Vietnamese cuisine regional differences

Food tips you can trust


Regional differences
in Vietnamese food

Northern region

Hanoi is the principal city in this area of Vietnam.


The cooks season their foods more mildly than their central and southern counterparts. For example, northerners like black pepper and soy sauce while central and southerners favor chili peppers and nuoc nam (fermented fish sauce).

Central region

Hue and Hoi An are the principal cities in central Vietnam.

Royal cuisine

The Central region has absorbed the culinary style of the royal cuisine of the ancient Kingdom that once ruled from Hue.


Dishes are spicier and more complex than in the south and particularly in the north.

Dish variety

Tables bear many small rather than large dishes. This gives the diner a greater variety of dishes to eat during a meal than one would experience in the other regions.

Southeern region

Ho Chi Minh City (formally Saigon) is the major city.


Diners in the south eat more seafood, less beef than northerners.


They also eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

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