9 Popular Local Foods in Hoi An City to Taste

Enjoying a delicious dish always brings us a lot of excitement and joy. In particular, on every trip, almost all tourists want to taste local foods at the place they visit. It is an effective way to add rich experiences to your journey and to support you in discovering and understanding a new culture better.

Here are the top 9 famous local foods in Hoi An City that we chose to introduce based on various values: being rich in local culture, unique flavors, easy to find in the city, and loved and used every day by most Hoi An people.

Please check them!

1. Hoi An Bread (Bánh Mì Hội An)

hoi an bread

Not only international tourists, Hoi An Banh Mi is a big name in the Vietnamese culinary scene, and anyone who comes here also likes to try it at least once.

A small piece of bread is full of flavor and deliciousness that is hard to deny. The crust is crispy and fragrant with butter, while the inside dough is spongy and soft. However, the main secret that makes the dish attractive lies in the filling, which the seller will put inside.

Bread filling is mainly made from meats, such as pork, chicken, beef, fish, eggs, etc. The shop owners carefully select these ingredients based on the freshest and tastiest criteria.

From those core ingredients, depending on the processing method of each specific store, they will create their own menu, which can have from 7 to 15 different types or more.

In addition, the vegetables used in Hoi An bread must be vegetables grown organically in Tra Que, so they are crispy, fragrant, and attractive. It contributes to affirming the Hoi An bread brand that is difficult to find anywhere.

A bread in Hoi An costs from 20,000 VND to 40,000 VND, and a unit of drinking water can provide enough energy for a quick, convenient, and delicious lunch. Try it as soon as possible, and you will be amazed by this famous dish.

Suggested places to taste Banh Mi Hoi An:

  • Madam Khanh Bread Shop: 115 Tran Cao Van Street, Hoi An City, Quang Nam; Opening: 6:30 AM – 7 PM
  • Banh Mi Pho Co: at the corner of Le Loi and Tran Hung Dao Streets, Hoi An City. Opening: We see it often opens after 1 PM until finishing.

2. Duck porridge (Cháo Vịt)

The dish looks quite simple, consisting of a bowl of porridge cooked from rice and duck broth, with a few tablespoons of heart and stir-fried duck blood on top. Next to it is a plate of boiled duck meat cut into pieces of moderate thickness. The meat and porridge will be served with spicy ginger-chili fish sauce, a few herbs, slices of sour star fruit, and thinly sliced cucumber.

Vietnamese people believe that duck meat has a cool character and a fishy taste. Ginger and chili have warming properties, so they are good deodorizers. Slices of sour star fruit have the effect of neutralizing excess fat.

When eating, it is necessary to combine duck meat with ginger sauce, star fruit, and herbs to make the dish harmonious and balanced in nutrition. At the same time, it contributes to making the taste of duck porridge more tasty.

Hoi An people often eat duck porridge in the evening because they think it is very light and digested quickly. Therefore, it is hard to find this food for lunch or breakfast when their stomachs need a lot of starch to stay full longer to be ready for an active work session.

Duck porridge does not require too elaborate processing or marinating. Therefore, it seems to have an unappealing taste for international visitors, who are not familiar with eating this type of food. However, you can taste it once to know the unique cuisine of the indigenous people’s way of eating. Who knows, you may realize that this dish is truly interesting!

An address for Chao Vit Hoi An that we often taste is:

  • Chao Vit Hong Shop
  • Address: 449 Cua Dai Street, Hoi An City
  • Opening time: 4 PM – 9 PM
  • Phone: 0905 635 124. Please come as soon as possible because she can finish earlier!

3. Grilled Veal (Bê Thui)

grilled beef in hoian
Grilled veal with beer. ©Viet Nguyen

Grilled veal is a specialty of the Cau Mong area, located about 10km from Hoi An City. The people of Hoi An bring roasted veal to their locality and introduce it to a large number of tourists as a delicious dish that is hard to refuse.

To have flavorful grilled beef, people here only use calves raised with fresh and natural grass, and they have a moderate weight, ranging from 30kg to under 40kg. The veal will be roasted evenly over a charcoal fire with a skillful technique to ensure the meat inside is cooked, soft, and sweet, and the skin on the outside is golden and beautifully crispy.

Grilled veal will be served with raw vegetables, a few slices of sour star fruit, and bitter bananas. All are rolled together in thin rice paper and dipped in delicious fish sauce.

When eating, diners will feel full of the flavor and appeal of each fresh ingredient. Fragrant sweet meat, fresh crispy vegetables, rich in vitamins, mixed with the rich flavor of spicy fish sauce. This delicious dish will provide your body with complete and balanced nutrition for a big lunch or dinner.

Address to eat grilled beef:

  • Be Thui Hien Restaurant
  • Address: 649 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Hoi An City
  • Opening time: 6:30 AM – 9 PM
  • Phone: 090 567 39 52

4. Cao Lau and Quang Noodle (Cao Lầu và Mì Quảng)

quang noodle hoi an

Mi Quang is like the common property of the entire Quang Nam Province. And then, Cao Lau is owned only by Hoi An cuisine.

Both of these dishes have the characteristics of flat noodles made from rice flour; however, there are sharp differences between them.

With Mi Quang, the noodles are soft and have the white color of rice flour. The noodle toppings are prepared flexibly from different ingredients, such as pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, frog, or fish. Depending on each type of ingredient used, corresponding noodle dishes are produced and called their names, such as Quang shrimp and meat noodles, Chicken Quang noodles, or Beef Quang noodles.

With Cao Lau, the noodles stand out by their eye-catching golden brown color but look firmer and more fragile. The taste of Cao Lau fibers is also quite strange because, in addition to the main ingredient being finely ground rice flour, kitchen-ash water is also an indispensable ingredient.

Cao Lau’s topping only includes char siu pork and its sauce. The broth used for this dish is a small quantity, only a few tablespoons for a medium-sized bowl of noodles.

In particular, when eating Mi Quang and Cao Lau, a plate of raw vegetables grown in Tra Que Village, with perfect freshness and deliciousness, is indispensable. It contributes to the complete great flavor of these foods.

These two dishes are sold quite a lot in Hoi An. The locals use them in main meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Therefore, it is quite flexible for you to arrange a reasonable time frame for these delicious dishes.

Addresses to taste:

  • Quang Noodles at Mi Quang Shop at 202 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoi An City. Phone: 0935 564 451
  • Cao Lau at Trung Bac Restaurant at 87 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An City. Opening: 9 AM – 9 PM

5. Chicken rice (Cơm Gà)

Nowadays, although Chicken Rice is present in many different localities across the country, Hoi An chicken rice is still famous for its own appeal.

Many people believe this famous delicious rice dish was born in the land of Tam Ky, another city of Quang Nam, beside Hoi An City. When it comes to Hoi An, it is seasoned by the locals and combined with a few unique ingredients here to become a specialty named after the locality – Cơm Gà Hội An.

The dish includes a portion of rice cooked with chicken broth and turmeric powder, eaten with boiled, shredded chicken mixed with herbs and onions according to a separate recipe. Next to the rice is a cup of chicken broth and some sweet and sour carrots and papaya.

To get this tasty dish, the chef only chooses chickens raised completely by natural methods so that their meat is firm and fragrant. The rice used to cook rice is good local rice. The accompanying vegetables and melons are also meticulously and carefully selected.

The harmony and appeal have helped Hoi An Chicken Rice dish win the hearts of the locals and many domestic tourists. They often use it for main meals such as lunch and dinner.

However, because this is a rice dish, the amount of rice accounts for a large proportion of the overall food. For some international tourists who are not familiar with the culture of eating rice, the amount of rice becomes too much. Therefore, when ordering, you can request to reduce the rice amount or a separate plate of chicken to enjoy.

Address to taste the chicken rice:

  • Com Ga Ba Buoi (Ba Buoi Restaurant)
  • Address: 22 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoi An City
  • Opening: 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM, and 4 PM – 8 PM
  • Phone: 0905 767 999

6. Sweet Hyacinth-bean Soup (Chè Đậu Ván)

sweet soup in hoian
A sweet soup shop in Hoi An City. ©Vietnamdrive

Sweet soup is not a dish unique to the Hoi An people but is widespread throughout Vietnam. However, coming to this beautiful city, you will have the opportunity to enjoy Dau Van sweet soup with a typical local flavor.

Bean sweet soup here is cooked in two styles: liquid sweet soup served with ice and dense sweet soup served hot with coconut milk.

In the writer’s opinion, Sweet Hyacinth-bean Soup served with ice is the best in Hoi An. The fragrant aroma of the sweet soup from the beans, mixed with the sweetness from the cane sugar, becomes extremely attractive. On a hot summer day, or after a few hours of walking around the old town, a cold cup of bean soup gives the drinker an indescribably wonderful feeling.

This tasty snack often wins the hearts of domestic and foreign tourists. You can enjoy it at Hoi An market, in the old town, or at street vendors everywhere in the city.

Note: when enjoying this dish, you need to pay attention to the food safety issue of ice. Although it is very familiar to locals, we do not recommend you try it with ice when your stomach is sensitive.

Instead of packaging it with ice, you can take this sweet soup without ice back to the hotel and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours before enjoying it. This method is safer for your stomach, but the soup is very sweet and less appealing than enjoying it directly at the store with ice. Please consider a suitable option to enjoy this tasty snack!

7. Sicky rice dumpling and white rose dumpling (Bánh Bao-Bánh Vạc)

white rose dumling in hoian
©White Rose Restaurant

Bánh Bao and Bánh Vạc are also known by the beautiful name White Rose Dumplings. This name is formed because the cake’s shape resembles a white rose, which looks eye-catching.

Not only do they have an attractive appearance, but these cakes, named after a beautiful flower, also have a unique flavor.

The cake consists of two main parts: the crust and the filling. The crust is made from the main ingredient of sticky rice starch. The filling includes pureed shrimp for White Rose dumplings; and more ingredients for Banh Bao, such as pork, mushrooms, bean sprouts, or bamboo shoots.

From these simple ingredients, going through many complex and meticulous processing steps, the chef has created these foods with his brand, only available in Hoi An.

Although it has the same structure as Chinese Dimsum, you cannot find the taste or appearance of this white rose version anywhere else. This local food has become an affirmation of the process of cultural interference between the Chinese and Vietnamese in the traditional trading port of Hoi An. And, this food represents the creativity, meticulousness, and ingenuity of the Hoi An people over many generations.

Therefore, when coming to Hoi An City, please don’t miss the opportunity to taste white rose dumplings, an original Chinese dish in Hoi An with its typical variations.

Address to taste the White Rose Dumplings:

  • White Rose Restaurant
  • Address: 533 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoi An City
  • Opening time: 8 AM – 8 PM
  • Phone: 0903 010 986

8. Hoi An Thick Pistia Cake (Bánh Bèo)

banh beo hoian
Banh Beo Hoi An. ©Vietnamdrive

This dish is not well-known for international tourists, although it is extremely popular with the natives and domestic tourists. The reason is said to be due to the large proportion of rice flour in a bowl of cake.

The processing method also bears the characteristics of wet rice agricultural culture, focusing on the farmers’ main requirements: easy to eat and filling their stomachs well. Therefore, Banh Beo has a rather strange taste for visitors from other countries.

To make a cup of Banh Beo, people mix finely ground rice flour with water, then arrange the flour into small heated bowls and steam them.

When eating, the chef will put a layer of orange-yellow filling on the cake, which includes minced shrimp and pork, rice flour, turmeric powder, and green onions. Finally, sprinkle a little crushed roasted peanuts on top. Eaters can add fish sauce and chili if they like.

In Vietnam, besides Banh Beo of Hoi An, another version – Banh Beo in Hue City is also famous and equally loved. However, these two types of Banh Beo are very different. Hue Banh Beo is thin, much smaller than Hoi An Banh Beo. The filling of Hue banh beo only includes finely roasted fresh shrimp served with fish sauce and fried pork skins.

Hoi An Banh Beo is commonly sold on many pavements in this city, focusing on the local diners. You can ask the people here to find a suitable address near your hotel and taste it.

Trying Banh Beo Hoi An will bring you the exciting feeling of experiencing the favorite dish of the natives, thereby understanding more about the culture of this city.

9. Hoi An Pancake and Grilled Meat (Bánh Xèo Thịt Nướng)

hoi an pancake
Hoi An pancake and grilled pork. ©Ms Thuy – a local guide

Many think the most suitable place to enjoy Banh Xeo is in Saigon or the Southwestern provinces.

That statement is not wrong; however, in Hoi An, Banh Xeo has unique colors and flavors that do not mix with anywhere else. When staying in Hoi An City, you can try this delicious dish once to feel the sophistication in the typical variation of Hoi An Banh Xeo.

Hoi An pancakes have the diameter of just a small dinner plate, with a thin and crispy base. The filling usually includes whole fresh shrimp, thinly sliced pork or beef, crunchy sweet bean sprouts, and fragrant green onions.

Compared with Southern Banh Xeo in Saigon, Hoi An pancake is much smaller, its base is a little bit thicker, and the filling has a fresh, naturally sweet taste. Its filling and base stick together tightly, not separately, like in Banh Xeo in Ho Chi Minh City.

The cake needs to be eaten hot to be more delicious. So, whenever customers order, and right away, the shop owner will make it. The diners will roll the pancake in a thin piece of rice paper with raw vegetables to taste. Then, dip it in spicy chili fish sauce, salty and sweet enough.

In addition, almost all Banh Xeo shops also sell grilled meat. Each slice of pork has been carefully marinated, sandwiched between a small bamboo stick, and then grilled over charcoal until golden brown, exuding an ecstatic aroma.

In Hoi An, many famous delicious grilled meat pancake restaurants are available for tourists to try. 

A famous address is Ba Le Well Restaurant at the alley of 45/51 Tran Hung Dao Street, Hoi An City. However, you can come to the alley of 35 Phan Chu Trinh Street, which is easier to go from the old town of Hoi An.

Hopefully, the top 9 outstanding local foods in Hoi An that we introduce can give you an easy decision to choose the tasty dishes. Please save these selected foods! The list not only helps you save time searching and checking but also supports you in finding the most worthwhile local flavor in this famous tourist city.

Some of the above local dishes can be present in tourist restaurants. However, finding local restaurants is to taste the most authentic local flavors.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.