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What to eat in Ha Long Bay: Top 10 best foods that you must try

Updated: May 11

Ha Long isn't just about its stunning bay; it's also famous for its delicious seafood dishes. Here are top 10 must-try foods when you're in this awesome city.


01 Cha muc (Squid cakes) – do not miss this delightful specialty when visiting Ha Long

Cha muc (Squid cakes) – do not miss this delightful specialty when visiting Ha Long
Cha muc (Squid cakes) – do not miss this delightful specialty when visiting Ha Long (Source: Internet)

Cha Muc is a renowned specialty from Quang Ninh province, ranking among Vietnam's top regional delicacies. These squid cakes are crafted using the finest squid from Ha Long Bay. The process involves hand-grinding squid meat before frying it to a crisp golden brown. With each bite, you'll savor the exquisite blend of squid, garlic, and shallot flavors. Typically served with a tangy dipping sauce made from fish sauce, chili, and garlic, Cha Muc offers a unique and delightful taste experience.

Try it

  • Banh cuon cha muc Goc Bang (Nha Hat Alley, Bach Dang Ward)

  • Banh cuon cha muc Ba Yen (36 Doan Thi Diem, Bach Dang Ward)


02 Sam (horseshoe crab)

Grilled horseshoe crab in Ha Long
Grilled horseshoe crab (Sam nuong) in Ha Long (Source: Internet)

Vietnam's coastal areas are teeming with seafood treasures, and one unique addition to the culinary scene is the Sam. Although it's often called the horseshoe crab because of its shell, scientifically, sam is more akin to spiders. Locally, it's often compared to stingrays in appearance, with meat that resembles fish in texture. These creatures are commonly found in Southeast Asia, especially in shallow waters near sandy or muddy bottoms, such as those around Ha Long. Once the hard shell is removed, Sam can be cooked in various ways, from grilling and steaming to stir-frying or adding it to salads.

Try it

  • Sam Ba Ty (7D Cao Thang, Cao Thang Ward)

  • Dung Hoa (96 Thanh Thien, Hong Hai Ward)


03 Bun be be (noodles soup with mantis shrimp) - a must-try when visiting Ha Long Bay

Bun be be (noodles soup with mantis shrimp) - a must-try when visiting Ha Long Bay
Bun be be (noodles soup with mantis shrimp) - a must-try when visiting Ha Long Bay (Source: Internet)

Bun be be is a true gem of Ha Long, blending exquisite flavors with captivating visuals. Mantis shrimp meat, delicately extracted from its tough shell, retains its shape beautifully. The highlight is the broth—a delicate balance of sweetness from pork bones and crabs, complemented by the tang of tomatoes and pineapples. Served over rice noodles, with a generous portion of mantis shrimp, pork ribs, fried tofu, and a sprinkle of green onions, it's a complete feast for the senses.

Try it

  • Bun Cu Ky Huong Beo (20 Tan Mai, Bai Chay Ward)

  • Bun Be Be Huy Chien (Thuc Thoai, Hong Hai Ward)


04 Sa sung (sea worms)

Despite its hefty price tag, sa sung remains a prized delicacy in Ha Long City, prized for its rich nutritional content. Resembling oversized pink worms, these sea creatures are about the size of two fingers and can be enjoyed fresh as sashimi or cooked in various styles, with sa sung porridge being a favorite. Sa sung boasts a unique chewy texture and captures the essence of the sea in its distinct appearance. When dried, they become a coveted ingredient, adding a subtle sweetness to Vietnamese noodle soups like pho and hu tieu. For culinary enthusiasts, dried sa sung is a must-have in the kitchen.


05 Drunken Prawn and Lobster - two of the greatest joys of Ha Long Bay

In Ha Long Bay, prawns and lobsters are prepared in various ways, but steaming with lemongrass, beer, or vodka is among the most favored methods. This technique not only cooks the seafood swiftly but also eliminates any fishy odors, enhancing the natural flavors for a more enjoyable dining experience.


06 Ngan (a large clams)

Grilled Ngan in Ha Long
Grilled Ngan in Ha Long (Source: Internet)

When visiting Ha Long Bay and craving seafood, don't miss out on trying Ngan. This versatile dish can be enjoyed grilled, steamed, or incorporated into a stir-fry, offering a delightful culinary experience.


07 Oyster

Indulge in the luxury of fresh oysters, a renowned delicacy enjoyed worldwide, amidst the stunning backdrop of Ha Long Bay. Daily caught, meticulously washed, and expertly grilled over charcoal, these oysters are seasoned to perfection with salt, pepper, and zesty lemon or grilled onions. For those seeking a raw experience, they can also be savored with a simple squeeze of lemon. Delight your taste buds with this exquisite culinary delight during your visit to Ha Long Bay.


08 Loi Am grilled chicken - a specialty dish you can savor in Ha Long Bay

Loi Am grilled chicken - a specialty dish you can savor in Ha Long Bay
Loi Am grilled chicken - a specialty dish you can savor in Ha Long Bay (Source: Internet)

Experience the rich culinary heritage of the region with this exceptional grilled chicken dish. Marinated in a tantalizing blend of aromatic spices and local herbs, each bite is bursting with savory flavors. The secret marinade, infused with ingredients like lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and chili, adds depth and complexity to the dish. Grilled over an open flame, the chicken absorbs the smoky essence, while caramelizing the marinade to create a crispy, charred exterior. Indulge in the irresistible combination of textures and tastes, showcasing the unique culinary tradition of the area.


09 Sua chua tran chau Ha Long (Boba yogurt)

Sua chua tran chau Ha Long (Boba yogurt)
Sua chua tran chau Ha Long (Boba yogurt) (Source: Internet)

Indulge in a sweet treat with a twist in Ha Long: boba yogurt. While yogurt is loved worldwide, adding boba takes it to a whole new level. Served with homemade yogurt and a side of coconut milk, coconut shreds, and boba pearls, it's a refreshing and creamy delight. The chewy boba adds a fun texture to every spoonful. Loved by locals and now enjoyed nationwide, boba yogurt is a must-try dessert that perfectly blends tradition with innovation.

Try it

  • Sua chua tran chau Ha Long (Sunworld, Bai Chay Ward

  • Sua chua tran chau (10 Pho Van Lang, Hong Gai Ward)


10 Gat gu Cake

Gat gu Cake Ha Long
Gat gu Cake Ha Long (Source: Internet)

Experience the unique nodding cake, a traditional delight from Tien Yen, Ha Long Bay. This special cake gets its name from its flexible texture that nods up and down when held. To enjoy, pair it with a spicy chili sauce for an extra kick that tantalizes your taste buds, especially on chilly winter days.


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