Dining Like a Local - What You Need to Know to Eat Out in Vietnam

Dining Like a Local - What You Need to Know to Eat Out in Vietnam

Vietnam has some of the best food in the world. But you have to know where to look.

Here is a helpful guide to ensure you keep your taste buds alive.


Ask local people

It is said that the truth can only be told by the insiders. So it is a good idea to ask for recommendations from Vietnamese people if you are looking for a good restaurant to eat. These people can be anyone from people you meet on the streets, staff in a hotel you’re staying, to the freshly made Vietnamese friends.

However, the most common source you can get value information is probably the motor riders or street vendors along the street in Vietnam. They often go around the city and have a lot of time to observe customers from different restaurants.

They can give you good advice about each specialty restaurant and a general evaluation about the quality of the food. The one disadvantage is that not many of these people cannot speak foreign languages, so there may be some difficulties in communicating with them.

Taxi drivers are also the very sociable people. They move around the city in their car, picking up a lot of different customers. And there are many tiny talks along the way between the drivers and customers to exchange knowledge.

From these conversations, the drivers have a lot of information about places to eat in big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City from the customer’s point of view.

Beware and trust your instincts. Not everyone will recommend somewhere that he or she truly likes. Instead they may send you to a place that promises them a commission.


Use Online Resources

Technology has changed drastically and it is getting easier for us to get information about anything. If you want to know about restaurant hotspots use you useful information sites such as Trip Advisors, Lonely Planet or one of the many good online travel guidebooks.

Using these sources, you can find reviews about the restaurants, an evaluation of each including what you should order. These reviews are sometimes written by fellow travellers who have had a meal at the restaurant and discovered something good about it; so they want to share.


Follow the crowd

Another tip when choosing restaurant in Vietnam is to follow the crowd.

As we all know, the better a restaurant is, the more people know about it. Just simply imagine, you had a delicious dinner at a restaurant. You are so impressed about the food, the atmosphere and the prices that you told your friend and highly recommended her to try it. And then your friend kept her friends, who would tell their other friends.

The circle keeps going on and the network keeps getting bigger every day. You can choose a restaurant because you have heard lots of good comments on that restaurant. That is not a bad idea and the chance that you would have a good time is pretty high.

You can also follow the crowd by stopping by at any crowded restaurants you come across on the streets. It might be a risky decision. but the chances of choosing the good one is also very high.


Don’t judge a book by its cover

One common perception is that the restaurant which looks old and small is not a good one. This is such a misperception and nowhere is this statement more valid than in Vietnam.

There are many old and small restaurants in Vietnam where the food is extremely good. Probably better than any other restaurants serving the same food.

There are many restaurants like this in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Many of them are located in District 10 in Ho Chi Minh City, or Da Dinh and Dong Da in Hanoi. So if you go around the city and see an old restaurant that catches your eyes, don’t underestimate it before you try it.


Good restaurants often come in cluster

Many good restaurants in Vietnam are located near one another. In Vietnam, when a restaurant thrives out of a cuisines, its neighbor will surely join in with the same dishes. When there are many restaurants adjacent to each other, it will raise the competitiveness among the food business.

This high level of competition encourages the restaurants to raise its quality of services such as food, customer services, and sanitary condition.


These special tips to finding a place to eat in Vietnam will hopefully help you save time, money and give you a tool to try all those delicious food Vietnam is well known for.