Bourdain’s Footsteps in Vietnam: Tracking the Tastiest Meals

Anthony Bourdain wasn’t only a terrific chef and inspiration for the cooks and restaurants all around the globe, but also maybe the most passionate fan and explorer of the Vietnamese national cuisine. He shared his love for this cuisine in eight episodes of his shows, including A Cook’s Tour, No Reservations, and Parts Unknown.

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So, in the memory of this incredible TV host, chef, and food explorer, we decided to share some of his favorite meals and places to eat in Vietnam, and relive the culinary journey of Anthony Bourdain through all parts of Vietnam. Read on and find out more about his favorite food and eateries in this part of the world.

Bánh Xèo

Having watched Bourdain’s shows, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that he was pretty fond of these Vietnamese crepes, which are also known as “sizzling crepes.” They owe their name to the sizzling sound made during their preparation in the hot skillet. These pancakes are made of water, rice flour, and turmeric powder, and are served as breakfast or snack, combined with various fillings, such as shrimps, pork belly, onion, bean sprouts, beans, mustard greens, mint, etc.


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Bourdain recommends: Quán Bánh Xèo 46A

Bún bò Huế

This Vietnamese soup based on rice, shrimp sauce, and beef originates from the royal court and its other ingredients depend on the part of the country but it commonly includes lime wedges, green onions, chili sauce, banana blossom, mint, coriander, red cabbage, etc. Rice noodles that go with the soup are usually prepared separately.

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Bourdain recommends: The Lunch Lady

Read Also: Soups not to miss in vietnam

Bánh mì

The fact that even Bourdain fell in love with this traditional Vietnamese sandwich speaks enough about its amazing taste. While it can have a large number of variations, a  Bánh mì sandwich can’t go without Vietnamese baguette, one or more types of meat (usually pork or chicken), and various vegetables, such as carrot and vegetables.

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Bourdain recommends: Banh Mi Phuong

Cao lầu

Typical exclusively for the central area of the country, and more precisely, extremely popular in Hoi An, this dish combines pork, local greens, and fresh rice noodles, providing an interesting texture based on herbal and sweet flavors combined with crunchy garnishes. Some cooks that like to experiment with the taste sometimes add fried pork skin or roasted peanuts to enrich the flavor.

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Bourdain recommends: The Central Market

Read Also: Tasty adventure – Mui ne street food festivals

Bún chả

Foodies that enjoy the taste of grilled pork will probably be as enthusiastic when it comes to this meal as Bourdain was. Bún chả represents a perfect mixture of grilled pork and noodles, and it is another meal especially popular in Hanoi. Rice noodles and herbs are covered with grilled fatty pork and they usually come with a dipping sauce that additionally enriches the taste.

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Bourdain recommends: Bún chả Hương Liên

Finally, if you want to follow Bourdain’s footsteps through Vietnam and relive his journey even when it comes to quenching thirst after these delicious meals, make sure to grab the local beer (Bia Hơi) at Bia Hơi Hải Xồm like he used to do. You won’t regret it. 😉

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