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Authentic Vietnamese Restaurants


no3food
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I dined at a Vietnamese Restaurant today that was by far the worst meal I have ever eaten in a so-called Pho place, and the 2nd worst meal I have had since moving to NYC a month ago (the other was a pizza from Patsy's - it was horrible). I believe the place I was at - which appeared to be very busy with regulars (not tourists) was called Pho Viet Huong on Mulberry. Their spring rolls were actually really good - but the grilled chicken with lemongrass over vermicelli was horrendous. My chicken, although cooked with spicy peppers, was a stir fry with huge chunks of red and green peppers in a sauce that not only contained cornstarch but MSG, which was poured over the noodles making them totally soggy, stuck together and gloopy! And this entire concoction was poured over the table salad in the bowl. It was frightening!

Could someone please recommend one or two decent Vietnamese restaurants that serve authentic (or close to it) dishes - like good Bun with properly grilled meats, sizzling crepes, and of course a good bowl of Pho (I have eaten at Saigon Grill and it was ok - I found it to Casual Fine Dining - I don't need atmosphere just good, roll up your sleeves, food).....ironically, one of the best Vietnamese restaurants that I frequented often in Montreal was called Pho New York

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I like Pho Bang for pho. Nha Trang as well.

to the best of my knowledge, every Vietnamese restaurant in NY is run by ethnic Chinese...but that doesn't mean that some aren't significantly better than others.

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Believe it or not, the best place I've found for pho in Manhattan is Pho 32 & Shabu in K-Town. You'd think authenticity would be an afterthought in a pho/shabu-shabu joint run by Koreans, but it's fairly solid. That's not to say it's great- just that the standard for Vietnamese food in Manhattan is that low.

If you're up for a hike, Brooklyn chinatown has great bahn mi at An Ðông.

---

al wang

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Try Doyers on Doyers st off of Pell st I believe. google it. I also like saigon grill as an old standby, but now after reading about there alleged abuse towards their delivery people, I may avoid it. Also BAO noodle on 23rd & lexington isn't bad either.

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Pho Grand at 277 Grand St. has some pretty decent pho...some of their other dishes are good as well....I like the grilled pork chop.

Nha Trang as pointed out above.

Mai House for more upscale.

There's a tiny place on Pike St. between East Broadway and Canal that's been around for years - very good pho but a real dive.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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Oddly enough... the best Vietnamese restaurants in the NYC area are in... New Jersey :rolleyes:

I've eaten at a few of the Chinatown Vietnamese plces and wasn't impressed. At the time I was living in North jersey just outside the city and we had a couple very good ones over there (including Little Saigon in Nutley which burned down but has since re-opened elsewhere - I think).

Now that I'm still in NY but up in the central part of hte state I once again have fantastic Vietnamese food available. We have a decent sized Cambodian, Hmong and Vietnames community here and as a result have three restaurants to choose from. All are fairly 'authentic" but only one is really, really good.

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Oddly enough...  the best Vietnamese restaurants in the NYC area are in...  New Jersey  :rolleyes:

I've eaten at a few of the Chinatown Vietnamese plces and wasn't impressed.  At the time I was living in North jersey just outside the city and we had a couple very good ones over there (including Little Saigon in Nutley which burned down but has since re-opened elsewhere - I think).

Yes, Little Saigon is now in Montclair. It's one of my favorite restaurants. I was indifferent to Vietnamese food until I ate there.

The Little Saigon

19 Elm Street

Montclair, NJ 07042

(973) 783-3914

Hours: Sun-Thurs 11-930, Fri & Sat 11-10:30

It's a fairly short walk from either the Bay Street or Walnut Street stops on the NJ Transit Montclair/Boonton line from Penn Station.

They have a sister restaurant (well, I think it's a more loose affiliation -- maybe run by cousins of the owners? something like that) in the East West Plaza in Bloomfield, called Binh Duong. It's also good, though I personally prefer Little Saigon.

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I think the best Vietnamese restaurant in Manhattan is...A banh mi takeout joint in the back of a jewelry and crystal shop! Many of the regulars here know it, and it's actually called Banh Mi Saigon Bakery. It's on Mott St. between Hester and Grand (east side of the street) and I like their banh mi ga even better than their banh mi Saigon.

I have liked Bao Noodles in the past but really haven't had any dish at any Vietnamese restaurant in Manhattan that's comparable in deliciousness to the sandwiches at Saigon Bakery, so if you find the places recommended upthread to be underwhelming, don't say I didn't warn you. I've often read on Chowhound that there are better Vietnamese restaurants in the "Outer Boroughs," but I can't offer any recommendations on that score. When I go to Flushing, I tend to eat Chinese food, and I have yet to explore Brooklyn's Chinatowns. (There's a lot of talk, again especially on Chowhound, that Ba Xuyen sells better banh mi than Banh Mi Saigon Bakery does.)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I have gone to the Nha Trang on Baxter going on 14 years now (oy) and it hasn't changed a bit ... meaning, I guess, that it hasn't gotten worse and is still relatively very good...?

I've been there a couple times. It was okay... better than the Vietnamese I've had in a few other cities (e.g. Philly and Seattle) but not as good as what I got in NJ and what I currently enjoy here in Syracuse.

I also tried the place that people raved about - it's downstairs on the basement level and the entry door is where a little C'town side street makes a 90 degre turn - this place is on the inside corner of that turn (sorry I can't recall the street name or the restaurant name). I liked Nha Trang better than that place - by a wide margin.

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Another vote for Nha Trang. Personally, having spent no time in that part of the world, or really researching the cuisine, I can't vouch for it's authenticity. Although my friend who introduced us to it and is Vietnamese swears by it. I can vouch for the fact that it is very tasty and extremely inexpensive for the quality of food. Been about 2 years since I've been -- well overdue for a return visit.

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FWIW not only does Nha Trang have loads of dishes other than Pho that are great and cheap and delicious (and be sure to ask for the red menu not the green menu), but I don't judge a Vietnamese restaurant by their Pho either... I judge a Pho restaurant by their Pho!

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Try Doyers on Doyers st off  of Pell st I believe. google it. I also like saigon grill as an old standby, but now after reading about there alleged abuse towards their delivery people, I may  avoid it. Also BAO noodle on 23rd & lexington isn't bad either.

I definitely second the vote for Doyers. Also worth checking out in Chinatown is New Pasteur. And if it's still there, Nam Phuong in Tribeca (though I heard it was closing). Nice screen name, Sucio.

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  • 1 year later...

Nam Phuong did close down a few years ago. Does anyone know if it reopened elsewhere?

I know that one of their co-owners was named Tom Bui, but haven't managed to hunt him down yet.

Their pho was the best I've ever had, and I still haven't found another place I like in the city yet.

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