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The cuisine in Central Vietnam has a lot to offer. A food tour in Da Nang was the perfect opportunity to feed our curiosity and learn about the local specialties.
Guiding us were two Danang locals who knew the ins and out of Danang street food and the places where locals go.
This Danang food tour focused on local Vietnamese street food with a visit at the largest city’s food market: Con Market.
It’s one of the best places to experience the local life and sample many central Vietnamese food specialties.
Join us on this insightful and authentic danang food tour with locals.
Danang Food Tour Meeting Point at Con Market
Con Market or Chợ Cồn đà nẵng in Vietnamese is the largest wholesale and retail market in the central region of Vietnam.
It is a traditional local market that offers fascinating glimpse into local life in Da Nang. Our Vietnamese tour guides, both students at Danang University, met us to begin our Danang food tour.
Con market, our guides explained, is known for offering a wide range of local Vietnamese food specialties. It is one of the best places to sample the local cuisine from Danang and the central Vietnamese region.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: For a comprehensive introduction to the food in Da Nang with locals, consider taking this Danang Food Tour. On a walking tour with a local, get introduced to foods you might not find if you explored on your own. You’ll visit several food venues, from restaurants to shops to a local living room, to sample delicious samples of Danang street food.
Exploring Cho Con or Con Market
Built in the 1940s, the market began as a place for farmers and locals to sell their produce. Since it has evolved into a large market with fresh produce, handicrafts, apparel, dried goods, Vietnamese coffee and more.
The outer parts of the bustling market are divided up into different sections. On one side are several local vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and more. This market is popular with locals who shop there regularly for their daily needs.
One of the most fascinating sections of the market that opened later in the afternoon, was the apparel section.
In the blink of an eye, local vendors suddenly filled the aisle of one of the entrances and unpacked bags of clothes and shoes for sale.
Watching intense negotiations in Vietnamese between vendors and shoppers was truly mesmerizing.
In the main interior part of the market is a large hall filled with vendors selling all kinds of Vietnamese dishes. From banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches, mi quang noodles, banh xeo or sizzling pancakes, Vietnamese desserts, local snacks and drinks and much more.
Our Danang Food Tour Experience
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this food tour in Danang was the ability to sample many unique regional specialties.
Local Hue Specialties at Banh Cuon Nong
Our first stop on the Danang tour was to sample food from the Imperial City of Hue. Hue located about 100 kilometers from Danang was the former Royal Capital and is home to several distinctive Vietnamese dishes.
Pulling up to the food stall, we were impressed at the selection of steamed and fried flour-based meals with savory fillings.
We tried, Banh Beo Uot Thap Cam, a local specialty which was quite flavorful. Sitting in fish sauce, were little cakes with a tapioca-like consistency, served with fermented Vietnamese pork and garnished with Vietnamese herbs.
While the flavors were surprising, we were not huge fans of the pork sausage.
Slurping on Mi Quang Noodles
Located across from the first vendor, we made our way to the Be Van food stall to sample two local favorites.
We were glad we had not eaten much before this Da Nang food tour as it was already promising to be a lot of food.
We started out with Danang’s famous Mi Quang noodle dish.
The name refers to where the noodles come from, which is the Quang Nam Province, of which Da Nang was a part of.
Our bowl of noodles was accompanied with pork, shrimp, quail eggs, peanuts, tumeric in a light broth.
Prior to this culinary adventure, we had enjoyed mi quang at several local eateries. And like the previous mi quang dishes, the version at Con market was tasty.
Sampling Banh Xeo
Bánh xèo, or Vietnamese sizzling pancakes, is one of our favorite Vietnamese snacks. We were excited to have it at Con market and learn more about it from our guides.
This crispy pancake was stuffed with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts and eaten with an intensely flavorful fish sauce.
As we savored the flavors, we got to know our guides a little better. Both are 3rd year university students, one an Economics major and the other a Technology & Sciences major.
Both have a strong interest in tourism and specifically sharing local and unique experiences with visitors to Central Vietnam.
In our discussion, we also learned that banh xeo is made from the same rice flour as the mi quang noodles.
Bo Kho Lat at Con Market – Beef Jerky Vietnamese Style
After our first two food stops at Cho market, we walked around the market to digest as well as explore the market.
Walking through the different alleys, we were struck by one particular section, filled with several vendors selling dried meats.
Sitting in huge bins were various red, orange and brown colored dried meats alongside other dried products.
One of the benefits of exploring a market with a local guide is the ability to ask questions, particularly when you don’t speak the same language as the vendor.
With our guides help, we sampled the dried or dehydrated beef which we found to be similar to beef jerky.
The different colors we learned indicate the level of flavor and level of spice.
We tried several and enjoyed the chili spicy flavors over the sweeter and candied versions. The beef used was high quality and it reflected in the price per kilo.
Da Nang Pork Rolls and “Hit” Cake
At the Co Hue food stall, we sampled two local specialties. Da Nang pork rolls or Banh Cuon Thit Heo and Banh Trang Dap Dap, referred to as “hit cake.”
These two specialties are from the Quang Nang Province, of which Danang and Hoi An were once part of.
The “hit cake” or Banh Trang Dap Dap in Vietnamese, is a fun snack to enjoy. It is made of layers of circular rice crackers served with a fish sauce and fried shallots on top.
What makes this dish unique is how it eaten. Banh Trang means rice cracker and Dap means hit or crush. You crush the rice crackers up with an open palm and then dip the pieces into the sauce to enjoy.
The pork rolls was one of Rosemary’s favorite Vietnamese dishes on the food tour Danang. Though the special anchovy fish sauce is an acquired taste as the flavors and smell are pungent.
To eat the dish you roll pork in rice paper, add some vegetables and herbs and then dip it into the fish sauce.
The interactive nature of this dish where you customize the taste of each pork roll as you choose how much vegetables or fish sauce to use, makes it fun meal to have.
Kem – Traditional Vietnamese Ice-cream
We love Vietnamese desserts and have enjoyed their unique flavors throughout the country. One dessert we had not had before was the traditional Vietnamese ice cream or Kem at our fourth stop.
At this point on the Da Nang tour, we were stuffed, though we eagerly made room for a local sweet treat.
At the stand “Kem 132”, one of the most popular for the best desserts, we had an avocado and coconut ice cream treat.
Made fresh in front of us, the vendor cut whole pieces of avocado and mixed them with coconut ice cream and shaved ice.
Rich and flavorful, this was a perfect end to the food portion of the Danang food tour.
Ending on Vietnamese Coffee
Vietnam is one of the largest producers of coffee. It was fitting that our Da Nang food tour ended with a cup of Vietnamese coffee.
At a local Vietnamese coffee shop just outside Con Market, we sat down to enjoy a glass of iced coffee.
Known locally as Cà Phê Sữa Đá, this was a glass of iced drip Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk.
As Claire is a non-coffee drinker, I got to enjoy the coffee by myself.
With Vietnamese coffee being particularly strong and dark, the condensed milk offers a great counterbalance to the sharp caffeine taste. On the hot afternoon, the iced coffee was refreshing.
Overall Impressions of Danang Food Tour
What We Loved
Our Danang food tour was a fun and insightful experience mostly due to our guides that were very approachable and friendly.
Despite having eaten at many street stalls in Vietnam, we still learned about new foods and especially the cultural nuances of the region.
By far, the best part about this local food tour was the authentic and unfiltered experience. The local foods served were very copious and not catered to tourists but served like the locals would eat it.
The hours flew by with our local guides and in the end, it felt like we were hanging out with two good friends.
What Could Be Improved
It was fascinating to visit Con Market and get plunged into the daily life of a city market. That said, we would have liked to visit venues outside the market as well.
Danang has a lot to offer in the city and we wish to have visited other locations and food stalls. We’ve been to Danang a couple of times for several weeks and know well the city. So for us, this setup wasn’t that disappointing.
But, if you are a first timer, you might want to go beyond one food market. Read below for alternative food tours we recommend.
Additionally, the Con Market food tour by Backstreets is not available at this time. We will update this article when it becomes available again.
Other Danang Food Tours To Consider
A great alternative is to take this evening tour to explore the food scene in Da Nang city.
On this tour, you’ll visit several food venues, from restaurants to shops to a local living room, to sample delicious dishes.
You will learn from your local guide about each dish, how it is made, and how to eat it.
From noodle soups, banh mi sandwich to savory pancakes, you will not go hungry.
And non-alcoholic drinks as well as beer and alcohol are included in the experience. This is one of the best food tours in the city.
Wear comfortable shoes, plan to keep an open mind with various dishes, and most of all, have fun!
Cost: About $46.16 per person
Time and Length: Starts at 5:00 pm for 4 hours
Group Style: Small group tour
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If your travels take you to Hanoi, consider taking a food tour to understand northern Vietnamese cuisine. See our review: The 7 Best Food Tours in Hanoi For Authentic North Vietnamese Culinary Experiences
Taking a food tour in Danang is one of the best ways to discover the regional specialties of Central Vietnam in one setting.
With insights from local guides, you get much more out of this Danang food tour and a deeper understanding of the local food scene.
After five unique food stops and sampling over ten regional specialties, we were delighted.
The introduction to the culture and the local specialties will help prepare you as you make your food choices on your travels in the region.
The one piece of advice we would offer is to go hungry. The food is plentiful and with all the food stands close to each other, you want to give your stomach room to taste it all.
Have you been to Da Nang city? Would you take one of the Danang food tours? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
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