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Top 12 Unmissable Delicious Dishes To Try In Hue, Vietnam

Nestled along the picturesque Perfume River, Hue is not only renowned for its historical landmarks and imperial architecture but also for its vibrant gastronomic scene. Hue's cuisine is a captivating fusion of royal influences and local traditions, resulting in a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. From aromatic soups to savory street food, the flavors of Hue reflect its rich history and cultural heritage. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a symphony of herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients that come together to create a harmonious balance of flavors. So, join us on this gastronomic adventure through Hue, Vietnam, as we uncover the top delicious dishes that have captivated the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike.

1. Mussel rice (Cơm hến)

Mussel Rice
This unique delicacy calls for the use of cold rice, creating an intriguing contrast. The combination of chilled rice and succulent mussels is a magnet for culinary enthusiasts, with the pinnacle of mussel rice mastery believed to reside on Hen Islet. To complete the symphony of flavors, a steaming broth infused with ginger is poured over the dish. This fragrant soup bathes the mussel rice, infusing it with an irresistible aroma. The complexity of mussel rice extends to the extensive list of accompanying ingredients, ranging from chili, rice paper, and roasted salt to peanuts, sesame seeds, and even dried pig skin.
The lingering essence of shrimp paste and a hint of spiciness leave a lasting impression on diners long after the last mouthful. For those who crave an extra kick, fresh chili is readily available, allowing enthusiasts of mussel rice to fully savor the multifaceted flavors.
Mussel rice stands as a testament to Vietnamese culinary ingenuity, captivating palates with its harmonious blend of textures and tastes. Embrace the captivating allure of this delicacy, and allow the enchanting world of mussel rice to transport you to new realms of culinary delight.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Cơm Hến O TY - 263 Nguyen Trai, Tay Loc, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 70 808 9708 ( Opening hours : 5h30 - 11h30 )
  • Quán Cơm Hến - Bún Bò Huế Bà Hòa - 11A Truong Dinh, Vinh Ninh, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 94 634 7466

2. Hue beef noodle soup ( Bún bò Huế )

Hue Beef Noodle Soup
Originating from the historic city of Hue, Vietnam's former capital, this particular noodle dish has gained widespread recognition. Referred to as "bún bò Huế" (Hue beef noodle soup) outside of Hue and in certain parts of Central Vietnam, it proudly carries the name of its birthplace. However, within Hue and its neighboring areas, it is simply known as "bún bò" (beef noodle soup).
The soul of this iconic dish lies in its meticulously prepared broth. Beef bones and shank are simmered together with lemongrass, infusing the liquid with rich flavors. To achieve the perfect balance, fermented shrimp sauce and sugar are added, elevating the taste profile to new heights. As the cooking process unfolds, a fiery chili oil is introduced, imparting a pronounced spiciness that sets it apart.
Hue beef noodle soup showcases an array of delectable ingredients. Thin slices of marinated and boiled beef shank grace the dish, along with tender chunks of oxtail and succulent pig's knuckles. This beloved noodle soup stands as a testament to Hue's gastronomic legacy, delighting locals and visitors alike. Its complex flavors and textures are a true reflection of the city's rich culinary heritage. Prepare to embark on a flavorful journey as you savor each spoonful of this iconic Hue beef noodle soup, a masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Bún bò o Phụng - chú Vọng - 14 Nguyen Du, Phu Cat, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 93 481 7992
  • Quán Cẩm - Bún Bò Huế - 45 Le Loi, Phu Hoi, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 23 4393 1762
  • Bún bò mệ Kéo - 20 Bach Dang, group 19, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

3. Hue sesame candy ( Kẹo Mè Xửng )

Hue Sesame Candy
The Vietnamese name for sesame candy, "me xung," derives from "me" (sesame) and "xung" (a method of cooking). However, the locals of Hue do not perceive it merely as candy. Instead, it holds a distinct significance in their cultural traditions.
For the locals of Hue, savoring sesame candy is an art form. In times past, it was customary to enjoy sesame candy alongside a cup of Tinh Tam lotus blossom-infused tea, creating an elegant and harmonious experience. In bygone days, individuals would often indulge in sesame candy while engrossed in reading or contemplating life, a special habit eloquently captured in the poem "Sesame Candy Chewing and Singing". Known for its delicate texture, Song Hy sesame candy was rumored to have been exported to Paris and Hong Kong, drawing comparisons to French chewing gum. As the number of tourists from near and far flock to Hue, an increasing number of families have started producing and selling sesame candy.
Some recommended brands:
  • Mè Xửng Nam Thuan
  • Mè Xửng Hong Thuan
  • Mè Xửng Song Hy
  • Mè Xửng Thien Huong

4. Hue lemongrass skewers ( Nem lụi Huế )

Hue Lemongrass Skewers
Lemongrass skewers are not exclusive to Hue but can be found in various regions. However, the distinct and exceptional taste of lemongrass skewers in Hue sets them apart, creating a unique and captivating culinary experience. Once you have the opportunity to savor them, you are bound to develop a deep fondness for this delightful dish. Hue Lemongrass Skewers are crafted from familiar ingredients. However, through the ingenious use of special spices and the culinary expertise of the locals, this dish becomes even more alluring and exceptional.
While Hue Lemongrass Skewers are already delicious on their own, it is the accompanying sauce that elevates them to new heights of flavor and renown. The sauce is meticulously prepared, combining pureed peanuts, fish sauce, pork, minced liver, and a touch of lemon and chili. The result is a lusciously thick, rich, and fragrant sauce, balancing the perfect harmony of sourness, spiciness, saltiness, and sweetness.
Of course, no lemongrass skewer feast is complete without the accompaniment of raw vegetables and pickled vegetables. The selection of vegetables served alongside Hue lemongrass skewers is diverse, ranging from star fruit, cucumber, and green bananas to figs and lettuce. The pickled vegetables, crafted from flavorful and delicious papaya, offer a delightful balance of sweetness and tanginess.
Indulging in Hue Lemongrass Skewers is not just a meal; it is an experience that tantalizes the senses and celebrates the artistry of Hue's culinary heritage. The meticulous preparation, unique flavors, and vibrant accompaniments all come together to create a truly unforgettable dining experience.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Nem Lụi Bà Tý - 81 Dao Duy Tu, Group 1, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
  • Nem lụi Như Ý - 100 Nguyen Sinh Cung, Vy Da, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
  • Quán Thu Lương - Restaurant - 36 Nguyen Du, Phu Cat, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

5. Nam Pho soup cake ( Bánh canh Nam Phổ )

Nam Pho Soup Cake
Hailing from the picturesque Nam Pho village in Phu Vang district, Nam Pho Banh Canh is a time-honored specialty that has captured the hearts and palates of Hue locals and visitors alike. This beloved dish showcases a harmonious blend of rice flour and filtered flour, meticulously combined to achieve a soft and chewy texture that delights with every bite. The vibrant colors of red and pink shrimp beautifully contrast with the verdant flecks of scallions, adorning a bowl of Nam Pho Banh Canh, while a rich and hearty broth completes the sensory experience.
The magic of Nam Pho Banh Canh lies in its meticulous preparation and the careful selection of ingredients. The rice flour and filtered flour are skillfully proportioned to create the perfect balance of texture, ensuring a satisfying chewiness that lingers on the palate. The star of the dish is the succulent shrimp, boasting a vibrant hue that adds visual allure to the bowl. The delicate green of the scallions brings a refreshing touch, harmonizing with the flavors and enhancing the overall presentation.
The heartwarming soup, robust and flavorful, ties all the elements together, enveloping the noodles and toppings in a savory embrace. This bowl of Nam Pho Banh Canh is typically accompanied by spring rolls and a selection of complementary fillings, creating a well-rounded and satisfying meal that showcases the finest quality ingredients.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Thúy - Bánh Canh Nam Phổ - 16 Pham Hong Thai, Vinh Ninh, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
  • Nam Pho soup cake in Dong Ba market

6. Tré Huế

Tre Hue
Tre Hue, a delightful specialty of Hue, holds a unique place in the culinary landscape, akin to the renowned spring rolls of the South. However, its taste is unlike any other. Tre Hue showcases the perfect blend of two delectable types of meat: pork and beef, prepared in the distinct and delightful Hue style.
Similar to spring rolls and rolls, Tre Hue is crafted from animal-based ingredients, utilizing the meat and skin of cows or pigs, lovingly wrapped in banana leaves. However, the preparation of Tre Hue follows a distinctive method, incorporating a variety of bamboo shoots and an array of aromatic spices. The key components of this savory delight include pork, beef, and even pork skin. Typically, the meat is carefully selected, cleaned, and boiled to perfection. The true allure of this dish lies in its exceptional seasoning, which comprises braised fish sauce, chili powder, fresh chili, roasted sesame, and sliced galangal. Additionally, rice is an indispensable ingredient, lending a rich and delightful texture to the dish. Once all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, they are skillfully wrapped into small, cylindrical rolls that resemble spring rolls, with the Tre carefully enveloped in banana leaves.
Tre Hue captivates the senses with its irresistible crispiness, chewiness, and tenderness. However, its most remarkable characteristic is its tantalizing spiciness. The delightful combination of flavors leaves a lasting impression, creating an irresistible craving for more even after finishing a serving. Although Tre Hue may appear as a humble dish, it possesses a remarkable taste that has won the hearts of many.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Nem chả tré Bà Ngôn - 222 Nguyen Sinh Cung, Vy Da, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
  • Nem Chả Tré Đông Ba Huế - 25 Dao Duy Tu, Phu Binh, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

7. Banh beo ( Bánh bèo Huế )

Banh Beo
The essence of Banh Beo lies in its simple yet exquisite composition. Fine rice flour mixed with water creates a smooth batter that is left to rest, allowing it to achieve the ideal consistency. The batter is then delicately scooped into small cups, arranged on a steamer, and patiently steamed to perfection. Once cooked, the Banh Beo is adorned with delectable toppings, such as finely pounded shrimp and a sprinkle of vegetable fat, enhancing its flavors. The accompanying dipping sauce, crafted from fresh shrimp, offers a perfect blend of sweetness and richness, complementing the Banh Beo harmoniously. In present-day Hue, "Banh Beo streets" have sprouted near iconic landmarks like An Dinh Palace, Ngu Binh Street, and Nguyen Binh Khiem Street. These vibrant streets have become a haven for Banh Beo enthusiasts, attracting not only the locals but also visitors from far-flung corners of the world. It is undeniable that anyone who has the opportunity to visit Hue yearns to experience the flavors of Banh Beo, savoring the essence of this culinary masterpiece that is deeply embedded in the ancient capital's heritage.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Bánh Bèo Nậm Lọc Bà Đỏ - 8 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Phu Hiep, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 23 4354 1182
  • Quán Bánh Bèo Nậm Lọc Huế Xưa - 1 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Phu Cat, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 94 862 8001
  • Quán Trung Bộ - Bánh Xèo & Bánh Nậm - 16 To Hien Thanh, Phu Cat, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 23 4351 8433

8. Filter cake ( Bánh bột lọc )

Filter Cake
Filter cake, a familiar treat, holds a special place among the culinary delights of Hue. In this ancient city, filter cake is elevated to the status of a must-try specialty. Embracing diversity, Hue offers two distinct variations of this delectable cake: those wrapped in delicate banana leaves and the unwrapped kind.
The essence of filter cake lies in its luscious crust, crafted from tender rice flour. Within this delicate exterior, a tantalizing filling awaits, featuring a delightful combination of succulent meat and finely minced shrimp. To enhance the flavors, it is served alongside a sweet and tangy fish sauce, perfectly complementing the taste profile of this culinary masterpiece.
In Hue, filter cake is not merely a treat, but a symbol of the city's culinary heritage. It beckons both locals and visitors to embark on a delightful gastronomic adventure, uncovering the rich flavors and textures that make this specialty truly remarkable. Whether enjoying the wrapped version, which reveals its contents like a hidden treasure, or savoring the unwrapped variation that showcases its enticing simplicity, Hue's filter cake promises an unforgettable culinary experience.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Bánh bà Chi xứ Huế - đặc sản Bèo, Nậm, Lọc, Ram Ít - Hue Imperial City, 65 Nguyen Trai, Thuan Hoa, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - https://banhbachi.com/ - +84 94 566 0126
  • Bánh Bèo Nậm Lọc Bà Đỏ - 8 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Phu Hiep, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 23 4354 1182

9. Flat Steamed Rice Dumplings ( Bánh Nậm )

Banh Nam
The allure of Bánh Nậm lies not only in its appearance but also in its tantalizing flavors. The filling, carefully crafted with a harmonious blend of ground pork, fragrant mushrooms, aromatic shallots, and an array of meticulously selected spices, infuses each dumpling with a symphony of savory notes. The medley of flavors is further elevated by the addition of aromatic herbs, which impart a refreshing and vibrant touch to the dish.
Steamed to perfection, the dumplings emerge from their bamboo steamers, their delicate aroma enveloping the senses. Each bite reveals a captivating combination of textures—silky smooth rice flour encasing the tender filling, offering a satisfying contrast that lingers on the palate.
Indulging in the exquisite flavors of Hue's culinary landscape, one cannot overlook the enchanting delicacy known as Flat Steamed Rice Dumplings, or Bánh Nậm. This traditional dish, deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of Hue, captures the essence of the region's rich gastronomy. With its delicate appearance and enticing aroma, Bánh Nậm beckons both locals and visitors alike to embark on a culinary journey unlike any other. From the first bite to the last, these delectable rice dumplings offer a symphony of textures and flavors that leave an indelible mark on the palate. Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Bánh Nậm, where tradition meets gastronomic excellence.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Bánh bà Chi xứ Huế - đặc sản Bèo, Nậm, Lọc, Ram Ít - Hue Imperial City, 65 Nguyen Trai, Thuan Hoa, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - https://banhbachi.com/ - +84 94 566 0126
  • Bánh Bèo Nậm Lọc Bà Đỏ - 8 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Phu Hiep, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 23 4354 1182

10. Bánh Khoái

Bánh Khoái
Bánh Khoái Huế, often referred to as Hue-style Pancakes, is a culinary masterpiece that reflects the rich history and cultural significance of the region. Originating from the imperial city of Hue, this iconic dish has captivated locals and visitors alike with its enticing aroma, delicate texture, and harmonious blend of ingredients.
Once cooked to perfection, Bánh Khoái Huế is skillfully folded into a half-moon shape, revealing its golden-brown exterior and enticing fillings. The pancake is then served with a medley of fresh vegetables, including lettuce, herbs, and cucumber, providing a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory flavors.
To elevate the culinary experience, a dipping sauce known as nước mắm accompanies Bánh Khoái Huế. This tangy and umami-rich sauce, crafted from fermented fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili, adds a delightful burst of flavor, perfectly complementing the pancake.
Bánh Khoái Huế is more than just a dish; it embodies the spirit and heritage of Hue. Whether enjoyed in bustling street stalls, family-run eateries, or upscale restaurants, each bite of Bánh Khoái Huế transports you to the imperial city, allowing you to savor the traditions and flavors that have been cherished for generations.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Bánh khoái Hồng Mai - 110 Dinh Tien Hoang, Phu Hau, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - http://banhkhoaihongmai.com/ - +84 23 4353 5046
  • Lạc Thiện Restaurant - 6 Dinh Tien Hoang, Phu Hoa, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 23 4352 7348

11. Mussel with Rice Pancake ( Hến sào xúc bánh tráng )

Mussel with rice pancake
When you take a bite, the harmony of flavors unfolds. The tender and slightly chewy texture of the mussels combines with the delicate crispness of the rice pancakes. The interplay of savory, tangy, and herbal notes creates a symphony of taste sensations that is both satisfying and captivating.
Mussel with Rice Pancake is not only a culinary delight but also a representation of the rich food culture in Hue. It showcases the region's emphasis on fresh ingredients, harmonious flavors, and artistic presentation. This dish is often enjoyed as a snack or a light meal, offering a delightful combination of flavors and textures that is sure to please your palate.
So, if you find yourself in Hue or have the opportunity to sample this specialty elsewhere, don't miss the chance to savor the Mussel with Rice Pancake. It's a true taste of Hue's culinary heritage and a dish that will leave a lasting impression.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Quán Cơm Hến - Bún Bò Huế Bà Hòa - 11A Truong Dinh, Vinh Ninh, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 94 634 7466

12. Hell rice ( Cơm âm phủ )

Cơm âm phủ
"Cơm âm phủ" is prepared as an elaborate meal consisting of various dishes and components. The main dish is a bowl of steamed rice, which is meticulously arranged and adorned with an assortment of colorful and flavorful foods. The ingredients used in "Cơm âm phủ" vary depending on regional customs and personal preferences, but common items include boiled chicken or pork, fried tofu, Vietnamese sausage (gio lua), pickled vegetables, and various types of cooked vegetables.
Cơm âm phủ is not only a treat for the senses but also a representation of the culinary heritage of Hue. It showcases the region's commitment to using fresh, local ingredients and its emphasis on creating visually appealing dishes that delight both the palate and the eyes.
This dish is not only enjoyed for its taste but also for the experience it offers. From the moment it is presented at the table, Cơm âm phủ captivates with its artistic presentation, inviting you to savor each bite and appreciate the intricate craftsmanship that went into its creation.
Some recommended addresses:
  • Quán cơm Huế O Én - 1 Tran Thuc Nhan, Vinh Ninh, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam - +84 79 212 9696
The warmth and hospitality of the locals will make your dining experience even more memorable. Engage in conversations, learn the stories behind each dish, and immerse yourself in the true essence of Hue's culinary heritage. Let your taste buds dance to the symphony of spices, textures, and aromas that define this remarkable cuisine. Your journey through the top 12 delicious dishes in Hue is just the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Vietnamese gastronomy. Get ready to savor every bite and create unforgettable memories in this culinary haven. Bon appétit!
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