Phở Bò Hà Nội - Hanoi noodles soup with beef

Types of Vietnamese Noodles to Eat the Best

28 February, 2020
Vietnamese Food Culture

Vietnamese cuisine is rich in noodle choices which can serve as breakfast, lunch, and even dinner, and the top types of Vietnamese noodles always appear mouth-watering to connoisseurs. It is very common to meet the locals sitting on the plastic stools and have bowls of noodles from the vendor streets. Also, eateries and restaurants do serve this favorite type of food. Read on the top list.

#1: Hanoi Pho (noodle soup soaked in beef broth)

“Phở” has long been famous nationwide and overseas, which signifies the Vietnamese cuisine and gastronomy. In particular, Pho Hanoi is the cradle of all other versions, which urge everybody to try whenever they travel to the capital city. Typically, “Phở” includes broth made by simmering beef bones and herbs overnight, beef or chicken, and rice noodles. Of course, there uses a variety of condiment to enhance the flavor, and the use of the condiment depends on the region. If served with chicken, the broth might be made lighter. Oftentimes, people have “Phở” for breakfast, but it is not a surprise that somebody even tries this staple for lunch and dinner.

>>Read more about Hanoi food day tour here!

Phở Sài Gòn - a kind f noodle soup in Saigon
Phở Sài Gòn – a kind f noodle soup in Saigon

#2: Bun Bo Hue (Hue beef noodle soup)

This might be called another version of noodle soup with beef, originated from Hue City, but the kind of noodle used is different. With “Bun Bo Hue,” the noodle is thicker, larger, and more slippery while the broth is spicier. Besides, the vegetables and herbs served with this food are fresh and healthy. A bowl of “Bun Bo” is often served with banana blossoms, bean sprouts, and water spinach. The hearty meal might be further spiced with some slices of chili. Make sure you eat this type of Vietnamese noodle in Hue.

Bún Bò Huế - Hue noodles soup
Bún Bò Huế – Hue noodles soup

#3: Cao Lau Hoi An (traditional noodle dish of Hoi An)

Traditionally, Cao Lau is the masterpiece of the ancient Hoi An people who make it the iconic noodle dish of the land. It’s impossible to eat “Cao Lau” elsewhere, but only in Hoi An Old Town. The reasons are that the broth of this noodle dish can only be made with the water taken from the local Ba Le Well and the fresh vegetables are from Tra Que Village.  The noodles will be mixed with roasted pork and some herbs, resulting in the unique flavor. More interestingly, know that Cao Lau has been in Hoi An since the 17th century.

Cao Lau - Hoi An Noodles
Cao Lau – Hoi An Noodles

#4: Bun Thit Nuong (noodle with grilled pork)

Even before the taste of this noodle dish of grilled pork wins your palate, its aroma first attracts you even from afar. A typical bowl of “Bun Thit Nuong” includes the noodle, grilled pork, peanut, vegetables, carrot, spring onions, etc. And, the soul of the food lies on the well-balanced fish sauce. Though some chefs might create other creative versions of this food by adding the fried egg, spring rolls, cooked coconut milk, etc., the fish sauce always plays a critical role in deciding the success of the food.

Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli noodles with grilled pork)
Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli noodles with grilled pork)

#5: Mi Quang (Quang noodle)

Quang noodle is the signature food of central Vietnam, originated from Quang Nam Province. The Quang rice noodles will be combined with meat and herbs, and a small amount of broth. In addition, it is garnished by peanuts and crunchy sesame rice crackers. The turmeric broth is eye-catching and in combination with other ingredients, a bowl of Quang noodle can represent a culinary art. Any Vietnam food tours to Da Nang and Quang Nam should always include the culinary experience in “Mi Quang.” The additions of the sesame rice crackers, the fried shallots, and peanuts enhance the culinary experiences that the Quang noodle can offer.

My Quang - Quang noodles, the specialty of Da Nang
My Quang – Quang noodles, the specialty of Da Nang

#6: Bun Rieu Cua (noodle soup served with crab meat)

If you love crab meat, then there is no reason to ignore “Bun Rieu Cua” – a kind of noodle soup including crab meat, tomato paste, pork, and even snail. This is a beautiful mixture of seafood soup, and the crab is the key. Overall, this vermicelli soup is well-balanced, and the Vietnamese of the Mekong Delta region are proud of this culinary specialty. Some families even prefer enjoying this food as the main course of the day. It’s very easy to find eateries serving this crab-based noodle soup in the south of Vietnam. You will fall in love with the fresh crab meat, slices of pork, juicy prawn, and even snails.

Bún Riêu (rice vermicelli with minced freshwater mini crabs)
Bún Riêu (rice vermicelli with minced freshwater mini crabs)

#7: Bun Dau Mam Tom (vermicelli with shrimp paste)

This is the fried version of the noodle dish that you should always try at least once. Without soup, “Bun Dau Mam Tom” include vermicelli, tofu, boiled pork, and especially the smelly fermented shrimp paste (called “Mam Tom”). Note that somebody even cannot endure this smelly sauce, but it’s worth a try. Foodies might use vegetables to wrap the pork, tofu, and other veggies, dip the wrapped food into the shrimp paste, and then eat the whole. Numerous eateries serve this “aromatic” noodle dish across Saigon streets. This food is the ideal choice for a group of friends.

Bun Dau Mam Tom (vermicelli with shrimp paste)
Bun Dau Mam Tom (vermicelli with shrimp paste)

#8: Bun Mam (noodle soup with fish sauce broth)

If you like Vietnamese fish sauce, then make it a must to eat “Bun Mam” – the noodle soup with the murky broth of fermented fish sauce. Therefore, the food is fishy. A mixture of seafood, fish, eggplant, pork, and some herbs are added to the strong broth for the mouth-watering completion. Particularly, in the southern areas, this noodle soup is quite sweet thanks to the bold use of condiments.

Mam Noodle (Bún Mắm)
Mam Noodle (Bún Mắm)

Noodles are the dominantly used ingredients in Vietnam, either in soups or the fried versions. People can have noodle dishes at any time of the day. And, before you go on eating any Vietnamese noodle dishes recommended above, know that the noodle itself might vary from its shape and flavor. This means sometimes, people might replace “Bún” (the thin and round vermicelli noodle) with “Mì” (the egg or wheat noodle which is thin and yellow) or vice versa. The foodies can customize their choice of noodles used. As Vietnamese food will never disappoint foodies all over the world, just try any type of noodle dishes in Vietnam that you feel interested, and then say whether it is flavorful.