Hue is a culinary powerhouse. From chefs preparing food for the royal parties during the Nguyen Dynasty to the modern-day cooks who know the local ingredients well, the myriad of food in Hue is exceptional. Today, the cultural traditions of food preparation continue to thrive in Hue where food plays an important role in local culture and lifestyle.
If you are a first time traveller to Vietnam, you may be taking a day trip to Hue or stay overnight in the city. Which means you don’t have a lot of time to experience all the culinary delights of Hue.
But it is possible to make the most of your short time in Hue. Follow my Hue food guide and learn how you can eat the best food in Hue even if you are only spending a day in the city. I included all the best restaurants in Hue so you can pick and choose the places you want to eat within 24 hours.
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Travel tips for eating the best food in Hue
Before trying some of the famous food in Hue, check out these eating tips:
- Eating in Hue is very affordable, especially if you are eating street food. Meals can be as cheap as 25k VND ($1USD).
- Many local shops and street food vendors have little stools for you to sit and eat. That’s how the locals do it.
- Most restaurants in Hue accept cash only – many small shops and food stalls on the street offer cheap meals, and cash is the only form of payment.
- Some restaurants catered to tourists accept credit cards.
- Check the hours of operation. Some Hue restaurants are open for breakfast and/or dinner and some are open throughout the day.
- Download Google Translate, an app that can translate Vietnamese to English. Although many restaurants in Hue have English menus and most restaurant owners speak a bit of English.
- Tipping is not required in Vietnam.
Best Food in Hue: 18 food you must try
See the summary of the best food to try in Hue below. This is a quick guide for you when searching for what to eat in Hue Vietnam.
And when you scroll down, I include a more extended explanation for each food and where you can find the local food. And I also included photos for each dish.
Here is a quick summary of the 18 best food in Hue Vietnam:
Hue Food Specialties
- Banh Khoai – Hue crispy stuffed rice pancake
- Nem Lui – Hue grilled pork skewers with lemongrass
- Banh Uot Thit Nuong – grilled pork wrapped with wet rice paper
- Banh Nam – flat steamed milky rice dumpling with shrimp and pork
- Banh Loc – clear crystal shrimp and pork dumpling
- Banh Beo – steamed rice pancakes with shrimp and pork
- Banh Ram It – sticky rice dumpling
- Cuon Tom Thit – fresh spring rolls with pork and shrimp
- Nem Ran – deep-fried spring rolls
Famous Food in Hue
- Bun Bo Hue – Hue beef noodle soup
- Com Hen – Hue clam rice
- Bun Hen – Hue clam rice vermicelli noodles
- Hen Xuc Banh Trang – stir-fry clams with rice cracker
- Bun Thit Nuong – Hue grilled pork vermicelli
- Com Am Phu – Hue’s traditional rice plate or “hell rice”
Other well-known Hue food
- Banh Canh Nam Pho – “Nam Pho soup cake” or crab noodle soup
- Banh Canh Ca Loc – snakehead fish noodle soup
- Va Tron Tom Thit – Hue green fig salad with shrimp and pork
13 Best Restaurants in Hue Vietnam
Below is a list of the best places to eat in Hue. All the food in Hue mentioned above can be found at these restaurants.
To find the address for each location, click on the restaurant name, which will bring you to the location on Google Maps.
Restaurants in Hue Vietnam
- Hanh Pancake (10am-9pm) – serves authentic Hue food including a sample platter that is perfect for solo diners. Near Hue Night Walking Street.
- Madam Thu Restaurant (8am-10:30pm) – one of the best restaurants in Hue offering a variety of Hue food and has a sample platter. They have two locations and both are around Hue Night Walking Street.
- Lạc Thiện Restaurant (10am-9:30) – try some Hue specialties at this local restaurant on the way to the Imperial City.
- Banh Ganh Restaurant (8am-10:30pm) – offers many famous Hue food and has a good view of the walking street from the second floor. Order individual dishes or a platter.
Hue restaurants serving local specialties
- Quán Cẩm – Bún Bò Huế (6am-7pm) – local restaurant serving different types of bun bo hue. I got the crab bun bo hue. Go early (I went in the afternoon twice and it was closed).
- Bún bò mệ Kéo (?) – local place serving bun bo hue. Highly recommended by several bloggers.
- Cơm Hến Đập Đá (7am-10pm) – the local restaurant is known for their clam dishes (rice, vermicelli or stir fry). Also try some of the Hue famous food.
- Quán Bà Hòa (6am-7:30pm) – try any of the three clam dishes (rice, vermicelli or stir fry) or Hue specialties.
- Cơm Hến Bà Đen (6-11:30am) – popular local joint for clam rice and vermicelli. Breakfast only.
- Cơm niêu Chạn (Cơ sở 2) (10am-10pm) – nicely decorated restaurant with good service and offers a variety of Hue food.
- Huế Cơm Niêu (10am-9pm) – touristy restaurant serving Hue’s traditional rice plate and other Hue dishes.
- Thúy – Bánh Canh Nam Phổ (11:15am-8pm) – local restaurant serving crab noodles and other Hue specialties.
- Bánh Canh Cá Lóc Dì Hương (4-8pm) – get a bowl of fish noodles for early dinner at this local joint.
Hue Food Specialties
1. Hue specialties
What is Hue specialties: many of these Hue food are excellent as appetizer and when you combine a few, you can have a full meal. Here are some of the best Hue specialties:
- Banh Khoai – Hue crispy pancake made with rice flour and is stuffed with pork, shrimp, egg and bean sprouts. Eat the pan-fried pancake with raw vegetables and peanut dipping sauce.
- Nem Lui – minced pork on lemongrass grilled over a charcoal grill. Get a piece of rice paper, add raw vegetables, herbs and grilled minced pork. Pull out the lemongrass before you wrap it all together. And dip it in peanut dipping sauce.
- Banh Uot Thit Nuong – Bbq pork, lettuce, bean sprouts wrapped with wet rice noodle. Eat it with soybean paste dipping sauce.
- Banh Nam – steamed flat milky dumpling made with tapioca flour, rice flour and stuffed with minced shrimp and pork then wrapped in banana leaves. Eat it with a sweet and sour fish sauce.
- Banh Loc – originated in Hue, this crystal dumpling is made with tapioca flower and stuffed with shrimp, pork and mushrooms then wrapped in banana leaves. Also eat it with a fish sauce.
- Banh Beo – tiny rice flour pancakes with shrimp and pork skin are steamed to perfection. Then crispy fried shallot is added on top. Eat it with a sweet and spicy fish sauce.
- Banh Ram It – the top is a chewy glutinous rice ball with shrimp and pork filling and the bottom is a crispy cake. It combines the softness and crispiness making this a yummy sticky rice dumpling. Served with sweet fish sauce.
- Cuon Tom Thit – fresh spring rolls made with pork, shrimp, vermicelli noodles, herbs and fresh vegetables. Eat the summer rolls with fish sauce-based dipping sauce.
- Nem Ran – deep-fried spring rolls made with ground pork, shrimp, mushroom and shredded carrot. Served with sweet and sour fish sauce.
Best restaurants to eat Hue specialties: Hanh Pancake, Madam Thu Restaurant, Lạc Thiện Restaurant, Banh Ganh Restaurant, Cơm Hến Đập Đá, Quán Bà Hòa and other local restaurants in Hue.
Famous Food in Hue
1. Bun Bo Hue
What is Bun Bo Hue: a traditional bowl of Hue beef noodle soup has thin slices of beef, pork, pig blood and thick rice vermicelli in a mildly spicy beef broth. Or try a bowl with pork sausage or crab cakes. Add raw vegetables and sliced banana blossoms and have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But whatever you do, make sure you have at least one bowl of Bun Bo Hue as it is the most famous food in Hue.
Best places to eat Bun Bo Hue in Hue: Quán Cẩm – Bún Bò Huế, Bún bò mệ Kéo, Madam Thu Restaurant, Lạc Thiện Restaurant, Banh Ganh Restaurant, Cơm Hến Đập Đá, Quán Bà Hòa, and most restaurants in Hue.
2-4. Com Hen, Bun Hen & Hen Xuc Banh Trang
What is Com Hen: A bowl of Hue clam rice has baby clams, fried pork skin, and rice. Then it is topped with roasted peanuts, star fruit, fried onions, roasted sesame seeds and local herbs. Add clam broth to the flavourful rice. Excellent for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also very cheap.
What is Bun Hen: Same as Com Hen but with rice noodles.
What is Hen Xuc Banh Trang: baby clams are stir fried with onion, garlic, chilli peanut and spices. To eat the clams, break a piece of the big rice cracker and scoop the clams.
Best restaurants to eat Com Hen, Bun Hen & Hen Xuc Banh Trang in Hue: Cơm Hến Đập Đá, Quán Bà Hòa, Cơm Hến Bà Đen and other local restaurants.
5. Bun Thit Nuong
What is Bun Thit Nuong: a bowl grilled meat vermicelli consists of simple ingredients like bbq pork, vermicelli noodles, pickled carrots, cucumber, fried shallots and peanut. When you are ready to eat, add fresh vegetables and mix everything together with the savoury peanut sauce.
Where to eat Bun Thit Nuong in Hue: Hanh Pancake, Madam Thu Restaurant, Lạc Thiện Restaurant, Banh Ganh Restaurant, Cơm Hến Đập Đá, and most restaurants in Hue.
6. Com An Phu
What is Com An Phu: Hue’s traditional rice plate. Com An Phu means “hell rice” and the name originated from the dish served at the “Hell Restaurant” in Hue 80+ years ago. Today, restaurants prepare a version of the “hell rice” with their own spin but it always includes fragrant rice surrounded by pork, shrimp, egg and vegetables. Add the spicy chilli fish sauce and mix well.
Where to eat Com An Phu in Hue: Cơm niêu Chạn (Cơ sở 2), Huế Cơm Niêu
Other Hue food worth trying
Here are a few more worthy Hue dishes that you might want to try for your next trip. I wanted to try these too but didn’t have enough time and room in my stomach.
- Banh Canh Nam Pho – “Nam Pho soup cake” which is crab noodles made with thinly sliced pork belly, prawns, thick tapioca noodles and a sweet and thick broth made from crab and shrimp. Add fresh herbs and you got an awesome appetizer or breakfast. Try one at Thúy – Bánh Canh Nam Phổ or other local restos.
- Banh Canh Ca Loc – “snakehead fish soup cake” has snakehead fish, quail egg, thick and chewy noodles, green onion in a thick tasty broth. Bánh Canh Cá Lóc Dì Hương only serves this special bowl of noodles for a few hours a day.
- Va Tron Tom Thit – Hue green fig salad with shrimp and pork. This famous Hue food has sliced green figs, shrimp and shredded pork. All the ingredients are mixed with fish sauce, shrimp paste, herbs and sesame. It is served with Banh Trang, which is rice crackers. Many Hue restaurants serve this dish including Madam Thu Restaurant, Banh Ganh Restaurant, and Cơm niêu Chạn (Cơ sở 2).
Which Hue food are you most excited to try?
Most people will either take a day trip to Hue or stay one night in the city, i.e. a very short time in Hue. So that’s why you should maximize your all the opportunities to eating the best food in Hue.
I highly recommend trying the sample platter of Hue food specialties if you have never been to Hue. These are some of the best tasting food I ever had. And you can’t find most of these anywhere else in Vietnam.
Also squeeze in a bowl of yummy Bun Bo Hue because it is the most famous dish in Hue.
I hope you found this short Hue food guide helpful. Let me know in the comments which Hue food you are most excited to try.
Thank you for reading my Hue food guide
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