In Vietnamese culture, eating and drinking is an art, it not only meets the basic requirements of people but also has a close relationship with the lifestyle and national traditions, which is very clearly shown through the tools used in the meal, how to behave with people while eating. Therefore, eating and drinking also proves the history and formation of the culture of Vietnam. The dishes through each stage speak to the life and people of that period and of the land – where each dish was born.
Food, in other words, eating is an indispensable activity in every travel trip. Traveling offers the perfect opportunity to try new and exciting foods from different parts of the world. You can enjoy for yourself the unique flavors that you have never tasted in your life. Ben Tre foods & drinks are the link connecting the characteristics of the cuisine of the river with the tourists who have visited. Not only famous for its fruit-laden orchards, but this land also has countless delicious dishes that delight people to enjoy.
1. Ben Tre Floating Restaurant
This rather grand-looking floating restaurant is set on a giant dragon boat and features three floors. The menu includes a dizzying array of Vietnamese dishes, including seafood, clay pots and hotpots. Prices are on the high side, but it’s a good location to draw the river. Address: Near Hung Vuong street, phone: 075-382 2492, hours: 10am-10pm, price: 50,000-200,000d.
2. Thuy Pizza
Adding a welcome touch of innovation to Ben Tre’s largely uninspiring dining scene, this friendly place attracts a healthy contingent of travellers and curious locals. The pizza is as good as can be expected in a small-town delta, and owner Thuy is friendly and keen to practise her English. Address: 51 Ngo Quyen street, hours: Noon-10pm, price from 65,000d.
3. Nam Son
Centrally located, this place attracts a lively local crowd thanks to its popular grilled chicken, best washed down with draught beer. Address: 40 Ð Phan Ngoc Tong, phone: 0275-382 2873, hours: 11am-10pm, price: 26,000-60,000d.
4. Phu Le Rice Wine Factory
In Ba Tri District, the Phu Le Rice Wine Factory is one place where tourists can get hands-on experience with local crafts and products. Made by Mrs. Loan, a master distiller, rice wine has become a family tradition for this small community. Producing about 40 liters of wine per week, the factory exports the beverage to bars and restaurants throughout the area.
5. Elephant Ear Fish (fried giant gourami)
The guests will be served a crispy and beautifully fried Elephant Ear Fish (Gourami), displayed majestically on wooden holders. A server helped us take the meat from the body, which we rolled into fresh spring rolls and enjoyed with the traditional fish-sauce-and-chilli combo.
6. Coconut candy
You can’t talk about Ben Tre without mentioning coconut candy. The best Coconut candy is produced in Mo Cay district. It is soft, tasty, greasy and slightly sweet in a unique way that you can’t find anywhere else. They use a combination of coconut and other fruits like durian and peanut to create a more flavorful candy that will leave your mind unforgettable experiences. Making coconut candy is considered an art, with the secret recipe being only transmitted in the family.
7. Coconut wine
It is another specialty of Ben Tre. Unlike other wines, drinking coconut wine won’t make you get drunk but just a little groggy and something special in the throat. The wine is cool and sweet with coconut flavor. Ask the local or your accommodation staff to buy the genuine coconut wine.
8. Flat banana
The selected banana must be the green Siamese banana that has just turned maturity. A banana after being sliced across will be baked on a coal fire for 5 minutes. Then they take it out, put it into a plastic bag and flatten it, then put it on the flame again until the banana turns yellow. It is often served with coconut milk, which is quite tasteful. You can eat this food “Chuối đập” at Truc Giang lake in the center of Ben Tre city.
9. Broken rice (Com Tam)
Tourists say Com Tam here is better than in Saigon. The meat is usually roasted pork, sliced thin, in addition to chicken ram, small rind, fried egg quarters, cucumber, tomatoes, pickles… Both make this dish eye-catching and rich-nutrition.
10. Coconut rice
This is quite sophisticated and requires patience. To cook this dish, the rice should be carefully selected, the rice is covered with coconut milk, drained and put in the coconut water. In addition, the coconut used to cook this dish must be Siamese Coconut. Coconut rice is usually served with roasted shrimps. Places to eat famous coconut rice in Ben Tre: floating restaurant Ben Tre.
11. Snail pancake
Banh xeo (pancake) is not such a strange dish to the Southeast region, but Snail pancake is a special dish of Phu Da, Cho Lach district – Ben Tre. This is the rare place which has the most quantity of rice snails. Every year, April and May in the lunar calendar are the season of breeding for Rice snails, especially in the Mid-year festival (5th of May in lunar year).
12. Duck noodle
Duck noodle in Ben Tre is usually cooked with duck and used with ginger sauce. Such noodles are cut into small pieces. Duck meat has white color and soup has a good taste that you will never forget if you try it one time only. You can find one of the best duck noodle restaurants in Ba Mu bridge market, Nguyen Hue, Ward 4, Ben Tre city or on Dong Khoi street.
13. Sea snail in coconut milk
It is one of the favourite Ben Tre street foods. The locals often cook snails in coconut milk with the mixture of lemongrass, garlic and chilli. You will not only have a taste of coconut in the snails but also have a part of the experience in eating like a local.
14. Coconut worm
If you are looking for a new experience, coconut worms will be the best idea. This is the most popular dish for the locals. The worm is found in the coconut tree, then deep-fried, grilled, or even eaten alive with fish sauce. Its taste is pale and greasy, really interesting to try once in your life.
15. Free Itineraries from VeMekong
As a local travel expert, we have some ideas for you to think about.
From Ben Tre city center:
If you do not have much time left, it is easy to check out spots in one full day by boat or with bike or with motorbike and car. But there are much more than tourist sites like these in Ben Tre. Make sure you have more time to feel and explore more about the hidden gems and the culture, food, night life, wildlife and forest as well. Top tip: Stay in a homestay nearby, so you have more chances to visit it and surroundings. If you are looking for the package Ben Tre daily tours or Can Tho daily tours with local, you can contact www.vemekong.com or Hotline/WhatsApp/WeChat/Zalo +84939888559; email: email@example.com
16. Pro Tips
Here are our tips for easing your mind (and stomach) around food-handling environments that you may not be used to.
Make sure the food is freshly cooked. If you’re eating hot street food, it’s always safest (not to mention more delicious) to eat food you can see being cooked to order.
Look for lines and busy stalls. Busy street food stalls are an indicator of popularity, and their high turnover rate means the food is never sitting out for hours and developing dreaded bacteria. Yes, long lines can be discouraging when you’re hungry after a full day of exploring, but it’s not worth the risk of grabbing precooked food from the empty spot next door.
Eat when the locals are eating. The last and most important element here is when to eat. You’re likely already on a weird eating schedule while you’re traveling, but it’s important to try and adjust to the eating times of where you are. A bowl of pho might be lunch for Americans, but it’s breakfast for the Vietnamese. This ensures that you’re eating freshly cooked food and that you can find the best and most popular places to eat.
If you can’t drink the water, then you can’t eat the salad. Most people get so hung up on not drinking the water or skipping ice in drinks that they don’t think about all of the other ways in which water is used in food service. Fruits and vegetables tend to be washed with tap water in most places, rather than the filtered water that locals drink—or sometimes it’s not washed at all. If you’re really craving some produce, try fruits you can peel or cooked veggies.
Trust your gut. If you’re unsure about the food or the way that it’s being prepared, then keep moving. Eating street food all over the world doesn’t make you an expert. Every stall and every country are different, and sometimes the rules can be harder to follow. When something doesn’t look, smell, or feel right, don’t eat it! Trust your judgment. Chances are that there’s another spot close by that’s making something more delicious.
You can stay in a homestay which is near the riverside, this will help you out the best option. Then you can hire a scooter, car or bike and explore it by yourself and I hope you have an amazing Mekong Delta river sunrise.
If you plan to extend your travel to Ben Tre homestay, do not forget to bring mosquito repellent cream.
Visit Ben Tre or do any customized tours, please choose reputable providers with boat trips equipped with lifebuoys, jackets, motorcycle and cycling tours with the helmets and. Safety is a priority! Choose Ben Tre responsible tours which help you give back while traveling. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.
Ben Tre food & drink guide ranges from street food, authentic, fancy to fusion foods. As a tropical land of many fresh vegetables and homegrown gardens, which always make Ben Tre cuisines fresh, close to nature and very traditional. If you are a food lover, don’t hesitate to put other bites onto your food lists such as Cai Mon durian, coconut wine, coconut candy, coconut rice, snail pancake, elephant ear fish…
Bring your hat, sunglasses, and sunblock, scarf to wear when visiting temples, pagodas, and the cathedral.
Bring the raincoat if you’re planning a trip to Ben Tre in the rainy season, as Ben Tre always looks fantastic in the full rain and full sun.
Ben Tre tourist attractions are magnificent itself, but if you have enough time, don’t forget to put other places onto your bucket lists such as Ben Tre brick & pottery kiln, sampan (small boat) ride in small canals, mighty Mekong river cruise, educational tour and community tour in Ben Tre, Ben Tre homestay 2D1N, cocohome homestay, Ben Tre cycling tours, Son Doc Rice Paper Village, Dong Khoi Guerrilla Village, Vam Ho bird sanctuary, Cai Mon Orchard & Flower Village…
Hopefully, the above tips will help you to come up with a great plan for your adventure in Ben Tre province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Have a safe trip!
“Sleep less, travel more, respect more” – Thomas Vietnam – Local travel expert.