Aside from picturesque sceneries, Phu Quoc island offers an abundance of tasty dishes that you cannot resist when they come to your table. The food here is just about budget friendly with fresh off the boat seafood. Phu Quoc Island dining ranges from local markets, street food stalls, luxury restaurants to expat-owned bistros offering authentic Western cuisine. Let’s take a look at the top 10 Phu Quoc food you have to try when in Phu Quoc Island and where to eat them with help from a local foodie!

1. Ken noodle (Bún kèn)

Ken noodle is a unique dish that you definitely cannot find anywhere outside Phu Quoc. The broth is made from dried shredded fish, fish broth, coconut milk, added curry powder and cook until they are vicious. The dish is served with thin noodles, fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, raw papaya and added a little bit of sweet and sour fish sauce.

Where to eat:

Price: 20,000 – 25,000 VND (~ $1 USD)

  • Ut Luom Restaurant: No. 87, 30/4 Street, Phu Quoc
  • Di Hong Restaurant: No. 4 Nguyen Trai Street

2. Thick Noodle Soup with Fish Cakes (Bánh canh)

You can find thick noodle soup with fish cakes everywhere in Vietnam but trying the one in Phu Quoc is extraordinary. Banh canh in Phu Quoc is famous for its chewy, crispy fish cake which is made from mackerel and well-seasoned. Local people in Phu Quoc made the broth from simmered mackerel bone, pig bones, and minced pork. Additionally, thick noodle is made from rice flour, so that its texture is bouncy, soft that will melt in your mouth.

Thick noodle soup is a perfect combination of the sweetness of white chewy thick noodle, flavorful broth, tasty mackerel cake, spicy dipping sauce, pepper and fresh vegetables.

Where to eat:

Price: 20,000 – 30,000 VND (~ $1,25 USD)

  • Banh canh Phung: No. 24 Bach Dang Street, Duong Dong
  • Banh canh Hanh: No. 22 Bach Dang Street, Duong Dong
  • Banh canh Le Giang:  No. 289 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong
  • Banh canh Quoc Anh: No. 55, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong

3. Raw herring salad (Gỏi cá trích)

Raw herring salad is an exquisite Phu Quoc food that you would not want to miss. The locals call it salad but the way they eat this dish is pretty different from other normal Vietnamese salads. Shredded coconut and sliced raw herring are mixed with mint and onion then wrapped with fresh vegetables in rice paper and dipped in special sauce. The ingredients for the sauce are chopped chili, garlic, shallots, roasted peanuts which are all mixed with authentic Phu Quoc fish sauce in order to create a spicy yet fragrant and unforgettable flavor. A tip for you to enhance the flavor of this dish is to squeeze the lemon juice on the fish.

Where to eat:

Price: 100,000 – 150,000 VND (~ $6,5 USD)

  • Vuon Tao Restaurant: Cua Lap, Duong To, Phu Quoc
  • Trung Duong Marina Restaurant: No. 136, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong
  • Song Xanh Restaurant: 30/4 Street
  • Le Giang Restaurant: No. 289, Tran Hung Dao Street

4. Echinus (Nhum biển)

Echinus is amongst many must-try dishes in Phu Quoc and there are the 3 common ways that are recommended by the locals. The first one is scraping the meat inside, stir-fried with garlic then simmering in porridge. The echinus porridge is rich, sweet, and nutritious that  helps you recover promptly after many days traveling.

The most common way is to cut the echinus in half, and grilled on hot charcoals and topped with spring onion grease, roasted peanuts, then you use spoon to scrape the meat out and dipping it in black pepper salt mixed with lemon juice, you will feel the creamy texture and aromatic of the echinus.

The second way is to cut the echinus in two halves, top with spring onion grease and roasted peanuts, then grill it on hot charcoals. Take a spoonful of the meat and eggs inside and dip it in the mixture of black pepper salt mixed with lime juice, you will immediately feel the creamy texture and aromatic of the fresh echinus.

Or, you can also try raw echinus served with some drizzles of lime juice or wasabi. Enjoying fresh echinus in this way will help you fully taste all of the freshness and intriguing texture of this unique dish.

Where to eat:

Price: 20,000 – 30,000 VND/kg (~ $1,25 USD/kg)

  • Dinh Cau night market
  • Quan Nho: No. 40 Mac Thien Tich Street
  • Song Xanh Restaurant: 30/4 Street
  • Trung Duong Marina Restaurant: No. 136, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong
  • Le Giang Restaurant: No. 289 Tran Hung Dao Street

5. Shrimp Noodle (Bún quậy)

Being considered the most unique Phu Quoc food, shrimp noodle will definitely give you an unforgettable culinary experience. The word “quậy” means stir because the noodles are freshly made in place by the restaurant, running straight from the press to the pot of boiling water and are stirred around to cook. Fish paste and shrimp paste are finely ground, mixed well and then stirred around the bowl. After that, the boiling noodles water is added immediately to make them cooked so that you can taste the freshness and sweetness of the broth.

Self-service is another interesting point of the restaurant in which you have to mix your own condiments with salt, sugar, pepper, kumquat, chili and be ready to receive your vermicelli bowl from the owner. The shop is always crowded with long lines of people waiting, therefore make sure to come in the low hours to save your time.

Where to eat:

Price: 30,000 – 35,000 VND (~ $1,5 USD)

  • Bun quay Kien Xay: No. 28 Bach Dang Street, Duong Dong

6. Grilled Trachurus (Cá sòng nướng)

Trachurus is most delicious when it is seasoned with chili salt and grilled on hot charcoal. To enjoy grilled trachurus, wrap the meat in rice paper with fresh herbs, vegetable and dip it in chili lime sauce. All create the sweetness but not fishy, and the meat is chewy that will melt in your mouth. Do not miss the chance to try this Phu Quoc dish when traveling to the island because it is not easy to find in other places and the trachurus is quite hard to catch.

Where to eat:

Price: 120,000 – 150,000 VND (~ $4,5 – $6,5 USD in current price)

  • Trung Duong Marina Restaurant: No.136, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong
  • Zen Restaurant: 30/4 Street, Duong Dong

7. Slipper lobster (Tôm mũ ni)

Slipper lobster is truly amazing beyond your expectation! The most common way is to boil the lobster so that you can enjoy the sweetness and freshness of thick meat and its fascinating fragrant when dipped in black pepper salt mixed with lime juice. Alternatively, grilled slipper lobster with cheese, stir-fried with butter and garlic or grilled slipper lobster with spring onion grease are also common ways of cooking in many local restaurants in Phu Quoc.

Where to eat:

Price:  450,000 – 750,000 VND/kg (~$21 – $33 USD in current price)

  • Dinh Cau night market
  • Quan Bup: No. 108, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong

8. Ham Ninh Flower Crab (Cua Hàm Ninh)

Flower crab is another specialty in Phu Quoc Island and readily available in many local seafood restaurants but the one in Ham Ninh is the locals’ most favorite place. Ham Ninh crab is quite small but the meat is rich fragrant, fresh and delicious with a firm texture. Aside from boiled crab, crab fried rice is also a must-try. The dish is a harmonious combination of steamed rice, tasty boiled crab meat, slices of fried eggs and spicy chili sauce. All of these ingredients are blended to create a very idyllic and mouthwatering flavor that mesmerizes even the pickiest eaters.

Tips from Inspitrip: A large crab is not tasty as the smaller ones so that you should choose the medium size. In addition, if you like crab roes, choose female crabs. If you like meaty ones, choose male crabs. Crabs on Phu Quoc island are so good that it is a pity if you do not try this kind of seafood when arriving in the island.

Where to eat:

Price:  150,000 – 250,000 VND/ kg (~ $6,5 – $11 USD in current price)

  • Ham Ninh fishing village Restaurant: Rach Ham, Ham Ninh
  • Quan Ghe Ham Ninh: No. 112 Bach Dang Street
  • Bien Xanh (Blue Ocean) Restaurant: No. 47, Ham Ninh
  • Kim Cuong Restaurant: Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To

9. Fried squid with fish sauce

Fried squid with fish sauce is also one of the best Phu Quoc food for the island visitors. The baby squids are fried with fish sauce, sugar, saute, garlic, chopped spring onions, and chili, creating the attractive smell and toothsome taste. It may sound easy to make the dish but Phu Quoc is the only place where you can taste the freshest and most authentic version of fried squid with fish sauce.

Where to eat:

Price: 60,000 – 110,000 VND (~$3 – $5 USD)

  • Dinh Cau night market
  • Trung Duong Marina Restaurant at 136, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong
  • Zen Restaurant: 30/4 Street, Duong Dong

10. Snails (Ốc)

It is highly recommended that you should try as many kinds of snails as possible when you come to Phu Quoc Island. Most local seafood restaurants offer the same cooking ways but different kinds of snails will come with different flavors and distinctive tastes. However, there are some kinds of snails that are hardly found in the mainland or other coastline cities in Vietnam.

Baler snail (ốc giác) is a nutritious food with its meat is divided into two edible parts – chewy white meat and a rich soft brown part called roe. The popular baler snails salad uses cooked white meat that is thinly sliced and mixed with diced banana flower, mints, chili peppers, cooking oil and other spices then topped with the roe and roasted peanuts. Besides that, grilled baler snails, baler snails with saute and boiled baler snails are also must-try dishes.

Barbed snails (ốc gai) are relatively rare, so they are rarely sold in many seafood stores like others. This delicious dish of Phu Quoc can be grilled or boiled, with the meat is opalescent, creating chewy, crunchy texture and strong flavor that is totally different from other dishes.

Strombus (ốc nhảy) is known as one of the most awesome specialties of Vietnam’s sea areas like Phu Quoc Island, Nha Trang, Phu Yen, etc. The snail’s flesh is crispy and fat with a provoking aroma, so it is used to make appetizing dishes such as strombus fried with sauté sauce or with garlic and onion, flower banana strombus salad, strombus steamed with ginger, grilled strombus and many more.

Where to eat:

Price: 70,000 – 150,000 VND (~ $3 – $6,5 USD)

  • Dinh Cau night market
  • Ngheu So Oc Hen Restaurant: 30/4 Street,
  • Oc 343: No. 343, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong

Besides high-quality seafood and special dishes, Phu Quoc Island offers a lot of interesting activities that will broaden your eyes with its beauty. Check out South Phu Quoc island fishing and snorkeling tour or Speedboat tour to the 4 islands, you will definitely see all the hidden gems of Phu Quoc island.

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