Bún chả. Grilled pork belly on charcoal, rice noodles, and herbs complemented by a warm sweet-sour fish sauce. In the Czech Republic, one of the most famous dishes of Vietnamese cuisine. One of my favorites.
I regularly go once every few months to the Sapa market in Prague’s Libuš to replenish supplies of Vietnamese ingredients at Tamda Foods (see the article “What to buy in Sapa? Asian groceries!“). But I can never resist the offer of local small restaurants and bistros, often operated in very improvised and non-traditional conditions for Czechs. And in my opinion, the best bún chả is at Hải Hà restaurant. They grill the meat right in front of the restaurant on an open grill, the smell of smoke and pork belly can be felt from afar.
You can communicate with the staff inside without any problems in Czech, the service is fast. The bistro is often filled to the last seat, especially during lunchtime. However, it is worth waiting, as the queue disappears quite quickly. And while waiting, you can also watch the preparation of the meat on the outdoor grill.
Orientation among restaurants in Sapa can be a bit complicated, as the alleys leading between the halls are not marked, and one can easily get lost. But after a while of searching, everything can be found. The signboard can also help, by which you can reliably distinguish the bistro from the others. The bún chả here ((nebo Bún bò Nam Bộ) will reliably reward your search and possibly waiting. Unfortunately, price increases have not spared Sapa either. The current price for bún chả is 180 CZK (7,60 EUR). However, the portion is still huge, and the taste is unbeatable.
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