Guide To The Best Food in Hoi An and Authentic Restaurants

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This guide to the best food in Hoi An takes you on a culinary journey through the local specialties not to miss.  

Hoi An consistently ranks amongst the top destinations for food in Asia. 

This ancient port city in central Vietnam, is known for its cuisine that is both lavish in flavors and appearance.

Once a key trading post on the Spice Route, Hoi An, became a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. 

The Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Indian and Dutch frequented the ancient town with numerous traders staying and establishing communities.

As a result, the food in Hoi An has multicultural influences and a unique local food culture.

All along the streets with Japanese architecture and Chinese temples are street food stalls and eateries beckoning you with fresh herbs and spices.

As you explore this UNESCO World Heritage site, savor iconic dishes like Cao Lau, White Rose Dumplings, Com Ga, Banh Mi, and more.

After all, the best reason to visit Hoi An, Vietnam is for the food.

Hoi An Vietnam by Authentic Food Quest
Colorful Hoi An at dusk
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Table of Contents

1 – Cao Lau or Cao Lầu  – Hoi An’s Emblematic Noodle Dish

Cao Lau best food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Cao Lau noodles, one of the best foods in Hoi An

Cao Lau is the quintessential Hoi An food. It is the essence of the historic town and a must eat dish.

The dish, some say, has been in Hoi An since the 17th century when the trading port was open. Others speculate the dish was derived from a combination of many cultures such as the Chinese, Japanese, Indians or Vietnamese.

The Cao Lau noodles are similar to Japanese Ise Udon noodles. Some of the spices used are similar to those found in Indian cooking. 

And, the style of meat is similar to Chinese though covered with fish sauce.

Generally, Cao Lau is served with fresh mixed salad, bean sprouts and slices of braised pork. It is topped with deep fried wonton crackers and a spoonful of broth is added for flavor and moisture. 

Raw vegetables are an indispensable part of Cao Lau. The best vegetables come from the Tra Que Village in Hoi An, famous for their outstanding taste and flavors.

BaLeWell Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Drawing water from the famous Ba Le Well, Hoi An

What makes Cao Lau such a special food in Hoi An is the water used. The noodles, which are the star of the dish, are made from water drawn from the nearby 1000 year-old Ba Le Well in Hoi An.  

The water from Ba Le Well is mixed with ash taken from trees from the nearby Cham Island to produce its unique flavors.

No matter the origins, Cao Lau, is not to be missed in Hoi An. The thick chewy noodles, aromatic pork slices, and locally grown vegetables work perfectly with the broth to create a delicacy like no other.

Best Hoi An Restaurants For Cao Lau

Cafe Cao Lau Hoi An restaurant by Authentic Food Quest
Absolutely delicious Cao Lau at Cafe Cao Lau

As one of the best foods in Hoi An, it’s nearly impossible to miss signs advertising Cao Lau.

From street stalls, markets and restaurants every vendor or restaurant in Hoi An has their own version.

The most popular place especially among tourists for Cao Lau is Ba Le Well restaurant. In our opinion, the restaurant is a victim of its own success. Everytime we walked by Ba Le Well  it was full of foreigners and hardly any locals. 

If you are looking for a local experience consider the recommendations below. The following locations are ones that we visited personally, and we believe are the best restaurants in Hoi An for Cao Lau.

Quan Cao Thanh / Thanh Cao Lầu

What we love about Thanh Cao Lau is the singular focus on Cao Lau. There is no menu and all you’ll get is one perfect dish of Cao Lau. 

Be aware that this is a very local joint and not fancy at all. Simply grab a stool and enjoy the perfection of crunchy and savory flavors.

Address: 26 Thai Phien, Hoi An

Hours: Open Tuesday – Friday from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm; closed Saturday – Monday

Price: 30,000 VND (approx. $1.30)

Cafe Cao Lầu or Cao Lầu Không Gian Xanh

This hidden gem is easy to miss. It’s not far from the Old Town’s yellow walls. The service is friendly and the Cao lầu is divine. The portions are generous with lots of flavors and textures. 

Address: 687 Hai Ba Trung

Hours: Open every day from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm

Price: 30,000 VND (approx. $1.30)

Where to Stay in Hoi An Vietnam

Green coco homestay 2 where to stay in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Coco Homestay great location to stay with locals near the old town

There are a plethora of accommodation options in Hoi An. We stayed at the family run Green Coco HomeStay, located walking distance from the old town.

We enjoyed the quiet neighborhood away from the touristy areas and still close to the local market and in a local home. Wonderful breakfast was served in the mornings by the helpful and friendly owners.  We recommend taking a bedroom with a balcony.

For more accommodations in Hoi An, click here.

2 – Banh Dap or Bánh Đập – Smashed Rice Paper

Banh Dap Best Food In Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Banh Dap rice papers to smash with dipping sauces

One of the most fun and interactive foods we enjoyed in Hoi An was Banh Dap. This dish also called smashed rice paper, gets its name from the action needed to produce it

Getting to this famous Hoi An food is an adventure. This famous specialty is best enjoyed in the nearby Cam Nam village, where it originated from.

To get there, we walked from the center of Hoi An. Another popular way to get there is to rent a bicycle.

Banh Dap is made from two pieces of rice paper. The first piece is crispy and the second is wet. 

To eat it, you smash the two together and then dip the pieces into a bowl of fermented fish sauce.

The idea of smashing your food is fun and the noise made is soft and pleasant. At first, Rosemary did not enjoy the pungent fish sauce flavors. However, after munching on the combination of the rice paper and fish sauce, the flavors grew on her. 

On the other hand, I enjoyed the fish sauce flavors and simplicity of the dish.

Don’t hesitate to venture out of the old town in Hoi An and taste these unusual flavors for yourself.

Best Restaurants in Hoi An for Banh Dap

Quan An Ben Tre Restaurant for Restaurants Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Banh Dap and other local specialties at Quan An Ben Tre restaurant

Cam Nam is a beautiful tranquil island surrounded by green space and rows of palm trees. The restaurants in the area specialize in the local specialties.

The restaurant we enjoyed was the open and airy Quan An Ben Tre restaurant. Grab a table along the river’s edge and enjoy the sounds of nature as you eat.

Quan An Ben Tre

Address: Xuyen Trung, Cam Nam, Hoi An

Hours: Open every day from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm

Prices: 20,000 VND (approx. $0.87 USD)

3 – Banh Bao Banh Vac or Bánh Bao Bánh Vac –  White Rose Dumplings

White Rose Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Exquisite and delicate White Rose Dumplings

Known by the locals as Banh Bao Vac, these dumplings are a specialty food in Hoi An. It is said that only one family in all of Hoi An has the secret recipe. And, they make these dumplings for all Hoi An restaurants. 

White Rose dumplings are made with translucent white dough and bunched up to look like a rose. There are two kinds of dumplings served on one plate.

Banh Vac are dumplings filled with shrimp, garlic, spring onion, lemongrass, and spices. And, Banh Bao are stuffed with minced pork and mushrooms. 

Delicate and absolutely delicious, these dumplings are worth the publicity they receive.

The best way to enjoy the white rose dumplings is to dip them in the accompanying sauce, which is made with shrimp broth, lemon, and chilies. 

While in Hoi An, we never missed an opportunity to enjoy the delicate flavors. One time, we went to Bong Hong Trang restaurant in the middle of the afternoon, and had the good fortune of seeing ladies preparing the dumplings. 

Two ladies seated side by side were delicately making each dumpling. One was stuffing them and the other bunching them up. It looked like a painstaking job, though with delicious results.

White Rose Hoi An  is one Hoi An local specialty, you simply cannot miss. 

Best Hoi An Restaurants for White Rose Dumplings

Making white rose at White Rose Restaurant by Authentic Food Quest
Delicately making White Rose dumplings at Bong Hong Trang Restaurant

Bong Hong Trang also known as White Rose restaurant is run by the 3rd generation family that guards the original secret recipe. To taste this Hoi An food, we recommend going to the original restaurant. Please note, White Rose restaurant only has two dishes on the menu. White rose dumplings and fried wontons.

Pho Xua is a great alternative if you are looking to have white rose dumplings and other Vietnamese dishes.

Bông Hồng Trắng or White Rose Restaurant

Address: 533 Hai Ba Trung Street

Hours: Open every day from 7:30 am – 8:30 pm 

Price: 70,000 VND, (approx. $3.03)

Pho Xua 

Address: 35 Phan chau Trinh

Hours: Open every day from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Price: 35,000 VND (approx. $1.51)

4 – Hoanh Thanh Chien or Hoành Thánh Chiên – Fried Wontons

Fried wontons at Hoanh Thanh Chien for food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Crunchy and flavorful fried wontons

Fried wontons or hoanh thanh chien are another specialty food in Hoi An. The base is a large fried wonton topped with shrimp and a tomato based sauce.

Different from other Hoi An foods, these wontons resemble a cut up pizza base with toppings. Some people also refer to the fried wonton as a Hoi An pizza.

We really enjoyed the unique combination of flavors. The wonton with shrimp combined with the sweet and sour tomato based sauce was quite tasty. And the crispy textures along with the soft sauce is a delightful mix.

White Rose, where we enjoyed the fried wontons, is one of the best restaurants in Hoi An to taste this specialty.

Vegetarians can also find non-meat versions of this local Hoi An food. At Ho Lo restaurant, the wontons do not come with shrimp, and tofu is used instead. The topping is a flavorful tomato and green onion sauce.

Whether you eat meat or not, don’t miss out on savoring the flavors of this iconic Hoi An food.

Best Hoi An Restaurants for Hoanh Thanh Chien – Fried Wontons

Bong Hong Trang White Rose restaurant Hoi An by authentic Food Quest
Bong Hong Trang or White Rose Restaurant for fried wontons and white rose dumplings

Bông Hồng Trắng or White Rose Restaurant

Address: 533 Hai Ba Trung Street

Hours: Open every day from 7:30 am – 8:30 pm 

Price: 100,000 VND (approx. $4.32)

Hồ Lô Restaurant

Address: 20 Trần Cao Vân, Hội An

Hours: Open every day from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm 

Price: 55,000 VND (approx. $2.38)

5 – Hen Tron or Hến Trộn – Minced Baby Clams

Hen Tron Best Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Flavorful minced baby clam salad

Hen tron, or minced baby clam salad, is a traditional food in Hoi An from Cam Nam island. This is the same place to get Banh Dap and the two dishes are usually served side by side.

The fresh clams are from the Thu Bon River and its tributaries. The clams are lightly seasoned and then sautéed in onions to retain their flavor.

They are topped with Vietnamese mint and crushed peanuts and accompanied with fish sauce.

The small plate of clams is packed with flavor. Using the crispy crackers provided, you spoon the clams onto it and the drizzle with dipping sauce. The flavors are quite intense and Rosemary found them on the fishy side. 

I enjoyed the crunchy peanuts and we both found the clams quite hearty. 

Located just south of the ancient town, it is worth the trek for this unique Hoi An food.

Best Hoi An Restaurants for Hen Tron

Quan An Ben Tre Hoi An Restaurant by Authentic Food Quest
The entrance to Quan An Ben Tre restaurant in Cam Nam

Quan An Ben Tre

Address: Xuyen Trung, Cam Nam, Hoi An

Hours: Open every day from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm

Prices: 50,000 VND (approx. $2.15)

6 – Com Ga Hoi An or Cơm Gà Hoi An – Hoi An Chicken Rice

Com Ga Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Hoi An chicken rice with a tasty bowl of chicken broth

Com Ga Hoi An or Hoi An Chicken Rice is another iconic Hoi An food. This simple dish reminds me of my favorite Singapore food known as Hainanese Chicken.  

Com ga features shredded chicken rice cooked in chicken stock and aromatic herbs. While the ingredients are simple, it is a dish that needs meticulous preparation to bring it out its flavors.

The chicken, which must be free-range, is boiled and the broth is used to cook the rice. The soft and fluffy rice is first soaked with turmeric and then cooked with broth and chicken fat. 

Shredded green papaya, onions and Vietnamese mint are added for textural contrast.

This popular food in Hoi An is served with a small bowl of flavorful chicken broth.

We both loved the simplicity and flavors of the dish. The fragrant rice and Vietnamese herbs elevate the dish. 

The absolutely delicious bowl of chicken broth with slices of liver is the perfect pairing.  Make a point to enjoy Com Ga Hoi An while wandering around the ancient city.

Com Ga is said to have been introduced to by Chinese traders from Hainan in China when they settled in the province.

Best Hoi An Restaurants For Com Ga Hoi An

Com Ga Xi Street Food Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Savor Com Ga or Hoi An Chicken Rice at Com Ga Xi in a street alley

You can find Com Ga Hoi An in a number of restaurants all over the town. But some of the best places where locals go for chicken rice are on roadsides and down hidden alleys. 

Our favorite place is Com Ga Xi which is at the street corner that leads to Ba Le Well restaurant. 

Once you see the group of locals and motorcycles, you’re in the right spot. Be aware the service is brusque and rushed. Ignore that, take a seat at a nearby table and enjoy a mind blowing chicken rice dish.

Com Ga Xi Hoi An

Address: 47/2 Trần Hưng Đạo, Hội An

Hours: Open every day from 7:00 am until supplies run out

Price: 30,000 VND (approx. $1.30)

Authentic Food Quest Tip: Get there before noon as this famous street food vendor tends to sell out.

READ MORE: Guide To The Best of The Food in Saigon: 15 Local Foods Not To Miss

7 – Mi Quang or Mì Quảng – Quang Nam Noodle Dish

Mi Quang food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Mi Quang, one of our favorite food in Hoi An

Mi Quang is an iconic dish from Quang Nam Province, in which Hoi An is located. Pronounced “Me Wang” this noodle dish is most closely associated with central Vietnam, but can be found throughout the country.

Part soup and part salad, the dish consists of flat rice noodles, your choice of protein in a little broth. Everything is tossed together with Vietnamese herbs and topped with roasted peanuts, rice crackers and chili.

Shrimp and pork are usually added and the combination of tastes and textures are unrivaled.

As compared to Danang, the Hoi An version of mi quang is more soupy and just as delicious.

This is one of our favorite foods from central Vietnam and not to be missed in Hoi An.

Best Hoi An Restaurant for Mi Quang

Mr Hai Restaurant Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Mr Hai, our favorite mi quang restaurant in Hoi An

This off the beaten path Hoi An restaurant serves only two dishes. Mi Quang and Cao Lau. The excellent Mi Quang was some of the best we had. Absolutely delicious and flavorful. Even though we didn’t have Cao Lau, it is also highly recommended here.

Mi Quang Hong Hai 

Address: 6A Trương Minh Lượng, Hội An

Hours: Open every day from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Price: 30,000 VND (approx. $1.30)

Authentic Food Quest Tip: Try their Cao Lau as well

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the best ways to experience Hoi An Vietnam is to take a cooking class. We’ve taken cooking classes in Hoi An and enjoyed learning how to make traditional dishes with locals. This Hoi An cooking class includes a market tour and boat trip to Cam Nam village. You’ll learn how to make 4 traditional dishes and the best part will be a foot massage. Book your Hoi An cooking class here.

8 – Seafood at Cui Dai Beach Hoi An

Grilled squid Seafood in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Delicious grilled squid

The ancient city of Hoi An is also a coastal city. About 6 km from the center of Hoi An is Cui Dai Beach, a stunning stretch of beach with numerous seafood restaurants.

After enjoying several seafood restaurants in Danang, we eagerly explored seafood in Hoi An.

All along the beachfront are several restaurants offering pretty much the same kind of seafood dishes. 

Clams, fish steamed in banana leaves, scallops, tuna dishes are some of the popular items on menus.

Given all the restaurants have a similar menu, choosing a place to eat was not easy. Our initial intention was to go to Thi Nhan restaurant, popularized by the Anthony Bourdain Hoi An show. 

When we asked our local friend in Danang about the restaurant, he did not recommend it. Instead, he suggested going to Quan A Roi restaurant which was right next to it. Overrated and overpriced is how he described Thi Nhan restaurant.

A casual no frills dining spot, Quan A Roi restaurant is popular with locals. We enjoyed grilled scallops and squid along with seafood fried rice.

The plump and flavorful scallops were incredible. The squid which was served with a delightful chili sauce was cooked perfectly. The restaurant was busy with locals, which is always a good indication about the food.

 All in all, we enjoyed an incredibly fresh seafood feast and highly recommend the place.

Best Hoi An Restaurant for Seafood

Quan Hai San A Roi Seafood restaurant in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Busy with locals for the fresh seafood at Quan San A Roi restaurant

Once you get to the restaurants along the beachfront, be prepared for the staff to hassle you into their restaurant. Since they all offer the same food, walk around and find the one that appeals to you. Otherwise, you’ll not go wrong at Quan A Roi seafood restaurant.

Quán Hải Sản A Rồi

Address: Đường Âu Cơ, Cửa Đại, Cua Dai Beach across from Golden Sands Hotel

Hours: Open every day from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Price: Scallops and squid at 160,000 VND (approx. $6.92)

READ RELATED: Top 17 Authentic Food in Danang You Want To Have

Street Food in Hoi An

Eating on the streets is customary in Hoi An. Street food vendors are found all over the ancient city and many are known for having the best food in Hoi An.

Following are some of our favorite street vendors in Hoi An. Don’t hesitate to pull up a little stool and mingle with the locals as you delight in some of the best Hoi An food.

9 – Banh Uot Thit Nuong or  Bánh Ướt Thịt Nướng – Grilled Pork Spring Rolls

Street food vendor Banh Uot Thit Nuong Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Street food vendor with incredibly tasty banh uot thit nuong or grilled pork spring rolls

Banh Uot Thit Nuong or grilled pork spring rolls was the most surprising street food we ate on the sidewalks of Hoi An.

This Hoi An food consists of pork pieces grilled on lemongrass skewers served with rice paper.

Similar to Nem Lui, a specialty from Hue, the skewers are grilled slowly over charcoal before being served.

The pieces of pork are then wrapped into the rice paper to make a spring roll. Two types of rice papers are used. One is a common rice paper sheet and the other a “wet” rice sheet called “Bánh Ướt”.

With the pork skewers, we were given salad, herbs and sliced cucumbers to stack up the rice paper sheets before rolling them.

Once we stacked up the spring rolls it was time to dip them into a mix of soy, sesame and fish sauce. 

What an explosion of flavors with the combination of lemongrass, sesame, and soy tastes. 

READ MORE: A Guide to The Best of Hue Food and Authentic Restaurants

Where to Eat Banh Uot Thit Nuong in Hoi An

Co Loi Street food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Look for the Co Loi street vendors for amazing grilled skewers

One evening on our way back from sightseeing in the Old Town, we passed by a sidewalk busy with locals seating on low chairs. 

In the middle were two ladies actively grilling skewers on a charcoal grill.

Our curiosity was sparked and we decided to stop the next evening for dinner. 

The entire street food experience was very unique and authentic. In a half-lit alley, with no signs and busy with groups of young Vietnamese, this was an experience to remember. 

The skewers, made fresh to order, were well flavored. We enjoyed eating amongst the locals at this hidden gem.

Banh Uot Thit Nuong Lady Street Food Vendor

Address: Around 660 Đ. Hai Bà Trưng, Hội An across a leather store

Hours: Open evenings from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Prices: 7,000 VND per skewers, count 20 skewers or 140,000 for 2 people (approx. $6.0 USD)

Another similar place we spotted offering the same specialty is Coi Loi not far from the Hoi An market. If you don’t find our two street food ladies, you might want to check this place out instead.

Cô Lợi Street Food

Address: 3 Nguyễn Huệ, Hội An,

Hours: Open every day from 3:30pm to 7:45pm

10- Banh Beo or Bánh Bèo – Vietnamese Steamed Water Fern Rice Cakes

Banh Beo Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Beautifully presented Banh Beo in Hoi An

Banh beo, also known as “water fern cake”, is a specialty originally from Hue, a legacy from the Nguyen Emperors period. 

In Hoi An, they have their own version of the Banh Beo cakes. Similar to Hue’s Banh Beo, these small steamed cakes are made of rice and tapioca flour. 

Banh Beo in Hoi An are slightly thicker and larger served in porcelain bowls on a large tray with a spoon.

Colorful, these steamed cakes are topped with a thick red sauce. The sauce is made with crispy pork, shrimps, fried shallots, chillies and bits of fried cao lau noodles, giving it a unique taste.

Banh Beo are served with the nuoc mam, traditional Vietnamese fish sauce, to drizzle on the cakes.

We devoured our Banh Beo and particularly enjoyed the crispy cao lau noodles with the spicy hint. These cakes are perfect for a snack or light lunch while sightseeing in Hoi An.

Where to Eat Banh Beo in Hoi An

Banh Beo Ba Bay Street Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
The best Banh Beo in Hoi An from Ms. Bay by the yellow wall in the ancient city

There are several street food vendors known for their delicious Banh Beo in Hoi An. We stopped at Bánh Bèo Bà Bảy, which is popular with locals. 

There, Ms. Bay sits down on a short stool by a large warm yellow wall with a small brown sign above her.

On the sign you can read the three dishes she offers: Banh Beo, Banh Nam and Banh Bot Loc.  These specialties are all originally from Hue, made in a Hoi An style. 

This translates to more flamboyant and spicier versions. Even if you have tried the Banh Beo from Hue, give this unique Hoi An food a try.

Bánh Bèo Bà Bảy

Address: 2 Hoàng Văn Thụ, Hội An

Hours: Open every day from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, though I would go before 4:00 pm to make sure she doesn’t run out of food.

11 – Banh Bot Loc or Bánh Bột Lọc – Tapioca Dumplings

Banh Bot Lot Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Colorful and tasty Banh Bot Loc, tapioca dumplings

Banh Bot Loc is another specialty originally from Hue, made Hoi An Style. 

Banh Bot Loc are small translucent tapioca dumplings filled with shrimp and pork. They are first wrapped and steamed in banana leaves before being served unwrapped.

In Hoi An, the Banh Bot Loc were served with chilies, fried shallots, and cha, a pork sausage. This makes for colorful bowls served with fish sauce on a bamboo tray.

The Hoi An Banh Bot Loc surprised us by its combination of flavors. The delicate dumplings associated with the chiles and the pork made for a filling and surprising snack.

Where to Eat Banh Bot Loc in Hoi An

Banh Beo Ba Bay street food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Try Banh Bot Loc and all the other local specialties

If you go to Ms. Bay for Banh Beo, try the Banh Bot Loc as well.

And, if you’ve never had the Banh Nam, a flat rice dumpling, take this opportunity to taste them as well.

Bánh Bèo Bà Bảy

Address: 2 Hoàng Văn Thụ, Hội An

Hours: Open every day from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, though I would go before 4:00 pm to make sure she doesn’t run out of food.

Price: 30,000 VND for a plate of Banh Bot Loc (approx. $1.30 USD)

12 – Banh Mi or Bánh Mì – Vietnamese Sandwich

Banh Mi Madam Khan Banh My Queen Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Banh mi Vietnamese sandwich to die for from the Banh Mi Queen

Bánh mì is known as Vietnam’s most iconic and popular sandwich. Although this traditional Vietnamese sandwich originated in Saigon, the ones from Hoi An are arguably the most famous. 

This is thanks to Anthony Bourdain who popularized the banh mi in Hoi An, describing it as “a symphony in a sandwich.”

While banh mi sandwiches are popular across Vietnam, each region brings its own twist to this heavenly sandwich.

Compared to banh mi sandwiches in Saigon or Da Nang, we found the Hoi An banh mi’s to have more vegetables and eggs.

The result is a flavorful, light, and refreshing sandwich where the sauce accentuates the nuances of each ingredient.

Bánh mì is definitely an iconic Hoi An food that you want to have more than once.

Best Hoi An Restaurants for Banh Mi

Madam Khanh Banh My Queen Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Our favorite Banh Mi spot in Hoi An

In Hoi An, there are two main restaurants competing for the best banh mi title.

Madam Khanh also known as the Banh Mi Queen is a favorite of ours. While Banh Mi Phuong, popularized by Anthony Bourdain, has since attracted hordes of tourists.

We visited both Banh Mi places twice a couple years apart and our preference still goes to Madam Khanh.

At Madam Khanh, there are five banh mi sandwiches to choose from. We first had the “mixed” #1 which has every single ingredient in one sandwich. 

During our second stay in Hoi An, we went with the “fried egg” version #5. We definitely recommend choosing one of the banh mi with an egg. 

The bread is slightly warm, with a delicious filling combining savory and light sweet flavors. It is easy to eat two sandwiches in a row to satisfy your craving for this heavenly sandwich.

Banh Mi Phuong, has a menu with ten sandwich options. We chose the #9 with the pate and egg as well as the “everything” banh mi. We found the crispy bread delicious. 

Both sandwiches were very fresh and flavorful. We found that the emphasis is the use of pork pate and the sauce has a sweeter profile.

Madam Khanh | Bánh Mì Queen

Address: 115 Trần Cao Vân, Sơn Phong, Tp. Hội An

Hours: Open every day from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm

Prices: About 20,000 VND with everything, (approx. $0.87 USD)

Bánh Mì Phượng

Address: 2B Phan Châu Trinh, Minh An, Tp. Hội An

Hours: Open every day from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm

Prices: About 20,000 VND  – 25,000 VND (approx. $0.87 USD – $1.10 USD)

READ MORE: Banh Mi – Best Vietnamese Sandwich To Fall in Love With

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Desserts in Hoi An

Hoi An desserts come in all flavors, textures and varieties. Many are unusual to look at, but they are quite healthy and tasty.  

Even though Hoi An food will capture your attention, don’t forget to leave room for local dessert specialties like these. 

13 – Che Bap or Chè Bắp –  Sweet Corn Pudding

Che Bap Sweet corn pudding Food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Unmissable che bap dessert in Hoi An

Che Bap is one of the many che or Vietnamese soup desserts popular in Hoi An.

The particularity of Che Bap is that it is made with sweet corn from the central region. The corn is called ‘Cam Nam corn’, from Cam Nam Island.

This Hoi An dessert gets its sweetness naturally from the corn. In addition to sweet corn, Che Bap is made with glutinous rice or tapioca starch. 

Served in a glass or a bowl, Che Bap can be eaten fresh with ice or hot as a warm dessert. 

A funny fact is that Cam Nam Corn is celebrated with an annual festival every year in February. 

We had our Che Bap with ice and were surprised by its glutinous texture. It’s a simple dish and dessert perfect to close a meal that any corn lover will enjoy.

Best Hoi An Restaurants for Che Bap

Cam Nam River Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Enjoy the river views in Cam Nam island as you savor your che bap and other Hoi An foods

The best places to try Che Bap are in Cam Nam Island, at walking distance from Hoi An.

Along the Can Nam river, next to the main road, there are several restaurants serving local dishes including che bap dessert.

At Quan An Ben Tre, you can leisurely eat your Che Bap while overlooking the river. The place is very local and you can try the other specialty Hoi An food, Banh Dap and Hen Tron.

Quan An Ben Tre

Address: Xuyen Trung, Cam Nam, Hoi An

Hours: Open every day from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm

Prices: 20,000 VND (approx. $0.88 USD)

14 – Xi Ma or Xí Mà – Black Sesame Soup

bowl of Xi Ma in the street of Hoi An by AuthenticFoodQuest
Claire and Rosemary eating Xi Ma on the streets of Hoi An

Xi ma is a dark looking sweet soup that gets its color from black sesame, its main ingredient.

We found this popular dessert sold in Hoi An by street food vendors and didn’t see it anywhere else in Vietnam. 

The dessert itself is quite tasty, dense, and not too sweet. Served hot, it contains pennywort, an herb used in Chinese medicine with many health benefits.

 Where to Eat Xi Ma in Hoi An

Che Xi Ma Black Sesame soup food in Hoi An by Authentic Food Quest
Street food vendor selling Xi Ma on the streets of Hoi An

After our first encounter with the lady selling Xi Ma in 2016, we found her at the same spot two years later.

From the same big metallic pot, she served us a bowl of her black nectar. We relished this surprising sweet soup, savoring each bite.

We definitely recommend checking this homemade street food dessert on the sidewalks of Hoi An.

Xi Ma Street Food Vendor Lady

Address: Nguyễn Trường Tộ between Lý Thường Kiệt and Thái Phiên

Hours: Check in the afternoons.

Price: Cost of one bowl 10,000 VND (approx $0.44)

READ MORE: The 14 Most Delightful and Popular Vietnamese Desserts To Indulge In

Map of Hoi An Restaurants

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In Summary

No trip to Vietnam would be complete without stopping in Hoi An. While the charming city is rich in history and sites to explore, Hoi An food takes center stage.

Consider this food guide as an introduction to the flavors in Hoi An Vietnam. There are many more local specialties to discover. 

To make the most of your stay, we recommend traveling with a curious mind and a willing stomach. Savor street food amongst locals and get to know the diverse tastes of Hoi An.

Have you been to Hoi An Vietnam? What is your favorite Hoi An food or local Vietnamese food? Please let us know in the comments below.

How To Get From Danang To Hoi An

Danang Hoi An by Bus Authentic Food Quest
Danang to Hoi An local buses

To get from Da Nang to Hoi An, you can either use a private car or take public transportation. We’ve used both. 

While using the bus is a fun adventure, it makes sense only if you are staying in Da Nang. You want to take bus #1, leaving Da Nang in the center of town near the river. 

Plan for about 1 hour before arriving in Hoi An Bus Station, walking distance to the old town. 

The fare is clearly marked 20,000 VND for one way. Be warned that the ticket clerks are known to double the price for tourists.

We stood our ground and refused to pay more and the clerck walked away. Please note that the bus hours are limited. Be sure to check ahead of time. 

If you are going to Hoi An directly from Da Nang airport, we recommend taking a private transfer for a very affordable price. 

You can also ask the people where you are staying to arrange for a private driver for a ride back to Da Nang. There are a lot of private car offers for this trip. Make sure to agree on the price ahead of time.

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