Traditional Vietnamese breakfast – 11 typical dishes from North to South

Traditional Vietnamese breakfastVietnam travel. Discover the distinct and delicious dishes for breakfast from Northern to Southern Vietnam and fuel up your day with authentic flavors. 

1. What do Vietnamese eat for breakfast?

Vietnamese cuisine boasts diverse foods, even when it comes to breakfast. In the past, a traditional Vietnamese breakfast was cooked by women at home. With increasingly busy lifestyles, a growing number of people find it challenging to prepare their breakfast regularly. As a result, they have become frequent visitors to local street food stalls or restaurants, seeking quick and convenient options to kickstart their day. Many people choose to eat out at street food stalls or restaurants.

Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by a harmonious blend of fresh ingredients, herbs, and vegetables. Nevertheless, there are still some variations among Vietnam’s regions. 

Traditional Vietnamese breakfast

In Northern Vietnam, the food is less spicy than in other regions. It features a balanced mix of salty, bitter, sweet, and sour flavors. Pho, Banh Cuon, and Bun Rieu are typical breakfast dishes in the North.

Central Vietnam is well known for its generous use of spices. Notably, in Hue, the foods are influenced by the traditional royal cuisine of Vietnam. Bun Bo Hue and Mi Quang are signature breakfast dishes in the region.

In Southern Vietnam, the foods tend to be more vibrant, sweeter, and tasty. Some iconic breakfast foods in the South include Com Tam, Banh Mi, Bo Ne, Banh Canh, etc.

2. Top 11 traditional Vietnamese breakfast foods from North to South

Vietnamese food is renowned for its vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and balance of textures. If you are seeking a traditional breakfast in Vietnam, the following parts will reveal the best Vietnam breakfast foods from North to South. 

2.1. Typical Vietnamese breakfast foods in the North

Northern Vietnamese food is renowned for its lightness and delicacy, which are shaped by both long-standing traditions and the Vietnamese people’s preference for healthy and balanced meals. Here are several traditional Vietnamese breakfast foods in the North of Vietnam:

  • Pho (Noodle Soup): Pho is the most popular breakfast dish in Vietnam, consisting of tender rice noodles, beef or chicken slices, and rich bone broth accompanied by the aromatic fresh herbs.
  • Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steamed Rice Roll): Banh Cuon is a delicate dish made from steamed rice flour stuffed with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms and served with a tangy fish sauce.
  • Xoi (Sticky Rice): Xoi is another traditional Vietnamese breakfast food with diverse sticky rice options. You can easily find street vendors selling Xoi everywhere in Vietnam.
  • Banh Mi (Vietnamese bread): Banh mi is a prominent Vietnamese breakfast item, featuring a yellow bread crust filled with fragrant meat, green veggies, refreshing cucumber slices, and carrot threads.
  • Mien (Cellophane Noodles): Mien is a versatile ingredient commonly used in traditional Vietnamese breakfast dishes. The must-try types of Mien are Mien Ga (Mien with chicken) and Mien Luon ̣(Mien with eel).
  • Banh bao (Vietnamese dumplings): Banh bao is a steamed dumpling filled with a savory mixture of minced pork, mushrooms, and sometimes eggs. Banh bao is a quick breakfast option for many Vietnamese people.

Traditional Vietnamese breakfastTraditional Vietnamese breakfast

>>> Savor the TOP 10 Vietnamese national dishes for an unforgettable gastronomical experience.

2.2. Vietnamese breakfast dishes in the Central

Central Vietnamese cuisine tantalizes the taste buds with its unique blend of flavors and culinary traditions. Some traditional Vietnamese breakfast dishes in this region include:

  • Bun Ho Hue (Hue Beef Noodle Soup):  Originating from the imperial city of Hue, Bun Bo Hue is one of Vietnam’s most famous dishes. It features thick rice noodles, tender beef, and a rich broth infused with lemongrass and shrimp paste.
  • Mi Quang: A beloved traditional Vietnamese breakfast food, Mi Quang consists of turmeric-infused noodles, shrimp, pork, herbs, peanuts, and crispy rice crackers.
  • Bun Cha Ca: A delicious Vietnamese dish originating from coastal regions, Bun Cha Ca features a fragrant fish cake, a flavorful broth, rice vermicelli noodles, and fresh vegetables. 
  • Banh Can (Vietnamese Mini Pancakes): Banh Can is a traditional Vietnamese breakfast delicacy in Central Vietnam. These cakes are cooked in small molds and served with a variety of toppings such as quail eggs, shrimp, and pork.

Traditional Vietnamese breakfastTraditional Vietnamese breakfast

2.3. Traditional Vietnamese meals for breakfast in the South

As mentioned, most dishes in Southern Vietnam are sweeter and spicier than in other areas. From simple ingredients, Southern Vietnam has affirmed its own culinary style. If you travel to the South of Vietnam, do not forget to try these traditional Vietnamese breakfast foods: 

  • Hu Tieu (Rice Noodle Soup): Hu Tieu is considered one of the signature dishes of Sai Gon cuisine. The dish consists of rice noodles, seafood, meat, and herbs, all immersed in a flavorful broth.
  • Com Tam (Vietnamese Broken Rice): It is a traditional Vietnamese breakfast delicacy that you must try. It consists of grilled pork, fried eggs, pickled vegetables, and broken rice, creating a mouth-watering meal.
  • Bo Ne (Vietnamese Steak and Eggs): Bo Ne features a sizzling plate of marinated beef steak, sunny-side-up eggs, pate, and a baguette. It is a hearty meal to start your day. 
  • Banh Canh (Thick Noodle Soup): Banh Canh is a thick and chewy noodle soup made from tapioca flour. This traditional Vietnamese breakfast dish is typically enjoyed with seafood, pork, and herbs.
  • Bun Nuoc Leo: Bun Nuoc Leo is a specialty of Southern Vietnam, consisting of rice vermicelli noodles served with a flavorful broth, sliced pork, shrimp, and different herbs.

Traditional Vietnamese breakfastTraditional Vietnamese breakfast

>>> Read more: 7 different types of Vietnamese noodles that you should try

Besides delicious foods, the best Vietnamese breakfast will not be complete without Vietnamese coffee. Sipping a cup of coffee has been a habit of many Vietnamese people for years. Whether it is a traditional drip coffee or an iced coffee, the coffee aroma will add flavor to your traditional Vietnamese breakfast meal.

For those wanting to explore the natural beauty and authentic cuisine, Vietnam has everything to offer, from leading beach destinations such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, and Da Nang to renowned heritage sites like Hue, Hoi An, and Ha Long. Their unique beauty and vibrant cuisine will make for a memorable journey.

Last but not least, waking up in a comfortable room with a beautiful morning view will help you feel energetic. Vinpearl, a famous hospitality brand in Vietnam, stands out in this aspect. Each property provides top-notch facilities, including outdoor pools, playgrounds, restaurants, babysitting services, bars, spas, gyms, and many leisure activities to suit every preference.

Traditional Vietnamese breakfast


Traditional Vietnamese breakfast

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In conclusion, Vietnam has a fascinating breakfast culture. The signature breakfast foods vary among the regions, with highlights of Pho, Banh Mi, Xoi in the North, iconic Mi Quang and Bun Bo Hue in the Central, and delicious Com Tam and Bo Ne in the South. Getting up early and enjoying a traditional Vietnamese breakfast is a must-do on your itinerary to the S-shaped country.

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