Top 10 Local Cuisines in Hoi An

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its well-preserved architecture and rich cultural history. The city’s culinary scene is a testament to its diverse heritage, offering a blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and French influences. UNESCO recognized Hoi An for its ancient town and unique cuisine, which reflects the fusion of different cultures over centuries.

1. Cao Lau

Cao Lau includes thick rice noodles, slices of pork, greens, and crispy rice paper. Unique to Hoi An, locals soak the noodles in water from the ancient Ba Le well, which gives them a distinct texture and flavor.

  • History: This dish dates back to the Cham people and is influenced by Chinese and Japanese cuisine. It was traditionally a favorite of the local elite and is now a symbol of Hoi An.
  • Special Eating Tip: Mix well before eating to combine flavors.
  • Where to Eat: Cao Lau Ba Le, 45/3 Tran Hung Dao, Hoi An
  • Famous Visitors: Notably, Anthony Bourdain enjoyed this dish during his visit.
Bowl of Cao Lau noodles with pork, greens, and crispy rice paper in Hoi An.

2. White Rose Dumplings (Banh Bao Banh Vac)

White Rose Dumplings (Banh Bao Banh Vac) feature steamed dumplings filled with shrimp or pork, shaped like a white rose. Generations have closely guarded the recipe as a family secret.

  • History: This dish is a local delicacy and its unique shape is inspired by roses, symbolizing purity and elegance.
  • Special Eating Tip: To enhance the flavor, dip in a tangy fish sauce before eating.
  • Where to Eat: White Rose Restaurant, 533 Hai Ba Trung, Hoi An
Plate of White Rose Dumplings served with a tangy dipping sauce in Hoi An.

3. Banh Mi Hoi An

Banh mi is a Vietnamese baguette sandwich with various fillings. Hoi An’s version is known for its unique blend of pate, meats, and fresh herbs, setting it apart from other Banh Mi in Vietnam.

  • History: Introduced by the French during colonial times, Banh Mi has been adapted to suit local tastes, incorporating a variety of fresh ingredients.
  • Special Eating Tip: Ask for a mix of all fillings for the best experience.
  • Where to Eat: Banh Mi Phuong, 2B Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An
  • Famous Visitors: Chef Gordon Ramsay praised this Banh Mi as the best he had ever eaten.
Banh Mi sandwich with assorted meats and fresh herbs in Hoi An.

4. Mi Quang

Mi Quang is a dish of turmeric yellow noodles served with pork, shrimp, and a flavorful broth, topped with peanuts and fresh herbs.

  • History: Originating from the Quang Nam province, this dish reflects the region’s agricultural abundance and is a staple for local celebrations.
  • Special Eating Tip: Add a bit of chili for an extra kick.
  • Where to Eat: Mi Quang Ba Mua, 19 Tran Phu, Hoi An
Bowl of Mi Quang with turmeric noodles, pork, shrimp, and peanuts in Hoi An.

5. Chicken Rice (Com Ga)

Enjoy fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth, accompanied by shredded chicken, fresh herbs, and pickled vegetables.

  • History: Inspired by Chinese cuisine, Hoi An locals adapted this dish by incorporating local spices and herbs, making it unique.
  • Special Eating Tip: Squeeze a bit of lime and mix thoroughly.
  • Where to Eat: Com Ga Ba Buoi, 22 Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An
Plate of Hoi An Chicken Rice with shredded chicken, herbs, and pickled vegetables.

6. Hoi An Pancakes (Banh Xeo)

Hoi An Pancakes (Banh Xeo) are crispy rice pancakes filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. Wrap in rice paper with herbs before dipping in sauce.

  • History: This dish is influenced by French crepes and is a popular street food in Hoi An.
  • Special Eating Tip: Roll in rice paper with herbs before dipping in sauce.
  • Where to Eat: Bale Well, 45/51 Tran Hung Dao, Hoi An
Crispy Hoi An Pancakes filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.

7. Grilled Pork Skewers (Nem Lui)

Grilled Pork Skewers (Nem Lui) feature skewered pork marinated in lemongrass and spices, then grilled over charcoal.

  • History: Originating from Hue, this dish is popular in Hoi An for its aromatic flavors and street food appeal.
  • Special Eating Tip: Wrap in rice paper with fresh herbs and dip in peanut sauce.
  • Where to Eat: Ba Le Well Restaurant, 45/51 Tran Hung Dao, Hoi An
Grilled Pork Skewers wrapped in rice paper with fresh herbs.

8. Banh Can

Banh Can are mini rice pancakes with egg, shrimp, or pork, often served with a side of dipping sauce and fresh herbs.

  • History: A traditional dish from the central region of Vietnam, Banh Can is a favorite street food in Hoi An.
  • Special Eating Tip: Dip each pancake into the sauce for a burst of flavor.
  • Where to Eat: Banh Can Hoi An, 74 Tran Phu, Hoi An
Plate of Banh Can topped with shrimp and served with dipping sauce.

9. Hoi An Sweet Corn Soup (Che Bap)

Hoi An Sweet Corn Soup (Che Bap) is a sweet dessert made from sticky rice, corn, and coconut milk.

  • History: This dessert is a traditional Hoi An dish, often enjoyed during festivals and family gatherings.
  • Special Eating Tip: Eat warm or cold depending on preference.
  • Where to Eat: Central Market, Hoi An
Bowl of Hoi An Sweet Corn Soup made with sticky rice, corn, and coconut milk.

10. Grilled Banana Sticky Rice (Chuoi Nuong)

Grilled Banana Sticky Rice (Chuoi Nuong) consists of bananas wrapped in sticky rice, grilled, and served with coconut milk.

  • History: This dessert is a popular street food that showcases the local love for bananas and sticky rice.
  • Special Eating Tip: Eat while hot for the best taste.
  • Where to Eat: Night Market, Nguyen Hoang Street, Hoi An
Grilled Banana Sticky Rice served with coconut milk in Hoi An.

Savor Hoi An’s Culinary Delights

Experience the diverse and flavorful cuisine of Hoi An with these must-try dishes. Ready to savor these unique flavors? Explore our Streets and Eats of Hoi An tour to discover more culinary treasures.

On this fun-filled evening tour, you’ll enjoy local specialties like Banh Can and White Rose Dumplings, a scenic boat ride to Cam Nam Island for seafood and cold beers, and finish with barbeque specialties at a local restaurant before the Vespas take you back to your hotel.

Leave a Reply