When the sun goes down, Da Lat city in Lam Dong province is lit up by the bright lights of shops, restaurants and hotels. In the cool night air, you should dress warmly to wander around the small streets exploring the local cuisine.
The food stalls in the central market are tiny with just a couple small tables and chairs, but that doesn’t bother the customers. Ms. Loan, who has been selling soy milk in Da Lat’s central market for 10 years, says: “A variety of food is offered in the Da Lat market. Tourists usually come to the market between 5 and 10 pm to enjoy soy milk and Banh trang nuong or grilled rice papers. Soy milk is a Da Lat specialty. The milk is mixed with sugar, coconut milk and ginger. This is a favorite treat of Da Lat tourists. They drink it hot to warm themselves against the cold Da Lat night air”.
Bánh tráng nướng is the most popular dish with Da Lat tourists- large sheets of rice paper grilled over smoldering coals and topped with some contributions of egg, pork, beef, scallions, chili, pounded shrimp, mayo, or cheese. Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh, who sells Bánh tráng nướng (Grilled rice papers) at the market says: “This dish was created by Da Lat people. I sell from 3 in the afternoon until 11 at night. My shop is the most crowded from 8 to 10. Most of the customers are tourists. Local people visit my shop only on the weekend. This dish is easy to eat and very popular among tourists. Some people call it Vietnamese pizza. Different cooks have different ways of cooking this dish”.
Barbecue shops are another place Da Lat visitors shouldn’t miss. Each shop owner has his own special grilled dish recipe but they are all tasty. Food prices at the night market are quite reasonable. A piece of grilled rice paper is only 30 cents and a glass of soy milk is just 25 cents. So there you have it. The tasty and affordable street food in Da Lat should keep you busy through many cold evenings.