A Guide to The Best of Hue Food and Authentic Restaurants

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Hue food is distinguished in Vietnam for its sophistication. It is regarded by many as the best food in the country.

Located in central Vietnam, Hue became the capital of a united Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty.

It was during this period that Hue food was elevated to an art form and cultural trademark.  Royal Hue cuisine or Imperial cuisine was beautifully presented in tiny portions for greater variety.  

The food was harmonized for balance, flavors, textures, and colors. Royal Hue food had to be pleasing aesthetically, elegant and, eaten with decorum.

Besides imperial cuisine, Hue is also celebrated for its humble traditional food, skillfully made by the hands of Hue women. 

Hue, once a thriving center for Buddhism in Vietnam is also known for its vegetarian dishes. 

From royal delicacies to street foods, Hue has inspired Vietnamese cuisine. The food is partly a reflection of the soul of Hue.

Following is a tasty introduction to the food from Hue. This guide to the best Hue food is not an exhaustive list of all the foods in Hue. Rather, highlights of the emblematic foods from Hue not to miss.

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Table of Contents

Hue Cuisine – Royal Cuisine of The Imperial City

Entrance Imperial City of Hue by Authentic Food Quest
The impressive entrance to the ancient Imperial City in Hue

The food in Hue was always composed of numerous dishes and the emperor always had about 50 dishes to choose from. 

Under the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue was capital for 143 years from 1802 – 1945.  During this time, the Emperors and their subjects lived in the Forbidden Purple City

At the time, Vietnam’s finest chefs were handpicked and moved to Hue to create new dishes.

The chefs adapted local dishes and introduced new regional flavors for Vietnamese royalty.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the food of the Imperial Court was the presentation.

While Hue food was always based on balancing tastes, colors, and design, royal Hue cuisine took it to a new level.  

Dishes were elegantly presented, harmonized with colors to create a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach.

Tu Duc Royal Tomb in Hue by Authentic Food Quest for Hue Food
Around the impressive Tu Duc Royal Tomb

Emperor Tu Duc who reigned from 1848 -1883, is said to have been extremely picky about his food. 

Apparently, he sat down to 50 different dishes prepared by 50 cooks and served by 50 servants.

With the Perfume (Huong) River surrounding Hue and easy accessibility to fresh produce, Hue food is wholesome.

From imperial cuisine to everyday dishes, seasonal and locally grown ingredients are used extensively in Hue food.

READ RELATED: Surprising Royal Laos Cuisine at Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos

1- Com Hen or Bun Hen – Spicy Baby Clams with Rice or Noodles

Bun Hen spicy baby clams noodles for Hue Food by Authentic Food Quest
Amazing and slightly spicy Bun Hen

Clam rice or clam noodles is an iconic Hue food. A simple dish with humble origins, it started as a way to use up leftover rice.

It generally consists of clams, rice or noodles, aromatic vegetables, and a special pungent Hue shrimp sauce.

Today, this traditional Hue food also comes with pork rind, roasted peanuts, and crispy rice crackers.

The magic comes when everything is mixed together and topped with Vietnamese herbs.

We had the bun hen, which is the version with noodles, instead of rice.

The more we savored the rich flavors, the more we became fans of the balance of flavors. The mix between the vegetable and herbs and clams

According to locals, the best tasting baby clams are said to come from Con Hen Island on the Perfume River. 

Com hen dates back to the Nguyen Dynasty period and it is one of the few local dishes that went straight from the streets to the palaces. 

Bun Hen came later on and is said to have been quicker to make with noodles than the rice.

No matter how you have Hue food, it is an essential part of the rich culinary heritage and not to be missed.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Com Hen or Bun Hen

Com Hen Thu Hien Best Restaurant in Hue by Authentic Food Quest
Not to be missed for tasty Bun Hen or Com Hen

We tried Bun Hen at a small local shophouse on the outskirts of town. Eating at this tiny eatery was like eating at someone’s home. 

Our bowls were really flavorful and tasty and the atmosphere could not be more local. A solid option if you are willing to get off the beaten path.

Cơm Hến Thu Hiền

Address: 55 Trần Phú, Phước Vĩnh, Hue

Hours: Open every day,  10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Price: 20,000 VND (approx. $0.86)

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Explore the former Imperial capital of Hue on a full-day tour. With an English speaking guide, visit the royal tombs, citadels, and palaces. Sail along the Perfume River as you learn Hue’s history and see UNESCO sites. Discover local Hue food specialties at lunch and visit local villages. By the end of the day, you’ll leave with a solid understanding of the history and intersection of royal and everyday life. Book Your Hue City Full Day Tour

2 – Bún Bò or Bun Bo – Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

Bun Bo Hue Spicy Beef Noodle Soup Hue Cuisine by Authentic Food Quest
A hearty and pretty amazing bowl of Bun Bo with the accompaniments

Bun bo Hue soup can be described as the soul of Hue cuisine. It was one of Vietnam’s most famous soups, rivaling Pho.

Outside of Hue, it is known as Bun bo Hue, but in the ancient Imperial City, it simply goes by Bun bo.

Described by Anthony Bourdain as the “best soup in the world,” it has pork, beef, and congealed pig’s blood.

The name is somewhat of a misnomer because “bo” means beef and the soup consists of only about 10% beef. 

This soulful, rich, and complex soup starts with pork shanks and beef bones simmered in a  lemongrass broth.

The fiery spicy flavors come from the fried garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, paprika, fermented shrimp paste, and lemongrass. Annatto seeds give its iconic red color. 

Bun bo hue is served with rice noodles, sliced brisket, cubes of gelatinous congealed pig’s blood and herbs, and lime. 

The flavors of this Hue food are appreciated not only by taste alone but also by its aromas. 

If you’d like to try Bun Bo at home, add veggies and protein to this bun bo hue flavored soup base and enjoy.

An array of herbs, including banana flower and white basil mixed with meaty broth and a squeeze of lime are indescribable.

Once you start slurping on this food in Hue, you’ll ignore the congealed pig’s blood and savor the best soup in the world.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Bun Bo

Quan 50 Bun Bo Hue for Best Restaurants in Hue by Authentic Food Quest
A gem for the rich and complex Bun Ho Hue soup

While in Hue, we learned that Bun Bo is typically served in the morning. We were looking for it for dinner while most shops were not serving it.

We ended up having Bun Bo in the local shop where we ate Com Hen. Our bowl was copious and fully loaded with several cuts of meat. 

Another place we recommend is Quan 50 Bun Bo Hue where they serve Bun Bo Hue in the morning.

Quan 50 Bún Bò Huế

Address: 50 Trần Thúc Nhẫn, Vĩnh Ninh, Hue

Hours: Morning hours to get the Bun Bo Hue

Price: 25,000 VND (approx. $1.08)

Cơm Hến Thu Hiền

Address: 55 Trần Phú, Phước Vĩnh, Hue

Hours: Open every day, 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Price: 20,000 VND (approx. $0.86)

3 – Bún Thịt Nướng or Bun Thit Nuong – Hue Style Grilled Pork and Rice Noodles

Bun Thit Nuong Hue Style Grilled Pork and Rice Noodles by Authentic Food Quest
A personal favorite Hue food with influences from royal chefs

Bun Thit Nuong is a specialty Hue food that is very popular. Even though grilled pork is eaten throughout the country, the Hue style is celebrated.

Bun is vermicelli rice noodle served in a bowl and typically cold. Thit nuong are grilled pork cooked until they are tender with a smoky caramelization.

The cold noodles are topped with slices of warm grilled pork, greens, herbs, spices, and roasted peanuts.

In Hue, the flavors come alive when mixed with a warm peanut sauce, instead of fish sauce. 

Hue food is well known for its flavors having had influences of the best royal chefs. The special Hue peanut sauce and the way the pork is grilled makes it unmatched.

A green salad accompanies the grilled pork and rice noodles. Depending on the season, it may include lettuce or mustard greens, cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, and more.

As one of my favorite dishes, I particularly enjoyed the balance of flavors. The contrast of the cold noodles and warm pork in the special sauce is incredible. 

When eaten together with the herbs and fresh greens, you’ll find yourself wanting more.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Bun Thit Nuong

This local restaurant where you can try Bun Thit Nuong has a reputation for great barbecue pork.

Located a few blocks from Ben Ngu market, they are open only in the evenings.

It often gets crowded with locals so seating spots can be sparse.

Bún Thịt Nướng – Bún Mắm

Address: 35 Nguyễn Trường Tộ, Phước Vĩnh, Hue

Hours: Open every day, 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Price: 24,000 VND (approx. $1.04)

4 – Nem Lụi or Nem Lui Hue – Hue Lemongrass Pork Skewers

Nem Lui Hue Lemongrass Pork Skewers by Authentic Food Quest for Hue Food
Savory and tasty lemongrass pork skewers

Nem Lui is one of the most famous Hue food that is eaten by locals and visitors alike.

In Hue, it is typically eaten with an assortment of fresh vegetables with a spicy fish sauce.

Nem lui are grilled pork on lemongrass skewers. This Hue food is made with ground pork which has marinated in shallots, fish sauce, pepper, and other herbs and grilled.

The skewers are grilled slowly over charcoal until they are slightly charred and ready to serve. 

The succulent pork molded around lemongrass sticks are then dipped into a special Hue sauce.

Even though you’ll find Nem Lui in different regions of the country, the taste of Nem Lui in Hue is distinctive and enchanting.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Nem Lui

Banh Khoai Honh Mai best restaurant in Hue by Authentic Food Quest
Popular family owned restaurant for Nem Lui and Banh Khoai

Our best Nem Lui in Hue was at a family restaurant located by the Imperial City.

Frequented by tourists and locals alike, they serve excellent Nem Lui as well as fresh fried Banh Khoai.

It is a friendly and clean place to stop for lunch or dinner after visiting the Imperial City.

Bánh Khoái Hồng Mai

Address: 110 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Phú Hậu, Hue

Hours: Open every day, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Price: 70,000 VND for a plate of 10 skewers (approx. $3.02)

READ MORE:  Top 17 Authentic Food in Danang You Want to Have

5- Bánh Khoái or Banh Khoai – Hue Crispy Rice Pancake

Banh Khoai Hue Crispy Rice Pancake by Authentic Food Quest for Hue Cuisine
The pleasure of Banh Khoai, Hue’s crispy rice pancake

Savory crispy rice-based crepe, tasty with pork and shrimp (tom thit) egg and vegetables

Banh Khoai is a savory crispy rice crepe filled with pork and shrimp accompanied by salad and a peanut-based sauce.

This is a specialty food in Hue that is not to be missed. It is a small and thick pancake made with rice flour, water, and turmeric.

It is typically served with a salad which may include greens and fruits like green mango, starfruit, depending on seasonality.

One of the most important elements of this specialty Hue food is the sauce. The dipping sauce, which is peanut-based, also includes pork liver and sesame. 

All the dipping sauce ingredients are cooked for full flavors, elevating the taste of banh khoai.

The name “Banh Khoai” in Vietnamese translates to pleasure or happiness, and the crepe folded in half represents a smiling face.

Through the smiling banh khoai, royal chefs offered pleasure to Emperor Nguyen.

And, once you bite into it in Hue, you’ll understand the secrets of this Hue food.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Khoai

Rosemary and Claire eating Hue Food by Authentic Food Quest
Rosemary and Claire enjoying wonderful Hue foods including the delicious Banh Khoai

Unfortunately, it was in the evening and we learned that Bun Bo is served in the mornings.

Instead, we ended up tasting wonderful snacks unique to Hue including a delicious Banh Khoai.

Quan 50 Bún Bò Huế

Address: 50 Trần Thúc Nhẫn, Vĩnh Ninh, Hue

Hours: Open morning and evening

Price: 20,000 VND (approx. $1.08)

Bánh Khoái Hồng Mai

Address: 110 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Phú Hậu, Hue

Hours: Open every day, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Price: 20,000 VND for a plate of Banh Khoai (approx. $0.86)

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

Bahn Beo Vietnamese Steamed Water Fern Rice Cakes by Authentic Food Quest
Sophisticated and incredibly flavorful Banh Beo with Vietnamese fish sauce

Banh Beo, or  “water fern cakes” are hugely popular in Hue and a survivor of the Nguyen Emperors period. 

They are small steamed rice cakes that are both eye-catching, sophisticated, and delicious.

According to legend, we have former Emperor Tu Duc, to thank for these small elegant Hue food.

Apparently, for a period of one year, royal chefs were ordered to prepare a unique meal for the emperor and his 104 wives every night.

One of the Imperial chefs struck gold with Banh Beo and it has since been immortalized as a signature Hue food.

To make Banh Beo, a combination of rice and tapioca flour is poured into tiny ornate plates and then steamed.

When served, the rice cakes are topped with crispy pork skin, scallion oil, and a dipping sauce.

Banh Beo is usually accompanied by nuoc mam, Vietnamese fish sauce. 

The Banh Beo are served on individual small dishes and eaten whole by using chopsticks to nudge the Banh Beo off the plate.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Beo

Hanh Restaurant for Hue Food by Authentic Food Quest
The comfortable interior at Hanh restaurant in Hue

Hanh restaurant is a well-known eatery by tourists and locals alike. They cater their menu to tourists and have a nice selection of Hue food not to miss in the city. 

However, we didn’t find some of the dishes we tasted to be the best we had in Hue.

Nonetheless, the Banh Beo is a solid option and you can conveniently taste several other Hue dishes in the same restaurant.

Quán Bánh Khoái Hạnh

Address: 11 Phó Đức Chính tổ 8, Phú Hội

Hours: Open every day, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Price: 60,000 VND for a plate of Banh Beo (approx. $2.59)

READ RELATED: A Guide to The Best Food In Hoi An

7- Banh Ep Hue – Thin Scallion Pancakes

Banh Ep Thin Scallion Pancake Hue Food by Authentic Food Quest
A close up of the Banh Ep specialty Hue food

Banh Ep is a popular Hue street food available throughout the city. It is a thin springy pancake made with tapioca flour, eggs, minced meat or dried beef, and scallions.

The cooking of Banh Ep is quite surprising. A small amount of dough is pressed between two pieces of cast iron mold and cooked over charcoal. The filling is placed on top of the dough and then pressed shut and cooked again. 

The word “Ep” means to flatten or make “thin” and the origin for the name.

The Banh Ep is usually served piping hot with vegetables and herbs like pickled papaya, Vietnamese cilantro, cucumber, etc.

The way to eat Banh Ep is to roll it up with the mountain and herbs and dip it into a flavorful fish sauce.

Delightful is how we would describe eating this local Hue food. The slightly chewy pancake and the contrast of the fresh vegetables awakens the taste buds.

A simple snack, don’t miss this tasty food in Hue.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Ep

Eating Banh Ep Hue Food by Authentic Food Quest
A bountiful array of herbs and vegetables to go with the Banh Ep thin pancakes

Banh Ep like Banh Trang Trung is popular with young Vietnamese. It is not unusual to find restaurants serving Banh Ep packed with young Vietnamese students. 

Seating can be a challenge, especially in the evenings.

Bánh Ép Chị Huệ

Address: 118 Lê Ngô Cát, Thủy Xuân, Hue

Hours: Open everyday, 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Price: 15,000 VND for a serving of Ban Ep (approx. $0.65)

Quán Gia Di Bánh Ép Thuận An

Address: 101 Bà Triệu, Xuân Phú, Hue

Hours: Open every day, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Price: 15,000 VND for a serving of Ban Ep  (approx. $0.65)

8- Banh Trang Trung – Vietnamese Pizza

Banh Trang Trung Hue Vietnamese Style Pizza by Authentic Food Quest
Banh Trang Trung or Vietnamese-style pizza folded in half to eat on the go

Banh Trang Trung or Vietnamese pizza is a popular street food especially with younger locals.

The base is a crunchy circular rice paper with a variety of toppings. 

Toppings include dried beef, eggs, shallots, or Vietnamese sausage. The “pizza” is then grilled over charcoal and cut into pieces with scissors.

Intrigued by their popularity, we could not resist trying this unique food Hue. Watching the vendor top the pizza was quite fascinating. 

We enjoyed the crispiness of the fried rice paper from the outside and the combination of ingredients inside.

 With the sweet, salty, and spicy flavors, it’s easy to understand the popularity of this Hue food.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPE: Make this simple Vietnamese street food at home with this simple Vietnamese pizza recipe

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Trang Trung

Banh Trang Trung street vendor in Hue by Authentic Food Quest
Street vendor making Vietnamese-style pizza with a variety of toppings

Banh Trang Trung is typically served alongside Ban Ep. These restaurants attract a similar young Vietnamese crowd.

This restaurant is located across an impressive church and makes for an interesting stop before tasting Hue style pizza.

Bánh Ép. Bánh Tráng Trứng

Address: 46 Nguyễn Khuyến tổ 4, Phú Nhuận, Hue

Hours: Open every day from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Price: 15,000 VND for a serving of Ban Ep  (approx. $0.65)

9- Bánh Nậm or Banh Nam – Flat Rice Dumplings

Banh Nam flat rice dumplings Hue food by Authentic Food Quest
Banh Nam is another favorite Hue food with addictive flavors

Banh Nam is a specialty food in Hue, that is interesting to look at and incredibly flavorful.

This iconic Hue food is a flat rice dumpling filled with pork and shrimp and wrapped in banana leaves.

The main ingredients are rice and tapioca flour with minced pork and prawns. The dumpling is steamed and best enjoyed warm when doused in nuoc mam, Vietnamese fish sauce.

Like other Hue foods, Banh Nam was created to feed the appetites of Emperors in the former Imperial Capital. 

It is traditionally eaten as an appetizer and it is easy to eat several at a time.

This is another one of our favorite foods in Hue. Once you unwrap the banana leaves, the fragrant aromas are inviting and addicting.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Nam

We stumbled into Quan 50 Bún Bò Huế determined to taste another Bun Bo in the imperial city. 

Although we were too late to have Bun Bo, we were offered surprising Hue food. In this small shop house, we ate delicious snacks unique to the royal cuisine including the Banh Nam.

Quan 50 Bún Bò Huế

Address: 50 Trần Thúc Nhẫn, Vĩnh Ninh, Hue

Hours: Open mornings and evenings

Price: 20,000 VND (approx. $1.08)

10-  Bánh Lọc, Banh Loc or Banh Bot Loc – Hue Tapioca Dumplings

Banh Loc Hue Tapioca Dumplings by Authentic Food Quest
Sensually inviting Banh Loc or Hue Tapioca Dumplings

Banh loc is a sensually inviting dish. It is translucent, like the morning dew, with appetizing shrimp and pork on the inside.

Banh loc are typically wrapped in banana leaves and steamed before serving. Once unwrapped the translucent dumpling is served with a fish sauce.

While this specialty Hue food looks quite simple, it is actually labor-intensive. Cassava roots are ground and kneaded and filtered to make the tapioca flour.

The filling must be well seasoned and skillfully made within the tapioca flour so they don’t fall apart while cooking.

This is accompanied with a variety of greens and served with a tasty chili-lemon fish sauce. 

This tapioca stuffed dumpling is one of our favorite food in Hue.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Loc

Banh Loc Bowl Hue Cuisine by Authentic Food Quest
A batch of Banh Loc being mixed with fresh herbs

On our morning visit to the local market, we were looking for the perfect Hue food for a royal breakfast.

Amongst the many vendors, we spotted this lady with a large container of small Hue snacks. We were excited to have just stumbled on Banh Loc, the perfect royal treat for breakfast.

Lady Selling Banh Loc at Ben Ngu Market

Address: Phan Bội Châu, Phuoc Vinh, Hue (for accurate location click link above)

Hours: Open every morning of the week

Price: 20,000 VND (approx. $0.86)

11- Bánh Uớt or Banh Uot – Steamed  Rice Rolls Stuffed With Grilled Pork

Banh Uot Steamed Rice Rolls Stuffed with Grilled Pork by Authentic Food Quest
Beautiful and tasty Banh Uot or steamed rice rolls filled with grilled pork

While you’ll find steamed rice rolls in different regions of Vietnam, the rolls from Hue are the most famous.

Banh Uot Hue are steamed rice rolls with the paste made of rice and cassava flour. The crispy, juicy pork served alongside is a Hue specialty.

Sometimes, Banh Uot is described as wet rice paper, which are silky and succulent sheets of fresh rice noodles.

The rolls are filled with grilled pork and a mix of aromatic herbs and greens.

The way the grilled pork is prepared differs from stall to stall. The seasoning typically includes black pepper, salt, shallots, garlic, sesame, five-spice powders, and more.

To go along with the Banh Uot, is a fish sauce is a soft, succulent sheet of fresh rice noodle. 

The bite-sized rolls are dipped in a fish sauce or a thick soybean sauce with chili and garlic. 

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Uot

Hue Ben Ngu Market Hue Cuisine by Authentic Food Quest
Get your Hue food specialties from this market vendor

Our Banh Loc favorite vendor also sells the Banh Uot as well as the Banh Ram-it.

Lady Selling Banh Uot at Ben Ngu Market

Address: Phan Bội Châu, Phuoc Vinh, Hue (for accurate location click link above)

Hours: Open every morning of the week

Price: 20,000 VND (approx. $0.86)

12- Bánh Ram Ít or Banh Ram It – Fried Sticky Rice Dumplings

Banh Ram It Hue Cuisine Fried Sticky Rice Dumplings by Authentic Food Quest
Perfectly flavorful bite-sized fried sticky rice dumplings

Delicate and similar to Banh Beo, these fried sticky rice dumplings are not to be missed.

Banh Ram It are crunchy, fried rice dumplings stuffed with pork belly, and topped with dried shrimp.

What makes them unique is that they are served on a small circular deep-fried rice cracker base.

Like banh beo, these fried dumplings are topped with shrimp, stir-fried onions, and served with Vietnamese fish sauce.

The extra crispy layer on the bottom is known as “ram”, which means crispy dough.

Eaten together the crispy bottom and chewy dumpling perfectly complement each other.

These bite-size dumplings are delightful and the perfect snack when craving Hue food.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Banh Ram It

Cho Ben Ngu Hue Market by Authentic Food Quest
Treat yourself to Banh Ram It at Ben Ngu market

Beyond Ben Ngu market, look for Quan Banh O Le for friendly service and atmosphere. They serve delicious Banh Ram It in addition to other traditional Hue snacks.  

Located on the outskirts of the city, this restaurant will take you out of your way to enjoy Hue food.

Quán Bánh O Lé

Address: Kiệt 104, Kim Long, Hue

Hours: Open every day from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Price: 24,000 VND (approx. $1.04)

Lady Selling Banh Ram It at Ben Ngu Market

Address: Phan Bội Châu, Phuoc Vinh, Hue (for accurate location click link above)

Hours: Open every morning of the week

Price: 20,000 VND (approx. $0.86)

13- Nem Chua – Hue Fermented Pork Sausages

Nem Chua Hue Fermented pork sausage by Authentic Food Quest
Striking and surprisingly tasty Nem Chua, Hue fermented pork sausage

Nem Chua is a unique Hue specialty recognizable by its distinctive pink color. This delicate fermented pork sausage is a testimony to the delicacy of Hue royal cuisine.

Nem Chua is made of lean meat, pork skin, seasoned with garlic, chili, sugar, and other spices.

It is then wrapped in banana leaves and naturally fermented for a few days. It is similar to cured meat once it is ready for consumption.

Nem Chua flavor is a surprising combination of sourness, sweetness, and spiciness.

This fermented pork sausage was one of Claire’s tasty surprises. 

A unique savory snack to dive your teeth into at least once.

Best Restaurants in Hue for Nem Chua

We first tasted this delicacy at a restaurant in Da Nang that specializes in Hue food. Here are a couple of addresses in Hue where you can find Nem Chua on the menu.  

Nem Chua Ran Khang located in the imperial city has an interesting take on Nem Chua, offering a fried version.

Nem Chua Rán Khang

Address: 131 Ngô Thế Lân, Tây Lộc, Hue

Hours: Open every day from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Price: 5000 VND per plate (approx. $0.22)

Hang Me

Address: 12 Võ Thị Sáu tổ 14, Phú Hội, Hue

Hours: Although the restaurant is open every day, I don’t have the exact hours

Price: Count about 5000 VND per Nem Chua (approx. $0.22)

14- Chả Huế or Cha Hue – Vietnamese Ham Pork Roll

Cha Hue for Hue Food by Authentic Food quest
Cha Hue or ham pork roll local Hue food specialty

Cha Hue is a popular Vietnamese pork meatloaf from the Imperial City. In the rest of Vietnam, you’ll find a similar pork roll known as Cha Lua.

Cha Hue has a similar shape to pork sausage, and it is also known as Vietnamese ham or pork roll.

You find Cha Hue in Bun Bo soup, and other meaty soups, sandwiches like Banh Mi, or as a snack. 

Made from lean cuts of meat, it is said to be healthy and a rich source of protein. 

It is made from pounding meat mixed with tapioca flour into a thick loaf. It is then wrapped into a banana leaf before being steamed. 

In Hue, the meat is seasoned with more spices than the Cha Lua version.

Typically, the seasonings include black pepper, garlic, and fish sauce. Whereas, Cha Hue is made with whole black peppercorns and extra garlic.

This soft texture sausage has a nice bite and extra kick from the garlic. 

Best Places to Eat Cha Hue

Vendor of Cha Hue Vietnamese Ham Pork Roll by Authentic Food Quest
Market vendor selling Cha Hue or Vietnamese ham pork rolls

To taste cha hue, we recommend to either buy directly from a vendor at the market or have it in a dish. 

On the outskirts of Ben Ngu market, you will find ladies selling a stack of Cha Hue sausages.

Outside the markets, your best bet is to taste it in your Bun Bo or in a Banh Mi sandwich. Cha Hue is typically served in both.

15- Chè Hạt Sen or Che Hat Sen – Vietnamese Lotus Sweet Soup

Che Hat Sen Hue Food Vietnamese Lotus Sweet Soup by Authentic Food Quest
Delightful Lotus flavored Che sweet soup

Che are popular Vietnamese desserts available across the country. They are typically sweet soups made of a variety of ingredients.

The ingredients are served together in tall glasses with ice or served warm. 

It is said that Hue has 36 different kinds of Che. You will find Che made with mung beans, red beans, coconut milk, corn, and more.

In Hue, Che are influenced by the Imperial Cuisine heritage. One of the unique Che’s you will find in Hue is made with lotus seeds.

Lotus was grown by the Royal family and the seeds used in the refined royal cuisine.

Nowadays, the lotus from Hue is considered the best in the country. 

Taste the Che made with lotus called Che Hat Sen. This Che has unique sweet and nutty flavors with a mild finish.

Don’t hesitate to explore the world of che in Hue and the many variations available. We trust you will find the perfect one for your palate.

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

Best Restaurants in Hue To Eat Che Hat Sen

Lady selling Che at Hue Ben Ngu Market by Authentic Food Quest
Market vendor selling different variations of Che sweet soups

We had our Che Hat Sen for breakfast in the local market Ben Ngu Market located by our Airbnb.

In the covered area, we stumbled onto a lively food stall run by a young lady busy serving locals. Large pots with warm and sweet flavors tempted us. 

We enjoyed a delicious and warm Che Hat Sen. It was the perfect treat on a rainy day of sightseeing in Hue.

Lady Selling Che at Ben Ngu Market

Address: Phan Bội Châu, Phuoc Vinh, Hue (for accurate location click  link above)

Hours: Open every morning of the week

Price: 10,000 VND (approx. $0.43)

Another popular sweet parlor in Hue is called Che Hem located in the central part of town.

Che Hem 

Address: 1 kiệt, 29 Hùng Vương, Phú Hội, Hue

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

Price: 10,000 VND (approx. $0.43)

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In Summary

Hue has so many local specialties with distinctive preparation and presentation styles. Hue food may be classified as a genre on its own. 

Many visitors to Vietnam often skip Hue, in the central region. Given its rich culinary heritage, it should be a stop, if only for the benefit of your palate.

The delicious food in Hue will have your taste buds dancing with joy with every bite. The history is rich, and the food exceptional. 

Savor the flavors of Hue food and enjoy food fit for royalty.

Of the Hue foods listed above, which ones are you most tempted by? Please let us know in the comments below.

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A Guide to The Best of Hue Food by Authentic Food Quest

10 thoughts on “A Guide to The Best of Hue Food and Authentic Restaurants”

  1. This is a fantastic post, I did an “imperial feast” when I was there but had no idea what anything was. Now I want to go back and try everything else that you have mentioned!

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