Why should you try bun rieu Vietnam?

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Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its delicious flavors, fragrant herbs, and a wide range of dishes that excite the taste buds. Among these culinary delights is a beloved dish called Vietnamese crab noodle soup, or “bun rieu cua,” which has won the affection of food lovers globally. Now, let Ftrip Vietnam dive into and explore this symbol dish!

Why is Vietnamese crab noodle soup so popular?

Vietnamese crab noodle soup is adored by fans of Vietnamese cuisine for its delicious flavor and beautiful presentation. This cherished dish perfectly embodies the essence of authentic Vietnamese food, combining a delightful mix of tastes and textures.

Essentially, Vietnamese crab noodle soup consists of fresh crab meat, carefully prepared and mixed with fragrant spices to create a tasty soup base. What sets this dish apart is the meticulous process of extracting the rich flavors from the crab to make the broth.

Served hot, the soup is topped with colorful garnishes. Thin rice vermicelli noodles, known locally as “bun,” form the foundation of the dish. The soup is then adorned with fresh vegetables like lettuce, cilantro, and sliced tomatoes, adding a refreshing crunch to every spoonful.

Exploring the North-South Divide in Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup

Vietnam boasts a rich culinary tapestry, and one dish that showcases this diversity is Vietnamese crab noodle soup. In Hanoi, situated in the North, locals approach their cuisine with meticulous care. 

Their version of crab noodle soup comes with a twist – it’s served alongside rare beef, giving it a distinctive flavor profile. The broth, lovingly prepared, captures the essence of crab, offering a comforting experience for those who savor this northern specialty.

Venturing southward to bustling cities like Ho Chi Minh City, the culinary landscape shifts. In Southern Vietnam, Vietnamese crab noodle soup takes on a more eclectic character. Southerners are renowned for their ingenuity, often playing with a variety of ingredients to craft bold and flavorful dishes. 

Here, you might encounter additions like blood pudding and pig trotters, elevating the soup to new heights of indulgence.

How to handle authentic Vietnamese crab noodle soup?

Creating an authentic Vietnamese crab noodle soup involves carefully combining specific ingredients and following particular methods. For those interested in making this dish, here’s a simple recipe to follow:


  • Fresh crab
  • Tomatoes
  • Tofu
  • Vermicelli noodles
  • Spinach, banana blossom, bean sprouts, and basil
  • Scallions, pepper, lemon, and onion
  • Vinegar, salt, shrimp paste, and fish sauce


  • Begin by soaking the crab in water for an hour, then rinse and remove the shell. Pound the crab meat with salt in a mortar. Next, place it in a pot with water, stir thoroughly, strain the liquid, and discard any remaining residue. Set aside the crab paste.
  • Prepare the other ingredients: clean and cut the tofu into small pieces, finely chop the scallions, spinach, bean sprouts, basil, and tomatoes, and thinly slice the banana blossoms, soaking them in a vinegar-water mixture to maintain freshness.
  • Stir-fry the crab paste with onions, then remove and briefly stir-fry the tomatoes. Bring the crab broth to a boil, add the sautéed tomatoes, and cook until the crab meat floats. Reduce the heat, add the crab paste, season to taste with salt, shrimp paste, and fish sauce, and set aside.
  • Blanch the vermicelli noodles in boiling water, then transfer them to a bowl.
  • To serve, pour the crab broth over the noodles and add tofu and vegetables on top.

Where to eat Vietnamese crab noodle soup?

Looking for the best spots to try delicious Vietnamese crab noodle soup during your trip? You’re in luck! You can find eateries serving this tasty dish all over Vietnam. For an authentic experience, here are some top picks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

In Hanoi

  • Tuan Anh’s Crab Noodle Soup: Located at 35-37 Hong Mai Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Tuan Anh eatery serves top-notch crab noodle soup with various toppings like beef, pork knuckles, crab paste, tofu, fish cakes, eggs, crab claws, and dried shallots. They also offer a special crab hotpot for larger groups.
  • Huyen Thu’s Crab Noodle Soup: Found at 2F Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Huyen Thu is famous for its delicious crab noodle soup that draws visitors from all over. Though slightly pricier, their diverse toppings include stuffed snails, beef tendons, corned beef, and pork ears, making it a worthwhile culinary adventure.
  • Hoang Ky’s Crab Noodle Soup: Located at 122B C5 To Hieu Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi. This eatery provides a spacious and well-decorated setting with cool air conditioning. Despite smaller portions, their tasty broth and options like tender beef and chewy fish cakes elevate the dining experience. Fresh vegetables are also offered for a crunchy and refreshing side.

Can’t wait to enjoy this national dish with unique flavors in Hanoi? Check out this daily tour: Hanoi Tours – Explore Hanoi Charming City

In Ho Chi Minh city

  • Bún Riêu Gánh Chợ Bến Thành: This small restaurant near Ben Thanh Market is loved by both locals and tourists for its authentic Vietnamese crab noodle soup. Made with fresh ingredients like crab paste, tofu, blood pudding, and tomatoes, the broth here is delicious and refreshing.
  • Bún Riêu Cô Hương Béo: For those craving Hanoi-style crab noodle soup in Saigon, Co Huong Beo eatery is a must-visit. Their aromatic broth and diverse toppings, including tofu, beef, balut eggs, pork ears, crispy fritters, and snails, promise a flavorful experience. Plus, the quick service ensures you won’t have to wait long for your bowl.
  • Bún Riêu Nguyễn Cảnh Chân – Cô Chang: This establishment is highly regarded among fans of Vietnamese crab noodle soup. With options like crab noodle soup with snails, sausages, and crab paste, their menu offers something for everyone. Despite the slightly higher prices, the quality and reputation of this place make it worth a visit for any food enthusiast.


In conclusion, trying bun rieu in Vietnam offers a delightful culinary adventure, showcasing the rich flavors and unique ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply seeking new gastronomic experiences, indulging in bun rieu promises a savory journey filled with satisfaction and discovery. So, why not embark on this delicious exploration and treat your taste buds to the wonders of bun rieu in Vietnam?

Reviewed by

Diep Van

Phone: +84901166884

Email: diep.van@ftripvietnam.com

Diep Van

Founder & Photography Guide

Specialties: Culture, landscape, portrait, hiking, active and adventurous tour

Besides my unlimited passion for traveling, a professional tour guide for over a decade, I have been taking photographs since sitting at Hanoi of the University of Culture in the early 2000s. Photography started as a hobby but it was seriously taken due to my work relations and my significant passion for the beauty of our world, especially in Southeast Asian parts such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Within a few years of taking photographs, my works began to be recognized by many reliable international publications such as AFAR Travel, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph newspaper. In addition, I continuously add to my growing profile by winning numerous major awards: 3rd Position of The Independent Photographer 2018, 1st Position of Amateur Photographer of the year 2018, Grand Prize Winner of the AFAR Travel Photography 2019, and a Gold Award of San Francisco Bay International Photography 2020.

I photograph a wide variety of subjects, from travel to landscapes to street scenes. I enjoy documenting the East’s rich cultural heritage and its land soaked in glorious sunrise or sunset light in remote and secluded spots. And, I am very happy to share my knowledge and experience with you. You can visit Luminousvietnamtour to explore tour!

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