Hoi An, needless to say, is such a famous name to most of the tourists once coming to Vietnam. Thanks to its charming ancient beauty, it is included in one of the must-go destination in every trip. Besides, talking about Hoi An isn’t all about amazing and antique places but also about the gastronomy that might be called unique and hard to be imitated. Let us show you how to have a walk around Hoi An and enjoy many street food Hoi An with only 5 dollars in your pocket!
1. Ms. Phuong’s Bread Shop – 2B Phan Chu Trinh Street
Getting up in a peaceful morning in Hoi An, you would wonder where to have breakfast. Having to say, breakfast, to almost Vietnamese people, is the most important meal of day since they will work very hard till evening; therefore; it is essential to provide enough energy for a day, especially the morning. Because of that, “banh mi”, or bread rolls with various fillings, is really common in Vietnam in general and in Hoi An in particular, where “banh mi” can be found on every street corner.
Among the bread stores, the one which belongs to Truong Thi Phuong, to be called Ms. Phuong’s bread shop at 2B Phan Chu Trinh Street is considered the most favoured bread shop there. The reason why it is so famous is that Ms. Phuong, the owner of the bread shop, inherited a recipe unchanged for generations from her family consisting of liver paste, roasted and steamed pork, chicken and bread. With such a full Vietnamese sandwich, you can travel for a long time not having to worry about your hunger with only from 15,000 to 25,000 vnd (~ $1). Isn’t it expensive for the whole-meat bread?
2. Mrs. Be’s Cao Lau Noodles
If you have been to Hoi An but have never tasted “Cao Lau’, you must come back and try this dish. It is because “Cao Lau” is a unique and special street food only had in Hoi An or Quang Nam Province of central Vietnam. Some people have speculated that Cao Lau noodles were derived from Japanese soba noodles. On the other hand, people believe that it is originated from Chinese wheat noodles. However, whatever it is, it has become a famous food that tourists would not deny trying it! The dish usually includes sliced pork Xa Xiu (Cha siu), another Chinese influence. There are many variations of this dish in Hoi An, some vary the way the pork is cooked (or omitted), using different greens (or absence of mint), sometimes topped with fried pork rind, peanuts, rice crackers, and/or scallions; and sometimes served with lime or chili jam. In the last few decades, new restaurants with modern versions have added shrimp or chicken, and additional herbs. And the pork broth is sometimes blended with dried shrimp/squid or chicken stock. The only consistent item is the noodles.
If you wonder where to eat Cao Lau to enjoy the best dish ever, we would highly recommend you to Mrs. Be’s Cao Lau Noodles locating in Hoi An Market. It’s just a small food stall but really famous for its recipe. One thing you need to know is that the stall opens from 2 to 10 PM, so you should not come here in the morning. A bowl of Cao Lau will cost from 20,000 to 50,000 vnd (~ $1- $2.5) depending on your choice. Enjoying a special food with only less than three dollars might be hardly found everywhere else, isn’t it?
When we mention “snack”, we do not mean those crunchy potato chips wrapped in a nylon package but they are traditional foods in Vietnam, some wrapped in banana leaves, some filled with ground shrimp and then steamed. In case you are nearly full with your day but still want something to fulfill the space of your stomach, snacks in Hoi An would be a good choice!
Snacks can be found easily from street vendors on every corner of the Old Quarter. Local vendors offer everything that they cook at home for tourists including silken tofu (soya bean) in ginger syrup, sweet soup (lotus with black, green or red beans), Banh Beo (water fern cake) and other types of cake. Coming here, tourists won’t be worried about the high price since the snack is only 5,000 vnd (~20 cents) a piece. What a life to have full of those snacks and cakes! It would not be more perfect than going around Hoi An Old Quarter eating those snacks on the way and taking a look at the charming, beautiful and glamorous lanterns lit up every night.
With only 5 dollars for each person, you can bring almost all of Hoi An street food to you while having a chance to enjoy a moment of tranquility and peace. What are you waiting for? Just pick up your packages and go now!