Vietnam's culinary diversity is evident in its regional eating traditions, shaped by geography, climate, and cultural influences. Northern and Southern Vietnam exhibit striking differences in our dining customs, participants, and preferred foods.
In Northern Vietnam, communal dining is common, emphasising family and shared meals. The region's cooler climate lends itself to heartier, warming dishes, like Pho Bac (northern-style pho), where clear, delicate broths and subtle flavours take centre stage. Family members and neighbours often gather around the table, sharing a variety of dishes, including spring rolls, grilled meats, and dishes with ginger and herbs.
Southern Vietnam, with its tropical climate, has a vibrant street food culture. Dining is often more informal, with bustling food markets and open-air eateries. Meals in the south are characterised by the prominence of sugar and spiciness, like the famous Bun Rieu and Hu Tieu, noodle dishes with sweet and spicy broths. Here, the influence of Chinese and Cambodian cuisine is more pronounced.
Both regions celebrate the use of fresh herbs, rice, and noodles, but their flavours and dining settings offer a captivating glimpse into Vietnam's diverse gastronomic landscape. Regardless of the differences, food remains a central element in connecting people and fostering a sense of community in Vietnamese culture.