The popular food in Vietnam should not order on your first date
food in vietnam

Popular food in Vietnam forbidden on first date

We all know the first impression is highly important when you want to start a face-to-face relationship. The most common concerns for the first date is what to wear, what to talk about and especially what to eat. However, there is some popular food in Vietnam you should avoid on your first date unless you want to prepare for another first date.

Pho – the most popular food in Vietnam you shouldn’t order on your first date

When choosing what to eat on the first date, it might be wise to consider no getting Pho, even if you both like them. You can have this popular food in Vietnam for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or whenever you want except for the first date. It’s so sad that slurping up soupy noodles like a pig at trough can sometimes be an awkward angle. So just save it for the second date.

popular food in vietnam

Even though Pho is your favorite popular food in Vietnam, you shouldn’t slurp this kind of noodle when you first meet.

Black sesame sweet soup (Chi Ma Phu) – the popular food in Vietnam you should avoid for dessert

This is a Chinese sweet soup made of black sesame and some secret Chinese medical herbs. This hot sweet soup is a very popular soup in Vietnam during the winter. Moreover, it can prevent you from flu and other winter’s illness. However, despite its good taste and healthiness, you shouldn’t stop for it on your first date due to its color. If you’ve ever tried squid ink pasta, you will know how this dish can attack you. Therefore, if you suddenly crave for a bowl of black sesame sweet soup, you should go with your best friend instead of your girlfriend.

popular food in vietnam

Black sesame sweet soup is more suitable to eat with friends rather than a boyfriend – Image:

Vietnamese sandwich (Banh Mi) – the dish you shouldn’t eat on your first date

Banh Mi is the Vietnamese worldwide famous “sandwich” which you can find at almost every corner on earth. What’s more, in Vietnam, you can see Banh Mi vendors dotted along all streets. However, you ought not to stop for this dish whilst on the way to your important date. The first reason is that Banh Mi consists of many “bad smell” ingredients such as coriander, sausage, paté, etc, and you’d better be very prepared for a kiss. Secondly, your wide-open mouth when eating Banh Mi may create an offensive image. And obviously, you don’t want to leave an ugly image as the first impression. Lastly, unlike steak with fork and knife, you need to hold Banh Mi with your bare hand and bite. Thus, you may inadvertently leave some piece of vegetables or meat on your teeth and they gonna blow your date away.

popular food in vietnam

Opening mouth widely when eating Banh Mi may leave a bad first impression to your partner – Image:

Shrimp paste noodle (Bun Dau Mam Tom) – the popular food in Vietnam with stinky smell

If you’re on a trip to Vietnam and wanna try something more unique beside Pho, this noodle can be in your bucket list. However, if you’re on your first date, this popular food in Vietnam must be in your blacklist.

popular food in vietnam

Though Bun Dau Mam Tom is a popular food in Vietnam, you should skip this dish on the first date.

Shrimp paste noodle has three main ingredients: vermicelli noodle, fried tofu, and the vedette shrimp paste. The two formers are okay, but the latter will make the first date become the last. As other famous Vietnamese dipping sauce, people make shrimp paste by fermenting shrimp for a few months. To make it tastier and reduce the bad smell, they add chili, kumquat, and sugar. However, if you’ve heard of durian and how it explodes people’s nose, well, so does shrimp paste. So if your partner requests this dish for the first date, it sounds a lot like how he/she wants a first date to end.

Fermented fish sauce vermicelli (Bun Mam) – the worst food to eat on the first date

Bun Mam the popular food in Vietnam has two different kinds – the Western version and the Central version. Yet none of them is available on the first date.

The Western Vietnam version is a kind of seafood noodle stew. In includes noodles in dark murky broth, flavored with fermented fish sauce. Unlike Pho that has a clear broth made from boiling bones and beef with herbs, the broth of Bun Mam is flavored with seafood, pork and importantly fermented fish sauce. Although they’ve diluted it with water, the signature smell of the fermented fish sauce is not a joke. So if you want to go further than a handshake, remember to stay away from this dish.

popular food in vietnam

Bun Mam in Mekong Delta region – Image: Thanh Thao Pham.

Another version of Fermented fish sauce vermicelli is Bun Mam Danang. Different from Bun Mam in Mekong River Delta region, a portion of Bun Mam in Central Vietnam consists of vermicelli, lettuce, fresh herbs, young jackfruit, roasted pork, and a special salted fish sauce. Instead of a full bowl of broth, just a tablespoon of this dressing can push the vermicelli bowl to a new level. With no soup, you can feel the crispness of roast pork and buttery taste of peanuts. Nonetheless, similar to its siblings, Bun Mam Danang offers a really stinky smell. It is because the sauce is made of fish soaked in water at least five months until they dissolve. Therefore, if you don’t want your love “dissolve”, you should throw this popular food in Vietnam out of the list.

popular food in vietnam

Bun Mam Danang – a popular food in Vietnam.

Hotpot – the popular food in Vietnam not to share on the first date

Unlike the Western cuisine culture that people just eat the food on their own dish, the Vietnamese prefer sharing food on the same dishes or dip food in the same bowl of dipping sauce. And hotpot follows the Vietnamese style perfectly. A portion usually includes a hot pot broth on a stove and several dishes of raw meat, seafood, vegetables, etc. People will first heat the hot pot till it boils then add the raw ingredients into it and wait until it cooked. Then, everyone with their own pairs of chopsticks will dig into the pot and find what they want to eat. It may sound disgusting at first but it’s the way the Vietnamese shares and takes care of each other. However, if you first meet, I’m pretty sure that it’s not the ideal way you two transfer each other’s saliva.

popular food in vietnam

Hotpot is a popular food in Vietnam. When eating this dish, people use their own pairs of chopsticks to dig in the pot – Image: Instagram/@bo.bbo.


Vietnamese cuisine is a great thing to explore. It’s great to start a journey together but sometimes, it should not be Vietnamese food. Hope that with the little reminder above about popular food in Vietnam should not be on your first date, you and your partner will have a great moment together.