The Best 5 Cheap and Tasty Food in Danang, Vietnam
We knew we could get around having gourmet food under 3USD in Vietnam, what we did not know is we spent a lot of gifts and coffee that we had barely a dollar's worth of Vietnamese đồng at departure (laugh)
Location 1: Dừa Bến Tre 196 Bạch Đằng
196 Bạch Đằng, Phước Ninh, Q. Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng
Dừa means coconut in Vietnamese, and you will see this word in every menu (MEMORIZE IT!) We read a couple of blog posts and observed (since we live a few blocks away, and settled with 196- very recognizable because of the neon signs, but be careful! The shops nearby have nearly the same decor). 196 Bạch Đằng was filled with people, probably because the third floor oversees the Han River and the Dragon Bridge.
We observed that 196 Bạch Đằng's coconuts are browner and smaller, noticeably different than the white varieties we are familiar with. We order their signature coconut with ice cream, coconut jelly and plain coconut. The young coconut meat could be scraped off with a spoon very easily, and the water inside is so sweet it cleared off all the "heatiness" we experienced after fried food. We also tried coconut elsewhere, but none were as good as those from 196 Bạch Đằng's!
We each paid around 1.5USD for the three items we shared.
Left and right: Coconut with vanilla ice cream served with coconut water
Middle: Coconut jelly
Location 2: Mì Quảng Ếch - Bếp Trang
26, 24 Lê Hồng Phong, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng
Our first meal off the plane featured the most popular dish (as if how common are fishballs in snack stalls in Hong Kong) - Mì Quảng, a Vietnamese noodle dish that originated from Quảng Nam Province in central Vietnam. Essentially a bowl of noodles mixed with savory sauce, restaurants interpret the item differently.
Mì Quảng Ếch - Bếp Trang is famous for their frog with Mì Quảng; we ordered a mix platter of noodles with various toppings, such as pork, beef, shrimp etc. Only after the Hoi An Eco Cooking Class did we realize that the yellow colour of the noodles came from turmeric, and the meat is stained by similar spices to give a striking red. We were greeted with a friendly girl who learnt Chinese and explained carefully how to wrap springrolls and skewers in rice paper and lettuce.
As for the price? The most expensive item is the full plate of fried spring rolls, freshly fried with shrimp and taro fillings, for about 5USD. That's also the amount we paid per person for this satisfying meal.
Location 3: Phở 75
Q. Hải Châu, 62 Ngô Gia Tự, Q. Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng
Our group are fellows who are obsessed with Pho even back in Hong Kong. It was quite a disappointment when we discovered that Pho is not the most common street food in the Quảng Nam Province (rest assured, though not everywhere, there are shops around, you need to be patient and observant). We managed to find a Southern styled pho near Big C, the biggest supermarket in town.
We had a funny moment when the owner, who probably watched too much Cantonese dramas, decided to spare us the difficulty when ordering pho with his Cantonese! You would see the below options at a pho place (from lovingpho.com)
- bo chin (sliced well-done steak),
- bo tai (sliced rare steak),
- nam (flank),
- ve don (crunchy flank),
- gau (fatty brisket),
- gan (tendon),
- sach (tripe) and
- bo vien (beef meatballs, normally with tendon)
It was a breezy day which we were tired from the walk in the day. The bowl of pho came as the ultimate comfort food: it has a clear but flavourful broth, the umami was unmatchable. We were nodding our heads and the dining table was quite silent except with the sounds of us slurping away.
And guess what? Each bowl of pho costs us VND25,000= 1.1 USD!
Location 4: Bún Chả Cá Bà Phiến
63 Lê Hồng Phong, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng
We trusted Google maps who brought us to the nearest noodle joint. The small place was filled to the brim. The servers passed us a small card with translations to make our lives easier (haha) Bún chả is a soup noodle with fried fish cakes; the restaurant also offered varieties such as crab and tomato paste, tuna fillets with the noodles in soup. On each table are pickles marinated with vinegar and some similar spices such as fish sauce and herbs.
The soup bore a very strong sweet and sour taste, so appetizing that we had longing gazes at our empty bowls! The fried fish cakes were springy and quite tasty as well.
Location 5: Quán anh Hạnh
Hoàng Sa, Quận Sơn Trà, Hà Chương, Phước Mỹ, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng
I was after a travel magazine's recommendation- Hung Kieu, but failed to spot the restaurant when we arrived at the exact location (maybe they moved?) Our driver drove us to a nearby one which he recommended. Our funny conversation:
Driver: Yes! Cheap! Cheap!
It might not be as cheap as the magazine's recommendation (under $10USD per person!); we were looking for that because the editor warned tourists of tourists prices so we steered away from the main beach. We enjoyed clams (zero sand) , Mantis Shrimp, clams congee, geoducks, all around 15USD per person! Nothing can go wrong with fresh seafood anyway (smack lips)
There you go then! My five favourite cheap eateries in Danang. Comment below and tell me what other food you tried in Vietnam so I can go there next time!
Other Danang adventures:
P.S. Who wants banana crepe?