Pho Bac (northern pho): K'tu, An Bang Beach 07:00-12:00. 35-55,000d
Central Vietnam has never really been the place to indulge in a good beef noodle soup. Due to the hot climate and lack of available of ingredients the central version of this northern soup (pho nam) is a very different beast - liberal servings of Hoi Sin and fish sauce replace the warming northern spices and because of this the bone stock produced lacks the layers of flavour. To make up for this elaborate garnishes of cilantro, mint, young papaya, bean sprouts and even mango are piled on top (something you would never find in Pho Bac). Previously, we would have recommend you save feeding your pho fetish for the northern provinces; then K'tu opened..
Banh Zeo (country pancakes): Hai Son Banh Zeo, 147 Ly Thai To, Hoi An 13-21:00hrs
Hoi An's banh zeo darling, the Ba Le Well restaurant is always a winner, central market is a close runner up. However, the banh zeo served at Hai Son is far more delicious (the family are famous for their homemade pickles). Even better are the small pop-up front of house restos you'll peddle past while exploring the organic farm plots in the rice fields of Tra Que (when in season these families add fresh mushrooms to the batter, something different that works really well).
Cao Lau: Lien Cao Lau, 16 Thai Phien St, Hoi An. 13-18:00hrs
Cao lau may be available all-year round but it's a winter dish. Those fat chewy noodles, warming gravy and five spice pork aren't easy on the digestion in the tropical summer months. Cao lau/high floor - it's flooding downstairs.
Bo Ne Op La (sizzling beef steak, eggs, tomato): Tran Hung Dao end of Tran Cao Van St. 07:00-09:30hrs