April 26, 2018

A Guide to Family Eating in Vietnam

Vietnam is an up-and-coming family vacation destination. Vietnam is fun, exciting, and perfect for travel with kids! There are plenty of cities, regions, and countryside to explore. But the most exciting thing to explore is the food. Eating internationally can sometimes be tricky or intimidating for kids, but that isn’t the case in Vietnam! Here is our simple guide to eating in Vietnam when you travel with kids.

Pho (fuh)

This is the most famous Vietnamese culinary export. A staple in the Vietnamese diet, pho is a delicious salty broth with fresh rice noodles, simple herbs, and chicken or beef. It’s commonplace to see lines of people at food stalls or in markets waiting to indulge in a bowl of pho. When you boil it down, it’s just a bowl of chicken soup! Something kids will love to eat (and enjoy!) while your family is it Vietnam.

Bun cha (boon cha)

Every afternoon, when lunch time rolls around in Hanoi, you can smell bun cha being prepared on most street corners. Pork is grilled until crispy and then dropped into a bowl of fish sauce broth with a handful of herbs and rice noodles. This soup is often served with a side of fried spring rolls. It’s the perfect pairing. This meal got international attention after President Obama and Anthony Bourdain famously ate this meal together in Hanoi.

Xoi (soy)

This simple meal is the make-it-yourself rice bowl that you never knew you needed. The base of this dish is savory sticky rice. But often, you can find a near unlimited amount of toppings and things to mix in. You can add chicken, pork, fried eggs, dried shallots and more! Kids always feel comfortable eating a rice bowl that they can dress up however they want!

Goi cuon (guy coon)

If you find yourself needing a break from fried foods or soup, we recommend goi cuon. These fully packed spring rolls are a delicious treat. Filled with fresh greens, a small slice of meat or seafood, a layer of coriander, and served with fish or peanut dipping sauce is always refreshing. The translucent wrap, which allows you to see the insides, makes eating these spring rolls extra fun!

Cao lau (cow low)

This noodle dish is native to Hoi An, once a popular trading port, and showcases the international culture of the city. The base of the dish is a think noodle, similar to Japanese udon noodles, crispy won ton crackers and pork, from Chinese dishes, and broth and herbs from Vietnam.

Banh mi (bahn me)

This is a classic grab and go sandwich, Vietnamese style. When the French occupied Vietnam, they introduced the baguette. Since then it has become the vessel for a simple, yet delicious, sandwich. In the north of the country its typically just margarine and pate on a baguette. But in the south, you can build a sandwich with different types of cheese, cold cuts, a fried egg, fresh cilantro, pickled vegetables and more. This is another great food option for kids to eat while in Vietnam!

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