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Navigating Vietnam’s Culinary Landscape: Tips for Eating with Food Restrictions

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam and have food restrictions, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges you may face. But, with a bit of planning and careful ordering, you can still enjoy the delicious food the country has to offer.

  1. For vegans and vegetarians, Vietnam offers a wealth of delicious plant-based options. From traditional dishes like pho chay (vegetarian pho) to fresh salads and stir-fries, there are many tasty options available. However, vegan dishes may lack protein, as nuts aren’t commonly used in vegan cooking.
  2. Peanut allergy sufferers should exercise caution when dining in Vietnam, as peanuts are widely used in many dishes and sauces. It’s important to communicate your allergy clearly to waitstaff and be vigilant when ordering. Consider bringing an epinephrine injection with you as a precaution.
  3. Those on a gluten-free diet will find plenty of options in Vietnam. Many traditional dishes like pho, banh xeo, hu tieu, and bun bo hue are naturally gluten-free. A set of rustic Bánh xèo, Midlands style
  4. Dairy allergy sufferers may have a harder time finding dishes that suit their dietary needs, as dairy is not commonly used in Vietnamese cooking. However, with careful ordering and communication, it’s still possible to find suitable dishes.
  5. For those with allergies to fruits such as strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, and chilies, there are many alternative vegetables that can be used in dishes.An authentic typical bowl of Canh chua ca loc
  6. Seafood is widely used in Vietnamese cooking, especially in the central region of the country. If you have a seafood allergy, you may need to be more selective when ordering, but there are still many delicious meat and poultry dishes available. Boiled snails with some good Nuoc Cham is popular in the North in Winter. In fact, boiling is pretty much the only way the Northerners cook their snails

It’s always a good idea to carry a card or translate your dietary restriction when you travel, it will help the waitstaff, chef, hotel and restaurant staff understand your needs better. Also remember to communicate clearly and ask questions about the ingredients used in the dishes you’re ordering. It is important to note that regardless of where you travel, some risk is always present when eating out with food allergies, and it’s a good idea to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.

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