What to eat in Cat Ba Island Food Tours


Well-known for the unique cuisine, Vietnam is a perfect destination for foodies. There are many Vietnam food tours available to choose, and a food tour to Cat Ba Island is one of the best options. Not only is the island renowned for its perfect natural settings of karst caves, stunning beaches, and diverse ecosystem, Cat Ba is also famous for its fresh seafood. There are plenty of delicious dishes made from seafood that would satisfy your taste buds.

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island

Similar to most of the islands and coastal areas, fishing is the main occupation of the locals in Cat Ba. You can easily catch the image of fishing boats or floating fishing villages along the coast and among the limestone islets on the nearby Bays. Therefore, the seafood is extraordinarily fresh and will definitely whet your appetite. The best dishes in Cat Ba Islands that you should not miss are as follows:


Geoduck is a rare kind of mollusk which has very high nutritional value and is proved to be exceptionally good for man. In addition to its significant health value, geoduck has a really good taste.


Geoduck – a Cat Ba specialty

There are many different ways to cook geoduck: salad, grilled, porridge, and especially, spicy-steamed. The taste of the dish depends on the additional ingredients such as onion, garlic, and chilies. The taste is really lip-smacking.

King crab

King Crab

King crab

This big-sized kind of crab is possessed into several dishes such as salad, steamed king crab, sweet and sour crab foot, and baked crab egg. The dishes are often served with chilies, onion, garlic, fresh herbs, etc. The savory taste of these delicacies would definitely grab your taste buds.

Song fish

Song fish is a fish which only lives in the warm water of the Pacific Ocean. There are about 37 species of Song fish and many of them are of significant nutritional and economic value. Especially, the three types of Song fish: “song mo”, “song den”, and “song cao” in Cat Ba Islands are among the top dishes that travelers should not ignore when having Vietnam food tours. Song fish soup, hot pot, steamed and grilled fish are some recommended dishes made from Song fish that you should sample.

Sea snake

Sea snake

Grilled sea snake

Sea snake is found only in the Indian or Pacific Ocean. It has a long (about 1.2 meter) and thin body and is often mistaken for eel and conger. Sea snake is said to be a very nutritious food. It has the delectable taste when being grilled.



Grilled lobsters

Renowned as the king of seafood, lobster is a favorite food of almost every tourist when having a Cat Ba food tour. Lobster is rich in protein and low in fat and calories. The meat and the mud (inside the head) has a great flavor that would satisfy all customers. Lobsters can be cooked in different ways: steam, grill, fry, and make salad.

Shrimp vermicelli

“Pho” (Vermicelli) is what pops up in foreigners’ minds when talking about Vietnam cuisine, and Cat Ba Island has its own variant of this dish. What makes Cat Ba’s “Pho” different from others is the main material: shrimp. Not only is it used to make broth but shrimp is also the main topping. The mouth-watering dish consists of vermicelli, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, and grilled fish. These things altogether create a colorful dish with blissful smell and taste.

Shrimp vermicelli

Shrimp vermicelli

Travelers can try the fresh seafood at any eateries along the coast. They offer delicious dishes at a reasonable price. If you are seeking a more unforgettable moment, you can try cooking and eating seafood on a secluded beach while discovering the Bay. It is wonderful to eat seafood while watching the sun going down.

Of course, there is not only seafood in Cat Ba Island. Thanks to the development of tourism industry, many restaurants, hotels, and resorts have been built. They provide travelers with different kinds of food, from seafood, top Vietnam food to western delicacies. But honestly, nothing can defeat seafood. It would be a big regret to leave the beach without trying seafood, right?

On the whole, the charming beauty of Cat Ba Island lies not only in its spectacular landscape but also in its special cuisine. This is absolutely a perfect destination for Vietnam food tours.

The best dishes to try in Cat Ba Island & where to find them


As the biggest island of world-renowned Halong Bay, Cat Ba is one of the most famous Vietnam northern islands. Featuring magnificent limestone towers which rise above the jade emerald water, this island is a paradise for vacation.

Maybe you already got Cat Ba on your travel list, and you can find a dozen of travel guide to Cat Ba online. However, if you are a foodie traveler and want to know what to satisfy your taste buds here, this article is for you.

This article from catbaisland will introduce you the best dishes to taste and where to find them. We also suggest some tips for a Cat Ba food tour.

Cat Ba Harbor

Cat Ba Harbor

The best dishes in Cat Ba Island

With a long coastline, seafood is a crucial part contributing to Vietnam exquisite cuisine. In the north of Vietnam, you cannot find any other places with better seafood than in Cat Ba Island.

Here is a list of best dishes that you must try:

Seven dishes of horseshoe crab

This is the signature dish of Cat Ba. From only one main ingredient which is fresh horseshoe crab, seven different dishes are made with distinct taste. Seven dishes of the horseshoe crab is a must for any foodies traveling to Cat Ba

Grilled Horseshoe Crab

Grilled Horseshoe Crab


If horseshoe crab is the first, then geoduck must be the second dishes in your Cat Ba food bucket list. Many different recipes can be made out of geoduck, but steaming is the best way to taste it. Served with a well-mixed fish sauce, none can deny a meal with steaming geoduck.



Sea bass

Sea bass is a kind of fishes living in warm water zone. There are total 37 different kinds of seabass. In Vietnam, there are 30 of them raised throughout the country. Cat Ba Island owns three types of seabass with high nutritional values which are cooked into many tasty dishes such as Sea bass soup, steaming, hot pot.

Shrimp noodle (Bun Tom)

Vietnamese noodle, in general, is world-wide famous for a long time. In Cat Ba Island, there is one type of noodle that is so special that many connoisseurs have come to taste.

Cat Ba shrimp noodle use fresh shrimp caught in the local area. It is believed that there is a secret formula that makes the distinct taste of the broth.

If you are going on a culinary tour through Northern Vietnam, you should make a stopover in Cat Ba just to try this unique noodle.

Bun Tom

Bun Tom (Shrimp Noodle)

Where to find them?

Finding the right place to eat is the key of a food tour

If you are on a tight budget but still want to try as much food as you can, food stalls within Cat Ba Central Market are where you should come.

For those who want local seafood but also prefer some European courses on the menu. Bamboo Cafe (1 Thang 4 Street, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong Province) can be a good bet.

Family Bakery (no.194, 1 Thang 4 Street) is the place to taste the best caramel of Cat Ba. The shop is open from 7.am to 4.pm.

Floating restaurant

Floating Restaurant

If you are with a group, you should try to eat at floating restaurant. There will be a boat to get you there and take you back the harbor. However be aware that the price can be higher than the restaurants on land.


  • Research and make a list of what you want to try first. Search for the price of each dish on the list beforehand.
  • You are likely to be overcharged at street food stalls. So ask for the menu or price before ordering anything.
  • There is a way to enjoy Cat Ba seafood with much less cost and better quality. Go to the Cat Ba Market and buy seafood yourself. You’d better go with someone who knows how the local or you can go alone but make sure to bargain before paying money. Then bring raw food to your hotel’s restaurant and pay them to cook your meal.
  • A typical meal with one main course and vegetable which Vietnamese people call “Com Binh Dan” cost you around 100,000vnd/meal/person. You should not expect much from these kinds of meal.
  • Don’t hesitate to try any food stall or restaurant you find interested when traveling this Northern Vietnam island. You might figure out the best one with the best dishes ever which are off the recommended list.