10 Famous Specialties in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

June 28, 2023

The magical Halong Bay is on every list of top things to do in Southeast Asia. Blessed with spellbinding scenery with islets and grottos, Halong Bay is also famous for its many species of shellfish. Here, you can enjoy a wide variety of super-fresh seafood, which is flavored with delicate bouquets of herbs and served at the many seafood restaurants as well as street food stalls and night markets in Ha Long City and the Bai Chay area.

1. Sticky rice with grilled chopped squid (Xôi trắng chả mực)

Sticky rice with golden grilled chopped squid, eat with fish sauce and pepper, all make a super delicous dish for breakfast or lunch. The average price for a plate ranges from 15,000 to 20,000 VND, or you can buy only grilled chopped squid with the price from 250,000 VND.

2. Pancake with grilled chopped squid (Bánh cuốn chả mực)

“Banh cuon” with meat, mushrooms, fungus, shredded meat and onion-scented, served with famous grilled chopped squid, all create unforgetable taste. You can enjoy it  near Bach Dang cinema, Halong city.

3. Ngán dish (Món ngán)

“Ngán” is a bivalve mollusk such as clams, can be processed in various ways: grilled, steamed, made soup, fried with noodles or vegetables. “Ngán” also can be used to make wine which owns sea scented. You can try it in all restaurants in Halong, if you want to buy wine, you can go to Cai Ram market and Vuon Dao area.

4. Sipunculus (Sá sùng)

Sipunculus is a kind of sand worm, a kind of seafood that only exists in Halong. Fresh sipunculus fried with garlic spikes make a delicious dish. You can dry sipunculus into dark brown then grilled or roasted it to use with a cold cup of beer or spices for noodle broth. Sipunculus are rare, if also very high price, one kg close to 4 million.

5. Horseshoe crab (Món sam biển)

Another attractive specialty of Halong is horseshoe crab, an arthropod crustacean. From this, people can process a lot of delicious and unusual dishes such as: blood pudding, salad, sweet and sour fried legs, sauteed with lemon grass, fried horseshoe crab’s eggs, steamed, baked cartilage, fried with vermicelli and so on. You want to enjoy it, let’s go to Gieng Don or Cao Xanh area.

6. Cà sáy Tiên Yên

“Cà sáy” is the hybrid of duck and cairina, through processing of Tien Yen people, the flavor becomes doublly delicious. Tien Yen people process “cà sáy” and make its specialized sauce which has the fragnant flavor of Cai Rong, Van Yen, Cat Hai fish sauce, the sweetness of Quang Tay “xá xị” and the mild pungency of  Tien Yen ginger grown on home soil.

7. Banh Gat Gu (Nodding Cake) 

On the top of the list of street food in Ha Long Bay, this is a kind of roll made from rice powder with minced pork and fried onions as fillings. The roll should be dipped in fish sauce and chilly. As the roll is long and soft, it will hang down when the diners hold it in their hands which looks like a person nodding. This funnily named tasty dish can be tried at Ha Long night market inside Ha Long Marine Plaza, Bai Chay, Ha Long city at a fairly reasonable price.

8. Oyster

Nutritious porridge with oyster

Oyster has been one of the top seafoods in both Ha Long restaurants and street stalls thanks to its good taste and nutrition. The sea water in Quang Ninh has a high amount of salt and a rich source of food for oysters, so the local oysters taste even better than those in other sea areas of the country. 

Local chefs prefer to keep the freshness of the seafood. That is why simple ways of cooking like baking, steaming or boiling are more popular. 

The oyster in Ha Long has a thin shell, soft body and contains lots of minerals without a fishy smell. People prefer to eat the oyster raw to enjoy its fatty meat together with lemon, mustard and chili sauce. 

Oysters can be baked alone, with onion or with cheese; steamed with piper lolot, ginger or lemongrass. They can be covered with starch and then fried, or stirred in butter with garlic as well. You can try this dish in any Ha Long restaurants.

9. Bun Be Be (Noodle with mantis shrimp) - An iconic Ha Long noodle dish   

Noodle with mantis shrimp is one of the best dishes in Ha Long, which offers the sweet taste of the seafood, the soft noodles mingling in rich broth with some herbs on top. In some Ha Long restaurants, the dish is added with some fried tofu, shrimp and grilled chopped squid.

The yummy Ha Long noodles 

You can try it at Lang Chai Noodle with Mantis Shrimp, 1 Le Thanh Tong street, Hong Gia, Ha Long city.

10. Halong Tapioca Yogurt - Quang Ninh cuisine’s most famous dessert

Quang Ninh cuisine is highly praised with Ha Long Tapioca Yogurt, which is very special with the fatty taste of coconut milk and tapioca that is similar to marshmallow. The yogurt also contains aloe vera, jelly and dried coconut.

Ha Long Tapioca Yogurt is unique 

You can try the delicacy at Cai Dam Tapioca Yogurt, 589 Ha Long, Bai Chay, Ha Long City.