10 Must Try Phu Quoc Foods & Where to find them

10 Must Try Phu Quoc Foods & Where to find them

Aside from breathtaking scenery, Phu Quoc Island offers diverse cuisine you cannot resist. This tropical island develops in fishing and produces fresh seafood for eager travelers. Phu Quoc food has exquisite flavors and textures as only the local know-how.

Grilled Slipper Lobster with Cheese (Photo: Búp Restaurant)
Grilled Slipper Lobster with Cheese (Photo: Búp Restaurant)

Phu Quoc Island dining ranges from local markets, street food stalls, and small eateries to luxury restaurants. Maybe you will feel like drowning in a sea full of Phu Quoc specialty foods and not know what to order when holding the abundant menu in your hand.
These Phu Quoc specialty food below not only fill up your stomach but also satisfy all your senses. John's Tours also suggests where to eat these foods to get the best flavor.

Now take a look at the top 10 Phu Quoc foods you can not miss and where to eat them with a local foodie!

1. Bún Quậy (Stirring rice noodles)

Bún Quậy Phu Quoc
Bún Quậy Phu Quoc

This Phu Quoc dish is strange to tourists but familiar to the locals. People here can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

"Quậy" means stirring. Before eating Bún Quậy, you have to make the dipping sauce yourself and stir the ingredients together, then you stir the rice noodles with broth and seafood. Therefore, it has the name "Quậy".

From fresh rice noodles made right in the restaurant, fresh seafood, fresh fish cake, and shrimp cake to the dipping sauce, all make the broth has a natural aroma and sweetness. Don't forget to make the dipping sauce which is "the soul" of Bún Quậy. Without it, you may feel Bún Quậy is bland.

There's a counter (that has kalamansi juice, sugar, salt, chili, and MSG). You can mix them to your taste. 

John’s Tours Phú Quốc
Don't forget to make the dipping sauce

Price: A bowl of Bún Quậy costs from 30.000 to 80.000 VND depending on the topping you choose (fish cake, shrimp cake, beef, squid...)

Where to eat:
Bún Quậy Kiến Xây Restaurant:

  • No. 28 Bach Dang Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • The alley opposite 222 Tran Phu Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • No. 71A Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • No. 262 Nguyen Trung Truc, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Phu Quoc Grand World.

Bún Quậy Thanh Hùng Restaurant:

  • Group 1, Duong To Hamlet, Duong To Commune.
  • No.: 77 30/4 Street, Duong Dong Ward.

Bún quậy Bình Dung Eateries:

  • Alley 213, Tran Phu Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • No. 10 Hung Vuong Street, Duong Dong Ward.

2. Melaleuca Mushroom (Nấm Tràm)

Picking Melaleuca Mushroom (Photo: Tran Dinh Duc Hieu)
Picking Melaleuca mushroom (Photo: Tran Dinh Duc Hieu)

Melaleuca mushrooms have this name because this kind of mushroom grows on the layer of leaves litter in the melaleuca forest, and they only spring up after the first rains of the Phu Quoc rainy season.

Their cap is a light-purple round shape. The life cycle of these mushrooms is short, from 5 to 7 days, then it will be withered. So the locals have to pick mushrooms as soon as possible. Therefore, we can only enjoy this dish commonly in May, June, and July.

People cook these mushrooms into diverse dishes such as soup, stir fry, hot pot, or congee. 

Melaleuca mushroom with seafood soup
Melaleuca mushroom with seafood soup

Two of the favorite melaleuca mushroom dishes of Phu Quoc people and tourists are Melaleuca mushroom soup and Melaleuca mushroom hot pot. These two dishes are a harmonious combination between Melaleuca mushrooms and fresh seafood on Phu Quoc island: cobia, squid, shrimp, clam, etc. When eating this mushroom, you will feel a little bitter. It is a unique feature of Phu Quoc melaleuca mushrooms.

Price: 250.000 - 300.000 VND/serving.
Melaleuca mushroom soup: about 200.000 VND.
Melaleuca mushroom hotpot: about 300.000 VND.

Where to eat:
Most of the big restaurants in Phu Quoc serve this dish but note that it is only available in May, June, and July.
Xin Chao Phu Quoc is a restaurant that is extremely popular with tourists. Address: No. 66 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.

3. Ham Ninh Blue Crab

Ham Ninh blue crab (Ghẹ Hàm Ninh)
Ham Ninh blue crab (Ghẹ Hàm Ninh)

Ham Ninh blue crabs have a small size, and white spots on the body, they are blue when uncooked and red when cooked. Their namesake - Ham Ninh Blue Crab comes from the place where they were caught. It is the Ham Ninh fishing village, which is 20 km away southeast of Duong Dong ward.

Ham Ninh blue crab is quite small but the meat is fragrant, fresh, and delicious with a firm texture. A fascinating fact that many tourists do not know is that a large blue crab is not as tasty as the smaller ones. 

One more tip for you when choosing Ham Ninh blue crab, if you like crab roes, choose female blue crabs. On the contrary, if you like meaty ones, choose male blue crabs. Male blue crabs have more firm flesh than female ones.

Steamed Ham Ninh blue crab
Steamed Ham Ninh blue crab

Ham Ninh blue crabs are most delicious when boiled or steamed. The best dipping sauce for this seafood is green chili salt sauce. An alternative is a salt pepper and lime juice/lime leaf.

Aside from Boiled/Steamed Blue Crab, Blue Crab Fried Rice, Blue Crab Thick Rice Noodle Soup, and Roasted Blue Crab With Tamarind Sauce/Salt are worth a shot.

Price: from 200,000 VND/kg or more.

Where to eat:

  • Búp Restaurant: No. 108 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Ra Khơi Restaurant: No. 131 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Su & Bee Restaurant: No. 123 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Xin Chao Restaurant: No. 66 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • The seafood eateries near Phu Quoc Cruise Terminal: The alley opposite No. 70 Tran Phu Street, Quarter 3, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Bánh canh Minh Thư: No. 70 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.

4. Phu Quoc Specialty Pizza

H'Mong Duck Pizza
H'Mong Duck Pizza

The Home Pizza is the best pizza restaurant on Phu Quoc Island not only for its delicious food but also for its unique menu.

The restaurant has Vietnamese Speciality Pizzas that you only find at Phu Quoc such as H'Mong Duck Pizza, Phu Quoc Durian Pizza, Vietnamese Southern Sausage Pizza, Phu Quoc Herring Salad Pizza, Phan Thiet Herring Spring Roll Calzone, etc.

Ham Ninh Sentinal Crab Spaghetti
Ham Ninh Sentinal Crab Spaghetti

Some recommended dishes to accompany are Ham Ninh Sentinal Crab Spaghetti, Phu Quoc Clam Pesto Fettuccine, and Phu Quoc Sea Urchin Pâté & Pizza Slices.
The Home Pizza always keeps creating new pizza flavors but still maintains an appetite and a home-like cozy atmosphere.

Price: 260.000 - 340.000 VND for a pizza.

Where to eat: The Home Pizza, 128 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.
Open hours: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM.

5. Bánh Canh Chả Cá Thu (Fish cake thick rice noodles soup with mackerel)

Thick noodle soup with mackerel fish cake
Thick noodle soup with mackerel cake

Bánh Canh Chả Cá Thu is also the favorite breakfast of the locals. Thick noodle soup with fish cake is a popular food in Vietnam. However, trying thick noodle soup with mackerel cake on Phu Quoc Island will be beyond your expectation.

The perfect combination of chewy thick rice noodles, sweet broth, tasty mackerel flesh, flavorful mackerel cake, and spicy pepper make you fond of this dish at the first mouthful.

Price: 30.000 - 50.000 VND/serving.

Where to eat:

  • Bánh canh Phụng: No. 24 Bach Dang Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Bánh canh Hạnh: No. 44 Bach Dang Street, Duong Dong Ward.
    Open hours: 5:00 AM - 11:00 AM.

6. Bún Kèn (Ken rice noodles)

Bun Ken Ut Luom
Bun Ken Ut Luom

“Kèn” is the local name of the food that has coconut milk. Ken rice noodle is a unique dish of Phu Quoc island that you can not find anywhere else. This kind of food is strange to most tourists because it is half like salad and half like rice noodle soup. 

The broth has ground barracuda fish, coconut milk, and annatto oil. They serve the broth with rice noodles, fresh herbs like Vietnamese coriander, sweet basil, spearmint, sliced cucumber, raw mung bean sprouts, raw papaya fiber, and a little bit of sweet and sour fish sauce.

Bún Kèn has an attractive amber color, a distinctive tang, and a combination of all tastes: rich coconut milk, fishy ground barracuda fish, crunchy raw shredded papaya, cucumber, mung bean sprouts, and spicy, sweet, and sour sauce.

Price: 30.000 - 40.000 VND/serving.

Where to eat:
Bún Kèn Út Lượm (the only original eatery): No.42 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
Open hours: 6:00 AM - 12:00 PM

7. Phu Quoc Herring Salad

Phu Quoc Herring Salad
Phu Quoc Herring Salad (Photo: Ba lô & Dép Lào)

It is a pity if you miss Phu Quoc herring salad - an exquisite Phu Quoc food. Although the locals call it salad, the way of eating this dish is different from other salads. Phu Quoc herring salad is a mix of shredded coconut, sliced raw herring,  roasted peanuts pounded, spearmint, onion, and a little lime juice. 

You will wrap it with fresh vegetables in rice paper and dip it in a special sauce. The ingredients for the dipping sauce are chopped chili, garlic, shallots, roasted peanuts, lime juice, sugar, and Phu Quoc fish sauce. All create a spicy, sweet, sour yet fragrant.

Because of its aromatic and fresh taste and low price, Phu Quoc herring salad is a popular dish for locals and tourists. The best time to enjoy it is at lunch and dinner.

Price: 100.000 - 200.000 VND/serving.

Where to eat: Like Ham Minh blue crab, you can find this food in seafood restaurants on Phu Quoc Island. Some recommended restaurants:

  • Búp Restaurant: No. 108 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Ra Khơi Restaurant: No. 131 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Su & Bee Restaurant: No. 123 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Xin Chao Restaurant: No. 66 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • The seafood eateries near Phu Quoc Cruise Terminal: The alley opposite No. 70 Tran Phu Street, Quarter 3, Duong Dong Ward.

8. Sea Urchin

Grilled Sea Urchin
Grilled Sea Urchin

Grilled Sea Urchin is a must-try specialty dish on Phu Quoc Island. It may not be a delight for your eyes, but its taste surely makes you unforgettable.

The locals recommend the 3 common ways of eating sea urchins. But first, we have to move all the spines from the sea urchins.

The most common way is to cut the sea urchin in half, grill it on hot charcoal, and top it with spring onion oil, and roasted peanuts. Afterward, you use a spoon to scrape the meat and dip it in black pepper salt mixed with lime juice. The aromatic grilled sea urchin will awaken all your senses.

The second way is to scrape the meat, stir-fried with garlic, and simmer in congee. The sea urchin congee is rich, sweet, and nutritious.

Fresh sea urchin
Fresh sea urchin

The third way is to try raw sea urchin served with a drizzle of lime juice or wasabi. Enjoying fresh sea urchins in this way will help you fully taste the freshness and intriguing texture of this Phu Quoc specialty food.

Price: 20.000 - 50.000 VND/a sea urchin.

Where to eat: Sea urchin is a popular dish all over Phu Quoc's restaurants and eateries.
In addition to the restaurants listed above, you can enjoy sea urchins at Phu Quoc night market (Ly Tu Trong Street, Duong Dong Ward).

9. Grilled Trachurus

Grilled Trachurus in Foil
Grilled Trachurus in Foil

Trachurus is a common fish on Phu Quoc Island. They appear frequently on diner's tables because of their low price and deliciousness.

It is most delicious when it is marinated with chili salt and grilled on hot charcoal. Then you wrap the meat in rice paper with fresh vegetables and dip it in chili-lime fish sauce. This dish is sweet but less fishy than regular seafood. The flesh is chewy and will melt in your mouth. Do not miss the chance to try this must-try dish when traveling to Phu Quoc Island.

Price: 100.000 - 200.000 VND/serving.

Where to eat: The seafood eateries near Phu Quoc Cruise Terminal: The alley opposite No. 70 Tran Phu Street, Quarter 3, Duong Dong Ward.

10. Slipper Lobster

Grilled slipper lobster with cheese (Photo: Búp Restaurant)
Grilled slipper lobster with cheese (Photo: Búp Restaurant)

It is one of the most attractive dishes on Phu Quoc Island. The slipper lobster is served both in upmarket restaurants and the bustling Phu Quoc night market. It looks like a cross between shrimp and lobster. However, the flavor is distinct, as the flesh is much sweeter than other lobster species.

The most common way is to steam the slipper lobster. You can enjoy the sweetness and freshness of thick flesh and its fascinating fragrance when dipped in black pepper salt mixed with lime juice. 

Grilled slipper lobster with cheese/butter and garlic or pan-fried with butter and garlic are dishes that diners fall in love with.

Price: about 1.100.000 - 1.600.000 VND/kg.

Where to eat:

  • Su & Bee Restaurant: No. 123 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Xin Chao Restaurant: No. 66 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Ward.
  • Búp Restaurant: No. 108 30 Tháng 4 (30/4) Street, Duong Dong Ward.

In addition to the dishes listed above, John's Tours recommends you try as many kinds of sea snails as possible when you travel to Phu Quoc Island.

Different kinds of sea snails will come with different flavors and distinctive tastes. John's Tours may not be able to list all of them in this article. Therefore, John's Tours will name a few outstanding sea snails of Phu Quoc: Ốc Giác (Baler Snail), Ốc Nhảy (Strombus Snail), Ốc Gai (Murex), Ốc Hương (Sweet Snail), Ốc Mặt Trăng/Ốc Mắt Ngọc (Moon Snail), etc.

John’s Tours Phú Quốc
Ốc Gai (Murex)

It is a pity if you do not try these specialty foods above when arriving on Phu Quoc island.
John's Tours hopes you will have a perfect hands-on experience when enjoying Phu Quoc dishes. 

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