- Noodles. Vietnamese street food is heavily based on noodles (“bun”). Often these noodles are served with pungent soups.
- Vegetables. Accompanying these noodles are plates of fresh herbs and vegetables
- The most exotic things: 15-day chicken embryos balut (“hot vit lon”) or snails (“oc”).
What I miss the most about Vietnam is the ~15-day embryo balut. It has a texture between chicken and hard-boiled yolk, which is completely addictive with a bit of salt. Eating a half-formed embryo may skirt the fringe of acceptability for most, but the combination of textures in the egg is something very unique.
(2) Banh mi – The best I tried was Banh mi huynh hoa on Le Thi Rieng. Ask them to exclude peppers (4.5/5)
(3) Banh trang tron – Spiced noodles, can be found at Ben Thanh market in central Saigon. Assertive spicing (4.5/5)
(4) Bun thit nuong – the grilled pork or beef noodles served with fish sauce – I ate this at my college Vietnamese restaurant and it was just as good in Vietnam
(5) Bo la lot – greasy leaf-wrapped cigars of minced beef
(7) Banh khot (5/5) in the middle of Cho Ban Co market. These custardy mini-crepes are simply addictive served with fish sauce.
(8) Bun Rieu – crab noodles
(9) Gioi du du – papaya salad from Le Van Tam park was again very good. A mythical papaya salad I didn’t manage to try was recommended by T, in a school compound and only served during the afternoon.
Good links and resources I used: