Street Savvy: What to Avoid Eating in Vietnam?

Street Savvy: What to Avoid Eating in Vietnam?


Travelers guide to Vietnam – what to avoid eating in Vietnam during your trip? Read on and have a safe belly!

Fruits with edible skins

What to avoid eating in Vietnam – munching on fruits with edible skins. Tropical fruits are abundant in the country and are accessible in almost every corner.  

However, it is not advisable to consume the ones with edible skin. Note that in Vietnam, fruits such as grapes, guava, apples, and alike rely on pesticides which can be harmful to the body. 

Cold soups

There are several soup dishes that can be found in Vietnam, however cold soups are one of the things you need to add to your what to avoid eating in Vietnam list. 

Eating cold soups cause you unwanted stomach aches or worst diarrhea. 


A pufferfish is known to be not safe for eating. It is packed with poison and quite tricky to prepare – one wrong move and it can cause your life. 

In Vietnam, pufferfish are quite common in the south – they’re often used in various kinds of soup or stew. However, in recent years, Ca Noc is banned from exploiting and people are recommended to abandon this fish altogether. Make sure you get ‘Ca Noc’ away from your food table for your own good.

Tip: Do not mistake ‘Ca Noc’ and ‘Ca Loc’ together. Ca Loc is not poisonous and is very delicious and nutritious for your health.

Raw blood pudding

A common dish in Vietnam is called “Tiet Canh”. It is one of the familiar options in the streets. Tiet canh is made of raw, fresh duck/chicken or pig’s blood. However, this dish is eventually losing its fame even to locals due to its lethal dangers. 

Few people even died or hospitalized after eating this dish.

If the pig is sick, its blood might be infected with some bad bacteria or parasites. In the case of birds, eating their raw blood can make you sick with bird flu like H5N1 or H1N1 and the likes. So we strongly recommend that you stay away from any restaurant/stall that has a sign which reads “Tiet Canh” in Vietnam.

Uncooked vegetables

In the past years, Vietnam was on trend due to its vegetables. It was found that some of their farmers were dousing their morning glory harvests with chemicals to make them look greener. There are also stories of farmers bleaching mushrooms — and other unequally unsavory tales. 

You won’t be able to avoid all the artificial means of faking the freshness of vegetables in Vietnam, but at least cooked veggies won’t mess with your stomach and ruin your holiday. The harmful chemicals are more of a long-term concern – it is best to eat cooked veggies that are safer.

Wild animals and strange meat

One thing the year 2020 has taught us is to avoid eating wild animals – it is clearly the main reason why COVID-19 spread.

Compared to China and some Southeast Asia, eating wild animals is not that famous within the population (we don’t eat bats). 

Wild animals are not displayed and sold in mass numbers in the city’s wet markets but they are often viewed as precious and rare products which are purchased at a high price. 

The government has regulations against trading wildlife, especially endangered species, and has been cracking down network after network. 

You can rest assured that you won’t see wild animals or strange meat in a Vietnam market.

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