How to Eat Street Food in Vietnam like the Locals Out There
For the interesting cultural and culinary experiences, lots of foreign guests come to search for how to eat street food in Vietnam like the locals when getting there. Knowing the local eating customs bring the enjoyable dining time, with the new chopsticks, top delicious food, and friendly interactions. Following are 5 ways to get the authentic dining joy in Vietnam food trip.
#1: Go to the popular eateries that the locals advise
The words of mouth seem to be the great form of endorsement about the authentic places to eat in Vietnam destinations. Recommendations from a local are much likely to take you to the places that offer the real taste of Vietnamese food. But if you don’t have time to ask for the locals’ suggestions or do online research from the foodie forums, then the easiest way is to visit the busiest eateries on the streets. Just like you, the locals want to eat the best food in Vietnam, and they gather at the ideal addresses. In that sense, the Vietnamese people vote with their feet. And, the best places to eat are often packed with the patrons who get there over and over again.
It is not a surprise that the locals’ favorite places to eat are not the fancy restaurants, but the little and family-owned eateries. These familiar addresses appear to be cozy, with many plastic stools and tables, and the yummy food. Some enjoyable food carts are on the pavements, but full of the patrons who agree to wait for their turns to taste the delectable dishes. So, go where the locals go, you receive the authentic dining experiences which are different and exhilarating.
#2: Share the spaces amid the crowd of other foodies in Vietnam
When getting to the full-of-patron eatery to eat the best Vietnamese street food, then you need to agree to share the space. The street food scene is busy and flexible, which means you might sit on a small chair around a table that has been occupied by other foodies. It’s clear that you don’t know the others, but compromise is necessary so that everybody gets the opportunity to savor their favorite noodle soups or cakes or something like that. Also, appreciate the time by chatting with the locals; you might be surprised that some of them can speak English well.
In other cases, you have to wait a while for the waiters to clean up the table, arrange the space for one more person, or the space for another table. Eating amid the crowds of the locals delivers the authentic Vietnamese dining that you long for. Though you might not understand all of the Vietnamese words speaking around, it’s nice to enjoy the tones. Also, how do you feel when folding the limbs in half to perch on the little plastic stools? It becomes the unforgettably enjoyable story to tell.
#3: Season food to your own taste
The eating-places in Vietnam encourage the customers to season the food to their own taste and preference. That is why you see the jars of condiments or spices on the table. The containers of chili, fish sauce, fermented onions, shrimp paste, soy sauce, slices of lemon, herbs, bean sprouts, etc., are for you to take advantage of. So, if feeling that the taste is not right enough, try adding the condiments to spice your dish. This is one of the most popular things to do to eat like the locals in Vietnam. Sometimes, the chili, lemon, or fish sauce can bring the differences.
#4: Try using chopsticks
The Vietnamese of all regions have the traditions to use the chopsticks to eat, which is the distinctive trait of culture. It seems that the northern chopsticks are shorter than the southern ones. But, they all use this bamboo tool to eat, and it’s great to practice the how-to. In particular, when you eat bowls of noodle soups, the must-have utensils are a pair of chopsticks (to twirl up the noodles) and a spoon (to scoop up the nutrient broth).
In the discovery of the appetizing street food in Vietnam, you’re much likely to see the locals using the chopsticks to enjoy the noodle soup versions of “Phở,” “Bún Bò” (a kind of beef noodle), “Hủ Tiếu” (a kind of rice vermicelli soup), “Bánh Cuốn” (the stuffed and rolled cakes), etc. Look around! The locals take it easy to use the chopsticks, and you can too. It might need the practice before you can actually use the tool. And, the correct way is to eat with the chopsticks in the right hand and a spoon in the left hand. Now, you know the ways, just practice!
#5: Come at the right hours
Keep these “golden hours” in mind if you want to relish the freshest and most delicious street food in the busy food carts in Vietnam. The popular eating hours are 7 AM – 8 AM (for breakfast); 11:30 AM – 1 PM (for lunch); 6 PM – 8 PM ( for dinner). The street food stands in the country tend to close or move away when the food is sold out, and they are not there to wait for any patron. This means you should arrive at the stands in time when the bustling addresses are open to welcome guests.
But if these hours are not right for you, it’s still possible to eat the local street dishes because there are numerous eateries and food carts along the streets to discover. The single problem is that you cannot meet many other locals who follow the popular hours to eat. Also, if you don’t arrive in time (according to the locals’ common dining hours), then, you miss the chance to see how crowded an eatery can be, which shows its clean reputation amongst the locals. But, the culinary experience remains enjoyable, and you’re happy that you get out of the hotel to roam the streets and savor the appetizing food.
With ways how to eat food like the locals in Vietnam, be confident to start a food tour and find joy in savoring the yummy dishes.
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