Recently I travel to Nha Trang a lot, and I don’t know from when I’m in love with the local cuisine. To a boy that live in a big urban city, with meats and eggs are always on my meals, Nha Trang food to me is full of local flavor with seafood as main ingredients in most of the dishes. Not just simply adding a difference on my daily meals, but the foods are fulfilling and pleasuring my appetite by its deliciousness and tasty.
As a traveled destination, Nha Trang has all kinds of food from American, European, to Japanese, or Chinese foods, etc. Nevertheless, to try the local food is to learn about the culture, partly. Hence, let’s follow me discovering Nha Trang cuisine, the very local one, and see the dishes that you must try.
“It’s Important to Start Your Day with a Proper Breakfast”
1. Bún Cá Sứa (Vermicelli with Grilled Fish and Jellyfish)
This is always my top choice for the breakfast. Simply because a soup-based dish for the morning will make the meal less dry, as my mom usually say.
I’m just kidding. However, a bowl of Bún Cá Sứa will impress you with a lot of toppings made by seafood such as jellyfish meat, cod or tuna meat, mackerel tuna meat, and grilled chopped fish. Some vegetables such as green onion, slices of tomato will be added to push the taste.
I’m sure you would feel the soup fresh. Moreover, by adding a little bit lemon, just few drops, when eating will even boost the freshness to your day.
Where to eat Bún Cá Sứa?
– Bún Cá Cô Ba – 123 Yersin st., Nha Trang city
Price range: VND 15,000 – 40,000 ($0,7 – $1,7)
2. Bánh Đập, Bánh Ướt
I just know this dish recently, then I turn back to those restaurants more often for breakfast. Generally, it’s a pretty iconic dish of the middle land of Vietnam, but particularly making Nha Trang cuisine more varied.
Bánh Đập is made by sticking Bánh Ướt into a baked rice paper, adding chopped green onion, shrimp powder or pounded peanut, then folding the rice paper in half. Some restaurants would have grilled pork, or Vietnamese sausage to eat along. When eating, you will use a scissor to cut Bánh Đập into slices, and pick those slices by your hands. People say that Bánh Đập is better when consuming with fermented fish sauce. But if you aren’t familiar with that one, you can always try with the sweet fish sauce.
Because Bánh Ướt is an ingredient of Bánh Đập, restaurants always sell both of them for customers to have more choices. And you can find those around Nha Trang city.
Where to eat Bánh Đập?
– Bánh Đập Hồng Lĩnh – 16C Hồng Lĩnh st.
– Bánh Đập Bình Minh – 29 Lê Đại Hành st.
Price range: VND 10,000/cake or VND 25,000/dish ($0.4 – $1)
3. Bò Né (Beef Dish)
This may not be a so new or particular food of the city, but I just like the restaurant which sell it. Therefore, I want to introduce this place just in case you are looking for something-beef to kick start your day. Also to make Nha Trang food tour longer with different choices.
The dish maybe similar to other Vietnamese beefsteak, as how I call. However, the specialty is the red sauce as you can see in the pic. I could say it has a little of sweet, a little of tomato taste, and a little of something that I don’t know. Anyway, I ate up to 3 breads with only a pan, just by dipping the sauce. The restaurant, overall, makes the beef that I pretty like at the city, so do the local people, as I can see.
Where to eat Bò Né?
– Bò Né Huyền – 17 Huỳnh Thúc Kháng st.
Price range: VND 20,000 – 45,000 ($1 – $2)
4. Bánh Mì Chả Cá (Vietnamese Bread with Grilled Fish)
Ok, I sometimes don’t listen to my mom and choose Bánh Mì for my breakfast. It might be a-little-bit dry, but the particular Nha Trang Bánh Mì is so delicious that I cannot refuse.
First, about the bread only. It’s crunchy and dense, not so butter-fatty, but fragrant of wheat flour. Secondly, they add full of grilled chopped fish and slices of fermented pork inside the bread, making the mouth full of meat at every bite. The taste is further explosive with cilantro and cucumber. It could be dry a bit for the meals, but you will find your day happier with a full stomach of delicious Bánh Mì.
So where to eat Bánh Mì Nha Trang?
– Bánh Mì Ba Lẹ – 102 Quang Trung st.
– Bánh Mì Nguyên Hương – 1 Tô Hiến Thành st.
Price range: VND 15,000 – 17,000 (~$0.7)
“Enjoy the Little Things, Like Lunch Dates with Nha Trang Cuisine”
5. Quán Cơm Địa Phương (Local Rice)
Yes, this is more about Vietnamese foods in general, but with a strong flavor of the local. Basically, the restaurants will have a long menu of a so homemade Vietnamese dishes for you to choose. The foods are typical daily meals that mostly cooked at home by the locals. For example, with a family of 4, usually they will have a bowl of white rice, 1 or 2 dishes of meats which could be pork, chicken, beef, fish, or anything they like, a dish of stir-fried vegetable, and a bowl of soup. The outstanding things are, you will have many traditional and local sauces, 3 or 4 kinds, all with fish or shrimp as ingredients, to eat along. Accordingly, you can enjoy the very true Vietnamese cuisine.
So where to eat those delicious Vietnamese foods?
– Quán Cơm Bình Minh – 64 Hoàng Văn Thụ st.
– Cơm Nhà Chuồn Chuồn Kim – 89 Hoàng Hoa Thám st., Lộc Thọ ward
Price range: depending on dishes that you order. A dish of vegetable could be around VND 40,000. A bowl of soup could be about VND 120,000. And a dish of main meat is varied in price but could be approximate VND 60,000 – 80,000.
6. Bánh Canh (Vietnamese Thick Noodle with Full Toppings)
Bánh Canh has many kinds across Vietnam. In my post about Saigon foods, I shared about Bánh Canh with chicken, and another kind with crab. Here, the one I tried in Nha Trang has amazed me by its abundant toppings. That’s why I want to introduce it in our Nha Trang food tour.
So the Bánh Canh in Nha Trang is disparate with all its noodle, broth, and toppings. Firstly, the broth is made mainly by stewing pork bone with radish to add sweetness into the broth. Secondly, the noodle isn’t the chewy one. Perhaps it’s simply made with rice flour, without tapioca starch. Honestly, I have no idea about the noodle’s recipe exactly, just a guess. And finally, the toppings, the main things that make me in-love with the dish. As you can see on the pic, the bowl of Bánh Canh is full of toppings, which even hide the noodle. There are pork offal, pork skin, pork made Vietnamese sausage, boiled quail egg, tuna or mackerel meat, and especially grilled fish, the very particular food of the land.
The vendor also has it handmade soy milk, which is quite good that you shouldn’t forget that for the whole meal there.
Where is this Bánh Canh with full of toppings?
– Bánh Canh Cá Vỉa Hè – on the sidewalk, near the crossroads of Trần Văn Ơn st. and Yersin st.
Price range: VND 15,000 – 30,000 (~$0.6 – $1.3)
7. Ốc Lương Sơn (Luong Son Seafood)
I would say Ốc at this sea land is really a special and outstanding one. If Ốc of Saigon cuisine is diverse with many kinds imported from places in Vietnam, Nha Trang Ốc is very particular ones of the area, which you hardly find anywhere. As well, if Saigon Ốc has so plenty of ways to cook, you will find Ốc of this seaside is cooked just by a few technics, such as grilling, or steaming, but in their very specific ways. Even so, because Ốc here is caught and send to the restaurant directly from the sea, it’s so fresh and cheap, and that is its most advantages.
It would take me a whole individual post to describe all kinds of Ốc at the restaurants, but I may let you discover those yourself. That will be more interesting. Anyway, I like to eat the grilled sea urchin with quail egg, and steamed Vietnamese mantis shrimp. You should try those.
A special restaurant is like a hidden gem, and it’s not easy to find, so does this one. As a gem of Nha Trang food, Ốc Lương Sơn is not located inside city centre. You must go a little bit far out of the city centre to the point. Yet, both the scene along the road, and the delicious food will worth your everything. Trust me, give it a try. You will love it.
So where to eat Ốc Lương Sơn?
– Quán Ốc Nhưng Lương Sơn – 7 Thu Bồn st., Vĩnh Lương ward
– Quán Ốc Mỹ – 1 Văn Đăng st., Vĩnh Lương ward
Price range: starting from VND 20,000 (~$1). Prices will be so varied as the menu is quite long.
8. Cơm Gà (Chicken Rice)
I always have this dish for lunch, at least once, every time I visit Nha Trang. Not just about the delicious chicken rice, but it brings me the past memory, when I enjoyed the rice as a kid. Even the environment has slightly changed, but the great flavor stays still.
Comparing to Ba Buoi Chicken Rice, the great lusciousness of this chicken rice, in my opinion, comes from 2 things. First is the distinctive butter that’s added on each dish. Have you ever heard of eating rice with butter? You will know it here. The butter helps increasing the overall fat of the whole dish, also to push the savor. Furthermore, it reduces the rice’s dryness, making it easier to chew and swallow. Secondly, the private fish sauce made by the restaurants, which alongside makes the chicken meat tasty. Both the rice and chicken meat mix together will bring the best chicken rice dish you have ever eaten.
The restaurants’ menu has plenty of choices for you from teared chicken meat, to drumstick, and a bowl of chicken offal soup. Don’t worry if you keep eating the same thing, I’m sure it will cost you days to try the whole menu. Thus, you shouldn’t forget this on your Nha Trang food tour.
Where to eat the exclusive Nha Trang chicken rice?
– Cơm gà Trâm Anh – 10 Bà Triệu st., Phương Sài ward
– Cơm gà Hà Nha Trang – 75 Ngô Gia Tự st., Tân Lập ward
Price range: VND 35,000 – 60,000 (~$1.5 – $2.5)
9. Bánh Căn (Vietnamese Mini Pancake Cooked in Clay Pan)
I pretty much love this food in Dalat, as well as in Nha Trang, even though they are slightly different. If Bánh Căn in Dalat is made with quail egg as one of the main ingredients, the one in Nha Trang will have more options of a seaside with squid, shrimp, and chopped beef. In addition, you will have another choice of sauce along side the sweet fish sauce, which might be made by shrimp, with a stronger flavor. There are also side dishes of fried pork rind, chopped dried bread, and very thin sliced of raw mango to eat along. And one more thing, unlike Dalat Bánh Căn, meatball in Nha Trang is an additional option. The restaurant only bring that out when you order.
So where to eat Nha Trang Bánh Căn?
– Bánh Căn Hải Sản 7 – 24 Tô Hiến Thành st.
– Bánh Căn 51 – 51 Tô Hiến Thành st.
– Bánh Căn Mực – 227 Võ Thị Sáu st.
– Bánh Căn Út Năm – 127 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm st., Xương Huân ward
Price range: restaurants have their own prices, also depend on which topping you choose. But it’s about VND 40,000 ($~1,5) a dish on average.
An Extra Tip for the Afternoon
Drink Vendors on the Pass
I will be so regretted if I don’t share this place to you. It’s just the street vendors across the way from Nha Trang city center to the places of Ốc Lương Sơn. However, the view from those vendor is extremely spectacular. Especially in the afternoon, when the sunlight is going down, then you can enjoy the cool, fresh air mixed with a little bit salty in the atmosphere. Everything is an exclusive gift that can only be found in a seaside.
Actually those vendors have no name, so I call them Drink vendors on the pass. Nevertheless, you can find it by taking Phạm Văn Đồng street, going from Nha Trang city center to Amiana Resort. Then keep going across the resort a little bit on the same road. You will see those vendors on the right hand with the picturesque view.
“Dinner is Essential to Your Life, Make It Good”
10. Bò Lạc Cảnh (Lac Canh Beef)
So Bò Lạc Cảnh is named by combining the word Bò, which is beef, and Lạc Cảnh, which is the private name of the restaurant. They have a long menu with different dishes, but the Bò Lạc Cảnh is a specialty that everyone choose when coming to the place. Actually, I firstly tried this dish at lunch. Then I figured out it was kinda hot for lunch dates, so I suggest you to try this for dinner.
The beef is delicious thanks to its marinade. And its recipe is, of course, secret. But it’s everything to make the beef softness and tasty, even when it’s grilled in the long time. I can taste it a little bit of sweet, sour, and spicy, but I cannot guess the whole ingredients of that. If you tried and can guess its ingredients, I will be very happy if you can share with me.
When ordered, they will bring you a charcoal brazier and a cooking grate to grill the beef right at your table. The meal will be better when you order a dish of salad to eat along. Or you can choose other dishes from the long menu to fulfill your stomach.
So where is Lạc Cảnh restaurant?
– It’s located at 44 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm st., Xương Huân ward
Price range: VND 160,000 (~$7) for a large beef dish, and VND 100,000 (~$4.5) for a small one. And varied prices for other dishes in the menu.
11. Nem Nướng Ninh Hoà (Ninh Hoa Grilled Sausage)
Do you know, Nem Nướng Ninh Hòa is a very well-known specialty of the whole Khánh Hòa province, not just within Nha Trang city? The food is even listed in top 100 of Vietnamese cuisine by Vietnam Records Association in the period 2012 – 2016. With all of the reasons, it would be your big regret if you miss trying this Nha Trang food.
So the grilled sausage, or nem nướng in Vietnamese, is made by grilling crushed meat that mixed with fat and some spices. When eating, you will have rice papers to roll the grilled sausage with herbs, thin sliced raw mango, Vietnamese carrot pickle, and grilled rice paper, which make the rolls more crunchy. To taste better in your mouth, the restaurants will have their special sauce that made from pork, shrimp, and roasted peanut. I’m sure that sauce would be one of the best I have ever tried. And the one that make Nem Nướng Ninh Hoà the top.
Ok, where you can try Nem Nướng Ninh Hoà?
– Quán Nem Nướng Đặng Văn Quyên – 16A Lãn Ông st., Xương Huân ward
– Quán Nem Nướng Vũ Thành An – 15 Lê Lợi st., in the opposite of the Dang Van Quyen restaurant above
Price range: about VND 50,000 (~$2.15) for a set
12. Thịt nướng (Grilled Meats)
I just knew this food just about 1 week from when I start writing this post. Figuring out the place is an accidental occasion. When I was wandering around Nha Trang city at night to find something interesting for my dinner. Then suddenly I thought of grilled intestines and fortunately saw a street vendor selling that. They had kind of many customers at that moment so I chose the vendor to spend my night, thinking that the more crowded the better. And luckily it was my very right decision.
The vendor, as many others, had many choices on their menu like pork, beef, chicken, and veggie. Generally, they grilled the foods very well. I ordered a dish of grilled intestines, a dish of grilled beef in lolot leaves, and a dish of okra. Everything was really good to eat.
Just a tip, this place and the foods are really good with some beers to spend the whole night. And it would be an omission when visiting Vietnam without drinking beer on the street. With all the enjoyable things, the vendor’s right away added on my list of Nha Trang food tour.
So where is the street vendor I mentioned?
– Quán A. Minh – 20 Trần Văn Ơn st.
Price range: varied depending on the dish but about VND 30,000 (~$1.3) on average.
Another Extra Tips for the Whole Nha Trang Food Tour
If you see this paper at almost the restaurants or street vendors around Nha Trang city, or maybe the province, it’s the tissue. Surprised? Me too! But the locals use that after enjoyed a meal, so you will also do that.
And the green bottle behind is called ‘Nước khoáng ngọt’, or sweet mineral water in English. That drink is produced by a well-known local business for a very long time. Hence, it’s a quite popular drink there to enjoy with the foods. Don’t forget to try it, too.
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‘PIN’ THIS NHA TRANG FOOD TOUR NOW FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP!