Ah, Vietnam. Once you’ve visited, you’ll never forget the abundance and deliciousness of the street food. It can seem like there’s a vendor on every corner in major cities, and you can find a bunch of friendly food sellers in a row who’ll compete for your attention!
Even walking down the street can be a culinary experience as you smell the seafood, noodles, rice, and spices. Here are a few main points to remember about Vietnamese street food:
- The Vietnamese use a lot of fish sauce.
- The food is a study in contrasts: very hot or cold and very salty or sweet.
- It’s important to get fresh ingredients and freshly made dishes.
- You can get noodles and rice with every meal, morning, noon, and night.
- Salads are based on various fruits instead of lettuce.
Some vendors also serve French baguettes, and cities in the north tend toward meals influenced by their Chinese neighbors.
You can get abundant food when you’re on a budget by going to street vendors, because Vietnam street food prices are much lower there than in restaurants. Street vendors serve dishes for as low as about $1.44 AUD, $1.32 CAD, $19.19 MXN, or $1 USD. Many Western countries charge 5–10 times that amount for the same dish!
It’s important to learn the typical prices of street food in Vietnam and then ask “How much?” before you actually buy anything. Negotiate, make sure you understand how much you’re paying, and decide if you’re comfortable with the price before you count out your đồng.
What Are the Classic Dishes to Try?
These classic dishes are the ones your friends will ask you about, so don’t miss them! Plus, you can learn the cost of street food in Vietnam based on these dishes first and then branch out to other dishes later.
Description: This is a type of baguette that can be filled with cheese, sliced pork, and vegetables, or made vegetarian using tofu. Another option is a baguette filled with fries, egg, and soy sauce.
- Đồng: 20,000–30,000
- Australian Dollar: $1.23–$1.85
- Canadian Dollar: $1.13–$1.70
- Mexican Peso: $16.49–$24.73
- United States Dollar: $0.86–$1.29
Cà phê sữa đá
Description: The most common way of having coffee in Vietnam is getting it poured over ice, highly sweetened, and mixed with plenty of condensed milk. You could also get a fruit juice or tea instead of the coffee.
- Đồng: 10,000
- Australian Dollar: $0.62
- Canadian Dollar: $0.57
- Mexican Peso: $8.24
- United States Dollar: $0.43
Description: This is a type of spring roll that is deep fried, crunchy on the outside, and best enjoyed dipped in a Vietnamese sauce. They are often filled with either pork or shrimp and shredded vegetables.
Cost (per roll):
- Đồng: 5,000
- Australian Dollar: $0.31
- Canadian Dollar: $0.28
- Mexican Peso: $4.12
- United States Dollar: $0.21
Fried eggs and potatoes
Description: Great for a quick meal, this plate consists of a fried egg and fried potato slices served with rice, vegetables, chili, and fish sauce. It’s filling and quick for vendors to make.
- Đồng: 5,000–30,000
- Australian Dollar: $0.31–$1.85
- Canadian Dollar: $0.28–$1.85
- Mexican Peso: $4.12–$24.73
- United States Dollar: $0.21–$1.29
Description: Pho can be eaten for any meal of the day. It includes thinly sliced meat, noodles, vegetables, herbs, and fish sauce in a warm, filling bowl. You can choose between different types of meat and vegetables.
- Đồng: 20,000–40,000
- Australian Dollar: $1.23–$2.47
- Canadian Dollar: $1.13–$2.27
- Mexican Peso: $16.49–$32.97
- United States Dollar: $0.86–$1.72
Start Here and Continue Exploring
These Vietnam street food prices and classic dishes are a great place to start. They’ll fill you up and give you a good comparison for the prices of other dishes.
If you’re getting ready for a trip to Vietnam, remember to apply for your travel visa online as soon as possible so that your trip will be more convenient.