The Top 7 Local Foods in Da Lat City for Tasting Once

Tasting local foods is perfect for visiting Da Lat City in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Here are the popular local dishes for checking and enjoying once.

1. Dalat Grilled Pork Skewer

Dalat grilled pork skewers
©Nem Nuong Ba Hung (FB)

Somewhat similar to Hue’s grilled pork skewers, however, this dish of Da Lat has its unique flavor.

Dalat skewers are made from the main ingredient of lean pork mixed with a small amount of fat. The chef pures this meat by hand and carefully marinates it with spices for many hours.

After grounding the meat that has absorbed the spices, people use their hands to shape the meat on bamboo chopsticks into moderately round rolls. They grill these skewers over charcoal until golden brown and fragrant.

The difference between Dalat and Hue grilled pork skewers show:

  • Hue grilled pork skewers often use lemongrass to catch the pork rolls, while Dalat skewers use bamboo chopsticks. Therefore, smells are more like lemongrass in Hue City, while strong scent of deeply marinated meat in Dalat skewers.
  • When eating, the skewers in Da Lat are often pulled out chopsticks by the shop owner and cut into small pieces before bringing them out to you. With Hue skewers, they are served while still on the lemongrass stalks.
  • In addition to fresh and delicious raw vegetables grown locally, Dalat grilled skewers are served with crispy fried rice papers. This is a part you cannot find in the dish of Hue grilled skewers.
  • The final difference comes in the cup of dipping sauce. Each restaurant has its secrets that cannot be shared. However, the local diners will recognize differences when comparing the bowl of dipping sauce of Da Lat or Hue cities. This variety creates the unmistakable characteristics between these two seemingly very similar dishes.

The restaurants in Da Lat usually sell grilled pork skewers from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. However, this local food is more suitable for dinner. You can order Vietnamese beers to make the meal more perfect.

2. Shumai Bread

Banh Mi Xiu Mai (Shumai Bread) is a dish consisting of Vietnamese bread served with shumai meat. The bowl of shumai is considered the soul of the dish.

To have a delicious bowl of shumai, the cook chooses lean pork meat with a little fat. After being cleaned, this meat goes through many steps of grinding, brushing, and marinating the meat. Then roll into round balls and steam until cooked.

The soup used to cook shumai must be bone broth, ensuring a sweet and rich aroma. The perfect combination of meatballs, bone broth, spring onions, white onions, and spices has created a dish that attracts diners.

Dalat people often taste shumai bread as a breakfast full of energy for a new day of activities. They also use it to replenish energy for snacks, late meals, or late-night meals. Therefore, you can find this dish sold almost all day. The price of the dish ranges from 10,000 VND to 40,000 VND.

>> Please see more about the famous snacks in Dalat!

3. Wet Rice Paper With Chicken Intestine

wet rice paper with chicken intestine
©Banh uot long ga Long

Wet Rice Paper is considered one of the popular dishes present in many localities in Vietnam. However, in each different locality, this dish has its own characteristics.

Coming to Da Lat, Wet Rice Paper impresses diners from all over with its chicken intestine topping. Although it is called chicken intestine wet cake, each bowl of this food includes plenty of chicken meat and boiled chicken intestines, which are carefully marinated with spices.

The hot, soft Wet Rice Papers, combined with the sweet and fragrant free-range chicken flavor, create the perfect taste for the dish. Under the cold weather of Da Lat, the dish becomes even more attractive.

Coming to Da Lat, you should take the time to try “Banh Uot Long Ga”, because, in other localities, you can only enjoy wet cakes with boiled pork, pork rolls, or roasted pork.

A bowl of this food costs only from 25,000 VND to 40,000 VND but is enough to make a main meal to warm your stomach. The wet rice papers are sold all day, from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, so it is very convenient for you to arrange a time to enjoy it.

There is a small note: the dish will include chicken intestines, such as young eggs, gizzards, heart, and liver. Therefore, if you are not used to eating animal organs, please remind the shop owner not to put these things in your dish right after ordering.

4. Banging-pot Chicken

Chicken is considered one of Da Lat’s specialties because the chickens here are mainly raised freely in hillsides and home gardens. Therefore, the chicken is small in size – but the meat is firm, delicious, chewy, and naturally sweet.

Coming to Da Lat, you can not only enjoy chickens with good quality meat but also experience the unique way of cooking from the indigenous people with the dish “Gà Đập Lu” – Banging-pot Chicken.

To have a standard dish, the chef always chooses the best quality chicken and carefully prepares and marinates it with Vietnamese spices. The chicken is placed in a small clay jar, with a layer of lemongrass underneath, and then grilled.

When eating, the chef brings a whole jar of freshly grilled chicken to the table. The clay jar will then be broken in half on its top, revealing a golden, fragrant chicken amidst a layer of hot and steaming lemongrass.

Most visitors like to tear each piece of chewy and sweet chicken with their hands and slowly enjoy it. Sipping on a can of beer or a small glass of wine makes the meal even more tasty.

Banging-pot chicken is suitable for lunch and dinner. The price of a chicken ranges from 300,000 VND to 350,000 VND and suits for 2 to 3 people.

The banging-pot chicken dish is presented on the tray while it’s still whole. So, if you try this dish, don’t be afraid to “make a move” right on the dining table. Because using hands is still considered normal when enjoying this food in Vietnam. Be as natural as possible! And you will feel the excitement through this way of eating.

5. Grilled Chicken With Lam Rice

grilled chicken with lam rice dalat
©Ga nuong Com lam Huy Hoang

Another unique chicken dish in Da Lat that cannot be ignored is Grilled Chicken with Lam rice. The dish includes chicken marinated carefully and grilled until golden brown over a charcoal fire, served with bamboo-tube rice.

Among them, Lam rice is a typical dish of Vietnamese highlanders. To prepare Lam rice, people use good quality sticky rice and soak it for many hours in clean water to soften the sticky rice.

The sticky rice is then put into a bamboo tube with one end closed and the other covered with a banana leaf. Next, people grill this bamboo tube over charcoal until the sticky inside cooked well.

Lam rice served with grilled chicken is a worthy dinner. The taste of grilled chicken is both fragrant and chewy, firm, and naturally sweet. Sticky bamboo rice with a mild flavor makes eaters impossible to refuse.

However, this is a truly Vietnamese-style dish, so sometimes you will find it difficult to get chicken with bones or even whole chicken. Don’t hesitate! Because Vietnamese people often use their hands when enjoying dishes like this. Make sure you wash your hands before sitting at the table and freely enjoy the food like a local. You will find interesting things from that way of eating.

6. Chicken Hotpot With É Leaves

Indeed, chicken is the culinary advantage of this mountainous city of the Central Highlands. Therefore, there are many delicious dishes prepared with inspiration from chicken. Chicken hotpot with é leaves is one of them.

É leaves are an aromatic herb in the same family as basil, grown commonly in Da Lat. The characteristic feature of é leaves is a strong fragrance. When eaten raw, é leaves have a slightly sour, astringent taste. But when dipped in a hot water pot, the leaves will have a nutty, slightly spicy, and strong taste.

To have a delicious standard chicken hot pot, the chicken chosen must be a free-range one with firm, fragrant, and sweet meat.

When the hot pot is placed on the tray to serve, it needs to have the sweetness of the soup; the chicken is cooked soft but firm, not mushy, and has a fragrant scent of é leaves. All mixes with the herbal smell of sour bamboo shoots and mushrooms.

Most restaurants serving this hotpot are open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. However, this hot pot dish is quite suitable for dinner when you have more time to enjoy delicious dishes and gather with relatives.

In the cool weather of Da Lat, sitting next to the chicken hot pot increases the delicious taste, even more wonderful feelings.

A pot of chicken hotpot with é leaves costs from 200,000 VND to 400,000 VND, suitable for 2 to 4 people.

7. Dalat Clay-pot Rice

dalat clay pot rice
©Picnic Go

Clay pot rice (Cơm Niêu) has long become an extremely familiar name in the minds of many Vietnamese people. However, in each locality, clay pot rice dishes have different flavors and features, which makes this dish unique and attractive to all diners.

In addition to the hot and fragrant rice pot, the clay pot rice in Da Lat City attracts customers with many delicious accompanying dishes, including meat, fish, soup, and vegetables. All of these are skillfully cooked and imbued with the flavor of Vietnamese rice.

Specifically, the unique feature of Dalat clay-pot rice compared to this food in other regions lies in the vegetable dishes. With the cool regional advantages, the vegetables served with the clay-pot rice tray are fresh and sweet. In addition, there is artichoke soup, the flower of artichoke stew with pork legs, and a few Chicken-Hill dishes, which can come with the Dalat clay-pot rice.

If you are looking for a lunch or dinner in Da Lat City with a local flavor, clay pot rice may be a choice worth considering. Let’s try it!

With these 7 famous dishes of Da Lat that we introduce, we hope to make your trip to the city of flowers more interesting.

This article can help you save time when looking for delicious food in Da Lat City to fill your stomach after a day of enjoying flowers and sightseeing. Please save the above information! So you can easily find it when planning your trip to this mountainous city.

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