Foodie Update: Hoi An, Viet Nam, street food ~ Banh Mi and sea snails

The breadth of the offering from street food vendors is best appreciated in the early morning (6am to 8 am) when food vendors serve the Vietnamese workforce before a day of work.
Many people here in Viet Nam seem to eat most of their meals outside the home, which explains the abundance of cheap and delicious eats. Vendors make a certain amount of their “specialty” and then once the food is all consumed, they are done ~ until the next day. The same routine repeats around 11 a.m. and again at the end of day.

Catching one’s favorite street food vendors is something of an art form. Some vendors change locations, so its also about luck.

Because we wanted to eat as many different dishes as we could and did not want to be limited by our current comfort zone, we chose a “tapas” approach: We would stop our motorscooter aat the first three food vendors that we encountered.  Locals however, approach all of this rather differently, and are very loyal to their favorite vendors for each type of food.

The longer we spend here, the more we do the same. We now have clear favorites for Ban Xeo (crispy crepes with herbs), Cau Lau (Hoi An specialty of smoked noodles with broth and crispy pieces), and as seen below Banh Mi sandwich and sea snails.

One of the best Ban Mi stalls in town. Fresh baguette with secret sauces, herbs and different types of  pork slices. One can also get an “Op La” which includes a fried egg, or a vegetarian version.
Looking through the glass at the variety of pork offerings that make up  part of the Ban Mi “fillings”.
Pork pate, greens, cabbage and more…
A customer selects her sauces and amount of chili for her Ban Mi ~ of course still wearing her ever present motor-bike helmet and face mask.
There is a small “street of shells” where 6 restaurants, all offering the same fare, compete to bring freshest sea shells.  Our favorite: huge, mammoth, sea snails – $.50 per unit.
Not speaking Vietnamese or knowing all the names of food, one really has to go up close and take a peek…
Tiny shells marinating in chili/garlic sauce on the left and huge shells in sauce on the right. Adam, we were thinking of you while consuming these!
Some type of crispy pancake with something chewy inside and of course a chili dipping sauce.
The papaya salad at top I found out AFTER eating it, had pieces of pig something inside. I wondered what those very chewy things were…?
A vendor fans the flames of her bbq sticks to keep up with the dinner time rush.

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