hoi an food banh xeo

10 Delicious Hoi An Food Experiences To Satisfy Your Cravings

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 10 delicious Hoi An food experiences. 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.

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?

hoi an ancient town
Despite being a small harbor city, Hoi An has managed to retain much of its original charm and character. // Photo by bestpricetravel

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!

Hoi An lantern festival
Two small kids selling handmade lanterns to tourists in the streets of the old city. Tradition says that wishes come true if you let the lanterns swim // Photo by Jazzmany / Shutterstock

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 to high-end dining. 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!

food in hoi an
Hoi An has established itself as a gourmet destination, offering a variety of unique and delectable cuisine. // Photo by Hidden Hoi An

Top 10 Must-Try Hoi An Food Experiences

When it comes to food, Hoi An is a paradise for any foodie. 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 10 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 one of the must-eat dishes when visiting Hoi An. 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.

Significantly, it’s the noodles that have helped Cao Lau become a classic Hoi An cuisine, or more specifically, the water used to create them.

To make 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 levels during the 17th century. While modern society has eliminated the 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.

When in Hoi An, you should really try Cao Lau!

Explore this bustling town with our 2-hour Hoi An trip!

  • 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
cao lau
Cao Lau

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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Vietnamese-style baguette sandwiches, called Banh Mi, are filled with various meats, pate, veggies, and fresh herbs. There are different variations of Banh Mi depending on the ingredients, such as Banh Mi Thit (with meats), Banh Mi Chay (for vegans), Banh Mi Pate (with pate), Chicken Banh Mi and so on.

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 local favorite. 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 this small stall. The ingredients in the 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.
Banh Mi
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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3. Mi Quang – Renowned Quang Noodles

Mi Quang is a specialty dish of Hoi An City that anyone visiting the area must try. It is typically made with yellow rice 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 crackers 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 many street food vendors and local restaurants all over Hoi An 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
mi quang
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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4. Chicken Rice – Com Ga Hoi An

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.

You can customize the dish to your preference by adding soy sauce, chili, or sour 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
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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5. Banh Xeo – Vietnamese Pancake

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 critical component of Banh Xeo. 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 (Banh Xeo Co Anh) – 59/32, 18/8 Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An
banh xeo
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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6. Banh Bao Banh Vac – White Rose Dumplings

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.

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
banh bao banh vac
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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7. Banh Beo – Flavorful Street Food In Hoi An

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.

Staying at Hue? Try these top 17 delicious dishes and dine like a real Emperor!

  • 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
banh beo
Banh Beo

Banh Beo is a famous traditional Vietnamese cuisine in Vietnam and across the world. Learn more!

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8. Thit Xien Nuong – Savory Hoi An Street Food

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 grilled meat skewers 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
thit xien nuong
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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9. Mot Herbal Tea – Signature Drink In Hoi An

The relaxed and healthy Mot iced herbal tea is perfect for Hoi An’s hot and humid days. It is one of the top 10 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.

Related Article: 10 Delicious Vietnamese Desserts and Candy

  • 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
mot 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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10. Hoanh Thanh Chien – Fried Wonton 

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 various street food vendors and local restaurants in Hoi An. 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
hoanh thanh chien
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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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!

hoi an cam thanh eco tour
Hoi An Cam Thanh Eco Village provides the best insights into the social and cultural life of the local people in Hoi An’s rural communities.

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!

Kiet Le
Content Marketing Specialist - Vietnam Is Awesome

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