Vietnam is a country that wakes up early. The parks and sidewalks fill up quickly with people doing their morning stretches and strolling around to loosen their legs. But before the real work can get going, people need fuel. Here are the favorite breakfasts in Vietnam.
The bánh mì is the Vietnamese breakfast sandwich. It’s cheap, hearty, tasty and portable. For people in a hurry to get to work or school, the bánh mì is the perfect breakfast on the go. The story of how this humble sandwich became the breakfast of choice for millions is a surprisingly interesting one as well. Read all about it here.
Every day in Vietnam you see kids tromping off to school, swinging their xôi breakfast in little plastic bags. It’s a glutinous rice base with any number of toppings, including fried onions, mung beans, quail eggs and sliced sausage.
Bún chả giò
There’s dozens of varieties of bún in Vietnam. They’re any dish made with rice vermicelli noodles. Add in some grilled fatty pork, fried spring rolls, herbs, pickled veggies and dipping sauces, and you’ve got a delicious meal.
These are a kind of Vietnamese pancake, made by steaming fermented rice batter over a cloth to make thin, wavy sheets. Once you add in the minced shallots, ground pork, mushrooms and some fish sauce, you have a healthy and filling breakfast.
When people around the world think of Vietnamese cuisine, phở is the first dish that comes to mind. It’s an indispensable part of waking up for many people in Vietnam, and like most of the dishes on this list, phở is a good choice any time of the day.
Here’s one of our favorite Vietnamese dishes. We could eat bò kho every single day and be perfectly happy. Is it the healthiest? Probably not – but bò kho is just too delicious. We love dipping bread into the broth until we’ve sopped up every last drop.
This is likely the most customizable dish on this list. It’s a bed of broken rice – the cheapest kind – topped with any number of things, including fish, pork, meat balls, morning glory, pickled veggies and so much more. The options change with every restaurant. Broken rice used to be undesirable, but now many people prefer it.
Be careful with the fingers when you’re eating this dish, because it comes sizzling on black iron. It looks more Germanic than Vietnamese, but it’s the breakfast of choice for many protein-hungry people here. It’s beefsteak, eggs, sausage, veggies and a baguette – definitely not the breakfast of centenarians.
Bún bò Huế
We already covered one bún dish, but bún bò Huế is unique enough to warrant another spot on this list. It comes from Huế in central Vietnam, the old imperial capital and home to some of the spiciest food in the country. This dish might be a bit too much on a hot day in Ho Chi Minh City, but it’s the perfect way to warm up in the colder regions.
And finally, yet another bowl of noodles. Hu tieu is popular through much of Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia. The noodles are doused in a sticky mixture of oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar. The broth is flavored with pork bones, dried squid, sugar and fish sauce. The dish is served with meats and greens as well, dependent on availability and the tastes of the cook.