hue food guide

Top 14 Hue Food Experiences 2023 | Feast Your Senses

Welcome to Hue, Vietnam, a city where history and flavors intertwine to create a unique culinary experience. Hue food is a reflection of its royal history and its location along the Perfume River.

In this article, we’ll take you on a adventure through Hue food guide, focusing solely on the delicious dishes that define this city’s gastronomic heritage. Join us as we explore Hue’s culinary treasures, one bite at a time!

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1. Bun Bo Hue – Quintessential Hue Food

In the heart of Hue, Vietnam, a culinary masterpiece awaits – Bun Bo Hue (Hue beef noodle soup). This iconic noodle soup is a beloved local specialty known for its bold flavors and distinct spiciness. Let’s dive into the world of Bun Bo Hue and explore where to savor it in Hue.

Bun Bo Hue, often called “Bun Bo” for short, is a noodle soup that sets itself apart with its fiery kick. What distinguishes it is the chili oil-infused broth, lending the dish its signature heat. Tender slices of beef, including brisket and shank, along with pig’s knuckles, add layers of savory richness. Thick, round noodles provide a delightful chewiness, while fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime, and fermented shrimp paste complete the tasty Bun Bo Hue experience.

To enjoy the best Bun Bo Hue, consider these renowned restaurants in Hue: Bun Bo Hue O Phung, Bun Bo Hue O Cuong, or Bun Bo Hue Ba Tuyet.

bun bo hue
Bun Bo Hue

2. Com Hen – Classic Hue Food

Com Hen, a beloved dish hailing from the city of Hue, embodies the essence of this region’s cuisine. At first glance, it may seem like a simple meal, but its complex blend of flavors and textures makes it a must-try for anyone visiting this historic city. In the beginning, Com Hen was mainly eaten by poor farmers because it was made from leftover rice at home. But as time went on, people from all walks of life in Hue began to enjoy it because of its special taste.

This traditional Hue food consists of fragrant and crispy rice crackers, topped with an array of ingredients, most notably tiny, succulent baby clams. What makes this dish truly special are the carefully crafted toppings that accompany the clams. You’ll find a delightful mix of aromatic herbs, roasted peanuts, crispy pork rinds, and a drizzle of flavorful fish sauce dressing. The combination of these elements creates a symphony of tastes and textures that’s both satisfying and uniquely Hue.

There are a few exceptional restaurants in Hue to savor this local delicacy. Com Hen Ba Cam and Com Hen Dap Da are two standout options. These eateries are renowned for their dedication to preserving the authenticity of Hue’s culinary traditions, offering a genuine taste of Com Hen prepared with the freshest ingredients!

Staying at Saigon? You could also taste the best 20 Saigon food experiences with our guide!

com hen
Com Hen

3. Banh Khoai – Hue Crispy Rice Pancake

Hue’s culinary scene wouldn’t be complete without a taste of Banh Khoai, the city’s beloved savory pancakes. These delightful creations are a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that capture the essence of Hue’s culinary heritage.

Banh Khoai’s key ingredients include rice flour, water, and turmeric, lending them their distinctive golden color. They’re typically filled with a mix of shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts, creating a delightful contrast of crispy and tender. Served with fresh herbs and a flavorful fish sauce-based dip, each bite offers a satisfying combination of crispiness, savoriness, and freshness.

When in Hue, make sure to visit Banh Khoai Lac Thien and Banh Khoai Hanh, both renowned for their Banh Khoai offerings. These eateries excel in crafting these savory pancakes to perfection, ensuring you get an authentic taste of Hue’s culinary traditions.

Learn more about Vietnam traditions & customs!

banh khoai
Banh Khoai

4. Banh Xeo – Hue’s Culinary Masterpiece

Banh Xeo, a savory Vietnamese pancake, is a delightful dish renowned for its crispy, golden exterior and rich, flavorful fillings. What makes Banh Xeo special is its unique combination of ingredients and textures. The pancake batter, made from rice flour, coconut milk and turmeric, creates a thin and crispy shell when fried to perfection. Inside, you’ll typically find a delicious mixture of shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs, all folded into the pancake.

The magic happens when you wrap a piece of Banh Xeo in fresh lettuce leaves and dip it into a tangy fish sauce-based dipping sauce. It’s a burst of flavors and textures in every bite, with the crispy pancake complementing the freshness of the herbs and the umami of the filling. This Hue food is a must-try for anyone visiting Hue, and you can savor it at two great spots in the city.

If you’re in Hue, you can enjoy Banh Xeo at two great places: Banh Xeo Thu Xuong at 86 Kim Long, TP Hue, Thua Thien Hue, and Banh Xeo Lac Thien at 6 Dinh Tien Hoang, Phu Hoa, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue. These eateries are popular for their authentic Banh Xeo experience and generous portions, making them must-visit spots for food enthusiasts in the area.

banh xeo
Banh Xeo

5. Nem Lui

Nem Lui, a culinary gem of Hue, Vietnam, is a dish that captivates both locals and visitors with its enticing flavors. These skewers of grilled pork are crafted with care, where ground pork, aromatic herbs, and a blend of spices are molded onto lemongrass stalks before grilling. The result is a delightful combination of fragrant, juicy pork skewers that encapsulate the essence of Hue’s culinary artistry.

To savor this best Hue food, make sure to visit “Quan Nem Lui Mung” and “Quan Nem Lui Hong Mai.” At “Quan Nem Lui Mung,” you can relish succulent skewers paired with an assortment of dipping sauces, creating an explosion of flavors in every bite. Meanwhile, “Quan Nem Lui Hong Mai” offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy these delectable skewers in the heart of the city.

Nem Lui isn’t just a dish; it’s an integral part of Hue’s culinary heritage. The harmonious blend of lemongrass, tender pork, and an array of flavors ensures that Nem Lui is an essential culinary adventure for anyone exploring the flavors of this historic city.

nem lui
Nem Lui

6. Banh Beo

In the heart of Hue’s culinary scene lies Banh Beo, a dish that beautifully encapsulates the city’s gastronomic heritage. These bite-sized steamed rice cakes, aptly named “water fern cakes” due to their translucent appearance, are both visually enchanting and delicious. Banh Beo is a must-try in Hue, offering a taste of the city’s rich culture through its delicate texture and unique flavors.

Two renowned establishments stand out as prime destinations to savor authentic Banh Beo in Hue: Banh Beo Suong and Banh Beo Cho Dong Ba. Banh Beo Suong, with its long history, is a local favorite known for its expertise in crafting these delectable morsels. Topped with a variety of ingredients, including crispy pork skin and savory shrimp, each bite at Banh Beo Suong is a flavor-packed delight.

Meanwhile, Banh Beo Cho Dong Ba provides a bustling market atmosphere where you can sample Banh Beo along with other Hue specialties. This vibrant setting allows for customization with a range of condiments, adding an interactive element to your dining experience. Whether you choose Banh Beo Suong or Banh Beo Cho Dong Ba, you’re in for a treat, immersing yourself in the delightful world of Banh Beo, where taste and tradition blend seamlessly.

banh beo
Banh Beo

7. Banh Bot Loc

Banh Bot Loc, a delightful and delicate Vietnamese dish hailing from Hue, is a testament to the intricate artistry that goes into Vietnamese cuisine. This translucent, chewy, and delectable treat has captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike. Banh Bot Loc is a dumpling made from tapioca flour and stuffed with a flavorful mixture of shrimp and pork. These little parcels are then wrapped in banana leaves, steamed to perfection, and served with a dipping sauce. What sets Banh Bot Loc apart is its unique texture, a harmonious blend of chewy and tender that makes it a standout dish in the vibrant culinary tapestry of Hue.

When in Hue, you have the privilege of enjoying Banh Bot Loc at some of the city’s most cherished eateries. Three places that should top your list are Quan Ba Cu, Quan O Giau, and Quan Ba Do. Visiting these establishments not only satisfies your palate but also allows you to immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Hue, where Banh Bot Loc reigns supreme as a beloved and cherished local specialty.

Banh bot loc
Banh Bot Loc

8. Banh Nam

Banh Nam, a renowned specialty of Hue, Vietnam, is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a visual delight. These delectable rice dumplings are celebrated for their unique combination of flavors and are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region. Banh Nam features a delicate flat rice dumpling stuffed with a flavorful mixture of minced pork and succulent shrimp, all elegantly encased in aromatic banana leaves.

The key ingredients that give Banh Nam its distinctive texture are rice and tapioca flour. These dumplings are steamed to perfection and are at their best when served warm, accompanied by a generous drizzle of nuoc mam, a quintessential Vietnamese fish sauce. Banh Nam’s history is steeped in tradition, originally crafted to satiate the appetites of the Emperors in the former Imperial Capital. It is typically enjoyed as an appetizer, making it easy to indulge in several at once. Unwrapping the banana leaves reveals an irresistible fragrance that is both inviting and addicting, making it an unmissable treat for food enthusiasts visiting Hue.

If you’re craving the exquisite flavors of Banh Nam in Northern Vietnam, don’t miss Quan 50 Bun Bo Hue in Hue. Located at 50 Tran Thuc Nhan, Vinh Ninh, Hue, this unassuming shop-house offers an authentic taste of Hue’s royal cuisine. While it’s famous for its Bun Bo, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the delightful range of snacks, including the mouthwatering Banh Nam. The restaurant’s commitment to preserving Hue’s traditional flavors and culinary techniques is evident in every bite of their Banh Nam, making it the perfect place to savor this iconic dish. Quan 50 Bun Bo Hue’s dedication to culinary excellence and the unique flavors of Banh Nam will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on anyone eager to explore Hue’s rich gastronomic heritage.

Banh Nam
Banh Nam

9. Banh Ram It

Banh Ram It, or Fried sticky rice dumplings, a delightful Vietnamese delicacy, is a must-try snack for those exploring the flavors of Northern Vietnam, especially in Hue. These crunchy fried rice dumplings stand out for their unique combination of textures and flavors. They are crafted by stuffing pork belly into chewy dumplings and topping them with dried shrimp. What sets fried sticky rice dumplings apart is the small circular deep-fried rice cracker base, known as “ram,” which lends a satisfying crispy layer to the dish. These dumplings are then garnished with shrimp, stir-fried onions, and served with Vietnamese fish sauce, creating a harmonious blend of savory and crispy goodness. The contrast between the crispy bottom and chewy dumpling makes Banh Ram It an irresistible treat, perfect for satisfying your Hue food cravings.

When in Hue, you can indulge in Banh Ram It at a couple of noteworthy spots. For an authentic experience, visit Cho Ben Ngu Hue Market, recommended by Authentic Food Quest. Here, you can savor the delicious Banh Ram It along with other traditional Hue snacks. If you’re looking for a friendly atmosphere and excellent service, head to Quan Banh O Le, located on the outskirts of the city. They also serve scrumptious Banh Ram It, allowing you to venture a bit further to enjoy the rich flavors of Hue cuisine. Quan Banh O Le can be found at Kiet 104, Kim Long, Hue, and is open every day from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, with Banh Ram It priced at approximately 24,000 VND (about $1.04).

Alternatively, you can try the Banh Ram It offered by a local lady at Ben Ngu Market. This vendor is situated at Phan Boi Chau, Phuoc Vinh, Hue, and opens every morning of the week, with a price of around 20,000 VND (approximately $0.86).

Banh Ram It
Banh Ram It

10. Bun Thit Nuong

Bun Thit Nuong, a beloved Vietnamese dish, holds a special place in the culinary landscape of Northern Vietnam, particularly in Hue. What sets this Hue food apart is the meticulous preparation and the distinctive flavors that are a testament to Hue’s rich culinary heritage.

Bun Thit Nuong consists of cold vermicelli rice noodles (bun) served in a bowl, complemented by slices of tender, smoky caramelized grilled pork (thit nuong). The magic of Bun Thit Nuong lies in the harmonious combination of contrasting elements—chilled noodles and warm grilled pork—enhanced by a unique peanut dipping sauce instead of the traditional fish sauce. A vibrant green salad, featuring lettuce, mustard greens, cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, and more, accompanies the dish, adding freshness and texture. The balance of flavors and the interplay between the cold noodles, warm pork, and fragrant herbs create an irresistible culinary experience.

When seeking the best restaurants in Hue to savor Bun Thit Nuong, one must visit “Bun Thit Nuong – Bun Mam,” a local gem known for its exceptional barbecue pork. Located just a few blocks from Ben Ngu market, this eatery opens its doors exclusively in the evenings, attracting a bustling crowd of locals and enthusiasts alike. The restaurant’s address is 35 Nguyen Truong To, Phuoc Vinh, Hue, and it operates daily from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. With its reasonable price of 24,000 VND (approximately $1.04), you can indulge in the authentic flavors of Bun Thit Nuong and experience the culinary traditions of Hue that have been honed over generations!

Bun Thit Nuong
Bun Thit Nuong

11. Va Tron

Va Tron, also known as Hue Mixed Figs, is a delectable dish that has gained recognition in Hue, Vietnam. While it may appear simple with its ingredients like meat, herbs, fish sauce, and figs, the magic lies in the harmonious blend of flavors and textures that make it unforgettable. Traditionally reserved for special family occasions, Va Tron can now be savored at various restaurants in Hue, offering a taste of local cuisine to visitors.

If you’re eager to try Va Tron in Hue, consider dining at Buffalo Restaurant on 68 Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Song Xanh Restaurant at 103 Nguyen Lo Trach Street, or La Tus Restaurant, also located at 103 Nguyen Lo Trach Street. Each of these establishments offers a unique take on this Hue specialty, ensuring you can savor the dish in different ways while exploring the city’s rich culinary heritage. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this delightful blend of flavors during your visit to Hue.

Va Tron
Va Tron

12. Hen Xuc Banh Trang – Signature Hue Food

Hen Xuc Banh Trang might not be as renowned as some other Hue delicacies, but it’s a hidden gem worth exploring. This dish stands out thanks to its unique combination of dry roasted clams, aromatic spices, roasted peanuts, and crispy fried rice paper. What makes it truly special is the interactive dining experience it offers. Diners use the rice paper as a makeshift spoon to scoop up the flavorful clams and enjoy them together. The resulting blend of textures and flavors is simply delightful, making it a must-try dish for anyone visiting Hue.

If you’re in Hue and eager to savor this Hue food, there are a few spots you should definitely check out. Dap Da restaurant, located at 01 Han Mac Tu street, is a great place to start your Hen Xuc Banh Trang adventure. Another option is Ba Cam, situated at 49 Tung Thien Vuong street, where you can expect a delicious and authentic rendition of this dish. Com Hen Nho, found at 137 Han Mac Tu street, is another solid choice for experiencing the flavors of Hen Xuc Banh Trang in Hue. These restaurants in Hue not only serve up a tasty Hen Xuc Banh Trang but also provide a genuine taste of local culture and cuisine. Enjoy your culinary journey in Hue!

Hen Xuc Banh Trang
Hen Xuc Banh Trang

13. Tra Cung Dinh Hue

Tra Cung Dinh Hue, or royal tea, is a fascinating part of Hue food heritage deeply rooted in the city’s royal history. During the feudal era, emperors meticulously prepared this tea through intricate rituals and processes before savoring it. One unique aspect of its preparation involved leaving tea leaves among the lotus flowers of the citadel’s Tinh Tam Lake, infusing it with an exquisite flavor. Although it has evolved over the past 80 years amidst Vietnam’s political and economic changes, Tra Cung Dinh Hue remains a captivating experience for tea enthusiasts.

To savor this Hue food, you can explore several restaurants in Hue. Nha Hang Cafe Vy Da Xua, located at 131 Nguyen Sinh Cung, offers a remarkable experience. They serve tra cung dinh in a filter and pot, blending tea leaves with ingredients like grated roots, ginseng, dai tao, licorice, goji berry, and lotus heart. The resulting brew has a medicinal taste, dominated by licorice and ginseng, and is served with me xung (ginger biscuits) and banh dau (bean cake). The pot is refillable, making it an ideal place to while away the hours while enjoying scenic views of the Huong River.

In Kim Long, you’ll find Tra That at 100 Kim Long, a Buddhist-inspired tea house offering a variety of teas. It’s a must-visit for tea lovers, and Kim Long’s romantic ambiance adds to its allure. You can also purchase Tra Cung Dinh Hue in packages at various domestic tourist shops throughout the city, making it a delightful souvenir to take home after your Hue journey. Additionally, it’s readily available at most markets in Hue, ensuring you can enjoy this unique royal tea wherever you go.

Hen Xuc Banh Trang
Hen Xuc Banh Trang

14. Ruou Minh Mang

Ruou Minh Mang, often considered a legendary elixir, is steeped in the history of the Nguyen Dynasty’s second emperor, Minh Mang. This special concoction gained fame for its association with the emperor’s quest for an heir and reportedly played a role in his fathering of over 140 children. While the historical authenticity of Minh Mang wine remains debated, it has become a fascinating part of Hue’s cultural lore. This unique beverage is said to contain ingredients like ginseng, cinnamon, various roots, herbs, fungi, and fruits such as polyporaceae, wolfberry, and radix astragali. The taste is often described as medicinal, not suited for everyone’s palate.

To savor Ruou Minh Mang, you can visit several restaurants in Hue. Thong Huong, located at 56 Mai Thuc Loan, is one of the recommended spots. They offer a variety of Minh Mang wine options, with prices ranging from 60,000 to 1,000,000vnd. Additionally, they sell kits for those interested in making this unique elixir at home, priced between 500,000 and 1,000,000vnd. Another option is the unnamed “Tourist Shop” at 93 Duong Xuan 68, where you can enjoy Ruou Minh Mang for a reasonable price of 80,000vnd. While Ruou Minh Mang may not be an everyday drink for locals, it’s a captivating part of Hue’s heritage that you can bring home as a unique souvenir, especially for those with an adventurous spirit.

Ruou Minh Mang
Ruou Minh Mang

Ready For Your Tasty Hue Food Experiences?

In closing, let’s sum up our culinary journey through Hue, Vietnam in a simple and friendly manner. Hue’s food scene is a real treat, and it’s worth exploring if you’re a food lover or just someone looking for an authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisine.

So, when you find yourself in Hue, don’t hesitate to wander through local markets or pop into those charming little eateries. The top 10 Hue foods we’ve talked about aren’t just items on a menu; they’re stories, traditions, and an invitation to explore the fantastic world of Vietnamese cooking. Hue’s got something to make your taste buds dance. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

Plan your hassle-free trip to Vietnam with e-Visa!

Let our extensive 10+ years of experience in visa services be your guiding light as you book with us, guaranteeing a smooth and worry-free trip to Vietnam!


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