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Discovering Hoi An local food on a vespa

Discovering Hoi An local food on a vespa

Vietnam is a heaven for foodies, with every region boasting its own unique yummy prizes.

Our favourite part of Vietnam for local food was around the centre of the country in Hoi An, where we experienced some of the tastiest noodles ever and a variety of delicious street food…on a vespa!

Stefan and Trinh on a vespa
Stef and Trinh set off for a foodie tour in Hoi An on this sexy vespa


We took a food tour in Hoi An with the excellent Vespa Adventures.

Our guide, nicknamed, “Trinh and Tonic”, showed us some of the highlights of central Vietnamese local food.

Posing with our guide Trinh
Posing with our guide Trinh & Tonic


Banh can is a popular local food snack. Read “snack” lightly as these are heavy and very filling.

The banh cans are small cup sized pancakes (made from rice batter), which are deep fried in plenty of vegetable oil to make them crispy.

Stefan with plate of banh can
Stefan showing off his plate of banh can

The banh cans are served with shrimps, quails eggs, shredded papaya and stuffed minced pork, which resembles a sausage.

A plate of herbs, lettuce and fish sauce is also commonly served alongside the banh can.

Banh can served with quails eggs and minced pork
Posing with our freshly made plate of banh can


White rose, or “banh bao vac” is a shrimp like based dumpling, carefully bunched up to resemble a rose, then steamed.

Stefan showing off his white roses
Stefan showing off his freshly made plate of white roses

We tried to make white roses. The folding technique takes years to master, but we didn’t do too badly for first timers…

Learning to make white roses
Learning to make white roses – a technique that takes years to master


The “hoanh thanh” are Vietnamese won tons, cooked in a similar way to the white roses, but with pork.

The won tons are usually served in a soup and are considered comfort food, or eaten as a delicious dumpling snack on a bed of lettuce.

Our yummy won tons
Our yummy plate of Vietnamese won tons: “hoanh thanh”


Bo Nhung Giam is a Vietnamese hot pot. The broth is soured with vinegar, into which thin slices of beef are dipped and cooked. This reminded us a lot of the various hot pots we tried in Beijing.

Seb enjoying a Vietnamese hot pot
Seb enjoying a “bo nhung giam” Vietnamese hot pot

The beef is then wrapped in rice paper, vegetables added, rolled up and eaten like a fresh spring roll.

Just take care when eating near Sebastien otherwise your food will quickly go missing…

Stef and Seb with bo nhung
Food fight about to break out again as Sebastien tries to steal Stefan’s dinner


Our awesome foodie tour concluded with banh flan: a light version of crème caramel. This is one of many influences in Vietnam from the French colonial times.

Sometimes coffee is poured over the top, giving it a unique and distinctive Vietnamese flavour.

Vietnamese creme caramel
Vietnamese creme caramel called banh flan

For more inspiration, read about what other things you can do in Vietnam and watch our video of our local food tour through Hoi An with Vespa Adventures:

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Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born.

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