How much does cost to eat in Vietnam? Best updated in 2024

Jun 17, 2024

Are you a foodaholic going to visit Vietnam and really be attracted by Vietnamese food but can not answer for how much does cost to eat in Vietnam? Look no further! In this travel guide blog, Asia Encounter will help you to answer that question and bonus you more details about Vietnamese cuisine. Let’s begin!

Is it expensive to eat in Vietnam?

The cost of eating in Vietnam can vary greatly depending on the type of dining experience you’re looking for. Overall, Vietnam is considered a relatively inexpensive destination when it comes to food, especially when compared to Western countries. The local cuisine is diverse, flavorful, and often incredibly affordable, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers.

cost to eat in vietnam food

What’s on Vietnam meals?

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its balance of fresh herbs, vegetables, and meat, as well as the widespread use of fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, and vegetables. Meals often feature a combination of these elements, with a focus on light, healthy, and flavor-packed dishes.

Vietnamese Cuisine Culture

The Importance of Rice in Vietnamese Cuisine

Rice is an integral part of Vietnamese culture and cuisine. It is a staple food that is deeply woven into the fabric of daily life. Vietnamese people typically consume rice at every meal, whether it’s a simple dish of steamed white rice or a more elaborate preparation like the fragrant and flavorful cơm tấm.

The importance of rice in Vietnam extends beyond just being a dietary staple. It is also a symbol of wealth, prosperity, and cultural identity. Vietnamese families often take great pride in the quality and variety of rice they consume, with different regions known for their unique rice cultivars.

The Art of Using Chopsticks in Vietnamese Dining

The use of chopsticks is a fundamental aspect of Vietnamese dining culture. From a young age, Vietnamese children are taught the proper technique of holding and manipulating chopsticks, which is seen as a mark of refinement and good manners.

Chopsticks are used for a wide variety of dishes, from delicate seafood and vegetables to hearty noodle soups and rice dishes. The skill of using chopsticks allows Vietnamese diners to gracefully pick up and eat even the smallest of morsels, showcasing the dexterity and finesse that is highly valued in Vietnamese culinary culture.

cost to eat in vietnam using chopsticks in Vietnam

Dipping Sauces: The Flavor Enhancers of Vietnamese Cuisine

Dipping sauces is an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine, serving as a way to enhance the flavors of the various dishes. These sauces are often made from a combination of fish sauce, lime juice, chili peppers, and other seasonings, creating a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.

Vietnamese dishes are often accompanied by a selection of dipping sauces, allowing diners to customize the taste to their individual preferences. From the ubiquitous nước chấm (a fish sauce-based condiment) to the bold and spicy sriracha, these sauces play a crucial role in the overall dining experience, adding depth and complexity to the flavors of the food.

The use of dipping sauces is not just a practical aspect of Vietnamese cuisine, but also a cultural tradition that reflects the country’s emphasis on balance, harmony, and the appreciation of diverse flavors.

cost to eat in vietnam diversity in dipping souces

Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

  • Phở is perhaps the most famous Vietnamese dish, a noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and your choice of meat, such as beef or chicken. A bowl of phở can cost between 30,000-80,000 VND ($1.30-$3.50 USD).
  • Bánh Mì (Vietnamese Sandwich): The iconic bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich made with a crispy baguette, pâté, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, and various sauces and herbs. These can be found for as little as 15,000-35,000 VND ($0.65-$1.50 USD).
  • Cơm Tấm (Broken Rice): Cơm tấm is a dish of broken rice, typically served with grilled pork, egg, and various vegetables and sauces. It’s a popular and affordable lunch option, costing 30,000-50,000 VND ($1.30-$2.20 USD).
  • Bún Chả (Grilled Pork with Noodles): Bún chả features a flavorful combination of grilled pork, vermicello noodles, and a tangy dipping sauce. This dish can be enjoyed for 40,000-70,000 VND ($1.75-$3.00 USD).
  • Gỏi Cuốn (Spring Rolls): Gỏi cuốn are fresh spring rolls filled with shrimp, pork, vegetables, and herbs, often served with a peanut or fish sauce dipping sauce. They typically cost 20,000-40,000 VND ($0.90-$1.75 USD) per portion.
  • Cá Nướng (Grilled Fish): Fresh, locally caught fish is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Cá nướng, or grilled fish, is a popular dinner option that can range from 50,000-100,000 VND ($2.20-$4.40 USD) per serving.
  • Bún Bò Huế (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup): Bún bò Huế is a hearty, spicy beef noodle soup originating from the city of Huế. A bowl of this flavorful dish can cost 40,000-80,000 VND ($1.75-$3.50 USD).
  • Xôi (Sticky Rice): Xôi is a versatile sticky rice dish that can be served with a variety of toppings, such as mung beans, pork, or dried shredded meat. A serving of xôi typically costs 20,000-40,000 VND ($0.90-$1.75 USD).
  • Chè (Vietnamese Desserts): Vietnamese desserts, known as chè, offer a wide range of sweet and often colorful options, including sweet soups, puddings, and jellies. These can be found for 10,000-30,000 VND ($0.45-$1.30 USD) per portion.
  • Trà Đá (Iced Tea): No Vietnamese meal is complete without a refreshing glass of trà đá, or iced tea. This ubiquitous beverage can be found for as little as 5,000-10,000 VND ($0.22-$0.45 USD).

Consider visiting our best-seller Vietnam tour to savor the best food in Vietnam:


How much does it cost to eat in Vietnam?

The cost of eating in Vietnam can vary greatly, but overall, it is considered a very affordable destination for food. Dining at local street stalls and small family-run restaurants can cost as little as $1-$3 USD per meal. More upscale or touristy restaurants may cost $5-$15 USD per person. Grocery shopping and cooking your own meals can be even more budget-friendly, with the cost of ingredients typically ranging from $0.50-$2 USD per person per meal.

cost to eat in vietnam street food

How much does it cost to eat out in Vietnam?

Eating out in Vietnam is generally very affordable, especially when compared to Western countries. At the lower end, a simple meal at a local street food stall or small family-run restaurant can cost as little as 30,000-50,000 VND ($1.30-$2.20 USD) per person. For a more substantial meal at a mid-range restaurant, you can expect to pay 100,000-200,000 VND ($4.40-$8.80 USD) per person. Higher-end restaurants or those catering to tourists may charge 300,000-500,000 VND ($13.20-$22.00 USD) or more per person. Overall, it’s quite easy to find delicious and affordable meals throughout Vietnam, making it an excellent destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Vietnam’s culinary landscape is a true delight for food enthusiasts and budget-conscious travelers alike. The country’s vibrant and diverse cuisine offers a remarkable range of flavors, textures, and dining experiences, all at remarkably affordable prices.

From the iconic phở to the delectable bánh mì, Vietnamese dishes showcase a masterful balance of fresh ingredients, bold seasonings, and centuries-old culinary traditions. The widespread use of rice, the deft handling of chopsticks, and the essential role of dipping sauces all contribute to the unique and captivating character of Vietnamese cuisine.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling street food stalls of Hanoi, savoring a family-style feast in the historic town of Hội An, or indulging in a refined dining experience in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll find that the cost to eat in Vietnam is consistently low, allowing you to immerse yourself in the country’s vibrant food culture without breaking the bank.

So, if you’re planning a visit to Vietnam, be prepared to embark on a flavorful journey that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more of the country’s culinary delights. With its unbeatable combination of affordability and exceptional quality, Vietnam is a true gastronomic paradise that should not be missed.

When exploring the diverse culinary landscape of Vietnam, the team at Asia Encounter is here to ensure your gastronomic journey is tailored to your unique preferences and budget. As a leading tour operator in the region, we pride ourselves on crafting bespoke itineraries that allow our guests to immerse themselves in the vibrant food culture.

Whether you’re seeking to indulge in street food delights or savor refined family-style meals, our experienced travel planners can create an itinerary that caters to your every culinary whim. With our in-depth knowledge and local connections, we can provide insider access to authentic dining experiences, all while keeping the cost to eat in Vietnam well within your means.

By partnering with Asia Encounter, you can embark on a truly customized adventure that not only satisfies your palate but also aligns with your travel budget. Trust the experts at Asia Encounter to help you craft the perfect Vietnam culinary odyssey, where every bite and sip is a testament to the country’s unparalleled gastronomic treasures.


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