Vietnamese Food Tour in Hoi An with a Local Guide

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Vietnamese food is popular all around the world; especially staple dishes such as Pho, summer rolls and baguettes. During my recent trip around Vietnam, I joined a super fun food tour in Hoi An with a local who knows the Vietnamese food scene like no other.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored tour by Backstreet Academy – all opinions are my own.

Food Tour & Evening Walking in Hoi An

Exploring the Street Food of Hoi An

A food tour in Hoi An is perfect for anyone wanting to try local favorite dishes and some more adventurous foods that can only be found in Vietnam. The tour is not only a great way to explore Vietnam’s food scene but also to learn more about Hoi An and Vietnam’s history.

All of the guides leading the food tour are fun, knowledgable and young locals who know Hoi An like the back of their hand and grew up eating at the same food stalls as included in the tour.

The food tour in Hoi An is takes place in the late afternoon when street vendors start to set up shop. For four hours, tour partakers have then the opportunity to taste amazingly flavorful dishes in Hoi An’s off-the-beaten-track side-alleys and streets.

If you are looking to explore Hoi An away from its touristy corners and want to see exactly what and where the locals really hang out and eat – this tour is for you!

In fact, it’s the most delicious and fun way to explore Hoi An just like a local.

Highlights of the Food Tour in Hoi An

We tried so many amazing dishes and snacks during this tour that I am unable to count. Whether you are interested in trying something sweet or savory – this tour has got it all and truly opens the door into Vietnam’s amazing food culture.

Hoi An White Rose Dumplings

White Rose Hoi An  (banh bao banh vac) is a true local specialty in Hoi An. These delicate dumplings are made by one family in the city who makes them for all the other restaurants in town.

White Rose is a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose. The dumplings are topped with crunchy bits of toasted garlic and served with a sweet dipping sauce.

The recipe for these dumplings has been kept secret by one family in Hoi An for three generations whose grandfather first created the light and fluffy dumplings for family dinners.

The dumplings quickly caught the attention of other families in Hoi An and the family started selling them. When demand increased even further, the family turned a part of their house into a bistro.

How To Eat

Suck on the hole of the shell. A little slimy worm-like snail will pop out. It is almost the consistency of an oyster, only long and skinny and a bit slimy.

Mud Creeper River Snails

This is a very popular Vietnamese snack enjoyed by young and old. I never had snails before so it was a bit strange to – especially because of the slimy consistency. Hover over the image on the left for more information.

Cao Lau Hoi An

Cao Lau is the most popular traditional dish in Hoi An but the origin of Cao Lau is still somewhat of a mystery. Locals like to call it a fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese cuisine, influenced by foreign merchants doing business in the flourishing port town of Hoi An centuries back. Hover over the image on the left for more information.

What's in it?

Cao Lau noodles, slices of barbecue pork, pork crackling, bean sprouts, lettuce and herbs with a spoonful of stock.

Water Fern Cake – Banh Beo

A true staple in Central Vietnam, Banh Beo is not very popular elsewhere except Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An. The water fern cake is often served in a small bowl with a scrumptious topping of minced shrimp, pork, spring onion and dry bits of deep-fried Cao lau noodles.

Vietnamese Sandwich – Banh Mi

Banh Mi is available and popular all over Vietnam but it’s history begins in the mid-1800s when the French introduced the baguette to Vietnam. Banh Mi is basically a short French-style baguette topped with all sorts of ingredients: pork, cheese, pickled papaya, long sliced cucumber, sliced tomato and cilantro, spring onion, mints, and more!

Chicken Rice – Com Ga

Chicken Rice is popular all over Vietnam but the local version in Hoi An is quite different. While Northern Vietnamese people like to eat the whole piece of boiled chicken thighs or chest, people in Hoi An shred the chicken into smaller slices and season it with salt, pepper, chili and Vietnamese coriander. Absolutely delicious!

Fetal Duck Egg

Yes, you read that right. FETAL duck egg. Now, I put this one last on the list to not scare you off in the beginning. However, keep an open mind and don’t be put off by the name. These kinds of eggs are actually a great, tasty, nutritious and cheap road-side snack that can be found anywhere in Vietnam.

What is a fetal duck egg? A fetal duck egg is basically a fertilized egg that has been kept warm for around two weeks until the fetus is partially developed. It is then boiled and eaten in the same way you eat a regular egg.

Our Tour Guide

Are you ready for your own Food Tour in Hoi An?

We truly enjoyed this food tour in Hoi An and would certainly recommend it to anyone visiting. We learned so much about Vietnamese food culture and the history about their most popular dishes. After the tour, we were left with a great appreciation for the country’s cuisine.

This tour really pushed us to try new things we never thought we’d ever try (cue: snails and fetal duck eggs) without the gentle nudge of our lovely tour guide.

My personal favorite was the Cao Lau noodle dish because of its unique flavor and interesting fusion origin.

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Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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