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Bun bo Hue - Hue spicy beef noodles: A legend of Hue cuisine

Bun bo Hue - Hue spicy beef noodles: A legend of Hue cuisine

Bun bo Hue - Hue spicy beef noodles: A legend of Hue cuisine

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    The secret recipe of Bun bo Hue

    Bun bo Hue today is the result of a long, long process of trying, testing and improving of the ancient Hue locals. To make a tasty bowl of Bun bo Hue, the bun or rice vermicelli is one of the most important things.

    hue beef noodles


    It has to be soft, a little bit chewy, sweet and wet. It takes a lot of effort to make such dedicated rice vermicelli. Therefore, Bun bo Hue owners often buy the rice vermicelli at Van Cu or Bao Vinh Village. These are the 2 traditional bun-making villages that are 2-10 km from the center of Hue. Van Cu Village has been making bun for 400 years.

    Besides rice vermicelli, the main ingredients of a Bun bo Hue are beef, pettitoes, shrimp paste and of course… a dish of fresh vegetables, chilli and lemon. Back in the old days, a bowl of Bun bo Hue only had beef and pettitoes.

    However, ingredients got added up to this dish as it went through time and got adapted by different regions in Vietnam. To satisfy the various tastes of diners, Bun bo Hue is also served with pork sausages, crab sausages, tendons, pork frozen blood and pettitoes.

    hue beef noodles


    Broth is what makes a good Bun bo Hue. According to the locals, standard broth needs to be clear and sweet from the steamed casserole bone and meat. Then it becomes complimentary with a gentle aroma of lemongrass. What is so Hue about Bun bo Hue is the shrimp paste. This ingredient is the icon of Hue cuisine, but the cook needs to be really skillful to make the taste of shrimp paste in the bowl not so obvious. For diners, it becomes “the taste of Hue”.

    Interestingly, Bun bo Hue varies due to different seasons. For each different season, the cook will adjust the proportion of spices to make a perfect bowl depending on timing. In spring, the locals will add soy, mint and different types of lettuce. As for winter, the broth will become a little bit more flavorful with fish and lemongrass.

    This is to help our bodies warm up in the cold weather of winter.  When summer comes, the Bun bo Hue has a lighter taste to cool down the body's inner heat. On rainy days, a hot bowl of Bun bo Hue surely has a mouthwatering smell combined with the spicy taste of Vietnamses chilli and shrimp paste. 

    A bowl of Bun bo Hue is a combination of culture and flavor of Hue people. It is interesting, dedicated and memorable. It is not an emphasis to say that this original dish is the quintessence of this land in Central Vietnam. It would be a big mistake to not try a bowl of Bun bo Hue while visiting the ancient capital of Hue.

    Normally, the best Bun bo Hue is not in the luxury and fancy restaurants. You can find the most original and truthful taste of this bowl in early morning’s street vendors. Bun bo Hue is suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. 

    Where to eat Bun bo Hue 

    1. Quán Bún Bò Mỹ Tâm 

    Many famous artists and celebrities of Vietnam pick this as their favorite Bun bo Hue restaurant. The owners are a couple of husband and  wife. They are truly attentive and enthusiastic. The quality of food is undoubtedly high. The broth is flavorful, tasty and sweet. Beef is not chewy at all.

    hue beef noodles


    Address: 5 Tran Cao Van Street, Vinh Ninh, Hue
    Opening hours: 17:00 – 24:00
    Price: VND 25.000 - 40.000

    2. Quán Bà Tuyết

    The owner is Ms. Le Thi Tuyet. She shared that she had been selling this dish on Nguyen Cong Tru Street for 23 years. She used to be just a street vendor, but after years of hard work she successfully opened a restaurant. She changed the address a few times but it is always on Nguyen Cong Tru Street. “It helps the tourists find my restaurant easily. If they try once and it tastes good, they will come back.”

    The most crowded hour of Quán Bà Tuyết is from 7 to 9 in the morning. Here you can also try Bun bo Hue with pork sausages, crab sausages and tendons.

    Address: 47 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Phu Noi, Hue
    Opening hours: 6:00 - 11:00
    Price: VND 25.000 - 35.000

    3. Quán Bún Bò Mụ Rơi 

    This restaurant is one of the best places selling Bun bo Hue. This is also a popular restaurant to not only locals but many tourists. The noodles are absolutely delicious. The broth has a strong flavor. Beef and pork are fresh and yummy. The crab sausages here are also very famous for its firm and smooth texture. The vegetables are always fresh and clean. Give Quán Bún Bò Mụ Rơi a try and you won’t regret it. 

    hue beef noodles


    Address: 40 Nguyen Chi Dieu Street, Thuan Thanh, Hue
    Opening hours: 6:30 - 9:30
    Price: VND 25.000 – 35.000

    4. Quán Ông Vọng – O Phụng

    Fans of Bun bo Hue will sure know this restaurant of Bun bo Hue. The owners of this place have years making Hue noodles and their experience is admirable. The restaurant is not too big and it is always full of hungry diners who love the tasty beef and strong broth of this restaurant. Although crowded, the service is still quite fast and enthusiastic.

    Address: So 5 Nguyen Du Street, Phu Cat, Hue
    Opening hours: 15:00 - 18:00
    Price: VND 25.000 – 35.000

    5. Quán Bún Mệ Kéo

    This might be the oldest Bun bo Hue vendor in this ancient capital of Hue. Some locals call it “Waiting for Mrs. Keo” vendors as all diners at Quán Bún Mệ Kéo have to queue in line and wait for their turn. A bowl of Bun bo Hue here is very special. It is spicy with salty broth and lemongrass. This might be the only Bun bo Hue restaurant that does not sell beef. Instead, the owner sells pork belly, crab sausages and frozen pork blood. 

    If you cannot eat too spicy food, remember to notify the owner or she will make it so spicy that it makes you cry while eating. 

    Address: 20 Bach Dang, Phu Cat, Hue
    Opening hours: 6:00 - 10:00
    Price: VND 25.000 – 35.000

    28 Apr 2020
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    Cuong Bach The founder of Journey On Air - The Travel Information Center of Vietnam. Our mission is connecting travelers worldwide to the beauty of the landscape, history, culture and the friendly people in Vietnam.

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