Unique Cuisine in Halong, Vietnam: A Delightful Journey of Flavors

by Huy Huỳnh Ngọc

‍Halong Bay in Vietnam is not only renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery but also for its unique and delectable cuisine. The region is blessed with an abundance of fresh seafood, which has given rise to a variety of mouthwatering dishes. From grilled calamari to blood cockle and specialty dishes like chả mực and Ca Say, Halong Bay offers a culinary experience that is sure to tantalize the taste buds of every visitor. In this article, Palm Vietnam Travel will take you on a delightful journey through the unique cuisine of Halong, Vietnam, exploring the flavors, ingredients, and traditions that make it truly special.

1. Ngan: The Gem of Halong Bay

One of the standout specialties of Halong Bay is Ngan, a type of shellfish that is abundant in the region. Ngan can be prepared in various ways, including grilling, steaming, cooking porridge, or frying with noodles or vegetables.

The tastiest and fattest Ngan can be found in the Bach Dang River, making it a must-try delicacy for seafood lovers. Its tender and succulent meat, combined with the flavors of the sea, creates a truly unforgettable culinary experience.

A hearty dish with earthy flavors.
A hearty dish with earthy flavors.
Ngan Halong Bay Special Seafood.
Ngan Halong Bay Special Seafood.

2. Blood Cockle: A Nutritious Delight

Quang Ninh, the province where Halong Bay is located, is famous not only for its stunning landscapes but also for its diverse seafood offerings. One such delicacy is the blood cockle, a shellfish with a hard shell and red intestines that resemble blood.

This nutritious food is known for its unique flavor and is often enjoyed steamed or stir-fried. The blood cockle’s rich taste and vibrant color make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

The favorite dish of the majority of tourists.
The favorite dish of the majority of tourists.

3. Grilled Calamari with Steamed Rolled Pancakes: A Perfect Pairing

Squid is a common seafood found in coastal regions of Vietnam, and Halong Bay is no exception. The squid in Halong is renowned for its original taste, which is enhanced through sun-drying and grilling. One popular dish is the Grilled Calamari with Steamed Rolled Pancakes.

This delectable combination showcases the skillful hands and experience of the local chefs. The squid is meticulously prepared, with its bowels, ink vesicles, and outer skin removed. It is then cooked to perfection, resulting in a deep yellow color, enticing fragrance, and a sweet and savory taste.

The dish is often enjoyed with steamed rolled rice pancakes or glutinous rice, adding a delightful texture to the overall experience.

Grilled Calamari with Steamed Rolled Pancakes
Grilled Calamari with Steamed Rolled Pancakes

4. Ca Say: A Unique Duck Dish

Tien Yen, a locality near Halong Bay, is known for its special breed of duck called Ca Say. The locals have perfected the art of cooking this dish, combining the tender flesh of Ca Say with a sweet-scented sauce made from fish and ginger.

The result is a unique and flavorful dish that showcases the rich culinary heritage of the region. Ca Say is a must-try for those seeking a truly authentic taste of Halong.

A Unique Duck Dish
A Unique Duck Dish

5. Sour Pork Hash and Shipworm Soup: A Northern Specialty

Quảng Yên, a town in Quang Ninh province, is famous for its sour pork hash and shipworm soup. The sour pork hash is a pounded pork product that is similar to other northern specialties. However, what sets it apart is the use of shipworms, a species found exclusively in the currents of the Chanh River.

This rare ingredient adds a distinct flavor to the dish, making it a unique and sought-after delicacy in the region.

6. Horseshoe Crab: A Nutritious Delight

When it comes to seafood specialties in Halong Bay, one cannot miss the Horseshoe Crab. This nutritious and delicious food is often enjoyed grilled and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.This post is sponsored by our partners Wigs

The succulent meat of the horseshoe crab, combined with its delicate flavor, creates a truly memorable dining experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor this delicacy during your visit to Halong Bay.

The must-try dish when visiting Halong Bay.
The must-try dish when visiting Halong Bay.

7. Unique Dining Experiences in Halong Bay

Halong Bay offers a range of dining options to suit every preference. Whether you choose to indulge in a seafood feast on a cruise ship, dine at a local restaurant, or enjoy a home-cooked meal with friends or relatives, you are guaranteed to have a memorable and satisfying dining experience.

The restaurants and cafes in Halong Bay pride themselves on serving the freshest seafood, expertly prepared to bring out the flavors of the region.

Handcrafted cuttlefish sausage, a Halong Bay specialty.
Handcrafted cuttlefish sausage, a Halong Bay specialty.

8. Exploring the Culinary Traditions of Halong Bay

The unique cuisine of Halong Bay is a reflection of the region’s rich culinary traditions. The local people have developed various methods of processing and preparing seafood, resulting in a diverse range of flavors and dishes. From traditional grilled seafood to innovative fusion cuisine, Halong Bay offers a culinary adventure like no other.

Exploring the culinary traditions of Halong Bay is not only a gastronomic delight but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and heritage of the region.

Unique cuisine of Halong Bay.
The unique cuisine of Halong Bay.

9. Plan Your Culinary Journey with Palm Vietnam Travel

To make the most of your culinary journey in Halong Bay, consider enlisting the services of Palm Vietnam Travel. With their expertise and local knowledge, they can curate a personalized itinerary that includes the best dining experiences and culinary attractions in the region. Let Palm Vietnam Travel be your guide as you embark on a flavorful adventure through the unique cuisine of Halong Bay.


Halong Bay in Vietnam is a destination that offers not only breathtaking natural beauty but also a unique and delightful culinary experience. From the succulent Ngan to the flavorful Ca Say and the exotic shipworm soup, the cuisine of Halong Bay reflects the region’s rich seafood offerings and culinary traditions. Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply an adventurous foodie, Halong Bay is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you with unforgettable memories. So, plan your trip, pack your appetite, and get ready to embark on a journey of flavors in Halong Bay, Vietnam.


Huy Huỳnh Ngọc

Written by Huy Huỳnh Ngọc