street food. For the best Banh Mi in Hoi An, visit Banh Mi Phuong or Banh Mi Queen. Food critics and travel writers, including celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, have praised these small stalls. The ingredients in their Banh Mi are fresh and top-notch, and the dish is bursting with flavor.
Related Article: Banh Mi Types: A Complete Guide to the Vietnamese Sandwich
- Price range: 15.000 ~ 40.000 VND (1 ~ 2 USD) / a Vietnamese baguette sandwich.
- Famous eatery: Banh Mi Phuong – 2B Phan Chau Trinh Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An.
3. Mi Quang – Renowned Quang Noodles
Mi Quang – Quang Noodle
Mi Quang, also known as Quang noodle, is a famous Vietnamese cuisine from the country's central area, notably Quang Nam province. Learn more!
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Mi Quang is typically made with yellow noodles seasoned with turmeric and boiled in water. The noodles are then drained and topped with various ingredients, including sliced pork or chicken, shrimp, quail eggs, crushed peanuts, herbs, and vegetables.
To make the broth for this Vietnamese food, pork or chicken bones are used, along with herbs and spices like lemongrass and garlic. When you eat Mi Quang, you can add as much or as little broth to the noodles as you desire since it is served on the side.
The use of crispy rice cakes served alongside the dish is one of the distinctive features of Mi Quang noodles. Thin circles of rice paper are fried in oil until crisp and golden to create these crackers. They add a pleasing crunch to the dish and are ideal for dipping in the soup.
Mi Quang is a popular meal sold by Hoi An street food vendors and local restaurants all over the city and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Experience the charm of rural life in just one day with our Hoi An Basket Boats and Buffalo Tour!
- Price range: 30.000 ~ 45.000 VND (2 ~ 3 USD) / a bowl
- Famous eatery: Di Hat – 81 Phan Chau Trinh Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An
4. Chicken Rice – Com Ga Hoi An
Com Ga Hoi An – Chicken Rice
Com Ga Hoi An, or Chicken Rice, is a popular Vietnamese cuisine that originated in the central coastal city of Hoi An. Learn more!
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Com Ga Hoi An, also known as Hoi An Chicken Rice, is a local delicacy that you must try when visiting Hoi An’s old town. It is one of the top Hoi An foods to sample. The dish consists of yellow rice cooked with poached chicken broth, white shredded chicken, and green vegetables.
The seasoned pilaf rice is prepared using a unique recipe that results in soft, fragrant, and slightly oily grains. The flavorful shredded chicken is mixed with Vietnamese spices, such as coriander, onions, pepper, chili, laksa leaves, and lime juice, to give it a distinctive taste. The result is something like the famous Hainanese chicken rice enjoyed throughout Asia, but with a Central Vietnamese twist.
You can customize the dish to your preference by adding soy sauce, chili, or shredded green papaya. Additionally, a bowl of chicken broth soup is served with the chicken rice.
Related Article: 10 Vietnamese Dishes You Might Not Know Existed
- Price range: 35,000 ~ 50,000 VND (2 ~ 3 USD) / a plate
- Famous eatery: Com Ga Ba Buoi, 22 Phan Chu Trinh, Phuong Minh An, Hoi An
5. Banh Xeo – Vietnamese Pancake
Banh Xeo – Vietnamese Rice Pancake
Banh Xeo or Vietnamese Rice Pancake is a traditional Vietnamese dish. It is distinguished by its crunchy texture and unique tastes. Learn more!
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Besides Hoi An chicken rice, Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancake) is a sophisticated delicacy found all around Vietnam. However, the one from Hoi An has a unique flavor.
A savory, crunchy crepe made from deep-fried rice flour and coconut milk with turmeric spice powder is the first step in cooking. After that, the pancake is topped with pork, shrimp, sliced onions, bean sprouts, garlic chives, and mushrooms.
Vietnamese pancakes should be wrapped in a sheet of rice paper along with some lettuce leaves and herbs before being dipped into fermented fish sauce or peanut sauce.
Compared to other varieties, Banh Xeo in Hoi An is smaller and easier to wrap up. The pancake can be found in Hoi An at roadside food stands, neighborhood markets, and street eateries.
- Price range: 30.000 ~ 40.000 VND (2 ~ 3 USD) / a plate
- Famous eatery: Banh Xeo Song Hoai – 59/32, 18/8 Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An
6. Banh Bao Banh Vac – White Rose Dumplings
Banh Bao Banh Vac – White Rose Dumplings
These exquisitely constructed dumplings are a highlight of central Vietnam's old city of Hoi An. Learn more!
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Banh Bao Banh Vac, or White Rose Dumplings is another excellent Hoi An food that should be on every tourist’s must-try list. This nickname comes from the dumplings’ resemblance to white roses.
The steamed dumplings have chewy rice wrappers and succulent fillings of spiced minced shrimp or minced pork, and mushrooms. Chefs will present them tastefully on a platter with green onions and crispy shallots, and then serve them with fish sauce, chili, and sugar. You can also try incredible fried wontons at the White Rose Restaurant which are incredibly crispy and l=delicious topped with a tomato style relish.
Experience the authentic daily life of the Vietnamese people with our Hoi An Eco Green Tour!
- Price range: 40.000 ~ 70.000 VND (2 ~ 4 USD) / a plate
- Famous eatery: Bong Hong Trang Restaurant (White Rose Restaurant) – 533 Hai Ba Trung Street, Cam Pho Ward, Hoi An
7. Banh Beo – Flavorful Street Food In Hoi An
Banh Beo is a famous traditional Vietnamese cuisine in Vietnam and across the world. Learn more!
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A small steamed rice cake called Banh Beo (Water Fern Cake) is covered in an orange sauce made of minced pork, dried shrimp, scallions, oil, and rice vinegar. Fish sauce and salty, fried shallots complete the flavorful cake. Sellers frequently provide customers with flat teaspoons and a round tray of five miniature Banh Beo cups so they can easily scoop up the cake.
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- Price range: 2.000 ~ 5.000 VND (~ 0.25 USD) / a cup
- Famous eatery: Ba Bay (Aunt Bay’s Banh Beo) – 2 Hoang Van Thu Street, Hoi An
8. Thit Xien Nuong – Savory Hoi An Street Food
Thit Xien Nuong
Thit Xien Nuong, popularly known as Vietnamese grilled pork skewers, is a famous street snack in Vietnam that has achieved international acclaim. Learn more!
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Grilled Meat Skewers in Rice Paper is a delicious dish that originates from Hue. In Hoi An, it is a widespread street food that is popular among tourists.
This Vietnamese cuisine typically consists of skewered pork served on a plate with rice paper, raw vegetables or fresh vegetables, and dipping sauce. The meat can be marinated in various sauce styles, depending on the establishment.
However, the most common ingredients used for marinating the meat are salt, pepper, five spice, rice wine, coconut milk, green onion, garlic, chili, and lemongrass. In addition, Hoi An locals often use soy sauce with peanuts to create a thick and spicy sauce. Many street vendors also add roasted peanuts and sesame seeds to enhance the flavor of the sweet soup.
- Price range: 5,000 ~ 6,000 VND (~ 0.25 USD) per stick.
- Famous eatery: Street stalls in the area on Hoai River bank, Hoi An
9. Mot Herbal Tea – Signature Drink In Hoi An
Nuoc Mot – Mot Herbal Tea
Nuoc Mot, the all-time favorite drink of the people, is the perfect beverage to combat the heat of summer in Hoi An. Learn more!
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The relaxed and healthy Mot iced herbal tea is perfect for Hoi An’s hot and humid days. It is one of the top 11 food experiences in Hoi An that you should try.
Chrysanthemum, lotus seed, and dried longans are among the herbs and flowers used to make the tea, which is steeped for several hours in boiling water to extract the flavors and health benefits of each ingredient.
Moreover, the iced herbal tea is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that promote overall health and well-being, in addition to its refreshing taste. Furthermore, the herbs and flowers included in the tea offer several benefits, such as improving circulation, reducing inflammation, and relieving stress and anxiety.
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- Price range: 10,000 – 50,000 VND (~ 0.5 – 3 USD) per cup
- Famous eatery: Mot Restaurant, 150 Tran Phu Street, Minh An, Hoi An
10. Hoanh Thanh Chien – Fried Wonton
Hoanh Thanh Chien – Fried Wonton
Hoanh Thanh Chien is a wonderful Vietnamese cuisine known for its unique combination of tastes and textures. Learn more!
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Wonton is a popular street food in Hoi An that combines culinary traditions from China and Vietnam. In Vietnamese, it is known as Hoanh Thanh. Typically, street vendors in Hoi An serve fried wonton. The thin layer of flour dough used to make these crispy and flavorful dumplings is filled with fresh shrimp, = pork, and other spices and herbs before being deep-fried until golden and crispy.
Wontons are commonly offered as a snack or entrée at Hoi An street food vendors and local restaurants. What stands out most is the richness of the dumplings, which is balanced by dipping them in a mixture of chili sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar.
- Price range: 40.000 ~ 110.000 VND (2 ~ 5 USD) / plate
- Famous eatery: Van Loc Restaurant – 27 Tran Phu Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An
11. Bun Thit Nuong – Rice Noodles with Grilled Pork
Bun Thit Nuong
Experience Bun Thit Nuong: tender rice noodles, succulent grilled pork, crisp veggies, fragrant herbs, and tangy nuoc cham - a flavorful journey awaits!
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Bun Thit Nuong is another example of a Vietnamese street food favorite that Hoi An makes a bit differently. Just like in the usual recipe, the base for the dish is a bed of pure white vermicelli rice noodles. Fried pork, crushed peanuts, fresh vegetables, and a few pickled vegetables are added. The dish is then served with a bowl of sauce to pour over the cold rice noodles. The major differences that make the Hoi An version of bun thit nuong unique are:
- The grilled pork is more heavily marinated with local spices, often giving it a smoky flavor.
- The vegetables include more strong-tasting Central Vietnamese herbs like mint.
- The sauce included with the bun thit nuong is usually either a sweeter variation of the usual seasoned fish sauce or a salty peanut-tomato sauce.
- Price range: 35.000 ~ 60.000 VND (1.5 ~ 2.5 USD) / a bowl
- Famous eatery: Bun Thit Nuong Dao — 77 Nguyen Duy Hieu, Hoi An
Ready To Taste The Best Hoi An Food Experiences?
Hoi An is a food lover’s paradise with a rich culinary heritage that has been preserved for centuries. The top 10 street foods in Hoi An offer a diverse range of flavors and textures, each with a unique story to tell. Every recipe represents the region’s cultural blend of ingredients and cooking techniques, from the savory and meaty Cao Lau to the fresh greens and refreshing Iced Herbal Tea.
A Hoi An street food tour is not just about the taste; it is a journey of discovery that offers insight into the local food culture and the people’s traditions, customs, and beliefs. Sampling the street food is an excellent way to connect with the locals, understand their way of life, and immerse oneself in the town’s rich heritage.
Explore and learn about traditional fishing techniques with Hoi An Cam Thanh Eco Village tour!
Excited To Explore Hoi An?
Hoi An is truly beautiful and charming destination that offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s rich history and culture. This historic town has well-preserved architecture, lantern-lit streets, and delectable food, all of which reflect its status as a significant commercial port in the 15th century. Explore the small alleyways, historic temples, and museums, or wander along the Thu Bon river, which is dotted with colorful fishing boats.
Whether it’s a cooking class, a trip through the countryside, or a basket boat experience, book our tailored Hoi An day trips to see the traditional side of Vietnam today!