Hoi An street food surprised us with our first (but not last) lunch in the central Vietnam city. Check out our video to see more of Hoi An Vietnam and its famous rice noodle dish, Mi Quang.
We didn’t expect a lot from the food in Hoi An. Instead, we anticipated the culinary selection to be dumbed down for the hordes of tourists who come to this lovely city known for its yellow buildings and multicolored lanterns. Needless to say, we were wrong about the Hoi An food scene. Dead wrong.
It’s not difficult to find fast food in Hoi An. Street food vendors dot the ancient streets, serving take away foods like dumplings, pancakes, meat on a stick and little sticky balls known as banh xoai.
Other vendors have set up more permanent stalls where it’s fun to eat local specialties like Cao Lao and Mi Quang on tiny plastic chairs. Despite the seemingly never-ending stream of tourists, much of Hoi An’s Vietnamese food is surprisingly cheap and deliciously authentic.
We started our Hoi An food journey by eating dinner at upscale Mango Mango, one of the best Hoi An restaurants, and then continued our unofficial Hoi An food tour by eating Cao Lau, a local noodle dish, the next morning for breakfast at the city’s Central Market Food Hall. This bustling market is a great place to graze and try many different local foods.
Though the vendors can be pushy when encouraging shoppers to sit at their stalls, the market is a fun food mecca for both locals and tourists. Here we first tried white rose dumplings, yet another Hoi An street food staple. And we can’t forget Banh Mi Phuong where we enjoyed the best banh mi sandwiches in Vietnam.
However, we found our true happy place when we ate lunch while sitting on little bitty stools and eating Mi Quang, a popular Hoi An street food. We weren’t previously familiar with Mi Quang, but we quickly found out that the Central Vietnam dish has a mixture of thick rice noodles, protein, broth and greens.
Even though we ate the bowls of Mi Quang on the street and couldn’t communicate with the vendor beyond pointing and smiling, our bowls were luxuriously loaded with shrimp, pork belly, quail eggs and peanuts in addition to the standard rice noodles, greens and broth. Yes, it’s fair to say that there was a good bit of smiling as we ate Mi Quang.
Grab your chopsticks in solidarity and watch our video to learn more about Mi Quang, our favorite Hoi An street food meal.
We ate this Hoi An street food at an unnamed stall on Thai Phien directly across the street from Thanh Cao Lau.
Hoi An Street Food – Mi Quang Video
Watch our YouTube video to see what it’s like to eat Mi Quang at a Hoi An street stall.
Plan Your Hoi An Trip
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.