Australian travel website Traveller has listed the world’s best dishes in 2018, including three street dishes from Vietnam, sharing the top spot with Singapore, which also has three on the list.

Food provides travelers with a simple and enjoyable window into everything that makes a destination great. Traveller therefore went from the cheapest roadside shawarma joint to the fanciest hotel or fine-dining restaurant to uncover the very best the world has to offer. The list is based on enjoyment of individual dishes that make lasting impressions and the site basked in the gastronomic glory of entire cities or neighborhoods that know how to do food right.

Vietnamese snails, freshwater and salt water and big and small, impressed, with diverse cooking methods such as pan-fried with chili, lemongrass and garlic, or simmered in a salty broth or grilled over coal. All are delicious, especially when paired with a cold beer on a humid evening, according to Traveller.

Bun rieu cua (Vermicelli crab soup). (Photo: A Au Chef Guilds)

Another dish is “bun rieu cua”, a vermicelli soup with a tomato-based broth made by slowly simmering pork or chicken bones, topped with crab meat, fried tofu, bean sprouts and fresh Vietnamese herbs like perilla and cilantro. It’s available from the north to the south, though Traveller found the best was in Ho Chi Minh City. “It’s highly flavorsome, and, at about $1.50 a bowl, almost unfairly inexpensive,” the site wrote.

Similarly popular, “banh mi”, or Vietnamese sandwiches, also appear on every corner around the country, but the “banh mi” in Hoi An ancient town - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - wins most foreigners’ hearts.

Bánh mì Madam Phuong, Hoi An. (Photo:

The late Anthony Bourdain made Hoi An famous during his No Reservations TV series, which aptly described its “banh mi” as “a symphony within a sandwich”. At one takeaway kitchen, Vietnamese women rapidly assemble the delicious sandwiches using chopsticks. “Arrive hungry and order one with everything. You’ll be handed a fresh, crunchy baguette filled with salad, pork, pate, fish sauce, mayonnaise and a gratuitous fried egg, wrapped in a piece of local newspaper,” the Traveller wrote. The kitchen, called Madam Phuong Banh Mi, is at 2B Phan Chu Trinh Street.

Other dishes on the list include dim sum, onion cup and eggs on toast from Singapore, Jewish food from Rome, seafood from Oman, kaipen (flash-fried and served with jeow bong, a sweet chili relish) from Laos, honey roasted duck breast from New Zealand, and crumpets from Sydney.