A guide to experiencing food in Sapa, Vietnam
Food in Sapa is as unique as the land itself. Through a wide variety of delicious dishes that Sapa has to offer, you not only get to awaken your taste buds but also learn many new and interesting things about the locals’ culture. If you’re planning to visit Sapa but haven’t decided on what and where to eat, dive in the following article as Sao La Tours guide you on a “flavorful” journey to discover Sapa’s cuisine.
Top 5 Food in Sapa you don’t want to miss
Bamboo Sticky Rice (Com Lam)
Com Lam is a traditional dish that is sold by the street vendors and in almost every local market. This food is special as the cooked rice is wrapped around by the banana leaves, which is then put inside a bamboo tube. Finally, the locals roast the tubes over burning charcoal. You can enjoy Com Lam with grilled meat to enhance the flavor.
Seven-Color Sticky Rice (Xoi Bay Mau)
Sapa’s cuisine is very colorful, which results the diversity of the ethnic minorities that live in this mountainous town. Xoi Bay Mau, a specialty of the Nung people, is the most typical example for this affirmation. The sticky rice is dyed in seven colors, which makes it pop out on every dining table. The colors of the sticky rice come the different colors of natural forest leaves.
Horse Meat Soup (Thang Co)
Thang Co is a specialty of the Mong people. The dish involves frying the internal parts of a horse in a pan and then simmering them in water for many hours. Thang Co will impress you with its attractive aroma and the spiciness of “dia dien” or “thao qua”.
Smoked Buffalo Meat (Thit Trau Gac Bep)
Smoked buffalo meat is always the top pick for finger-food lovers. The meat is seasoned with ginger, pepper, garlic and salt. Once dried out, the buffalo meat gives out a distinctive aroma which comes the smoke.
Black Chicken (Ga Den)
It’s very rare to find a black chicken in northern Vietnam. Black chickens can be cooked a wide range of dishes such as fried, steamed, boiled or grilled. Try out grilled black chicken while enjoying the cold weather in Sapa, this will take your dining experience to a whole new level.
Must-Try Street Food in Sapa
Mac Cop is a type of fruit which offers mixed flavors of sweet and sour. This fruit is also famous for its many health benefits, especially for our digestive system. Mac Cop is usually sold for about VND 20.000/1 kilo and you can easily find this fruit in Sapa markets and the roadside stalls.
The boiled chestnuts give out an unforgettable flavor as you bite through golden flesh. If you visit Sapa in the cold days, don’t forget to taste the roasted chestnuts covered in sweet butter. The locals usually sell wild chestnuts at about VND 200.000/1 kilo.
Ta Van plum
Plums are almost everywhere in Ta Van valley. They’re easily recognizable with their red skin and soft flesh. You can buy the wine made this specialty fruit at the price of VND 185.000/500ml.
Where to enjoy great food in Sapa? Best eating places and restaurants
Hai Lam Restaurant
Location: 72 Luong Dinh Cua street, Sapa town
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m - 10:30 p.m
This restaurant is very famous among travelers and the locals in Sapa. Hai Lam Restaurant is where you can find many Sapa’s specialties such as fried rice, sturgeon, salmon or the unique grilled chicken served with green peppers.
Moment Romantic Restaurant
Location: 01A Thac Bac, Sapa town
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m - 10:00 p.m
Moment Romantic is where you can enjoy a tasty and cozy dinner. Here you will be satisfied with the deliciousness of the dishes and also the hospitable staff. Moment Romantic serves almost every local dish you can find in Sapa. The most famous are sturgeon and salmon hotpot, but “cap nach” pigs and “thang co” are not to be missed as well.
Le Gecko Restaurant
Location: 33 Xuan Vien street, Sapa town
Opening hours: 6:30 a.m - 11:00 p.m
If you’re an early riser then Le Gecko Restaurant should definitely be on top of your “Sapa’s must-try restaurant list”. This is where you can find a myriad of Western delicacies like pastas, pizzas, steaks etc. as well as many Sapa’s traditional dishes, among which fish with local mushrooms. Nama chocolate is also one of Le Gecko’s must-try staples.
Location: 21 Xuan Vien street, Sapa town
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m - 10:00 p.m
After an active trekking day, you might want to slow down and enjoy the local lifestyle at Anise Sapa. This restaurant is all about traditional dishes created by enthusiastic local chef. The most interesting thing is that the menu is often modified to adapt to the season’s produce. The best dishes at Anise Sapa are crispy pork knuckle, pumpkin soup or black chicken hotpot.
Location: 15 Thach Son, Sapa town
Opening hours: 24/24
A Quynh has been a well-known restaurant for over 10 years and it’s still attracting thousands of visitors all over the world. Although specializing in “Thang Co”, A Quynh also provides many other amazing dishes like salmon hotpot, grilled bananas or pork tomato sauce.
Fulfill your belly with amazingly delicious food in Sapa along the way as you discover this majestic land. Sao La Tours is always proud to accompany travelers all over the world on planning trips and booking flights, accommodation, restaurants etc. Contact us for more information about Sapa tours.