In the northern city of Hai Phong, from the early morning to late at night, visitors can enjoy a variety of food and drinks.
In recent years, food tours have played a major role in Hai Phong tourism. The Hai Phong Department of Tourism has released a Hai Phong food tour map, so that tourists and residents can easily find and enjoy local food. In the photo is Cat Bi market, one of the destinations on the Hai Phong food tour map.
Duy Tung, 28, born and raised in Hai Phong, is passionate about the cuisine in this port city. Tung often explores famous eateries in the city to introduce them to other people.
“Coming to Hai Phong, even in a small alley or a roadside market, visitors can still find small vendors selling foods and drinks. Besides the three main meals, the locals have the habit of having snacks,” Tung said.
According to Tung, when you start a food tour in the morning, you can choose a true Hai Phong-style breakfast with a bowl of crab noodle soup. They are sold all over the city, at the beginning of any alley, or in restaurants such as Bao Yen restaurant at 29/31 Nguyen Binh Khiem street, or Lach Tray Crab Noodle Soup at 48 Lach Tray street, lane 195 Cau Dat.
Tung said that the crab noodle soup sold at the beginning of the small alley had the most Hai Phong characteristics, as they were sold for locals. The red rice noodles are cooked in sweet crab broth, served with shrimp, thin slices of meat, pork rolls in wild betel leaves, and crispy fried pork fat. Restaurants usually cater to more tourists. “Even if you are a tourist, you should try a bowl of crab noodle soup sold in small alleys. It has the traditional taste with a cheap price, only about VND25,000 to 30,000 (US$1.06-1.27),” Tung said.
If you don’t like soup, you can have bread sticks with fatty pate filled with chi chuong – a special kind of Hai Phong chili sauce, and a cup of coconut coffee to cool your mouth down after eating the spicy bread sticks.
Places where you can enjoy such bread sticks include Old Lady at 57A Le Loi street or Spicy Bread and Thai Tea at 37 Dinh Tien Hoang street. However, visitors need to queue and buy before 8 in the morning because these shops are quite famous, and only sell a limited amount of bread per day. “If you want to buy a huge number of bread sticks as a gift, you have to order 1 to 2 hours in advance because the bread is only made per order,” Tung noted.
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