All through our trip the thing we kept saying we wanted to take a cooking class! Suddenly, we only had two weeks left and no cooking class had been taken. Our travels through Vietnam were non-stop and full of things to do and see, so we did the closest thing we had time for – a street food tour. I honestly enjoyed this even more than I probably would have enjoyed a cooking class! I’m a pretty conservative eater, so getting to try things I wouldn’t have otherwise tried was really great!
⋙ BÚN CHA
This is a soup type of dish that felt similar to pho. We were given a bowl of beef broth with bits in it, and on the side we each had a bowl of cold white noodles and then a basket of assorted herbs and spices. It was pretty good, but not quite as flavorful as pho.
⋙ NÔM BÒ
This was a really interesting dish, one of my favorites, actually made of veggies, herbs and a slightly tangy sauce. The beef was a bit like beef jerky with a little less flavor and not quite as tough. Once everything is in place, you mix it together and simply dig in.
⋙ MUSHROOM-FILLED RICE PANCAKES
This was my favorite stop, not because of the flavor, but because I got to “help” cook! (Granted, everyone had the chance, I wasn’t special ;)) They put the rice batter in place and I scraped and flipped it. Inside these oddly gelatinous pancake things are bits of pork and mushrooms with a crunchy, oniony garnish.
⋙ FRIED SPRING ROLLS & DUMPLING
Of course, I’d had spring rolls already, but I honestly hadn’t had pork spring rolls since I was going the veggie route on this trip. They were so full of flavor! The little dumplings are filled with all sorts of good things too! It too is served with herbs and also had this weird tangy juice. I preferred just having the spring rolls by themselves.
⋙ FRESH BEER
This was probably the greatest discovery in Vietnam. “Fresh beer” is beer that has been made very recently and once the keg has been opened that have to get rid of it that night and the greatest part is that cost a little less than $0.25! Seriously, less than a quarter! Each glass of it tasted completely different than the last, but all of it had a slight corn flavor to it. Our food tour stop let us have all we could drink beer!
⋙ EGG COFFEE
Vietnamese coffee is famous for its delicious flavor and unbelievable strength, but the coffee we had on this trip was something a bit different – egg coffee. The way everyone sounded so freaked about this, but it was a delicious treat for the end of the night. It’s supposedly even stronger than regular coffee and it has a type of custard on top made from egg whites and sugar. IT. WAS. DELICIOUS. I can’t wait have another cup of this the next time I’m in Vietnam.
The cost of this tour is about $20 with Hanoi Street Food Tours. It is so worth the money. Our guide was fantastic and was sure to answer any questions about the Vietnamese Street Food, tell us what other things were that we passed along and point out sites all along the way! When you’re in Hanoi, take a street food tour!
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