Hue is famous for its royal, noble and aesthetic cuisine, but street vendors and normal dishes are also very attractive and hard to resist. Hue people is very elegant and tasteful, so they are also very sophisticated in eating, not only in material selction but also in cooking process as well as decoration that make each dish is same as a work of art. Besides, the popular dishes and Hue’s street vendors are no less famous and attractive. The appealing characteristics appear not only in the flavor of dishes but also in the image of the mother, the girl who carrying baskets in Hue’s streets which is gentle and incredibly romantic.
- Mussel rice (cơm hến)
Mussel rice is a traditional dish which appears in everywhere whether in villages or country roads, it still to be tasty. Mussel rice is most delicious only be cooked in Hue and its delicious taste due to mussels’ meat and mussel broth. In order to have a tasty bowl of mussel rice, you should have cooked rice, mussels’ meat, adding spices and fried greaves. The special spice of mussel rice is Hue’s shrimp sauce which creates fleshy, bitter, spicy and pungent taste. It is served with vegetables like bean sprouts, chopped white taro’s body and so on as well as roasted peanuts in gold color. If you want to savor the best mussel rice, you should go to Con Hen or Ms. Nho store located in the corner of Pham Hong Thai street, crossed point with Truong Dinh Str, but she only serves in the morning, or you can eat at 2 Truong Dinh Str. The price is quite cheap, only 10,000 VND.
- Bánh canh Bà Đợi
Located on Dao Duy Anh street, at the end of a small alley, there is a “bánh canh” shop that is not signed. It is operated in family, few employees so that guests have to wait a bit long time, patrons therefore call the shop is Mrs.Waiting shop (bà Đợi). The resraurant’s broth is quite different which is fresh, flavored because of natural aroma of shrimps. When one bowl of bread soup (bánh canh) is served, you can see egg rolls together with fresh crispy shrimps and eat with pepper, salt, lemon, chili sauce and chopped scallions on the table although the broth itself is enough tasty for you. Therefore, visitors rarely leave leftover broth in bowl of bread soup at this restaurant.
- Alley sweet gruel (chè hẻm)
It was said that if Hanoi had “36 streets”, Hue also had “36 kinds of sweet gruel”. Noone knows why called sweet gruel, it may because it usually located deely in corners with many different kinds of sweet gruel. Each type of gruel has its own flavor, delicious, delicate and sophisticated as people here. For example, sweet corn gruel which is prepared from young corn of Con Hen, is pure sweet and aromatic or sweet lotus seed gruel with special incense like lotus in Tinh Tam lake which spent only for kings. You also can enjoy sweet lotus seed wrapped by longan gruel which is light sugary and fleshy and many other types like sweet pomegranate gruel, sweet taro gruel, etc. or roasted pork gruel. Some recommendations for you include 17 Hung Vuong Str or Star sweet gruel at 60 Phan Chu Trinh Str.
- Vegeterian meal (cơm chay)
If you want to have a frugal meal and cleanse your body, let’s try a vegeterian meal in Hue. The vegeterian dishes are quite diverse and abundant although it is cooked from vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, etc. If you want to enjoy a vegeterian meal in Hue, you may contact pagodas to have it. You can go to any pagoda in Hue but it is better to go to Tu Dam pagoda, because it is nun pagoda and they cook vegeterian rice very well. It is located inside the city, at Dien Bien Phu Str. Another choice is Lien Hoa vegeterian restaurant at 3 Le Quy Don Str, the price is quite suitable.
- Hue’s beef rice noodle (bún bò Huế)
Hue’s beef rice noodle with its famousness and delicious flavor, is trully the soul of Hue’s cuisine. It normally has a piece of pork leg, a piece of egg rolls, some small pieces of blood pudding and obviously slices of beef. It is served with fresh different kinds of vegetables. You can enjoy the most famous one in cooking beef noodle at 13 Ly Thuong Kiet Str (near Trade Unions hotel). In addition, you can easily find a good quality restaurant in Hue with the price around 30,000 VND.
- Grilled meat rice noodle, grilled meat wetcake (bánh ướt thịt nướng)
A special feature of this two dishes lies in grilled meat. It is marinated enough, fragrant, meat slice is soft and it has special and different flavor from other areas. Sauce served with this dishes is also fit your taste, very delicious. You can enjoy them at Kim Long area, on the way to Thien Mu pagoda.
- Hue’s cakes: banh beo, banh bot loc, banh khoai
Visiting Hue, you will see how “banh beo” attaching to the life of people here. Everyday from 3 to 5pm, women with baskets in their shoulders or hips walk to sell “banh beo”, “banh loc” to each house. The Hue people like it and enjoy it as snacks in habit. You can go to “banh beo” streets like An Dinh palace, Ngu Binh Str, Nguyen Binh Khiem Str to directly feel the “banh beo” culture. About “bánh khoái” or in English it can be called “favorite cake” which is made from rice flour, egg yolk then added pepper, onion, fish sauce, salt, peeled shrimp, sliced grilled beef or bird and bean sprouts, the most famous one is Thuong Tu and you can go to three branches that are Lac Thien, Lac Thanh and Bach Yen to enjoy it.
- Nhat Le’s sticky rice cake
This is a famous dish in Hue and originated from Nhat Le streets in Royal Citadel, where focusing dozens of baking place. Sticky rice cake is scented, quiche because of skillfull flavor combination between beans, meat (fat and lean) with sticky rice and spices like pepper, onion. The long time eating, the more hunger for it.
- Nem lui Hue
Many people often say that “Nem lui is a characterized dish of Hue”. At Nguyen Hue Str, there are two “nem lui” shops. Everyday and night, it is always crowded by customers. At first time, wow, all feel delicious, then they come back second, three times, even eating everyday like “addictive” people and keep excellent compliments for “nem lui”.
If you like Cu Chi Tunnels, join us on our Hue City Tour.