People in Northern Vietnam tend to use less spice than those in other regions though it has colder climate. Black pepper is the most prominent ingredient in creating hot flavor, instead of chili. Overall, cuisine in this region is not biased towards any particular flavor - salty, spicy, sweet, bitter, or sour. Nearly all dishes in the North reflect subtle combinations of many different flavoring ingredients featuring light and balanced flavors. A variety of meats and crustaceans such as pork, beef, chicken, freshwater fish, prawns, shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and mussels are frequently used. Hanoi, the artistic and intellectual capital of Vietnam, is famous for local delicacies like Cha Ca La Vong (grilled fish seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric and dill), Pho Cuon (a special food made by packaging fried beef with onion, lettuce, cucumber in one neat little parcel), Ca Phe Trung (Vietnamese “egg coffee”), etc which are served in both street vendors and in luxurious restaurants.
Unlike food in the North which is usually mild, food in the Central is characterized by its hot and spicy flavors. Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, possesses culinary tradition features reflecting the influence of ancient Vietnamese royal cuisine. The region's cuisine is greatly admired for its artfully-decorated meals prepared from many complex dishes. Besides, food in this region is usually served in relatively small size and very spicy. Chilies, black peppers and shrimp sauces are among the widely used ingredients. Another striking difference is the presence of numerous vegetarians in the city. Several restaurants serving Buddhist followers are mushrooming in every corner of the city, so it is easy for tourists to sample vegetarian diets. Some special dishes produced at this region are Bun Bo Hue, Cao Lau, Com Hen and Beo cake.
Southern Vietnam is endowed with warm weather and fertile soil which are favorable conditions for growing a remarkable variety of fruits, vegetables, and livestock; thus, visiting this regions, tourists not only have chance to taste exotic foods but also enjoy the freshness of fruit in fruit orchards along Mekong river. Dishes in Southern Vietnam are often seasoned with numerous garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs. Residents in this region are biased towards adding sugar to food more than in the other regions. The tendency for preferring sweetness in Southern Vietnam can also be seen through the widespread use of coconut milk in cooking food. Besides, food made from seafood also places an indispensable part in Southern cuisine. Some of notable dishes in this region are Banh Khoai, Banh Xeo, Goi Cuon and other excellent specialties.