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Begin adventure as we uncover the treasured food spots in Vietnam that captured the heart and palate of the late Anthony Bourdain in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In this blog, we delve into the vibrant food scenes of Vietnam, immersing ourselves in the authentic flavors and cultural connections that defined Bourdain’s culinary journey.
Vietnam: A Place That Captivated Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain, a chef, writer, and travel TV host, had a deep passion for Vietnam and its food. He left a lasting impact with his favorite food spots in Vietnam. In Hanoi, he relished the delicious flavors of bún chả at Bún chả Hương Liên, a humble canteen that gained fame as Bun Cha Obama after a memorable meal with former US President Barack Obama. In Ho Chi Minh City, he delighted in the rich and fragrant Bún bò Huế at The Lunch Lady, a hidden gem tucked away in an alley. These iconic places allow curious foodies to follow in Bourdain’s footsteps and experience the culinary wonders that captivated him.
Hanoi | A Culinary Adventure with President Obama
Anthony Bourdain loved Vietnam and its delicious food like no one else. He often declared it as one of his top favorites. In his TV shows, like “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain took us on captivating culinary adventures through Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
One of his favorite food spots in Vietnam was Bun Cha Obama, also known as Bún chả Hương Liên. It became famous after Bourdain and President Obama shared a memorable meal there. This unpretentious eatery on Le Van Huu street drew crowds of locals and tourists eager to taste the flavors of their signature dish, bún chả. It’s a delightful combination of grilled pork patties, flavorful broth, bún rice vermicelli, and fresh herbs.
Over in Ho Chi Minh City, Bourdain found comfort at The Lunch Lady, where he savored the rich Bún bò Huế. Located in a quiet alley in District 1, this humble spot served a satisfying bowl of dark broth with hints of citrus, tender beef brisket, fatty pig trotter, and tasty cha lua sausage. Bourdain celebrated the authenticity of Vietnamese cuisine, where genuine taste took precedence over fancy presentations.
Food Spots in Vietnam | Bún bò Huế at The Lunch Lady in Ho Chi Minh City
The Lunch Lady in Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its Bún bò Huế. Located in a modest alley on the northern edge of District 1, this food spots in Vietnam attracts Vietnamese businesspeople and tourists during lunchtime. Sit near the mobile kitchen, where Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh runs the show, and you’ll witness a lively spectacle of cleavers pounding on wooden boards and boisterous orders being shouted. The Bún bò Huế (40,000 VND) served here features a rich, dark broth infused with the flavors of fatty pig trotter, beef brisket slices, and cha lua, a type of Vietnamese sausage. The broth, simmered with lemongrass stalks, carries a delightful citrusy note.
Bún chả at Bún chả Hương Liên in Hanoi
In Hanoi, Bún chả Hương Liên has earned the nickname “Bun Cha Obama” after a photo of President Obama and Anthony Bourdain sitting on low stools went viral in 2016. This unassuming canteen-style eatery on Le Van Huu street has since become Hanoi’s bustling hotspot for Bún chả. They even have a dedicated table commemorating the famous visit, along with a new location named after the US President. Don’t miss out on trying the “Combo Obama,” which includes a cold bottle of Bia Hà Nội, Bún chả, and seafood nem rán, all for an incredibly affordable price of 85,000 VND.
Bún chả, considered the food of the Vietnamese middle class, permeates the air in Hanoi with its tantalizing aroma of grilled pork patties. This dish typically consists of a large bowl of broth made with nước chấm, sugar, and vinegar, with a scattering of patties and grilled pork swimming in the bowl. It is served with bún rice vermicelli and a plate of fresh herbs on the side.
Anthony Bourdain’s endorsement of this street food gem was well-deserved. If you’re visiting Hanoi, make sure not to miss this spot, as it offers a culinary experience that captures the essence of the city’s vibrant food culture.
In conclusion, Anthony Bourdain’s love for Vietnam’s cuisine and culture was profound. Exploring his favorite food spots in Vietnam gave us a glimpse into his culinary world, showcasing authentic flavors. Let’s remember Bourdain’s appreciation for food spots in Vietnam and continue to explore diverse culinary wonders.
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