Dzung Trinh
Dzung Trinh

Central market of Hoi An – Everything you need to know about food tour when you visit Hoi An

Table of Contents

Cho Hoi An


Find out the history of Hoi An old town and Hoi An central market

The history of Hoi An

history of Hoi An

Due to the favorable geographical features, since 3,000 years ago, the first classes of residents appeared on Hoi An today. Through the results of archeological research, many types of jars have been discovered with production tools, living tools, fine jewelry made of stone, ceramic, glass, metals, copper coins, artifacts, iron and jewelry with refined crafting techniques allowed to confirm the existence and development of the late Sa Huynh culture, the peak of the pre-prehistoric period (from the second century onwards).

Until now, Hoi An is still one of the rare ancient cities in the world that is still preserved almost intact both in terms of architecture and local traditional culture. Hoi An Ancient Town has always been an attractive tourist destination for both Vietnamese and foreign tourists. Along with other natural landscapes of Da Nang, Hoi An is always chosen by many tourists to visit for the first time coming to Vietnam.

The history of Hoi An Central Market

cho xua 3

In the past, Hoi An was a big market, an international market, a shopping centre of Hoianian. According to Le Quy Don, a Vietnamese famous writer, there was nothing that could not be found in goods, if anything else was lacking, go to Hoi An to buy “… Denomination Products produced in the towns of Thang Hoa, Dien Ban, Quang Ngai, Quy Nhon, Binh Khang and Nha Trang palace by water, road, and by horseback are gathered in Hoi An, so visitors from the North come to practice. practice there to buy back home. Before, there was a lot of cargo, even though there were hundreds of large ships carrying at the same time …

According to the records of a number of Western clergy and travelers in the 17th and 18th centuries, the fair is open every year for 4 to 6 consecutive months, the exchange and sale are very bustling and exciting. By the first half of the 19th century, the National History of the Nguyen Dynasty still recorded: “Hoi An Market: in Hoi An commune in the east of Dien Phuoc district, we call Hoi An street, the south is adjacent to the river, on the banks of the street. After about two miles, the river wharf was bustling, with lots of Chinese traders residing, there are 4 states: Guangdong, Fujian, Chaozhou and Hainan, selling goods in the North. The communal house of the market and the assembly hall is bustling, making a great meeting place in the past … ”

In the past Hoi An was a large market consisting of market tents gathered in the center and extending out to several streets at times of crowding. This is also the gathering place of satellite markets from source alley in the mountainous and midland areas to the towns in the lower Thu Bon river as well as in some other regions of our country. The role of linking trade and trade with localities along the Thu Bon river system from the mountainous source alleyways to the riverside market wharves as well as the role of linking trade and trade between Quang origin with Other regions outside Cua Dai, the East Sea at home and abroad of Hoi An market is a historical fact and that has created the once prosperity of Hoi An commercial port in particular, Quang, Dang Trong. Generally speaking.

Along with the role of economic development is the role of cultural connection: “Who is the source of the message? The young jackfruit sends down, the flying fish send up “. The business scene along the Thu Bon River connected to Hoi An was bustling both night and day and leaves very romantic love stories:

“The boat goes down to Pho Thua wharf

Hoi An got there just morning

O full moon flower man

Tomorrow we will exchange our words ”


The most remarkable thing is that through the process of development, local residents have fostered a business and trading system with many advantages. First of all, it is openness and flexibility in trading, especially for foreigners. Cristophoro Borri made an interesting observation: “All Eastern countries regard Europeans as strangers and of course they hate their faces so much that when we enter their territory they all flee. But in contrast, in Cochinchina, they race to approach us, exchange with us hundreds of thousands of things, they invite us to have meals with them. In short, they are very social, polite and friendly towards us … ”

The order of business in the business was built by the feudal government and local residents with many measures and forms, from the government’s regulations on arranging goods to civilized civilizations. Hoi An street, clear the sewers to protect the landscape environment, prohibits arbitrary raising of prices to entice buyers to community and collective conventions on keeping trust, mutual support in transactions. , trade…

Currently, the architecture of Hoi An market is not large, even small. This posture is stable from the French colonial period in the early 20th century until now, when the marketers were still wearing tunic or conical hats as in some documentary photos of activities in Hoi An market in the first half of the twentieth century. Regarding goods, the market sells many agricultural products and foodstuffs from rural areas along Hoi An, fabrics, handicrafts, fresh fish and seafood products in estuarine-coastal areas. and islands, forest and native forest products from the midland and mountainous regions of Quang such as areca, cinnamon, pepper, chili, and incense … The quantity of goods is not as large as before, but also quite diverse. rich and quite suitable for shopping needs of local residents as well as domestic and foreign tourists. Inside the market, there is a row of rather spacious restaurants with many traditional dishes of the locality such as Quang noodles, high-rise noodles, banh beo, pancakes, chicken rice, vermicelli, pho … However as said, The most important thing is the lifestyle and trading inside the market. Hoi An Market attracts customers not only because of the flow of goods for shopping but also because it is a convenient place to buy and sell, where customers can happily find and buy what they need without fear of being cut off or exchanged. Some jobs of mothers, sisters who trade in Hoi An market in transaction with customers have become examples of hospitality, cultural behaviors in business activities are still up to now word of mouth. Here we see a flashback of an active period of building Hoi An open economic zone under the Nguyen Lords as Le Quy Don described this location: “… The market does not sell for two prices, no one steals, the outside door is not closed foreign merchant boats all come to buy and sell, barter at the price, serious orders; everyone tries, in the realm of peace, peaceful karma … ”. Until now, when entering Hoi An market, we can still feel an atmosphere that is not too noisy, noisy, a feeling of friendliness, intimacy and familiarity …

Recently, the world’s largest travel guide Lonely Planet has voted Hoi An market as the world’s favorite culinary destination. The tradition has been effectively followed by contemporary people to create new values ​​of tourism business culture in Hoi An market in particular, Hoi An, Quang Nam in general.

Hoi An Central Market on the map

Screen Shot 2020 10 29 at 11.17.51 PM

The market is located at the intersection of Tran Phu and Nguyen Hue streets, right in the heart of the old town. On the map, this central market is in the south east of Hoi An. You only take a few minutes to walk to be able to reach this market on Tran Phu street. To go to Hoi An market, simply search the map and you will easily get there, it’s nearby Thu Bon river.

Hoi An food tour guidelines

Talking about Hoi An culinary tours, people often think of luxury restaurants or restaurants that are already “famous” in the old town such as Ba Buoi chicken rice, Phuong bread, Cao Lau … Of course, there is a place you absolutely should not miss if you have the opportunity to visit that old town is Hoi An market.

Along with other markets like Ba Le market or Tiger market, Hoi An Market used to be a bustling and bustling place for domestic and foreign goods exchange. Up to now, although the era has developed, the market still retains the old traditional buying and selling features of the Central people from the early morning till late at night. This is also one of the relics still intact from the past to now.

“Want to understand the life, culture, customs … of a land, go to the market in that land”. Perhaps this statement is always true, at least for Hoi An. At this point, you seem to forget that you are just a tourist visiting the market, but you will feel that you are a native of Quang, and people of Hoi Street and Vietnamese culture come back to your homeland.

The mothers and mothers at the market with sincere smiles and the “bright Quang” greeting will make you feel difficult to stop. They will tell you about the market today that is crowded or absent, tell you about the food and will gladly show you other delicious places for you to enjoy … whether you choose to sit down at their restaurant or not.

Going to Hoi An market, you can find any dish from salty to sweet, from breakfast, lunch to dinner. The food area in the market is divided into rice functions, Cao Lau, Quang noodles, vermicelli, bakery goods, water, tea shops … so you are very easy to find.

There are links between the shops, so you can sit down and still enjoy all the other dishes in the market, which the owner brings to you.

If you like to eat full, you can choose dishes such as Cao Lau, Quang noodle, chicken rice … If you have fun, cakes such as white rose cake, cauldron cake, mango cake, filter cake, pancakes … are great suggestions.

cao lau

Cao Lau in Hoi An market for 20,000 VND – the famous Hoi An food on social media

banh hoa

That is the word that the world calls, and our people call it dumplings – cauldron cake. The main ingredient is rice flour, selected from aromatic rice, the strongest grain, soaked, washed so that there are no hulls, grass seeds, … After that, the cleaned rice is poured into water and then ground into flour. Next is the stage of distilling the flour with water, which Hoi An people call “bouncing” the dough, making about 15 to 20 times until the dough settles and the water is clear, drain the water, knead the dough. and give out a clean tub.

Part of the cake includes 2 types. Banh Bao, using the main ingredient is shrimp, pounded into rolls and using spices such as onions, pepper, salt, … and stir-fry together. The cauldron cake also uses shrimp cakes like dumplings but with added pork, mushroom, bamboo shoots, chopped green onions, …


All kinds of sweet soup for your delicious dessert

In front of the central market, there is also a barbeque stall that always dissipates fragrant smoke with grilled corn, grilled spring rolls, lemongrass grilled meat … Prices here are good, with only 5,000 VND for a barbecue stick, grilled spring rolls, you also get additional promotions pickled vegetables, rice paper and sweet and sour dipping sauces are delicious to eat.

grill 1

With only 5,000 VND, you can enjoy delicious grilled meat skewers with vegetables, sauces … attractive.

If you are worried about the situation of being “cut down” in the tourist cities, go to Hoi An market, you can be completely assured. All restaurants in the market have price tags on the front. The special feature is that the food here is very delicious, attentive service but cheap.

The price of Cao Lau, Quang noodles, rice … ranges from 20,000 to 35,000 VND, while for all kinds of tea, cakes and water, you only need 5,000-15,000 VND, you can enjoy.


I must say that this bowl of duck porridge is the best among the duck porridge bowls I have eaten. Duck is soft, not smelly. The porridge is so sweet… I don’t know what to say but it’s delicious. This place usually sells around 3-4pm and usually ends around 6pm.


The barbecue noodles in the Central region are so good, I must say “the best”. In addition to the softer, more fragrant noodles, the sauce is also a particularly delicious highlight. Ah no, particularly delicious.

banh xeo

What I like about Hoi An market is, you just need to sit still and still be able to order and enjoy a full range of dishes in the market. Like when I sit at the booth of Mrs. Lieu to eat a bowl of grilled pork vermicelli, I can order a bowl of bun bo Hue  – the one she doesn’t sell – she only needs to spend less than an hour, a few minutes after, bun Bo Hue shows up in front of me. Shops are near each other and quickly serve to customers. This central market is the best location for convenient dining I have ever been to.

banh dap

It is called a batter because before eating, it usually uses some force to break … a thin, crunchy rice cake with a thin layer of wet cake rolled in the middle. After beating it, adding some new spicy seasoning sauce is the best!

According to the story, this dish first appeared in Cam Nam (Hoi An) about 30-40 years ago. After that, stalls selling these dishes grew out along the Hoai River. So Cam Nam became a famous “bicycle village” in the Central region.


This dish is often called when ordering banh xeo. Can be rolled with banh xeo or rolled separately as you like. This dish is worth a try when visiting Hoi An central market. TripAdvisor has rated this dish as “one of the best food in Hoi An”


There are prices on the wall of each restaurant, so you can rest assured, do not worry about “cutting”.

Hoi An Market is the culinary paradise where all the delicacies, specialties of the Central, Quang Nam and only Hoi An are gathered.

Instead of spending a lot of money on luxury restaurants, instead of wondering what to eat, where to go to the old town, choose Hoi An market to “eat whole Hoi An”, to enjoy the full flavor of a city ever tinged with moss.

Other items in Hoi An Central Market

cho hoi an ban gi

Buy fresh food and fish, enjoy local specialties or souvenirs shopping at the vibrant riverside market.

Hoi An central Market located next to the river, the entrance is at the intersection of Tran Phu and Nguyen Hue, visitors feel like entering an interesting culinary journey to explore street food when they travel to Hoi An, with stalls selling all kinds of spices and fresh food. This is also the ideal place to enjoy local specialties and shop for cloth and souvenirs.

Serving both local residents and tourists from all over the world, the market is bustling at almost any time of the day. If you like to find the best fresh seafood and fish, come early in the morning, when fishermen have just arrived with fresh shipments. Even without planning to buy fresh fish, the bustling market is also an interesting opportunity to learn about the life of the old town residents.

After that, continue to visit the market, see the stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, or a variety of spices.

Enter the market’s indoor dining area and look for gifts from Central Vietnam. Enjoy the famous high-rise dish that each stall has a recipe for separate heirloom variables. Similar to many other markets throughout Vietnam, customers can eat at one restaurant and order more dishes from another.

After the meal, continue to explore the market. Find stalls selling souvenirs or tailor made for the day, one of the market’s most popular products, the market is quite small, so shops are near each other, it will not take more than 1 hour to visit, take pictures and try foods there. Like in every other tourist destination, paying (bargaining) is also a pleasure not to be missed by tourists.

Getting around Hoi An Central Market

After eating, you can go along the riverbank to visit the ancient Japanese bridge, also known as the Japanese Bridge, or take a walk in the peaceful old town, admire the unique architecture with cultural interference of many countries.

The best time to begin your food tour in Central Market Hoi An

Opening hours of food vendors in Hoi An Central Market

You can visit Hoi An Central market at any time during the day from early morning till night. In the morning, merchants arrive at the central market from 4.00a.m and close shops at night around 22.00p.m. For mealtimes, it is most crowded, during breakfast from 7-9.30a.m, lunch time from 11.30-13.00pm, dinner time from 18.00p.m-21.30p.m.  Food stalls will close after 22.00 p.m. If you like the quiet atmosphere, get to Central Market Hoi An before or after mealtimes during the day. But remember you go there late at night, so maybe there isn’t any food to serve you.

What do you expect when you visit Hoi An Central Market?


Hoi An market was born associated with the needs of goods exchange of domestic and foreign merchant ships; affirmed its position as a famous trading port of Vietnam for a while. Hoi An Market now has many developments, goods are increasingly plentiful to serve the shopping and consumption needs of people and visitors visiting the south east of central Vietnam. All rights reserved, you will have the one of the best cultural experience when you get to this signature destination of Hoi An, it will serve you from morning to night.

Hoi An Market is located at the center of the old town – “Upper Chua Cau, Lower Am Bon” – is one of the relics that still retain the old features. Therefore, Hoi An market is quite an interesting destination for visitors, especially the culinary area with a variety of specialty popular dishes of Hoi An.

Along with 6 markets around the world such as Tsukiji fish market (Tokyo, Japan) or Borough market (London, UK) … Hoi An market (Hoi An city, Quang Nam) was honored to be in the top “cuisine paradise” attracts both people and tourists voted by Lonelyplanet magazine.

The market is held early in the morning with rice noodles, noodles, sticky rice … The food market is always crowded all day, serving the eating needs of all meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks at all times. Visit the food court, consider you are in harmony with the true rhythm of Hoi An’s “quality” and discover many more interesting things.

The sales ladies are very warm and enthusiastic. You can ask them about interesting places in Hoi An, or learn about the lives of people here, there will definitely be many interesting stories!

Come here, take your stomach to taste the culinary world of Hoi An. The dishes not to be missed are Cao Lau, grilled meatloaf, noodle soup, Quang noodle, grilled meat vermicelli, pancakes, … This place is also a paradise for street food lovers because a variety of dishes have heard the name, want to try right away like white rose cake, mango cake, cauldron cake, shellfish cake, pound cake, bot loc cake.

After eating the savory dish, you can try some fresh smoothies from fresh fruit of Hoi An such as tomato, avocado, papaya and delicious pure drinks that will surely quench your thirst. Tea stalls with various kinds of tea, beans, green beans, red beans … are great after-meal desserts and of course, with affordable prices.

In front of the market, there are also grilled skewers of meat, grilled corn, lemongrass grilled meat, spring rolls, … so you can not help but order a few skewers to eat with sweet and sour sauce and cool iced tea.

Not expensive like high-class restaurants in Hoi An, the prices here are extremely cheap. The skewers are only 5,000 VND / skewer, different types of vermicelli, Cao Lau, rice, … cost from 20,000 – 35,000 VND. Tea and smoothies are only 5,000 – 10,000 VND! There is a menu with clear pricing here, so tourists are not afraid of being cut. Delicious food, attentive service, enthusiasm, price too cheap, this is paradise, right?

What’s on offer at Hoi An Central Market food stalls?


This seems to be one of frequently asked questions from tourists when they first get to Hoi An. Food court vendors mainly serve Hoi An’s specialties. Customers can watch the cooking process and see the fresh ingredients used to cook their food right in front of them. Shops will show you what they offer on a menu list in English with fixed prices. Famous names such as Cao Lau, My Quang and white rose dumplings will come first. You will pay less than 30.000VND ($1.3) for the best bowl of Cao Lau.

What to drink when you travel around Hoi An Central Market?


Almost all food courts offer you a few kinds of drinks like soda, tea or water. There are several drink stations which are majorly selling beverages such as coffee, fruit juices or smoothies. Prices range from 15.000VND. You can order any types of fruits from these stores: avocado, pineapple, coconut or mixed juice. You can even drink coffee mixed with fruit juice if you are adventurous enough.

The unique selling point of Hoi An Central Market is you do not need to move from vendors to vendors to try different drinks, just order anything you want at your first place, they will serve you at your seat. For example, you eat My Quang at one food stall, you just order a coconut, after your meal, one coconut will be delivered immediately to you and most of the time you only have to pay one bill.

The map of food vendors at Hoi An Central Market

When you first go to Hoi An Central Market and enter the food court, just get around and find a location you feel comfortable with. The long list of menu items can make you confused, just try the first one if you want to take a chance, then if you want to have a fully pleasant experience with local good food, you may need to take a consideration for your choices. For your first time there, let your feelings of food guide you to your favorite place.

Let me guide you how to have the best access to this market. Usually first comers to Hoi An central market will enter by the main entrance and choose the first stall as they see originally. The food vendors near by the entrance will absolutely have good locations with the flow of tourists coming. Get around the food hall and politely smile, till you find well satisfied stalls.

Tips you may need: Go into the market through the side entrance on the left or on the right. By this way you can access the hidden locations of good food stalls. You should also go back to stalls around the main entrance, then choose a vendor with good ingredients. It is said that the sellers sometimes order your food from other stalls if they are too busy.

Find a good food court

A lot of food vendors will be found in just 10 to 20 minutes when you travel around this central market including many Vietnamese dishes like Spring rolls, Bun Bo Hue, pork legs, fresh fruit, and vegetables. You should notice the back of each vendor, foods are well prepared with many vietnames ingredients.

If you get to the central market around closing hours, you will see less food and even empty stores. You may return the next day to get your favorite food. You will not get to know the time of day a store closed as they do not post it, and chefs also need days off.

Tips for eating experience: You will know which one is the best stall when seeing it crowded with many local customers.

Banh Trang nuong (Vietnamese pizza)

Banh trang nuong is one of Vietnamese famous street foods, it is called Vietnamese pizza. You can see a variety of banh trang nuong vendors along the street outside hoi an s central market usually from the afternoon to night. A piece of banh trang nuong is made of flat rice paper with toppings including egg, green onions, and spices. First the rice paper is grilled, then the chef adds egg, sausage, onions, mayo and chilli sauce. After everything is well done, he folds and serves the customer. Eating banh trang nuong is a must try experience when you travel to Vietnam. It costs you only 20,000VND or $0.87.

Tips: Just outside of Hoi an s central market, you can get the original Banh My Phuong, which is a brand name food of Vietnam. Everyday, The stall is open at 7 a.m and close at 7 p.m. On the map, banh my phuong is to the north east of Hoi An central market. This Banh My is called the best of Banh My in Hoi An according to many tourists.

banh bot loc dumplings

If you are adventurous and want to have another special experience with local food, I will guide you to try other exciting dishes of Hoianian, get into the food hall in the central market from the front, visit the farthest stall to the right, you can find yummy Bun Bo Hue, which is a wonderful combination of vermicelli and beef, another choice is banh bot loc served with shrimps and green onions.

Hoi An Market experience

When you first travel to Hoi An and do not have time to get around, markets are perfect places to explore the local cuisine. Go to Hoi An central market and experience almost Hoi An classic foods, it is perfect for your short trip. Food and drinks in Hoi An central market are delicious, usually a dish there costs only less than one dollar. Moreover, you will have a great opportunity to feel the traditional Vietnam market atmosphere with fresh fruit and food coming from local residents’ garden.

It is great to try the food court one by one to have a full experience, vendor salers are happy to take pictures with you.

One morning, visitors staying here and enjoying the food will not need lunch anymore. Hoi An sandwiches with meat, herbs, pate, chili … are a must-try dish for visitors. And if you’re satisfied, take a walk along the riverbank to see the ancient Japanese bridge very close to the market.

Other markets in Hoi An

Cho Ba Le (Ba Le Market)

Ba le

Ba Le Market is one of major markets in Hoi An is now crowded and jubilant, no less jubilant than the main market of Hoi An City.

In the past, this area was a football yard, when less people came there to play football, there were three brave old ladies, one selling confectionery, a lady selling vegetables and beans and a woman selling fish for sale in a corner of the yard. Since then, more and more people have come to buy and sell, making the “soccer field” suddenly become Ba Le market, like other markets, it serves local people food. You can search the map to go from Hoi An central market, just about a 7 minute drive.

Cho Tan An (Tiger Market)

tiger market

Tiger market is also called Tan An market. Tiger market is a local market you can visit to feel the different types of markets in Hoi An. This is not mentioned as much as the Central Market of Hoi An on social media, but still, it remains local features and values.

Markets in hoi An are small compared to other local markets in famous attractions of Vietnam. The good point is, no matter you are visitors or locals, Vietnamese or foreigners, people here always serve you the same way.

To read more, leave your name email if you need more information about destinations in Hoi An.