As a ward of Phan Thiet city in Binh Thuan province, Mui Ne was once a grouping of poor fishing villages with wild beaches and sand dunes far away from the main street. Nowadays, Mui Ne is an attractive travel destination in central Vietnam, famous for its beautiful beaches and huge sand dunes like a vast desert. Hundreds of modern resorts have gone up, large highways connect Phan Thiet city to Mui Ne, and all the tourism services you could want are provided with high quality.
Travelers are not only amazed by Mui Ne’s outstanding natural beauty, but they are quickly addicted to the local food. Local food here mainly consists of seafood but it has a special taste due to its unique cooking process and the taste of the coastal area. Keep reading to find out about the most delicious and unique food in Mui Ne.
Seven Dishes from Iguana (Dong)
Mui Ne is famous for huge sand dunes which are the inhabited by the iguana, called Dong in Vietnamese. It is a reptile, quite similar to the lizard, but larger and longer. Because this reptile lives in the wild environment, its meat is really tasty.
Local people cook iguana in seven ways: grilled, steamed, fried, roasted, raw, served in porridge, iguana pie, and served alongside vegetables. Therefore, the local people call this the seven dishes from iguana and these dishes are all delicious. My favorite is grilled iguana dipped in salt and pepper. Choose one, maybe choose all seven and let me know what you think!
Vietnam Home Restaurant
Address: 125A Nguyen Dinh Chieu street, Ham Tien, Mui Ne
Opening hours: 9 AM – 10 PM
Website: Facebook page
Tha Hotpot (Lau Tha)
The main ingredients of Tha hot pot are deep herring (ca mai), boiled pork side (thit ba chi), scrambled eggs, fried rice paper (banh da), vermicelli (bun), star fruit, and vegetables.
The highlight of Tha hotpot is that all the ingredients are served in red banana flower peels. You will choose which ingredients you like, add it to your bowl, pour hot pot soup into the bowl, and enjoy the food. If you are familiar with hotpot, you will notice that instead of putting the ingredients into the pot simmering over the flame, you actually place them in your individual bowl. This is truly unique and it makes for a beautiful spread!
Seahorse Bistro Restaurant
Address: 16 Nguyen Dinh Chieu street, Ham Tien, Mui Ne
Opening hours: 11:30 AM – 10 PM
Website: Seahorse Bistro
Vietnamese Pork and Shrimp Dumpling (Banh Quai Vac)
Banh quai vac is called Vietnamese pork and shrimp dumpling in English. The crust is made of wheat flour and the filling is made of shrimp and pork. Sprinkle spring onions and fried pork fat (top mo) on the top, dip it into the sweet and sour sauce, and enjoy.
Banh quai vac is sold in many places, from street vendors to luxury restaurants. However, eating banh quai vac from the street vendors will be an unforgettable and authentic experience.
Banh Can Xiu
Address: 1 HA Kim Dong street, Phan Thiet city
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 10 PM
Price Range: 15,000 – 33,000 VND
Deep-fried Snakehead Fish Rolled with Rice Paper (Ca Loc Chien Xu Cuon Banh Trang)
Snakehead fish is a common fish cooked in many Vietnamese dishes, and deep fried snakehead fish rolled with rice paper is a famous dish in Mui Ne. This is also a unique dish because the fish is not fried with flour and the cook leaves the fish scales on! The whole fish is dunked in oil and fried, so both the tail and scales become rough and create a crunchy texture.
Take a small piece of deep-fried snakehead fish, roll it into rice paper with vermicelli, raw vegetables, young banana, star fruit, dip the roll into spicy peanut sauce, and enjoy the delicious treat.
Ca Loc Chien Xu AH Restaurant
Address: 17 Nguyen Dinh Chieu street, Ham Tien, Mui Ne
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 9 PM
Price Range: 50,000 – 150,000 VND
Salad with Deep Herring (Goi Ca Mai)
Big and fresh deep herrings (ca mai) are carefully chosen to make the good taste of this food. The deep herring’s scales, head, tail, and bone are removed before they are plunged into ice. After that, a variety of ingredients such as lemon juice, carrots, onion, basil, peppers, garlic, and peanuts are mixed together with the herring. Now it’s ready to eat! The blend of all these delicious ingredients with a special peanut sauce makes the most unique taste. Crispy rice paper, young banana, star fruit, and other vegetables are the best combination for this food.
There are many restaurants along the sea bank of Ca Ty and Mui Ne, or in the Health Department area near Phan Thiet train station.
Banh can is made of grilled rice flour. There is a special mold made of earthenware, with multiple round holes for baking banh can. The filling contains shrimp, squid, and spring onion. Different cities have different fillings but shrimp and squid are the common food in this coastal city of Mui Ne. Banh can is usually served with sliced green mango, cucumber, and onion.
Banh Can Phan Thiet
Address: 168 Thu Khoa Huan street, Phan Thiet city
Opening hours: 4 PM – 10 PM
Price Range: 10,000 – 30,000 VND
Grilled Squid Teeth (Rang Muc Nuong)
Do squid have teeth? I like to imagine so, but the answer is no. Actually, the name of this food is the local name of the round and small tip of the squid. This part is often forgotten when cooking this sea animal. However, squid teeth have become the specialty street food of Mui Ne. Over time, local people created a variety of ways to cook squid teeth such as in pie, grilled satay, stew, and more.
The most famous dish is simple grilled squid teeth. Squid teeth are skewered and barbecued on the street side until they turn yellow, smell delicious, and are then ready to eat. Dip it into chili sauce and you won’t believe the flavor.
Rang Muc Loan
Address: 202 Võ Thị Sáu, Tp. Phan Thiết
Opening Hours: 5 PM – 10 PM
Price Range: 12,000 – 50,000 VND
Grilled Pork Spring Roll (Nem Cha Nuong)
Nem cha nuong includes grilled pork, pork bologna, and cha lui. Cha lui is the grilled rice paper roll of shrimp and pork side, which is a famous food in the central coast area. Local people roll nem cha nuong with rice paper, lettuce, herbs, chives, and dip in sour and spicy fish sauce.
Nem Nuong Minh Hieu
Address: 425 Tran Hung Dao street, Phan Thiet city
Opening Hours: 4 PM – 10 PM
Price Range: 30,000 -50,000 VND
Grilled One Sun Dried Squid (Muc Mot Nang Nuong)
Big squids are washed to reduce the salt water and then dried in the sun. The sunnier it is, the more delicious the squids become. And the best part is, squid is only dried once, so the outside is dry but the inside remains fresh. That’s why it is called one sun-dried squid.
Grilled on a charcoal fire, this is the best way to eat the squid. Its original white color turns yellow and the meat becomes sweet smelling. Now the grilled squid is ready to eat! And again, the chili sauce is the must-have dipping sauce for this dish.
Mot Nang – Hai San Bo Ke Restaurant
Address: 122 Nguyen Dình Chieu street, Ham Tien
Opening Hours: 11 AM – 12 PM
Price Range: 15,000 – 500,000 VND
You must be hungry after reading about all the delicious dishes above. It will be a good reason to make Mui Ne one of your destinations in Vietnam.
Check out our other foodie articles below:
Unique Must-Try Food in Sapa
Top 10 Weird Food to Try in Vietnam: Bugs, Rats, Worms and Blood!
Anthony Bourdain Tribute: Revisit His Favorite Food Stops in Saigon
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like some more fun info about what to see, do, and eat (and a bunch of interesting cafes!) in Vietnam, follow us at The Christina’s Blog!