Hue is famous for luxury and diversity cuisine of the court; however, the street vendors or rustic food also have their own charming features.
1. Mussel rice
The best mussel rice is in Hue. Although this rustic dish is almost everywhere, it is still delicious. People add mussels, other ingredients, cracklings, and Hue shrimp sauce which is fat, acerbic, spicy and acrid. This dish could be eaten with vegetable such as: raw vegetable, banana tree, bean sprouts, and some small piece of taro tree. . They also fry peanut to make eye-catching color.
Mussel rice in Con Hen, or “Chi Nho” shop (My older little sister) in Pham Hong Thai street crossing Truong Dinh Street is the best. However, it only opens in the morning. Another choice is to go to Truong Dinh Street. Mussel rice is quite cheap, which is only 10.000 VND for one bowl.
2. Banh canh Ba Doi
Lying on Dao Duy Anh street, there is an unknown shop of “Banh canh” (Soup cake). It is a type of home-business, so guests have to wait. That’s why they call the shop “Ba Doi” (Mrs Waiting), Hue people often call it “mu Doi”. Although “Banh canh” here is thin as in Quang Binh, its soup is bold with Hue style.
The soup has its naturally delicious taste of shrimp. When they bring the soup in, it is clear, rolls and fresh shrimp, guests can add pepper, salt, lemon, chili sauce and onion preparing on the table. That is why guest hardly leave the soup.
3. Che Hem
It is said that if there are “36 streets” in Hanoi, there is “36 kinds of Che” in Hue. Nobody knows when Che hem was in Hue, its name comes from the place where people have to go deeply into street to eat various kinds of Che.
Each of them has their own taste which is delicious, elegant and sophisticated as Hue people. Che bap (made from corn) is fresh and sweet from young corn of Con Hen; Che hat sen (made from lotus seeds) has unique scent of lotus from Tinh Tam, which used to give to the King. There is also che nhan boc hat sen (longan covers lotus seed) which is very sweet and tasteful. Some other kinds of che as Che hat luu (rice paste are cut into pomegranate seed-shaped pieces), che troi nuoc, che khoai so (made from taro), che bot loc (made from made from rice dumpling), etc.
Che bot loc thit heo quay (made from rice dumpling with grilled meat) is a dish only in Hue. It is prepared complicatedly from meat pieces, covered by sticky rice powder, added sugar to cook into “che”. When eating, this dish brings us strange feeling which is both sweet and salty, and somehow fat.
4. Com chay Hue (Hue vegetarian rice)
If you want a frugal meal and to help your body refresh, let’s try “com chay” in Hue. There are many vegetarian dishes ranging from vegetables, mushrooms, doufu, etc. However, you still have a full and good meal.
Tourists come to Hue can enjoy a vegetarian meal from Buddhists, or contact to Pagodas. You can go to any pagoda, but a good choice is Tu Dam pagoda, because there are only female monk so many of them can cook well, and it is also inside the city – on Dien Bien Phu Street.
Hue meal for veterans.
Besides, you can go to Lien Hoa vegetarian restaurant – 3th Le Quy Don Street – to get those dishes with cheap price.
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5. Bun Bo Hue (rice vermicelli and beef)
Bun Bo Hue is the soul of Hue cuisine. The dish has a piece of pig’s trotters, handmade pork paste, pig’s blood, and some piece of beef. The vegetables are also diversity and fresh. The most famous address to eat this dish is 13th Ly Thuong Kiet street (next to Cong Doan Hotel). In addition, you can find good shop of Bun bo everywhere in Hue with average price of 30.000VND.
"Bun bo Hue" - The most popular Hue noodle, which is mixed with beef
6. Grilled meat noodles, grilled meat wet cake
The special thing of these two dish is grilled meat. The meat there is mixed perfectly which makes meat soft, not dry, and marks a characteristic taste. The sauce is delicious; especially there are many types of vegetable to eat with.
Good grilled meat wet cake and Grilled meat noodles shops are on Kim Long street – the way leads to Thien Mu pagoda.
Grilled meat noodle
7. Hue cakes: Banh beo (water fern cake), rice dumpling cake, banh khoai (plain rice flan)
If you have chance to visit Hue, you will know how Banh beo attaches to the life of people here. About 3 – 5 p.m, women who carry vendors or small bamboo basket sell Banh Beo, Banh Loc to every house. Hue people are interested in eating and considering it as a habit for the desert before the meal.
You can go to “Banh Beo district” as An Dinh palace, Ngu Binh street, Nguyen Binh Khiem street, etc. to watch the “Banh Beo culture”.
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Banh Khoai is made from rice powder mixed with water and yolk, pepper, onion, salt, shrimp, grilled beef/bird pieces, small fat and beansprout. Thanks to its special soup which is only made by the best chef. It is a family secret that decides the quality of the taste.
The most famous Banh Khoai is Thuong Tu shop,
including Lac Thien, Lac Thanh and Bach yen shops.
Rice dumpling cake - the most favorite cake of Hue
8. Banh chung Nhat Le
This is a well-known dish in Hue, and comes from Nhat Le street inside the Inner Wall. It is both soft and aromatic, due to the perfect mixture of scent and filler as beans, meat, sticky rice and other spices as pepper, onion. If you eat for a long time, you would be addicted to it.
It would be more delicious if you enjoy when it is cold.
Put out banana leave cover, the cake is green.
9. Nem lui chat Hue (Hue lemongrass skewer)
Many people say Nem Lui is one of the significant dishes of Hue”. On Nguyen Hue street there are 2 shops of Nem Lui. They are always full of guests. If you eat Nem Lui for the first time, you will come there again and again, even enjoy the dish everyday as if you are addicted to it.
Lemongrass skewer - a mixing rolls of Hue with typical sauce
When eating, take rice sheet covers grilled meat, vegetables, pineapple, starfruit, beansprout, young banana, colorful chili, etc. then use onion to tide them, eat with special sauce called “Nuoc Leo”. Nuoc Leo used for Nem Lui is made from many ingredients as plant oil, pig’s livers, sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk.
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