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Food in Hue - 23 Exotic Vietnamese Cultural Recipes

One of the best ways to explore a city is by examining its local cuisines. Getting to know about regional cuisines not only introduces you to their culture but also their daily ways of life. Hue, the imperial city of Vietnam, is famous not just for its historical significance but also for the large variety of food that it has to offer. From roadside food stalls to fancy cafes and high-end restaurants, the best dishes in Hue, with their exceptional taste and blast of traditional flavours, is bound to leave you wanting for more.  Exploring Hue would be incomplete without trying out their specialities.
Here is a list of a few must-try foods in Hue-

1. Bun Bo Hue - Hue Beef Vermicelli Noodle Soup

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Bun Bo Hue is one of the most popular specialities that Hue has to offer. It is a unique combination of a myriad of flavours, spicy, sweet and sour. This spicy soup is made up of vermicelli noodles, flavoured with lemongrass, ginger, shrimp paste, chilli, boiled bones and annatto seeds in a thick broth, with crab balls and sliced beef. As for toppings, different restaurants create their versions; however, the most common ones are congealed pig blood cubes, cilantro, lime wedges, pork knuckles, bean sprouts, and mint leaves.
      Where to find? 
      Di Phuong Beef Rice Noodles  
      Nguyen Khuyen Street, Hue City, Vietnam 
      Pocket Pinch: VND 30,000

2. Nem Lui - Hue Lemongrass Skewers

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Lemongrass skewers or Nem Lui is a trendy food item in Hue and recommended for all. New Lui is a lot like Kebab but made from ground pork and lemongrass stalks. The pork meat is hewed into a sausage-like shape which is wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal. This mouth-watering finger food is served with rice vermicelli, lettuce, herbs seasonings and cucumber. Some sellers also have different variations like Nem Lui with added garlic, shrimp paste, shallots, sesame seeds, chilli flakes etc.
  Where to find?
  Quan Hanh
  11 Pho Duc Chinh, Hue, Vietnam
  Pocket Pinch: VND 35000

3. Banh Canh Nam Pho - Nam Pho Noodle Soup

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Not as popular as the beef noodle soup or Bun Bo Hue, but Banh Canh Nam Pho has its fan following. The ingredients are quite essential, comprising of thick noodles freshly made, shrimp, pork, crabmeat and a few traditional spices, but the cooking procedure is quite meticulous. The rice noodles are carefully made in a series of steps to make it soft and thick. The broth is cooked perfectly with different ingredients like chilli powder, chopped onions, the different kinds of meat and other traditional spices. It can be easily found in small eateries as well as mobile stalls in the alleys of Hue, every evening.
Where to find?
Thuy - Banh Canh Nam Pho
16 Pham Hong Thai, Vinh Ninh, Thanh pho, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 20000

4. Banh Mi - Iconic Vietnamese Buns

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The hot crispy base and stuffings, mostly fresh veggies, served with a famous Vietnamese fish dip,nuoc mam pha, makes Banh Mi one of the most famous street foods in Hue. This dish is quite cheap and affordable for all, which makes it all the more popular. Banh Mi boasts of rich Vietnamese flavours in a subtle yet straightforward way. Different stalls add their unique touch to the Banh Mi, making it even more delicious.
Where to find?
Thao Bakery
Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 10000

5. Banh Uot Thit Nuong - Wet Cakes (Spring Rolls) and Grilled Beef

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Although Banh Uot Thit Nuong is not Hue’s speciality, the particular cooking procedure involved while preparing the wet cakes is what makes it distinctively Hue’s speciality. It is also one of the most famous foods in Hue, which tourists should give a try. The most crucial ingredient of the wet cake is a mixture of rice flour and either cassava starch or chestnut starch in appropriate proportion. The shell of the cake should be excellent and thin yet tough to not get torn. The finner the crust, the better the wet cake.
Where to find?
Huyen Anh Wet Cake - Grilled Meat Bun Dinner
50 Kim Long, Thanh pho Hue, Thua Thien,Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 25000

6. Com Hen/Bun Hen - Baby Clam Rice

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Com Hen originated in Hue, like a peasant’s breakfast dish, using leftover rice, but its intricate taste has now made it a popular food in Hue. It is made with leftover rice, clams, shrimp paste, chilli pepper, crispy pork crackles, roasted peanuts and star fruit. The clams are usually stir-fried with all the other ingredients and then poured over a plate of jasmine rice, garnished with fresh salad, fried shallots and crispy pork crackles. Some popular food joints serve this dish along with a thick soupy broth.
Where to find?
17 Han Mac Tu, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 35000

7. Banh Khoai - Vietnamese Pancake

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Banh Khoai is a bright yellow coloured crispy crepe, made of rice flour with distinct Vietnamese flavours. It is usually stuffed with bean sprouts, shrimp, pork meat, scallions etc. Some restaurants serve their variety of crepe with star-fruits, eggs and other unique stuffings. The pancake is served with fresh salads, fried shallots, cilantro and a variety of dips usually made of peanuts, soya sauce and sesame. This dish is a prevalent roadside food in hue and is readily available in almost every local joint.
Where to find?  
Banh Khoai Hanh
Pho Duc Chinh Street, Hue City, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 20000

8. Banh Beo - Steamed rice cakes

Food in Hue
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Also referred to as ‘water fern cake’ because of its water-fern like shape, Banh Beo is a type of Vietnamese dumplings rather than a rice cake. They look a lot like small cupcakes, topped with deep-fried pork chunks, dried shrimps, fried shallots and fresh herbs. Banh Beo is typically served with a unique fish sauce, nuoc mam pha and red chillies. There are two different variants of Banh Beo, namely, Banh Beo Chen and Banh Beo Dia. The former is prepared in coin-sized ceramic saucers, whereas the latter is made on a larger metal platter and served as a main dish. Banh Beo is really cheap and readily available, so it is a must-try.
Where to find?  
Banh Beo Ba Cu
Nguyen Hue Street, Hue City, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 3000 

9. Banh Loc Goi - Tapioca Dumpling

Food in Hue
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A trendy Hue snack, Banh Loc Goi is usually made using Tapioca flour dough instead of rice flour. The tapioca dough is stuffed with marinated pork and shrimp, and this dumpling is then wrapped in a well-oiled banana leaf and finally steamed. After it is cooked properly, Banh Loc Goi is served alongside nuoc mam pha, a Vietnamese speciality fish sauce. 
Where to find?
Madam Thu Restaurant
45 Vo Thi Sau Street, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 40000

10. Banh Loc Tran

Food in Hue
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Banh Loc Tran is another version of Banh Loc Goi, the only difference being the proportion of shrimp and pork, and the method of preparing the dish. The portion of pork and shrimp stuffing is more than Banh Loc Goi, and instead of being steamed, Banh Loc Tran is boiled until fully cooked. It is served with nuoc mam pha, the famous Vietnamese fish dip, deep-fried shallots, and some fresh salad.
Where to find?
Hanh Restaurant
11 Pho Duc Chinh, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 30000

11. Bun Thit Nuong - Grilled Pork Noodles

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Bun Thit Nuong is made up of Vermicelli noodles and pork, where the pork is marinated with salt, pepper, sugar and lemongrass and then grilled over a charcoal stove. It is usually served with vermicelli noodles, pickled salad, fried salad and a special peanut sauce.
Where to find? 
Nem Lui Tai Phu 
No 2, Dien Bien Phu Street, Hue City, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 40000

12. Banh Ram It - Fried dumplings

Food in Hue
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Banh It Ram is a classic three-layered Vietnamese speciality that comprises of a sticky rice dumpling, coupled with a super crispy deep-fried patty, made of glutinous rice. It is usually topped with stir-fried pork and shrimp meat along with scallions.
Where to find?
Madam Thu Restaurant
45 Vo Thi Sau Street, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 40000

13. Va Tron Salad - Hue’s Fig Salad

Food in Hue
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Green fig is trendy in Hue, and Va Tron best uses green fig to come out with a very healthy salad. In the earlier days, Va Tron would be served only to the royalties, but now it is available in every restaurant in Hue. The fruit is usually boiled and softened, peeled and then served along with a mixture of eggs, shrimp, pork, mushrooms, sliced carrots, roasted sesame seeds, shallots and shrimp paste.
Where to find?
Hanh Restaurant
11 Pho Duc Chinh, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 30000

14. Banh Ep - Tapioca delights

Food in Hue
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A simple yet popular dish, Banh Ep is an absolute favourite among Hue’s youth especially. It is made from tapioca flour dough with fillings of meatballs, pork, shrimp, egg or any combination whatsoever. The way the sellers sell Banh Ep is unique actually. The sellers’ sit in the middle as the diners surround him and people call out what combination they prefer, while the seller passes it on. So you get to have spring rolls with your favourite stuffing fresh from the smoker.
Where to find?
Banh Ep Quan 20, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch- VND 40000

15. Banh Trang Trung - Vietnamese Pizza

Food in Hue
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This street food in Hue has gained quite some popularity in recent times. A lot like Banh Ep, Banh Trang Trung is made from a circular rice paper, which is like the base of the pizza, with a variety of toppings like meatballs, shrimp, veggies and cheese, all prepared and grilled over a charcoal stove. Even though it is known as a ‘pizza’, but the base is fragile, unlike usual pizzas.
Where to find?
An Vat Chi Nho, Quan Mo, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket pinch: VND 40000

16. Banh Nam - Nam Cakes

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Banh Nam is a steamed delicacy with large proportions of shrimp, pork and shallots. A lot like flat rice dumplings, Banh Nam is stuffed with the fillings along with lemongrass, shrimp paste and chilli and then wrapped in oiled banana leaves and then steamed until cooked perfectly. Finally, it is served with nuoc mam pha, a famous Vietnamese fish dip.
Where to find?
Hanh Restaurant
11 Pho Duc Chinh, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 35000

17. Banh Loc - Stuffed Dumplings

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Banh Loc is another variety of Hue’s dumplings, made from tapioca. Like most dumplings in Hue, Banh Loc is stuffed with shrimp and pork belly fat and once cooked; it is garnished with loads of deep-fried shallots and a different hue fish sauce dip.
Where to find?
Hanh Restaurant
11 Pho Duc Chinh, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 30000

18. Banh Khot - Tapioca Pancakes

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Banh Khot looks just like mini pancakes and tastes delicious. These crispy Vietnamese pancakes are made using Tapioca flour dough and coconut milk, garnished with shrimps and stir-fried green onions. It is one of three famous rice cakes in Vietnam, the other two being Banh Beo and Banh Loc.
Where to find?
Nguyen Hue street, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 35000

19. Cuon Hue - Noodle Spring Rolls

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Vietnamese rice noodle rolls are not Hue’s speciality, but a touch of sweet added to the spring roll makes it a Hue speciality. It is served with some spicy peanut sauce to enhance the taste even more.
Where to find?
Hang Me Me
14 Vo Thi Sau, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 30000

20. Hue Balut - Duck Fetus Eggs

Food in Hue
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Even though the idea of having a duck fetus or an unborn duck might sound ridiculously creepy, but it is quite a famous food in Hue. The eggs are usually garnished with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and fresh coriander leaves and served in a large bowl. As gross as it may sound, this dish is prevalent among tourists, mostly due to their inquisitiveness about the uniqueness of this dish.
Where to find?
11 Pho Duc Chinh, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 40000

21. Ca Phe Muoi - Hue Salty Coffee

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Even though ‘salty’ coffee sounds somewhat gross for a coffee, but Hue’s salty coffee is anything but gross.Ca Phe Muoi is a sweetened Vietnamese drip coffee, with a pinch of salt and is served hot with condensed milk. This unique coffee is a must-try, when in Hue.
Where to find?
10 Duong Nguyen Luong Bang, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 35000

22. Banh Bot Loc

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Banh Bot Loc looks a lot like sushis with delicious stuffings of shrimp and pork meat cooked with precision using traditional flavours. This dish, made of chestnut starch as the base is small yet exquisite and has a unique taste. It tastes best when served alongside Hue’s famous fish dipping sauce which gives a perfect spicy touch to the dish.
Where to find:
Banh Loc Mu Cai
9 kiet 475, 9 kiet 475 Chi Lang, Phu Hiep,Thua Thien,Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 30000

23. Che Hat Sen - Lotus Seed Soup

Food in Hue
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Che hat sen is a ubiquitous local dessert in Hue. This sweet and thick broth is made up of green rice flakes and Vietnamese lotus seeds. Vietnam gets hot during summers, and this soup acts as a cooling agent for Vietnamese people and helps them combat the extreme weather conditions.
Where to find?
Golden RicePham Ngu Lao Street, Hue, Vietnam
Pocket Pinch: VND 40000
Have these mouth-watering dishes tickled your taste buds yet? I bet it has! Trust me; you will fall in love with these culinary delights once you taste them all. So book your Hue holiday right away and do refer to our guide to experience the best of the best that Hue has to offer!

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