Hello, travellers! You must be planning your trip to Nha Trang – one of the most beautiful coastal cities in Vietnam, and are looking high and low for the perfect place to carry out your cuisine adventure! Take a look at 10 must-try foods in Nha Trang below to make your journey to Nha Trang the best ever.
Fear not! Maika Tours is here, and we are to guide you on the journey to the 10 fantastic must-try foods in Nha Trang, and where to find them. These foods feature the best of Nha Trang cuisine has to offer and if you are to prepare a checklist for your trip, remember to include the following fantastic foods.
1. Ninh Hoa pork rolls
Nem Ninh Hoa, roughly translated as Ninh Hoa pork rolls, is one of the most popular must-try foods in Nha Trang, even for the locals. What makes Ninh Hoa pork rolls so popular and unforgettable to so many is its distinctive way of creating the dish, as well as the unique flavour that it brings to your taste buds.
The dish consists of 3 small dishes – nem chua (sour rolls), nem nuong (grilled rolls) and fresh vegetables.
The right way to enjoy Nem Ninh Hoa is to combine all of the three small dishes, wrap them nicely with a piece of banh trang (rice paper), dip it in the flavourful sauce, and take a hefty bite. All the flavours – the slight sour of nem chua, the aromatic, fatty of nem nuong and the fresh, crispy veggies combine, giving an unforgettable experience, and you can’t help but ask for a second serving.
You can try out this dish here at:
- Nem nuong Dang Van Quyen: 16A Lan Ong Street or 02-04 Phan Boi Chau
- Bun ca Cay Bang: 6 Han Thuyen Street
2. Jellyfish rice noodle soup
As a coastal city, Nha Trang is gifted with an abundant amount of seafood supply and seafood-related dishes – Bun sua is one of them. Bun sua, or Jellyfish rice noodle soup, ah, doesn’t the name describe it all?
Many tried jellyfish rice noodle soup and exclaimed at first bite that, “This is the taste of the sea!”. When you bite into the fresh jellyfish, it bursts open, overwhelming your tastebuds with the pleasure from the salty, rich flavor, combining with the crispy, chewy flesh sensation. All in harmony creates such an unforgettable experience! Adding to the experience is the sweet, aromatic taste of the broth made from ponyfish, a specialty in Nha Trang and the savoury Nha Trang fried chopped fish.
Words really cannot do any dish justice, so why don’t you go and figure out the taste yourself? Try it here:
- Banh canh Ba Thua – 55 Yersin, Van Thang
- Nguyen Lan Quan – 123 Ngo Gia Tu
- Bun sua Doc Lech – Yersin Crossroad, Ba Trieu
- Nam Beo Quan – B2 Lot Cho Dam Apartment, Phan Boi Chau, Xuong Huan (near Dam Market)
3. Rice noodles with fried chopped fish
Banh Canh Cha Ca and Bun Cha Ca are two slightly familiar dishes, as those two are made from the same ingredients – rice noodles (Banh canh and Bun) and cha ca (fried chopped fish). All the fish ingredients are freshly harvested and cooked during the day so you can always enjoy a refreshingly hot dish anytime!
Also, these two dishes are actually all-time favourite foods in Nha Trang! You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even for supper!
Dish out the infamous rice noodles with fried chopped fish right here:
- Banh canh cha ca – 9 Tran Van On Street, Loc Tho
- Bun ca Duc – B8 Phan Boi Chau
4. Mini pancake
The mini pancake or Banh Can in local language is supposed to be Da Lat’s signature dish, but don’t swear until you’ve tried it! If Da Lat offers mini pancakes with pork or beef, here in Nha Trang, they are loaded with seafood, you name it, you have it – scrimp, squid and even octopus!
A freshly made, crispy mini pancake, top it off with chopped spring onion, sour mango, enjoy along with a spoonful of fish sauce. Ah, such heavenly flavour!
There are actually not 1, but 3 different types of nuoc mam that you can enjoy Banh Can Nha Trang with – the sweet, the savoury and the fish-flavoured, all will give you distinctive experience with this simple yet hearty dish from the coastal area.
What are you waiting for? Find them and try it out yourself at:
- Banh can 151 Hoang Van Thu (only available in the morning)
- Banh can Co Tu – opposite to Thap Ba (only available from noon till late evening)
- Banh can 165 Nguyen Trai – near 3 Nguyen Trai, Cao Ba Quat
- Banh can 151 To Hien Thanh
- Banh can 109 – 18 2 thang 4 Street
5. Sweet and spicy marinated squid
Sweet and Spicy Marinated Squid or Muc Rim, is also an all-time favourite from the locals to the travellers. This dish is made from fresh squid that will then get sun-dried for 7 days, after that, it will be marinated with sugar, fish sauce and chilli to create its distinctively sweet, savoury and spicy flavor. In some places, Muc Rim can also be marinated with tamarind to give the dish an exciting slightly sour flavour.
The most common way to enjoy Muc Rim is on its own as a snack, but some also eat it with steamy cooked rice or enjoy it as a side dish on the table as well.
Sweet and Spicy Marinated Squid can easily be found anywhere, but these two may offer the best ones:
- Dam Market Nha Trang – 09 B Apartment, Dam Market
- Xom Moi Market – 49 Ngo Gia Tu Street
6. Mango rice paper
Banh trang xoai (mango rice paper), made from mango juice, gets mixed with rice powder and laminated into thin, chewy papers. The way to tell if this must-try food in Nha Trang is made right is that when you look at it, it has this really lovely, slightly darkish orange-yellow colour, and it’s easy to tear it apart. The taste has to hit just right – neither too sour nor too sweet, and if it’s too sweet, that’s probably mixed with artificial sweetener.
How Nha Trang people came up with such a unique snack is because the Cam Ranh area is just simply loaded with mangoes. Ripe mangoes go to waste when people fail to sell them out on time, so they decide to make them into another dish in order to store mangoes longer while keeping their unique flavour, all the while making more profit with them.
Normally, a kilo of mango rice paper ranges from VND 70,000 to VND 100,000. You can find mango rice paper nearly at any stores or markets in Nha Trang. Here are some suggestions:
- Xom Moi Market
- Stalls in Dam Market
- 115 Thai Nguyen Street
- 127 Yersin Street
7. Deep herring salad
Deep herring salad, ah, another infamous signature from Nha Trang, is a fresh salad dish made from deep herring. Deep herring is a type of small, translucent-skinned fish, and because it has no blood like the usual fish, there is no fishy smell in the dish at all.
Ranging from casual to fancy eats, deep herring salad is always present in the menu. For a dish of deep herring salad to be good enough, it should have the combination of sweetness from the fresh fish, the tangy, sour taste from limes, and the spicy flavour from chili. The dipping sauce made from deep herring’s bones also has to be made carefully in order to embrace the harmony of flavours as much as possible.
Goi ca Ha Ra at 166, 2 thang 4 Street, Vinh Phuoc is a place that can give you an authentic experience of deep herring salad.
8. Dien Khanh thin pancake wrapper
You would know right away if a dish is truly signature when there is a whole street dedicated to it – that’s Banh Uot, literally “wet cakes”. Banh uot is a Vietnamese thin pancake wrapper, consisting of thin rice noodle sheets, eaten with fish sauce. The name Banh Uot Dien Khanh is originated from the fact that there are countless Banh Uot stores in Dien Khanh town.
Compared to the dishes of thin pancake wrapper in other places, Dien Khanh thin pancake wrapper is quite simple in the production. It’s served steamy, topped off with some spring onion oil and minced dried shrimp, eaten along with steamed bean sprouts and Vietnamese pork sausages. Due to its simplicity, the dish is only VND 2,000!
Find your dream Dien Khanh thin pancake wrapper at Dien Khanh Town, continue straight on Route 1A, just 10 kilometres to the West of Nha Trang and you’ll get to Dien Khanh Town in no time.
9. Squid fried pancake
Banh xeo, a Vietnamese savoury fried pancake, gets its name from the sizzling sound that can be heard when the rice batter is poured into the hot skillet. Squid fried pancake is, unsurprisingly, another gift from the sea!
Similarly to the way of enjoying the mini pancake in Number 4, instead of the dish with pork or beef like in other places, here in Nha Trang, people serve the freshly made, crispy squid fried pancake with the newly harvested squid from the sea, giving the dish an authentic coastal touch of delicacy.
The mouth-watering detail about this dish is that people will always use baby squid, freshly harvested and served whole. When you bite into the squid, its ink bag would burst open, giving you this slightly briny, rich taste, adding a whole new level of flavour to your tastebuds. Also, the ink from baby squids is said to bring many benefits to your health, so don’t hesitate and try it out first!
These places are said to wonderfully offer this must-try food in Nha Trang:
- Banh xeo chao muc tom – 97 Hoang Dieu
- Nem 52 – 29 – 31 Le Loi
- Banh xeo Co Tam – 6 Thap Ba
10. Lac Canh Grilled Beef
Surprise, surprise! The last one in The 10 Must-Try Foods in Nha Trang is not from the sea! You might be baffled to get recommended a grilled beef dish when traveling to a coastal city, is that right? Ah, but do not judge too soon, my dear wanderer. This dish has been around for more than 40 years already, captivating so many, even the hard-to-please.
Lac Canh is not the name of a destination, but rather a local eatery that serves mainly beef dishes, and the most famous of them all is the grilled beef one. Lac Canh Grilled Beef is able to charm each and everyone’s tastebuds for its firm, juicy yet not chewy meat, and how the meat is marinated just right.
The beef is served with crispy baked banh mi. The right way to enjoy the dish, as people say, is to dip the banh mi into the sauce, and put it in your mouth along with a slice of beef.
Give yourself a taste of heaven with Lac Canh grilled beef, at Quan Lac Canh – 44 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Huong Xuan.
Pack up and Dig In!
A 3-day and 2-night trip is enough for you to check off all the 10 fantastic, authentic dishes in Nha Trang, and it won’t cost you anywhere near an arm and a leg for sure.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your luggage, find a mate to tag along, pocket this food guide and let’s go!
Maika Tours is always here to give you all the best tour guide services, not only in Nha Trang, but anywhere all across Vietnam!