Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World

In addition to the famous Banh mi, there are many Vietnamese dishes that are honored around the world in prestigious articles, magazines, and television channels.
April 13, 2024 | 18:08

Vietnam is one of the best-known cuisines in the world with a diversity of flavors, preparation methods as well as nutrition and healthiness. Many Vietnamese dishes are honored worldwide in famous rankings, voted by reputable units.

Below are 7 Vietnamese dishes mentioned by tourists and most honored in foreign articles, magazines, and television channels.

Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World
Bánh mì is a popular type of sandwich in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Insider

Banh mi

Vietnamese banh mi has been ranked first in the list of the top 100 sandwiches in the world by TasteAtlas, the world’s most famous encyclopedia of flavors, traditional dishes, and authentic restaurants.

Taste Atlas says banh mi is a popular Vietnamese variety of sandwiches that share the same core ingredient - a baguette. The baguette was brought over to Vietnam during the colonial period, and nowadays it is one of the few happy legacies from the time.

The crusty bread, condiments, and meats are all a legacy of French and Chinese times, while cilantro, chili, and pickles reflect the Vietnamese taste for fresh vegetables and bright flavors.

This is not the first time the Vietnamese baguette has been named among the best sandwiches across the globe. It also made it to the world's dictionaries including Oxford, Cambridge, and Merriam-Webster, to name a few.

In February 2023, readers of Taste Altas also ranked banh mi sixth among the world’s top 50 street foods.

Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World
A bowl of noodles with beef. Photo: Leisa Tyler/LightRocket/Getty Images


CNN (Cable News Network) Travel has freshly listed Pho bo (beef noodle soup) of Vietnam among its nominations for 20 of the best soups around the world.

About the Vietnamese culinary delight, the top-20 list article published on the news site on January 8 quoted Andrea Nguyen, author of “The Pho Cookbook”, saying Pho is among Vietnam’s most recognized culinary exports.

And while today’s Pho restaurants serve a wide range of flavors, beef is the original. By 1930, Nguyen explained, the soup was served with slices of raw beef cooked gently in the broth.

According to the article, the broth is simmered for hours with cinnamon, star anise, and other warm spices to create a wonderfully aromatic base for this rice noodle soup. Today, beef pho remains the most beloved version in Vietnam, with options that include the original raw beef, a mix of raw and cooked beef, brisket, and tendon.

Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World
Bun cha (Vietnamese grilled pork with rice vermicelli noodles). Photo: Jason Law

Bun cha (Grilled pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles)

In 2023, bun cha was named among the world’s 100 best meat dishes, according to readers’ votes of the TasteAtlas.

Bun cha is a pork and noodle dish that is intricately connected to Hanoi, where it is believed to have originated. The dish combines three elements: a bowl of grilled pork meatballs served in a cold broth, a plate of rice noodles, and a combination of various fresh greens such as perilla leaves, lettuce, coriander, and morning glory.

Although bun cha or similar varieties can be found in other parts of Vietnam, the Hanoi version is held in high regard, a must-try dish to most foreign visitors.

In 2022, bun cha of Vietnam was honorly included in a cookbook with recipes served in visits of the British royal family which were collected by embassies of the UK in countries across the world on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

The recipe of the Vietnamese dish was made by Chef Do Thi Hai Ly, who is working for the UK Embassy in Vietnam.

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward wrote in the book that “Bun cha” is the pride of Hanoi cuisine. No local or tourist can resist the aroma of grilled pork when passing by street food stalls.

“Bun cha” is also the first dish that Ambassador Ward enjoyed when he officially started his term in Vietnam in 2018.

Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World
Wrapped in rice paper, gỏi cuốn is convenient to eat on the go. Not only is it fun to eat, it’s also just as fun to make.

Goi cuon (Fresh spring rolls)

In 2017, Vietnam’s Pho and Goi cuon (fresh spring rolls) were named in the list of the best 30 dishes in the world in a survey by CNN. Pho was ranked 28th while Goi cuon stood at 30th place in the list.

Goi cuon consists of boiled pork, shrimp, herbs, rice vermicelli, and rice paper. It’s served with a sauce made from a variety of ingredients and herbs. Unlike other spring roll dishes which are believed to have originated from China, Vietnamese Goi Cuon is the country's creation using rice paper.

These spring rolls are a refreshing change from the usual fried variety and have become a family favorite. They are great as a cool summertime appetizer and are delicious dipped in one or both of the sauces.

The Goi cuon sauce is made from various ingredients, such as a dash of fish sauce, coconut milk, a squeeze of tamarind, chopped garlic, hot pepper, onions, ground peanuts, fried sesame seeds, and cooking oil.

Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World
Crispy Vietnamese pancake (Bánh xèo) tops the list of 10 most popular Southeast Asian pancakes as compiled by TasteAtlas. Photo courtesy of TasteAtlas

Banh xeo (Crispy Vietnamese crepes)

Banh xeo – also known as crispy Vietnamese pancake, crepe or sizzling cake – is a famous street food which is widely believed to originate from France during its occupation of Vietnam.

The key to banh xeo’s sizzle-magic lies in the batter where the identity and ratios of grain powders are kept as family and vendor secrets. Depending on the desired consistency, flavour, crispiness, sponginess and texture upon cooling, banh xeo batter may be made purely from rice flour or even complicated concoctions of rice powder, wheat flour, corn starch and perhaps even tapioca powder.

In most of southern Vietnam and Saigon, banh xeo mien tay (South-western) is a crowd-pleaser with its rich taste due to the liberal use of coconut milk. This style is also universally accepted abroad as the flamboyant mascot of banh xeo.

Vietnamese Banh Xeo was honored at the Smithsonian American Folklife Festival in 2007. Not only was it named "the best pancake in the world" but it also received praise from both culinary commentators from CNN.

In 2022, the Vietnam’s famous pancake dish, claimed second prize at the Bagnara Ethnic Cultural Festival which was held in Italy.

Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World
Bun Bo Hue, a special dish of this land. Photo: Zing News

Bun bo Hue (Hue-styled noodle soup with beef)

Bun Bo Hue, a popular dish in Thua Thien - Hue central province has become well-known worldwide. The late US chef Anthony Bourdain calls it the world's best noodle soup in his show on CNN.

The dish mainly includes beef, rice vermicelli noodles, garlic, fresh herbs and vegetables while roasted peanuts and fried shallots are entirely optional. Its name is to recognize the original region dish but you can find that elsewhere in Vietnam in recent years because of its fame.

The noodles, vegetables, and herbs are arranged in bowls, while the beef is stir-fried and added on top.

According to Taste Atlas, bún bò Huế is a staple Vietnamese soup that is traditionally consumed for breakfast. The soup is far spicier than most Vietnamese soups and its flavour is often described as rich and complex.

“Many believe that bún bò Huế found its way into mainstream society by way of royal order, and it was influenced by the imperial court's cuisine,” it added.

Taste Atlas revealed that Vietnamese fried spring rolls is called chả giò in the south and nem rán in northern Vietnam.

In May 2022, the Vietnamese spicy soup with beef in Hue style, has been put on the lunch menus of 35 Japanese elementary and secondary schools in Saijo city of Ehime prefecture in the northwest of Shikoku island.

Bun bo Hue appeared on the menu at 35 elementary and junior high schools in Ehime, Japanese newspaper NHK reported.

Vietnamese Dishes Honored Around The World
Bun rieu. Source:

Bun rieu cua (Crab noodle soup)

French daily Le Figaro recently ran an article introducing Hanoi’s most renowned street food. The article was headlined “In Vietnam, eight wonders to taste in Hanoi – a temple of street food” and one of them is bun rieu cua.

In 2019, CNN has wrote in an article, besides ‘beloved local specialty’ bun cha and the ‘world-famous’ pho, there's much more to the city's diverse food scene. They include bun rieu cua and several dishes in the list.

Mentioning ‘bun rieu cua’, CNN wrote, ‘visitors will have a perfect meal when they add requisite plateful of lime wedges, chili and greens to a bowl of bun rieu’.

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