Vietnamese breakfast offers a varied range of dishes, which differ across different regions. It is widely regarded as the important meal of the day providing essential nourishment and energy to kickstart your day on a positive note. With numerous options available you might be curious about what Vietnamese people enjoy for breakfast. Well, you need not look further! Today we will be sharing the top 5 list of Vietnamese breakfast dishes that will surely satisfy your taste buds and give you a taste of the rich culinary culture of Vietnam.
Breakfast Culture in Vietnam
Vietnamese breakfast holds deep cultural significance, going beyond just a meal. It represents the rich heritage of the country. To truly grasp and appreciate the breakfast culture in Vietnam, it is important to delve into its history and traditions.
A Vietnamese breakfast typically strikes a balance between being light yet satisfying, providing people with the necessary energy to kickstart their day. It usually encompasses an array of dishes that showcase the diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Each region within Vietnam boasts its own distinct breakfast specialties, influenced by factors like climate, geography, and local ingredients.
In the northern parts of Vietnam, breakfast often features savory delights like Pho. A flavorsome noodle soup with a hearty broth, tender meat cuts and fragrant herbs. This dish is often accompanied by crispy fried breadsticks known as “banh quay” or “banh gio,” as well as steamed rice cakes filled with minced pork, mushrooms, and onions.
Moving towards central Vietnam, popular breakfast choices include “Banh Xeo,” which is a delightful crispy pancake filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. Another favorite is “Banh Cuon,” a delicate rice noodle roll stuffed with flavorful minced pork and wood ear mushrooms.
In southern regions of Vietnam, breakfast takes on a lively character with an abundance of sweet indulgences. One of the most beloved breakfast options in Vietnam is the “Banh Mi,” a delicious French baguette with a crispy crust, generously filled with grilled pork, pate, pickled veggies, and fragrant herbs. “Banh Cuon” is also a highly favored breakfast delight of the southern parts.
Breakfast in Vietnam goes beyond just eating; it’s about the social experience too. People often gather at local street food stalls or charming cafes to savor their morning meals while catching up with loved ones and friends. I remember the fresh smell of fruits and veggies, the mouthwatering broth of Pho, the perfect flavor combination of Banh Cuon, and the business of the morning streets till this day. These communal spaces hold great significance in Vietnamese breakfast culture as they foster connections and create a strong sense of community.
Top 5 Traditional Vietnamese Breakfasts
When it comes to Vietnamese breakfasts, there are numerous options to choose from, each offering unique and unmatched flavors. In this section, we will explore five must try dishes that truly capture the essence of a Vietnamese breakfast. And if you’re feeling inspired to recreate the flavors of Vietnamese dishes at home, check out recommended YouTube videos that will guide you through the process step by step under each section. Those videos are my favorite to follow.
Let’s start with the renowned Pho. This delicious noodle soup is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine and is commonly enjoyed for breakfast. The comforting combination of steaming hot broth, tender beef or chicken slices, rice noodles and fragrant herbs provides a delightful way to kickstart your day. It’s no surprise that both locals and tourists adore Pho.
2. Banh Mi
Another classic Vietnamese breakfast delicacy is Banh Mi. Wrapped in a crispy French baguette is an irresistible mix of grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. The interplay between different flavors and textures creates a tantalizing explosion with every bite. Whether eaten on the go or savored at a local market, Banh Mi is an absolute must try.
Banh Mi Recipe by Chef John of Food Wishes
3. Banh Xeo
If you’re craving something crispy and savory, look no further than Banh Xeo. This Vietnamese style pancake comprises a rice flour batter filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and onions. The pancake is then folded over, creating a delicious combination with fresh lettuce leaves and herbs. It’s a delightful treat that will leave you craving for more.
4. Com Tam
If you’re in the mood for a heartier breakfast, Com Tam is the perfect choice. This dish features broken rice topped with grilled pork, a fried egg and pickled vegetables. The tender meat, fluffy rice and tangy flavors come together to create a satisfying and well balanced meal that will keep you energized throughout the day.
5. Banh Cuon
Lastly, we have Banh Cuon. A delicate roll made of rice noodles filled with ground pork and wood ear mushrooms. These rolls are steamed to perfection and served with dipping sauce, fried shallots and fresh herbs on the side. The soft and silky texture of the rice noodles combined with the flavorful filling makes for an exquisite breakfast experience. Just so you know, “Banh Cuon” happens to be my personal favorite breakfast dish.
These five dishes showcase the finest Vietnamese breakfast cuisine by offering an array of flavors, textures and culinary traditions. Each bite takes you on a journey through Vietnam’s vibrant and diverse culinary landscape. So, if you’re eager to explore Vietnamese flavors, make sure to add these traditional breakfast dishes to your must try list.
Best Vietnamese Restaurants in Oklahoma City
Being an Oklahoma City local, I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t recommend my top picks for Vietnamese restaurants here! So when you find yourself in our spirited city, make sure to give these delicious spots a try! Most of them are in the Asian District of Oklahoma City, so you won’t have a hard time finding them.
Pho Lien Hoa
Let’s start with Pho Lien Hoa, a beloved local spot renowned for its delicious pho. With its cozy and inviting ambiance, Pho Lien Hoa offers an extensive selection of pho varieties, ranging from beef to chicken. Their portions are generous and the broth is bursting with aromatic flavors. My friends can’t stop raving about the high quality ingredients and attentive service.
Location 1: 901 NW 23rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Location 2: 13120 N Pennsylvania Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73120
Moving on to Pho Cuong, a hidden gem that all pho enthusiasts must visit. The restaurant buzzes with energy, giving you an authentic Vietnamese dining experience. Pho Cuong is famous for their hearty portions and bold pho options like rare beef, meatball and tendon. Don’t forget to enhance your pho experience by adding some fresh herbs and bean sprouts for an extra burst of delightful flavors.
Location: 3016 N Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73106
For those seeking a modern and trendy ambiance, look no further than Pho 54. This restaurant puts a contemporary spin on traditional Vietnamese cuisine while maintaining its essence.The menu at Pho 54 offers a variety of pho options, along with other Vietnamese breakfast favorites like banh mi and banh xeo. Don’t forget to try their Bun Bo Hue too! Customers love the fresh ingredients and the attention to detail in how the dishes are presented. One of the best things about Pho 54 is their generous portion sizes, so you definitely won’t leave hungry.
Location: 15001 N May Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73134
VII Asian Bistro
Lastly, VII Asian Bistro is a Vietnamese fusion restaurant that puts a unique and innovative twist on traditional Vietnamese breakfast. Their menu combines classic Vietnamese flavors with international influences, resulting in dishes that are both familiar and exciting. From their delicious banh mi sliders to their flavorful pho bowls, VII Asian Bistro is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for a hearty and tasty Vietnamese breakfast.
Location: 2900 N Classen Blvd G, Oklahoma City, OK 73106
No matter which restaurant you choose, you can expect to find an incredible variety of flavors and a warm and inviting atmosphere. These Vietnamese restaurants in Oklahoma City have received fantastic reviews for their outstanding food quality, flavors and attentive service. So go ahead and dive into the culinary delights of Vietnam right in the heart of Oklahoma City!