What to Eat in Hue: Top 8 Most Popular and Delicious Dishes

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Hue Cuisine

1. What to Eat in Hue?

What to Eat in Hue?” That’s a question every food enthusiast asks when planning a trip to Vietnam’s ancient capital. Huế, nestled in the heart of Vietnam, is a testament to architectural brilliance, serene natural landscapes, and a haven for food lovers. 

This city’s cuisine represents the essence of the nation’s soul, blending royal Hue culinary specialties with the lively flair of street food. As you embark on this Hue food tour, prepare to be enchanted by various traditional dishes in Hue, each offering a unique taste and story.

In this Hue travel guide, we dive deep into the rich tapestry of Hue’s culinary heritage. We cover it all, from the famous Hue delicacies that have defined the city’s food scene to the authentic eating experiences in Hue. Whether you’re craving the spicy kick of Central Vietnam or seeking the subtle, refined flavors of Hue’s royal cuisine history, you’ll find a dish to satisfy your palate.

Join me, Elitrawo, as we explore Hue’s local ingredients, visit the bustling Hue market food stalls, and discover the best restaurants in Hue. We’ll uncover Hue’s unique flavors, including hearty meat and vegetarian dishes, ensuring you experience the full range of Vietnamese cuisine in Hue. So, if you’re wondering about the must-try words in Hue or looking for a comprehensive Hue street food guide, you’re in the right place!

2. Hue Beef Noodle Soup

Hue Beef Noodle Soup - What to Eat in Hue
Hue Beef Noodle Soup

In the quest to discover “What to eat in Hue?” the iconic Hue Beef Noodle Soup (Bún Bò Huế) stands out. A hallmark of Hue Traditional Dishes, this flavorful soup combines beef, pig’s knuckles, blood pudding, and crab sausage with thick rice noodles. Its unique taste, distinguished by a rich broth flavored with shrimp paste, is a testament to the Vietnamese Culinary Culture.

Hue Beef Noodle Soup is more than a breakfast staple; it’s a culinary journey through Hue’s history. The dish’s soul lies in its broth, a rich blend of beef bones, shrimp paste, and lemongrass, offering a deep, aromatic essence. Each bowl, with its mix of meats, bright hues from annatto oil, and fresh herbs, represents Hue’s exquisite flavors.

Not just a meal, Hue Beef Noodle Soup is an integral part of the Hue Food Guide, symbolizing the city’s rich gastronomy. This dish, embodying the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory, is a must-try for anyone exploring the culinary landscape of Hue.

Name of the Stores Selling This Type of Food:

Bún Bò Huế Sen – Quán ăn sáng chất lượng tại Huế

Address: 69 Võ Thị Sáu, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 6 AM–11:30 PM

Phone: 0932413313

Bà Gái Hue Beef Noodle Soup

Address: 11A Hà Nội, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: Open 24 hours

Phone: 0835909992

Quán Bà Hòa

Address: 11A Trương Định, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 6 AM–7:30 PM

Phone: 0946347466

Bun bo Mrs. Be

Address: 90 Bạch Đằng, Phú Cát, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 7 AM–10 PM

Phone: updating

Bún bò O Ty

Address: 5 Nguyễn Du, Phú Cát, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 7 AM–8:30 PM

Phone: 0905406515

3. Clam Rice

Clam Rice
Clam Rice

In the heart of Hue’s culinary landscape, Clam Rice (Cơm Hến) emerges as a beloved specialty, reflecting the city’s rich gastronomic diversity. Unlike other dishes originating from royal cuisine, Clam Rice holds its roots in the meals of the common folk before it graced the tables of Nguyen Dynasty emperors. 

Its main ingredient, clams, is sourced from the nutrient-rich Con Hen island in the Perfume River, known for its sweet and succulent flavor. The dish features stir-fried clam meat, rice vermicelli, dried bamboo shoots, and thinly sliced pork belly, cooked to perfection to retain the clams’ crunchiness. 

Clam Rice is not just about clams; it’s an ensemble of diverse ingredients, including cooled rice, hot clam stir-fry, bean sprouts, banana blossoms, fresh herbs, and water chestnuts. Drizzled with shrimp sauce and pork fat, it offers a symphony of flavors, highlighted by the unique spiciness of Hue.

This dish encapsulates the flavors of Hue – salty, sweet, spicy, sour, calm, and warm – a tantalizing mix that lingers in memory long after the meal.

Preparing Clam Rice demands meticulous attention, from selecting the finest clams from Con Hen to a multi-step cleaning process, ensuring the broth’s clarity and taste. The chefs in Hue intricately balance each ingredient, from Con Hen clams to the assortment of herbs and condiments, to create this culinary masterpiece.

In summary, Clam Rice is a not-to-miss item on any Hue Food Guide. It’s a dish that encapsulates the essence of Hue’s cooking styles – simple yet sophisticated, offering a unique taste experience that epitomizes the charm of Vietnamese Culinary Culture. So, when in Hue, indulge in this delightful dish, an accurate representation of What to eat in Hue.

Name of the Stores Selling This Type of Food:

Cơm hến Hoa Đông

Address: 64/7 Ưng Bình, Vỹ Dạ, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 7 AM–9:30 PM

Phone: 02343848359

Cơm Hến Bé Liêm

Address: 64 Nguyễn Công Trứ, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 6 AM–7 PM

Phone: Updating

Cơm Hến 17

Address: 17 Hàn Mặc Tử, Vỹ Dạ, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế

Open Time: 6:30 AM–11 PM

Phone: 0985978931

4. Hue Sweet Soup

Hue Sweet Soup
Hue Sweet Soup

When exploring “What to eat in Hue?”, the wide variety of Hue’s sweet soups, or ‘Chè,’ emerges as an essential part of the culinary experience. Recorded in many historical texts, Chè in Hue Royal Cuisine dates back to the era of Emperor Minh Mang. These desserts were enjoyed by royalty alongside the elegant melodies of traditional Hue court music.

Hue is celebrated as a haven for sweet soup connoisseurs, boasting over 36 types like lotus seed sweet soup, lychee stuffed lotus seed sweet soup, and the unique pork rind sweet soup. Each variant, meticulously prepared by skilled Hue chefs, offers a subtly sweet and rich flavor, distinctly different from sweet soups found elsewhere. 

Chè Huế involves an intricate balance of flavors, combining coconut milk’s creamy richness with each ingredient’s gentle sweetness. This balance makes every spoonful a moment to savor. 

The diverse styles of Chè, ranging from the humble to the royal, include delights like chè sen (lotus seed), chè kê (millet), and chè đậu ngự (velvet bean), each telling its own story of Hue’s culinary heritage. Hue’s Traditional Dishes, including its sweet soups, are a testament to the city’s vibrant Vietnamese Culinary Culture.

Name of the Stores Selling This Type of Food:

Chè Hẻm

Address: 1 kiệt, 29 Hùng Vương, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 10 AM–10 PM

Phone: Updating

Chè ông Lạc

Address: 36 Thanh Tịnh, Vỹ Dạ, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 10 AM–9 PM

Phone: 0708101889

5. Fermented Pork Skin

Fermented Pork Skin
Fermented Pork Skin

When exploring the culinary wonders of Hue, Fermented Pork Skin (Tré Huế) is a dish that stands out, making it a must-try in the quest to discover “What to eat in Hue?”. Related to Nem (Vietnamese fermented pork) and sausages, Fermented Pork Skin is a unique preparation made from pig skin and ears, offering a crunchy texture flavored with roasted rice powder, ginger, and galangal. The sour-spicy aroma and taste of Tré make it an irresistible appetizer or a perfect pairing with local spirits in Hue.

The blend of chewy pig skin, crunchy ears, sesame richness, chili spiciness, and galangal’s enticing aroma creates a flavor profile that captivates many. Paired with Piper lolot leaves and garlic, it results in a taste that is hard to resist. A mix of Tré with nem and sausages is a visual, olfactory, and gustatory delight – a combination that’s visually appealing, fragrant, and irresistibly flavorful with the fusion of Tré, mango, and other ingredients. Despite being a simple dish, it has garnered immense popularity for its unique taste.

Wrapped in guava and banana leaves, Fermented Pork Skin resembles nem chua, but each chef in Hue adds a personal touch to the recipe, creating a variety of flavors. More than just a daily meal component, Tré is an essential part of celebrations and ceremonies, especially during the traditional Tet holiday.

6. Banh Canh Nam Pho: A Culinary Gem from Hue

Banh Canh Nam Pho
Banh Canh Nam Pho

Bánh Canh Nam Phổ is a cherished dish from Nam Phổ village, a standout in discovering “What to eat in Hue?”. This dish features soft, chewy noodles made from rice and tapioca flour, combined with shrimp, scallions, and fishcake in a thick, rich broth. 

Known for its family-tradition origins, Bánh Canh Nam Phổ is a delightful, affordable culinary experience and a symbol of Hue’s rich food heritage.

What started as a traditional meal in a small village has now become a widespread specialty across Hue. Simple yet sophisticated, it evokes a sense of nostalgia among Hue natives and is a must-try for visitors.

The soul of Bánh Canh Nam Phổ lies in its broth, made from simmered shrimp and crab, providing a naturally sweet flavor. The dish captures the essence of Hue’s gastronomy and is accompanied by pork belly and fresh shrimp. 

The dish presents a beautiful harmony of white noodles, shrimp, and pork, with a sprinkle of scallions and a dash of spicy fish sauce, adding depth to its flavor. The chewy noodles blend perfectly with the velvety broth, enriched by the delicious taste of shrimp, crab, and pork, mesmerizing food lovers from the first bite.

Name of the Stores Selling This Type of Food:

Thúy – Bánh Canh Nam Phổ

Address: 16 Phạm Hồng Thái, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 11:15 AM–8 PM

Phone: 0785237766

Bánh Canh Cua Rời Mệ Nga

Address: 32 Phạm Hồng Thái, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế

Open Time: 6 AM–8:30 PM

Phone: 0916832175

Bánh Canh Cua Hương

Address: 30 Phạm Hồng Thái, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế

Open Time: 6 AM–9 PM

Phone: 0774503789

7. Banh Loc Hue: A Hue Culinary Gem

Banh Loc Hue
Banh Loc Hue

When pondering “What to eat in Hue?” Bánh Lọc Huế emerges as a must-try delicacy, celebrated for its unique flavor that’s best experienced in Hue itself. This dish, a culinary emblem of Hue, encapsulates the essence of Vietnamese Culinary Culture and Hue Traditional Cuisine.

Indeed, Bánh Lọc Huế is not merely a snack but an integral part of Hue’s gastronomic experience. While popular across various localities, it’s in Hue where its authentic charm and flavors come alive, reflecting the rich Culinary Specialties of Hue. In this Hue Food Guide, it’s imperative to highlight this dish as a quintessential representation of Hue Street Food Delicacies and Traditional Vietnamese Cooking Methods.

The preparation of Bánh Lọc Huế involves local ingredients, such as high-quality tapioca flour and fresh shrimp, ensuring the dumplings’ appealing red hue post-steaming. The filling, a mix of shrimp and simmered pork belly imparts a depth of flavor to the dumplings. The unique dipping sauce, made from the cooking juices of the shrimp, adds a unique twist to this Local Hue Delicacy.

Freshly steamed, Bánh Lọc Huế wrongly is a sensory delight, with its soft yet chewy texture and a perfect blend of savory and sweet filling. Unwrapping the banana leaf, one can savor the dumplings dipped in a specially prepared fish sauce, adding a slice of fresh chili for an extra zing. 

As with many Vietnamese Savory Snacks, these dumplings are best enjoyed hot, as their delightful taste diminishes if left overnight. The uniqueness of the fish sauce, a blend of essential ingredients like fish sauce, sugar, water, minced garlic, and chili, prepared with a unique Hue twist, further sets this dish apart, making it an unmissable part of any Hue Travel Guide.

Name of the Stores Selling This Type of Food:

Bánh bột lọc, bánh nậm và đặc sản Huế -Lá Quê

Address: 120 Điện Biên Phủ, Trường An, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế

Open Time: Open 24 hours

Phone: 0935088394

Bánh Bèo Nậm Lọc Bà Đỏ

Address: 8 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm, Phú Hiệp, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 7 AM–8 PM

Phone: 02343541182

Quán bánh O Lé

Address: Kiệt 104, 17/9 Kim Long, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 10 AM–6 PM

Phone: Updating

Quán Bánh Chi

Address: 52 Lê Viết Lượng, Xuân Phú, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 8 AM–7:30 PM

Phone: 0935757020

Quán Bánh Bèo Nậm Lọc Huế Xưa

Address: 1 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm, Phú Cát, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 8 AM–8:30 PM

Phone: 0948628001

8. Banh Khoai Hue

Banh Khoai Hue
Banh Khoai Hue

Discovering Hue’s culinary treasures leads you to the delightful Bánh Khoái Huế, a dish that tantalizes your taste buds. Often compared to Bánh Xèo, Bánh Khoái sets itself apart with a unique taste profile. 

It’s a vivid reminder of Hue’s exquisite cuisine and rich heritage. Bánh Khoái Huế is a celebrated dish, representing the Hue Traditional Dishes with a distinct flair.

Crafted from rice flour and fried to a golden hue, Bánh Khoái is more than just a snack; it’s a staple that can be enjoyed as a main meal. This dish is a proud representation of Central Vietnam Cuisine, emphasizing Hue’s refined and diverse culinary culture.

Every bite of Bánh Khoái, served hot and crisp, celebrates flavors. The perfect combination of fresh vegetables, tangy fruits like green bananas and starfruit, and chili and garlic spicy punch makes it irresistible. 

The unique sauce, often called “Hue’s special dipping sauce,” is a complex blend of pork, liver, shrimp paste, sesame seeds, peanuts, and a mix of traditional Vietnamese Spices and Herbs, cooked to perfection.

Bánh Khoái, with its harmony of flavors and textures, is a testament to the sophisticated palate of Hue. It’s not just a dish; it’s a celebration of the colorful and aromatic world of Hue Street Food and a highlight of any Hue Food Tour.

Name of the Stores Selling This Type of Food:

Bánh khoái Hồng Mai

Address: 110 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Phú Hậu, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế

Open Time: 10:30 AM–8 PM

Phone: 02343535046

Lạc Thiện Restaurant

Address: 6 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Phú Hoà, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 10 AM–9:30 PM

Phone: 02343527348

9. Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer

Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer
Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer

In Hue, a visit isn’t complete without trying the Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer (Nem Lụi Huế), a street food delight that embodies the region’s rich culinary heritage. This dish is best enjoyed grilled over charcoal, served with noodles, rice paper, and fresh herbs, complemented by a unique, thick dipping sauce.

When indulging in Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer, the ritual involves wrapping the grilled skewers in rice paper along with an array of fresh vegetables like green bananas, cucumbers, and a variety of herbs. The combination of the crispy, flavorful nem, the spiciness of the chili, the sweet, rich depth of the thick sauce, and the refreshing crunch of the vegetables create a harmonious, exquisite flavor profile.

What makes Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer stand out is its special dipping sauce, meticulously crafted from finely ground peanuts, a touch of fish sauce for a salty edge, minced pork liver, and pork. This sauce is gently simmered to achieve a rich, creamy consistency and layered flavor that perfectly complements the skewers. 

For street food connoisseurs, Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer is a favorite, an essential part of Hue’s street food experience. Served on a plate with a visually appealing mix of colors – the golden skewers, green herbs, brown sauce, and red chili. 

Hue Pork Lemongrass Skewer offers a feast for the senses, combining the meat’s richness with the crispness of the vegetables and the sweet, fragrant lemongrass. This dish is a testament to the nuanced and refined palate of Hue’s culinary culture.

Name of the Stores Selling This Type of Food:

Hanh Pancake

Address: 11-15 Đường Phó Đức Chính, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 10 AM–9 PM

Phone: 0358306650

Nem Lụi Bà Tý

Address: 81 Đào Duy Từ, tổ 1, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 4–9 PM


Nem lụi Ku Huế

Address: 46 Nguyễn Biểu, Phú Hậu, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam

Open Time: 10 AM–9 PM


10. Conclusion about What to Eat in Hue

As we wrap up our Hue Travel Guide, it’s evident that Hue’s rich cultural and historical tapestry is intricately woven into its culinary scene. Beyond just exploring Hue’s royal cuisine history and traditional dishes in Hue, every bite offers a journey through time, celebrating the customs and practices of the people of Hue. 

Hue’s culinary specialties are not just about the irresistible flavors but also about preserving the beautiful legacy of this ancient city. So, as you delve into Hue cuisine exploration, take the chance to indulge in the enticing dishes that define this historic capital.

In summary, your quest for What to Eat in Hue should go hand in hand with exploring the best things to do. The city’s natural landscapes and Hue foodie destinations together offer unforgettable experiences. 

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