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11 must-eats for a food tour in Hoi An

Vietnam tours – Hoi An attracts millions of visitors every year to its centuries-old relics, nights that are magically lit up by hand-made lanterns, and gentle activities like cruising on the Hoai River that flows through it.

This old town in the central province of Quang Nam is also known for its people’s honesty and hospitality.

But Hoi An’s attractiveness also lies in its vast cuisine with foods that are cheap — not more than VND50,000 (US$2.3) for a dish — but delicious. Moreover, food of decent quality can be found even in street stalls and small eateries.

If you plan to make a food tour in Hoi An, it is highly recommended to start at around 3 p.m., when motorbikes are restricted, leaving streets free to pedestrians and a few bicycles and tricycles.

It is also the peak time for street food vendors.

And remember to add the following foods to your list.

1. Mi Quang

Literally translated as Quang (Quang Nam)-styled noodles, mi Quang is popular around the country, even among foreigners.

It is recognizable with its thin, flat rice noodles glazed with a mixture of peanut oil fried with onion and usually yellow broth.

Traditionally, its main ingredients are shrimp and pork, which are also used to cook the broth and as toppings together with peanuts and rice crackers. But the dish has gradually become diverse with more toppings like chicken, fish, squid, eggs, snails, and even frogs.

Many Vietnamese foodies prefer Hai, a small eatery at 6A Truong Minh Luong Street.

They also recommend a street stall on Nguyen Hue Street, saying it sells the dish in its original version known as mi Quang Phu Chiem. The dish is named after a Quang Nam village believed to be its birthplace.

2. Cao lau

Cao lau is a rice noodle believed to have been invented in Hoi An. It is equally delicious but, for some reason, less popular than mi Quang.

In a way it has some things in common with Chinese and Japanese noodles. Its al dente noodles, for instance, look raw and thick like Japanese udon. Its toppings include slices of pork that look like char siu or Chinese barbecued pork.

Cao lau is eaten with lots of herbs and vegetables which greatly enhance its flavors.

One of the best places for cao lau is a food stall named Ba Be in a market opposite Ong Temple.

Trung Bac Restaurant at 87 Tran Phu is also said to sell original cao lau.

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