What to eat in Ninh Binh is always the first question for many tourists when traveling to Ninh Binh. When mentioning Ninh Binh, tourists not only love it for the beauty bestowed by nature and the historical value of its architectural works but also appreciate Ninh Binh for its rich cuisine and the cultural characteristics of the people in the ancient capital. The following delicious dishes are famous specialties in the ancient capital, providing tourists visiting Ninh Binh with a diverse selection for family meals and gatherings with loved ones.
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Top 10+ Must-Try Delicious Dishes in Ninh Binh
Mountain Goat Meat in Ninh Binh
The most famous delicacy in Ninh Binh, prepared by all restaurants to offer visitors a variety of dishes. Ninh Binh is renowned for its goat meat due to the predominant limestone mountain terrain. Many farmers in the area raise goats, well-adapted to the challenging rocky landscape. These goats, known for their excellent climbing abilities, contribute to the unique flavor of Ninh Binh goat meat, which differs significantly from industrially raised goats. The meat is firm, succulent, and more flavorful than in many other places. Goat meat can be prepared in various dishes, such as goat with lime and ginger, goat sausage, steamed goat, goat blood pudding, goat soup, goat organs, and many other delicious options. Visiting Ninh Binh without trying goat meat is like not truly experiencing the essence of the region.
Recommended places to enjoy delicious goat meat:
- Huu Nghi Mountain Goat Restaurant – near Bai Dinh Pagoda – Ninh Binh
- Thang Long Restaurant – Ninh Binh cuisine
- Cuong Goat Restaurant – Ninh Binh
Fried Rice Crust (Cơm Cháy)
In the 19th century during the French colonial period, a young man named Dinh Hoang Thang from Ninh Binh worked at a Chinese restaurant in Hanoi. He worked diligently with the hope that the owner would allow him to marry his daughter. However, the owner eventually declined, leading Thang to return to Ninh Binh to establish his own business. In Ninh Binh, he opened a restaurant with his limited capital and created a brand with many delicious dishes, among which the most successful is fried rice crust. Later, the Chinese restaurant owner invited Thang to collaborate and eventually gave him his daughter in marriage.
Inspired by this success, many people in Ninh Binh learned how to make fried rice crust, achieving great success when serving this delicious dish for family meals or as gifts for visitors. Rice is dried and then deep-fried in oil, served with shredded meat. Some restaurants also serve it with goat soup, creating a fantastic combination. For tourists buying it as a gift after visiting Ninh Binh, they often purchase a box of fried rice crust with shredded meat, resulting in a rich and delicious flavor, much like the strong bonds of Ninh Binh people.
Where to buy: Hoa Lu Fried Rice Crust from Ninh Binh Food Joint Stock Company – 03 Vo Thi Sau, Dong Thanh, Ninh Binh.
Or you can purchase it at specialty stalls at tourist destinations. If you’re still unsure, you can ask a tour guide for the most reasonable price.
Ant Egg Sticky Rice (Xôi Trứng Kiến)
Ant egg sticky rice is one of the famous and delicious dishes in Ninh Binh. Ant eggs are harvested from the rocky mountain region of Nho Quan. After being cleaned and seasoned, the ant eggs are stir-fried with fragrant onions and various spices to create a flavorful and nutritious dish, served with white sticky rice.
Tourists enjoy ant egg sticky rice during the ant’s breeding season, which typically occurs in February or March of the lunar calendar. Therefore, after visiting Bai Dinh Pagoda, tourists often have the opportunity to savor this delicious dish in Ninh Binh.
Recommended place: Ninh Binh Hotel – 43 27th July Street, Nam Binh, Ninh Binh.
Snakehead Fish Salad (Gỏi Cá Nhệch)
Snakehead fish, similar to eel, with a long, slippery body, usually lives in muddy and freshwater areas. Kim Son in Ninh Binh can be considered the best place to prepare delicious snakehead fish salad in the Northern region. The preparation of snakehead fish salad is meticulous: the fish is salted or left to remove the entire slippery skin. Then, the fish is cleaned and gutted, and the meat is separated from the bones. The fish meat is mixed with various specialized spices to preserve the aroma and sweetness of the fish.
The fish bones are finely ground and squeezed to make a broth used as a dipping sauce for the snakehead fish salad. When consumed, tourists eat it with water mimosa leaves, lily leaves, along with various vegetables, all rolled together and dipped in the delicious broth, creating a tasty and rich flavor.
Recommended place: Tinh Goi Restaurant – Ngo Gia Tu, Ninh Binh.
Nho Quan Can Wine
Apart from being famous for ant egg harvesting, Nho Quan is also known for its renowned can wine produced by the Muong ethnic people living in the area. Can wine is brewed in large jars with rice husks, sticky rice, and a special type of yeast. After three months of fermentation, it becomes a strong and fragrant wine. It is then divided into small bottles for tourists passing through Nho Quan to purchase and bring home as a gift for their families.
Recommended place: Thang Long Restaurant – Trang An, Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh Eel Vermicelli (Miến Lươn Ninh Bình)
One of the delicious dishes commonly consumed for breakfast by every visitor exploring Ninh Binh. People in Ninh Binh typically use a type of rice eel to prepare this delicious and nutritious eel vermicelli. Each morning, tourists dining here can enjoy the sweet and fragrant taste of the vermicelli, coupled with the unique aroma of wild eel, served with banana flowers, creating an irresistible combination.
Recommended place: Tam Beo Eel Vermicelli – 260 Ngo Gia Tu, Ninh Binh.
Grilled Field Crab with Betel Leaves (Cua Đồng Rang Lá Lốt)
Nature has gifted Ninh Binh with vast fields, small rivers, and streams interspersed with small limestone hills, creating a picturesque landscape. In this beautiful setting, field crabs are one of the local specialties harvested from this idyllic area. The crabs are cleaned, seasoned, and then fried with betel leaves when needed. Because the crabs are naturally sourced, their flavor is much more delightful than those from other regions in Vietnam.
Recommended place: Hoang Giang Restaurant – Trang An, Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh Glutinous Rice Cake (Bánh Trôi Ninh Bình)
Ninh Binh has some famous shops known for glutinous rice cakes made with the fragrant scents of pomelo and chrysanthemum flowers. Inside the cake, there is green bean filling that is meticulously prepared, making it unforgettable for visitors when tasted in Ninh Binh. After a day of sightseeing in Ninh Binh, friends can enjoy these delicious cakes in the evening in Ninh Binh city.
Recommended place: Bánh Trôi Bánh Tray – 2 Van Giang, Ninh Binh.
Kim Son Wine
One of the most famous local specialties in Ninh Binh. Kim Son wine contributes to enriching the local cuisine, and tourists from everywhere buy it as a gift for their close friends. Kim Son wine has an alcohol content ranging from 39 to 45 degrees, depending on the desired strength ordered by tourists. In Ninh Binh, it is often combined with goat’s horn chili to create a unique specialty called Ngoc Duong wine.
Recommended place: Tam Phat Restaurant – Ninh Binh.
Carp Vermicelli (Bánh Đa Cá Rô)
With numerous lakes and rivers, Ninh Binh’s aquatic resources are rich and diverse. Grass carp is widely harvested in this region, making various dishes such as carp vermicelli, carp rice noodles, and carp sticky rice.
Yen Mac Fermented Pork Roll (Nem Chua Yen Mac)
Fermented pork rolls were originally made for the Nguyen dynasty. This delicious dish has a unique flavor not found in any other type of nem in our country. It was created by the daughter of the high-ranking official Pham Than Duat. The meat is finely sliced, then compressed until cooked, and naturally fermented. The nem is wrapped in banana leaves with a hint of omelette, and when opened, it has a light pink color, paired with diluted fish sauce and garlic.
Ninh Binh locals say, “Yen Mac, the specialty is fermented pork rolls; when hosting a big party, people often buy them as gifts.” Therefore, tourists visiting Ninh Binh often have the opportunity to enjoy this dish at restaurants and buy it as a gift for their families.
Ninh Binh Culinary Q&A
Where to find delicious and affordable food in Ninh Binh?
Hoang Dieu, Tran Hung Dao, and the streets in Kim Son district are the focal points for numerous Ninh Binh specialty restaurants with irresistibly attractive flavors. To save your wallet, you can explore Luong Van Tuy Street, Hoang Hoa Tham Street, or areas near high schools to try many local delicacies at extremely “budget-friendly” prices.
Upscale restaurants in Ninh Binh
While Ninh Binh may not have many 5-star standard restaurants, there is no shortage of luxurious and high-quality dining establishments with impeccable service. Let DanangPrivateCar.com suggest some options for you:
- Kim Da Restaurant
- Address: Square 2, Kim Da Village, Ninh Binh
- Price range: 100,000 – 300,000 VND/dish
- Binh Dung Restaurant
- Address: Alley 668 Ngo Gia Tu, Doan Ket Street, Ninh Binh
- Price range: 100,000 – 500,000 VND/dish
- Duc De Restaurant
- Address: 446 Nguyen Hue, Nam Binh, Ninh Binh
- Price range: 100,000 – 3,000,000 VND/dish
The list of delicious dishes in Ninh Binh is not only diverse but also unique, featuring a plethora of local produce. Combined with the skillful culinary techniques of the local residents, it truly offers a gourmet experience. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Ninh Binh with DanangPrivateCar.com!