Visitors to Sapa in Lao Cai province are dazzled by the magnificent landscapes and the cultural diversity of the ethnic minority groups. 1,600 m above sea level, Sapa offers a wide range of European and Asian food, but the most popular are its tasty barbecues.
After a day exploring nearby villages of the Mong and Dao ethnic minorities, visitors refuel in Sapa and Sapa’s barbecue street is their first stop. Walking along the culinary streets of Xuan Vien, Fansipan, and Ham Rong, visitors are drawn to the smell of barbecue dishes coming from small restaurants. The biggest restaurant in these streets has only 3 or 4 tables, while the smaller ones have only some benches. Barbecue restaurants in Sapa are not beautifully decorated but they impress visitors by the way they display their food. Hundreds of barbecue dishes are on offer and it might may take a visitor a week to try them all. Nguyen Hai, a tourist from Hanoi says: “It’s really impressive to taste the barbecue dishes out in the open air. Sometimes, it’s foggy and cold, but sitting by the fire, drinking warm wine and eating barbecue is a fantastic experience. Today, we’re eating grilled blackened chicken and grilled vegetables. These dishes are typical of Sapa”.
Sapa cuisine is often hot, spicy and fat. Barbecues are the first way to experience the local specialties. Visitors can choose from grilled eggs, pork, sticky rice pies, dumplings, tofu, fish pie, beef and vegetables. There are many ways to prepare these grilled dishes giving customers lots of tasty choices. Thanh Huong is in Sapa with her family. She says: “All the food here is very good and tasty. I don’t know whether I have time to taste them all. I will definitely come here again. I like the landscapes and food in Sapa”.
The special food attracts a lot of visitors to Sapa, especially during the weekend. Hoang Thuong, a tour guide says: “I have been a tour guide for many years and my customers like food in Sapa so much. In the evening, I take them to barbecue restaurants. It’s difficult to get them to stop eating those delicious food”. Sapa cuisine is simple but unique, making Sapa a “must taste” for every Vietnam visitor.