Once the capital of two Vietnamese imperial dynasties (the second as recently as 1945), near the central Vietnam coast roughly halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Ming City (Saigon), the city of Hue is famous for its amazing landmarks including ancient mausoleums and majestic palaces. Besides that, visitors will also fall deeply in love with its cuisine, which is not only delicious but also embodies the cultural identity of this millennial land - and furthermore is delightfully inexpensive. Here we will tell you about five local Hue foods you nust try, as well as several places in which to do so.
Bún Bò Huế (Hue's Signature Beef Noodle Soup)
The soul of Hue City is an absolute must, a bowl of Hue Beef Rice Noodles with full topping will have thin slices of short loin or pork, pork cartilages, pork knuckles, congealed pork blood, Vietnamese crab balls, and scallions on top of silky noodles in a thick broth. It's served with a wide range of herbs such as bean sprouts, mints, cilantro, shallots, lemongrass, and banana blossom. Depending on your taste, you can also add fresh chilies, chili sauce, fermented shrimp paste or lemon juice into your bowl.
Bánh Khoái (Hue Royal Pancake)
Banh Khoai is said to be the petite version of Banh Xeo with a royal touch. Originally called Banh Khói (khói meaning smoke) because it's cooked on a wood stove, the name eventually evolved into khoai, which in English means "happy cake." Its base is egg rice flour. Once it turns a golden color, the cook place slices of pork, shrimp, egg, bean sprouts on top then fried until crispy. It will be then served of green and fresh herbs like mint leaves, basil, and finished with a tasty peanut sesame sauce. A yummy dish!
Bún Thịt Nướng (Grilled Pork Noodles)
One of the royal dishes from ancient times is a cold rice noodle dish with well-marinated grilled pork chops topped with fresh basil, cilantro, fresh salad and crispy peanut. You might have tried this dish in Saigon or Hanoi but in Hue’s version in our opinion is super special. The distinguished sauce is made from pork liver, peanut and sesame that will make you speechless once you try it. You will notice that Vietnamese like to eat Bún Thịt Nướng in the afternoon, and it should be easy for you to find it in any corner of Hue City.
Nem Lui (Grilled Pork Skewers with Lemongrass)
Nem lui is made from well-seasoned finely-ground pork and minced pork skin. This mixture will be then attached on a lemongrass stick and grilled over a coal stove, then wrapped in a thin rice paper and fresh herbs added. Roll it up and dip it in peanut sesame sauce - delicious!
The local take on this classic Vietnamese sandwich is a treat for those who are short in cash but looking for a super good meal amid vibrant ambiance with local people. Head over to the area in front of Truong Tien Bridge, aka the Nguyen Dinh Chieu Night Market after 7 PM, and you will notice there are some small stools with young people sitting around eating a great variety of bánh mì. Or walk over the brige towards Dong Ba Market, look around to find Thao Bakery Mobile Cart, and try a mixed bánh mì with peach iced tea!
We all have to admit that Hue street culinary is an amazing adventure with hundreds of famous Hue restaurants to try. Coming to Hue, you cannot miss out this cultural beauty. It indirectly reflects the characteristics of the locals, the depth of Hue’s long history, and the beauty of this imperial capital. Experience local Hue food once and we promise you’ll long for a return!