Hoi An

What Hoi An is mainly known for is bánh mì. Vietnam’s iconic sandwich is rarely served in restaurants, but sold from bakery counters and street carts. In the classic version, the pâté—a rich, velvety, offal-y spread—is paired with smoky barbecued pork. Atop that goes a slathering of mayonnaise, strips of pickled carrot, cucumber, chiles, a few sprigs of cilantro, and behold: the best sandwich ever.

 

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Compared with the food up North, the dishes are generally sweeter. And while Northerners might call Southern cuisine unsophisticated, its origins are varied and complex. Hủ tiếu is a unique one, a Southern noodle soup laden with roasted sliced pork, prawns, peanuts, and soft-cooked quail eggs; the smoky broth is flavored with shallots and dried squid.

Fruit, in fact, might be the single best thing about eating here. Saigon’s proximity to the Mekong Delta—which supplies fully half of Vietnam’s produce—means the city overflows with papaya, mango, coconut, jackfruit, soursop, and other exotic treats. Wildly colorful fruit stands are on every other corner.

Herbs and greens are also integral to a Saigon bánh xèo. Into an outsize wok the chef tosses a fistful of bean sprouts, pork, shrimp, and/or mushrooms, then pours in a slick of marigold-yellow batter, rich with coconut milk. The resulting crepe is the size of a Monopoly board—so large it overwhelms the table, let alone the plate. Its crisp, lacy edges break off with a satisfying crackle, complementing the moist and savory fillings. The key elements, however, are the pile of fresh herbs to tuck inside the crepe and the giant mustard leaves to wrap the thing in.

 

Yay! Just pack your luggages and book a flight to Vietnam to enjoy these just so amazing cuisine J