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Bun bo Hue is one of my favorite Vietnamese noodle soups of all time. The broth consists of beef, pork, lemongrass, chiles, and shrimp paste, making it a balance of sweet, sour, savory, and spicy. It’s amazing! We hung out with Summer of Danang Cuisine, and the first of two meals we had together was this noodle soup at Bun Bo Hue Ba Dieu. The shop tends to close on a whim if the pot’s run dry, so I was relieved when we arrived shortly after sunset, and they said

There are two, maybe three, dishes you definitely need to try in Hoi An: cao lau Madame Khanh’s banh mi mi Quang (optional) Cao lau Cao lau literally translates as “high floor.” Legend has it that back in the day when Hoi An was colonized by the French, those with money ate on the higher floors, and this dried noodle dish, full of fresh herbs and greens, was popular for its light, refreshing flavors. Today, tradition continues, and to eat this dish, you have to climb up to the restaurant’s

We enjoyed our Danang food tour with Lena T. so much that we invited her back the next day to hang out in Hoi An. We rented motorbikes again and rode all the way from Danang to Hoi An, which was about a 45-minute drive—not bad, except that your back and butt will hurt by the end. I had a lot of expectations for Hoi An since I’ve had two friends tell me on separate occasions that it was their favorite town in Vietnam. My pops described the old town,

There is a word in Vietnamese, nhau, that describes the act of getting together, drinking beer or spirits, and eating. To nhau is to partake in an age-old Vietnamese tradition where men gather to primarily socialize and drink, and secondarily eat foods that are mostly small bar bites, often exotic (think goat, snails, duck tongues, chicken tails (aka butts). Now in modern times, women also nhau, although not as frequently—go to any nhau establishment, and you’ll mostly find groups of men. I’m always one to break tradition, so I personally

The banh xeo (which translates into English as “sizzling crêpe”) at Ba Duong in Danang was one of my most memorable meals in Vietnam. Lena T., my food guide for Danang, showed us the proper way to eat Madame Duong’s banh xeo, which is to wrap a portion with some nem nuong (grilled pork sausage) and fresh veg in rice paper, and then dip the roll in the “miracle sauce” (as dubbed by locals, according to Lena). The sauce reminds me of the addicting accompaniment to nem nuong rolls from

For a quick getaway, the hubs, BIL, and I took a weekend trip to Danang, a relaxing beach town in the central region of Vietnam, where the streets are less crowded, the air breezier—a welcomed change to the sticky, saturated streets of Saigon. We hit up the beach in the morning, located right across the street from our hotel. Because most Vietnamese people prefer to be out of the sun (fairer skin indicates higher social status, as in you’re wealthy enough to not farm the fields yourself), we pretty much

YouTuber Kyle Le was the official winner of my Saigon food guide contest, but I couldn’t resist reaching out to another couple who had submitted an entry video. Pinky and Chuck (their self-selected English names) are a young, vibrant couple, and the hubs, the BIL, and I spent an afternoon snacking around HCMC with them. Pinky and Chuck took us to eat banh xeo (turmeric and coconut crêpe typically stuffed with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts), goi con (summer rolls), and a snack shop serving small bites often frequented by

Ben Thanh Market (or <em>Cho Ben Thanh</em> in Vietnamese) is perhaps the most famous market in Ho Chi Minh City. Its central location in District 1 makes it accessible to many of the hotels and other tourist destinations.  During the day, vendors sell souvenir t-shirts, cell phone cases, kitchenware, fabric, fruits, sugar cane juice, durian smoothies, and (my favorite)

While there is so much more to today’s landscape of Ho Chi Minh City, for many foreigners, the Lunch Lady experience is still the quintessence of Vietnam food culture. I talk about the Lunch Lady a lot, but that’s because I like her noodle soups a lot. She cooks up a different noodle soup every day of the week, and although I haven’t had every single one of her noodle soups, the four or five different bowls I’ve had were all delicious. She’s only open for a few hours mid-day,

It was my bro-in-law’s first time to Vietnam, so naturally, I took him to the Lunch Lady so he could have the quintessential Vietnam street food experience. Both he and the hubs loved the noodle soup, which happened that day to be bun Thai—Thai-style rice vermicelli with seafood. As a first-timer, the BIL was also taken to Ben Thanh Market where cheap goods abound. It’s not my favorite place, but it’s usually a must-see for first-time visitors. The BIL loves noodle soups, so that evening, we have it again; except

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