The Best Food Tours in Hoi An
One of the top food destinations in Vietnam, Hoi An hosts an abundance of food tours for visitors, cooking schools for future chefs, cooking classes for the curious tourist, and a vast array of restaurants to satisfy not only your Vietnamese food cravings but taste a variety of foods from all around the world.
Food tours are one of our favourite activities to do when visiting a new area. They give you the chance to jump right into the area with someone guiding you along the way. Even better, they can show you where all the local favourite spots are. In addition to what ‘can’t miss’ local foods to try. We’ve already covered some of these in our articles on Vietnamese street food and Hoi An Specialities: The Best Local Vietnamese Food.
In this article, the Hidden team set out to narrow down Hoi An’s top food tours for visitors wanting to dive deeper into Hoi An’s culture. Because having a local give you access to the best of the best, is a necessity when visiting foodie heaven like Hoi An.
- Why do a Food Tour in Hoi An?
- Hidden Hoi An’s Picks for Top Food Tours
- Coconut Food Tours
- Urban Adventures Food Tour
- Vespa Adventures Streets & Eats of Hoi An
- Hoi An Food Safari Tour
- Sabirama Restaurant Cooking Tour
- Hidden’s Thoughts
Why do a Food Tour in Hoi An?
Hoi An is a perfect location for walking food tours as the Old Town is easily accessible on foot. It’s also your chance to have a local on hand to ask anything and everything you can think of about the city and country. It always starts with the food of course, but conversations tend to turn into discussing so much more. It’s always interesting to learn how the city’s culture has shaped their food choices, and sometimes the other way around.
Hidden recommends food tours for anyone of all ages. However some of Hoi An’s top food tours include a minimum age (the lowest we have found is six years). While some include more walking than others. So if you have trouble walking for long periods or have small children in tow, keep this in mind before booking. Of course, food will be involved in the tour! Therefore you’ll have plenty of chances to stop, rest, and eat!
On all of the food tours we attended, we created meaningful relationships and memories with our guides. They have consistently been friendly and lively dinner hosts. Read on to learn about our individual experiences.
Hidden Hoi An’s Picks for Top Food Tours
Coconut Food Tours
Coconut Food Tours offer a unique 10-course Vietnamese food tour. The tour includes traditional favourites like banh mi at one of the best spots in Hoi An, along with must-try drinks such as sugarcane juice and traditional Vietnamese coffee. In addition, there are exciting opportunities to try foreign delicacies such as Hột vịt lộn (fertilised duck eggs). However, this may require a little more bravery from travelling foodies and is of course optional!
Hidden Hint: Coconut’s food tour is unique as it focuses on areas outside of the Old Town, taking visitors away from the typical tourist restaurants.
Friendly English speaking guides show you ten hidden treasures of food throughout Hoi An for 800,000 VND (35 USD). For this amount of food, drink, and personal guidance from a local, it is an outstanding deal and should be one of the first activities on your list when you visit Hoi An.
Urban Adventures Food Tour
Price: 700,000 VND (31 USD) – Duration: Tour lasts two and a half hours. – How to book: website
With seven different courses and a tour of the local night market, Urban Adventures takes its visitors into the lively streets of the Old Town at dusk. Starting with the famous banh mi sandwich and ending with a coffee or beer at the must-see Japanese Bridge, this tour offers visitors all the must-eats of Hoi An.
Hidden Hint: We recommend this food tour if you’re visiting Hoi An for a short amount of time and want to immerse yourself in the famous Old Town area of Hoi An.
While this tour offers less unique choices than Coconut Food Tours, it requires less walking and is shorter in duration. All the while still hitting the famous check marks of must-have food, in only two and a half hours. Urban Adventures’ tour starts at the Hoi An Post Office (no hotel pick-up) at 5 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m.
For only 700,000VND (31 USD), you can eat all the famous treats of Hoi An in a good amount of time with a friendly, knowledgeable guide.
Vespa Adventures Streets & Eats of Hoi An
Price: 2,050,000 VND (89 USD) *30% discount for kids age 12 and under. Price includes food and drinks, even alcohol (for adults) – Duration: Tour lasts 4 hours. – How to book: website
Vespa Adventures are a top choice for a Hoi An food tour as they offer you the chance to experience “la dolce vita” style (Asian version) for a couple of hours.
This tour is a longer, more interactive, and more expensive version than some of the other options in this article. However, for those who are looking for a more inclusive experience Hidden highly recommends it. We recommend Vespa Adventures if travelling with kids. Because the seats are comfy, and the small backrest gives you a feeling of total comfort and relaxation. All the while sitting securely behind your experienced and caring driver/guide.
Riding on the back of a retro Vespa gives you the chance to experience this fascinating town within its narrow streets, romantic alleys and hidden food spots that no other walking tour could ever reach.
The Vespa Hoi An Food Tour
The tour starts with a taste of bánh canh at Hoi An Café, followed by a Vespa tour to visit the famous White Rose dumpling restaurant in town. Then get ready to jump on a boat to reach Cam Nam Island and join the locals for a magical sunset view over the river, while enjoying seafood starters and cold beer. There’s time for a little tour around the narrow alleys and riverbanks before heading to a lively local restaurant to cook a hot pot, BBQ specialties and bánh flan for dessert to finish this fun ride.
Hidden Hint: Vespa runs free pick-ups and drop-offs within Hoi An. If you’re coming from Da Nang, contact them through their website or local number, so they can assist you with transportation.
Hoi An Food Safari Tour
Another popular choice for a top food tour experience is the Hoi An Food Safari. They offer a variety of tours available to people of all ages, with something for everyone. Hoi An Food Safari has a unique approach to food and the journey they provide. They consider their guides ‘bespoke safaris’ responsible for escorting you through a real Vietnamese experience. In addition, this tour includes a list of up to 40 different foods to try!
Hidden Hint: Hoi An Food Safari tend to focus more on giving a higher level of personalised service that larger tour groups have a harder time providing.
Hoi An Food Safari gets you close and hands-on with the various stalls, carts, and restaurants that most tourists don’t normally see. The tour is catered to newcomers to Vietnam and does a good job explaining the various influences on Vietnamese food. Including the differences between the northern and southern regions and how this has come to shape the culinary landscape of Vietnam.
A Morning Food Tour
This food tour lasts approximately four and a half hours, so is one of the longer tour options. However, the tour starts at 8 a.m. and goes through lunchtime. In comparison to the majority of food tours in Hoi An that start after 3.p.m. So if you want an earlier start and be done by lunchtime to relax, this may be a better option. It also tends to get really hot in Hoi An in the middle of the day, so this is a good choice if you want to be out and about before it gets too sunny outside.
The Food Safari takes pride in exploring all the back alleys and observing local Vietnamese people going about their daily business. There are also plenty of chances to take photos with locals such as tailors (a very popular profession in Hoi An, see our standalone article here), mechanics, hairdressers, biscuit makers, bakeries, and food vendors (of course!).
Hidden recommends this option for those who have just arrived in Vietnam and looking for a wide range of different types of food to try.
Sabirama Restaurant Cooking Tour
Price: 1,045,000 (45 USD) – Duration: Tour lasts three hours followed by two hour cooking class – How to book: website
Sabirama Restaurant offer a cooking class and tour which takes the form of an immersive adventure for anyone looking to authentically experience Hoi An like a local.
Quy, who has run the restaurant for six years, says his main objective was to create a cooking tour which combined “a bit of everything” into one culinary experience. The result is a food tour and cooking class in one, and then some! A day spent with your Sabirama tour guide sees you tick off the majority of your Hoi An “To Do” list.
For just 1,035,000VND (45 USD) you are treated to a tour of the local produce market and then a boat trip along the Thu Bon River to Cam Thanh, where a coconut basket boat ride awaits you. After that is a ride to the restaurant, via a water-buffalo-led cart. You are welcomed with a fruity refreshment and head, foot and shoulder massage. All this before the cooking class has even begun!
Apron and chef hat at the ready, you are guided through the preparation of four delicious local dishes. To start, a traditional Vietnamese chicken curry, full of flavoursome fresh, locally sourced lemongrass. The second dish is a colourful mango, pork and shrimp salad. It comes complete with decorative salad garnish, followed by a hearty beef pho. Nhu, the attentive and experienced guide, then demonstrates how rice paper is made, truly fascinating to watch.
Hidden’s Overall Impression of the Sabirama Food Tour
The entire day is a unique experience delving into the intricacies of where Hoi An locals source their ingredients. Followed with how they turn them into the aromatic and delectable dishes we all know and love.
The Sabirama Restaurant and Cooking Tour is undoubtedly fantastic value for money. It’s a brilliant way of soaking in all the sights, sounds and flavours of Hoi An and the surrounding areas. Hidden recommends this tour for those yet to explore the area, who have a whole day to spare for sight-seeing and activities. The tour might only take 4-5 hours but a lot of ground is covered. In other words – you will have earned a nap after this eye-opening culinary expedition!
Above all, food tours are an excellent way to kick off your time in a new country or city. They are a great option for solo travellers looking to meet new people, an activity for couples to enjoy together, or for small groups and families.
But make sure to come with an open mind and plenty of questions. This is your chance to really dive in and understand the Vietnamese culture. Whatever option you decide upon you are bound to enjoy yourself alongside a hospitable Vietnamese guide, with a passion for sharing their culture.