The best dishes in Da Nang utilise fresh seafood and various cuts of meat (and organs for the most adventurous of diners) as well as local herbs and greens, resulting in a myriad of colours and flavours that you won’t get anywhere else. As one of the most underrated cities in Vietnam, Da Nang offers a wide range of inexpensive yet unique dining options. Great for backpackers or fuss-free travellers, a noodle or rice dish is priced between VND 10,000 and 30,000 VND, while barbecued delicacies cost about VND 30,000 onwards. The best thing about Da Nang dishes is that they are often made to order, so you can easily customise them according to your preference. Therefore, no trip to Da Nang is complete without trying out at least one of these must-try dishes in Da Nang
1 Mi Quang (Vietnamese Turmeric Noodles)
Mi quang is Da Nang’s definitive dish, featuring rice noodles that are tinted yellow using turmeric and bone broth seasoned with fish sauce, black pepper, shallot, and garlic. Meat toppings include river shrimp, boiled quails eggs, and roast pork, though some eateries use fish, chicken and beef slices. Lastly, the ensemble is topped with an array of fresh herbs such as basil, peanuts, coriander, lettuce, sliced banana flowers, and sesame rice crackers. You can also opt for chilli peppers for a spicy kick to the ensemble. Sold in any local restaurant or market in Da Nang, a bowl of mi quang costs between VND 15,000 and VND 25,000.
2. Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli Noodles With Grilled Pork)
Bun thit nuong comprises thin vermicelli rice noodles, freshly chopped lettuce, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, pickled daikon, basil, chopped peanuts, and mint, topped with grilled pork shoulder. Diners can also opt for bun thit nuong cha gio, which comes with crunchy slices of cha gio (deep-fried eggrolls). As with most Vietnamese dishes, you also get a side of nuoc cham sauce to mix into the bun thit nuong for a flavourful ensemble.
3.Bun Cha Ca (Fishcake Noodles Soup)
Bun cha ca (fishcake noodle soup) is popular amongst seafood lovers due to its generous chunks of grilled fishcakes, green onions, beansprouts, mint leaves, and fine rice vermicelli noodles. Using a choice of mackerel, barracuda or lizardfish, the meat is marinated with garlic, pepper, salt, and chili before it’s kneaded into small pieces and grilled until fully cooked. Meanwhile, the broth is prepared by simmering a mix of fish bones, pumpkin, cabbage, pineapple, tomato and dried bamboo shoots, resulting in a rich, hearty, and flavourful ensemble.
4.Banh Xeo (Crispy Pancake)
Banh xeo is a savoury pancake that’s made of rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric, filled with ingredients such as vermicelli noodles, chicken, pork or beef slices, shrimps, sliced onions, beansprouts, and mushrooms. Usually eaten as a snack or appetiser, you can find banh xeo sold at roadside stalls, local markets, and restaurants within Da Nang City Centre. Priced between VND 15,000 and VND 25,000, the best way to enjoy a crispy pancake is by wrapping it in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves or rice papers together with nem lui (lemongrass pork skewers), mint leaves, basil, and dipping in fermented peanut sauce.
5. Com Tam (Broken Rice)
Com tam is Vietnamese for ‘broken rice’, a local dish that’s accompanied with fried egg, diced green onions, and a variety of meats such as suon nuong (barbecued pork chop), bi (shredded pork skin), and cha trung (steamed pork and egg patty). Diners can also enjoy this dish with a side of pickled vegetables, cucumber slices, and nuoc cham Vietnamese dipping sauce. With street markets and roadside food stalls selling for about VND 20,000 per bowl, com tam is very popular amongst budget-conscious travellers.