The SCMP on Hoi An, the Food Capital of Vietnam

After visiting the charming and ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam's Quang Nam province, journalist Kylie Knott of the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP) dubbed it the culinary heart of the country.


The journalist visited Hoi An to explore the city’s culinary delights, learn how to cook them, and receive advice on avoiding linguistic faux pas. In her article, she presented a list of “Must-Try Food and Drinks in Hoi An.”

1. White rose dumplings

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
These translucent rice paper pouches filled with pork or shrimp are a regional specialty. They are known as white rose dumplings (banh bao banh vac) and can be found at the White Rose Restaurant.

2. Cao lau

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
Cao lau is a dish of noodles topped with slices of barbecue pork, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs. It is made using calcium-rich water from the thousand-year-old Ba Le Well in the city.

3. Quang noodles
Quang noodles are a local specialty made with flat, chewy noodles, topped with pork, shrimp, quail egg, peanuts, and a rice cracker.

4. Chicken rice

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
Chicken rice is a popular dish in Hoi An, introduced by Chinese traders. It is typically served with a green papaya and carrot slaw and herby broth.

5. Banh mi

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
Hoi An’s banh mi sandwiches, especially those from Banh Mi Phuong, are famous for their quality and flavor. They are described as a “symphony in a sandwich.”

6. Deep fried wontons

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
Deep fried wontons topped with fresh shrimp and a sweet and sour mango salsa are a popular dish in Hoi An.

7. Liquid assets

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
Hoi An offers a variety of options for coffee lovers, from traditional Vietnamese coffee to fresh fruit juices and smoothies.

8. Something sweet

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
Mango cake (banh xoai) and locally produced chocolates from Alluvia are recommended for those with a sweet tooth.

Hoi An named among nine best city destinations with beaches

Hoi An – Food Capital of Vietnam: SCMP
Hoi An, a UNESCO-recognized World Cultural Heritage Site, has been included in the SCMP’s list of the nine best city destinations with beaches. It is recommended for visitors looking to combine shopping, sightseeing, and sunbathing.

Criss-crossed by canals and featuring a mix of architectural styles, Hoi An is a photogenic city on Vietnam’s central coast. The old town, with its wooden Chinese shophouses, French colonial buildings, temples, and the Japanese Covered Bridge, gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999. Hoi An is also known for its bustling markets and affordable tailor-made clothing. At night, the town is illuminated by lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere.

With pristine beaches like Cua Dai and An Bang, Hoi An offers visitors the chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful coastline.

Rosy Huong