For a cheap meal that doesn’t compromise on flavour, Vietnamese cuisine is a go-to. From east to west, and north to south, we’ve searched high and low to find the best Vietnamese in Melbourne.
The competition is fierce when it comes to Asian fare in this neck of the woods, but Tien Dat [3 Carrington Road, Box Hill] is a consistent favourite. It was, in fact, the first Vietnamese restaurant to take up residence in Box Hill back in 1983, however its swanky industrial interior has moved with the times. With a focus on the flavours of northern Vietnam — where classics like pho, bahn cuon and bún chả originate from — with a touch of the spiciness of the south, expect fresh, tasty meals. Try the spicy squid for something outside of the usual but be warned, it will bring the heat.
Loi Loi [364 Victoria Street, Richmond] is where to go for no-frills Vietnamese in Richmond. What it lacks in modern furnishings and decor though, it makes up for with consistently fresh bún, crunchy spring rolls, flavoursome stir-fries and more. The menu seems endless, and the food is so reliably good, you could easily close your eyes and pick whatever your finger lands on without being disappointed. Pull up a chair and enjoy some prawn crackers while your scrumptious main meal is prepared.
This could quite possibly be the trendiest Vietnamese joint in the Sunbury area. Just take a look at District 3429's [91 Oshanassy Street, Sunbury] Instagram feed, and you'll see vibrant dishes, styled to perfection. The food tastes as good as it looks, too. The resounding crowd favourite here is the bao buns — fluffy, soft and filled with expertly cooked peking duck or crispy pork. Don't forget to check out the drinks menu — the cocktails, just like the food, are `gram worthy.
Melbourne's west is a hub for top-notch Asian cuisine, but our pick of the precinct is Pho Hung Vuong Saigon [128 Hopkins Street, Footscray] — arguably the best Vietnamese restaurant in Footscray. From starters to the main attraction, the quality is high. Delicious crunchy spring rolls served with lettuce wraps top the appetiser list, and broken rice with pork chops are a highlight from the mains. Of course, the pho never disappoints, with a broth so tasty you'd be forgiven for thinking you were actually in Ho Chi Minh.
Sharing is caring so show your friends you care by inviting them to St Cloud Eating House [644 Burwood Road, Hawthorn East]. Here, the meals are — you guessed it — designed to share so you can sample more than one dish from the menu. It offers delights like calamari, turmeric fish vermicelli and a standout pumpkin and snake bean curry. Can't decide? Go for the Pham's 'feed me' option and let the St Cloud team make the tough decisions for you. Hot tip: If you want to wine and dine when the weather is fine, make sure you book a table on the rooftop.
Image source: facebook.com/stcloudeatinghouse
If there were ever a Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne that was made with millennials in mind, Hanoi Hannah [180 High Street, Windsor] would be it. With music booming throughout its spaces and a Melbourne laneway-bar vibe, this is a fantastic spot for birthday drinks and dinner with friends. Order the chargrilled pork bún chả with sweet and sour dipping broth, and a pineapple negroni or the Oriental sangria for a fun, flavoursome meal.
A good reason not to judge a book by its cover; Lam Lam [209 High Street, Northcote] may look simple, but the meals here are anything but. Situated a short stroll from Westgarth Cinema and with BYO available, it's an ideal spot for a low-key date night. The food here, particularly the pho, will please even the most discerning foodie. The dishes are fresh, full of flavour and come quickly after they're ordered. They're also cooked behind the counter so, if you like, you can watch as your meal is prepared for you.
Phi Phi 2 [31A Alfrieda Street, St Albans] is another westside gem, but the difference here is that you can DIY your meal, Vietnamese-barbecue style. Choose your entrees and your meat for barbecuing — chicken, beef or pork prepared in various styles — then watch as your dinner simmers over hot coals until cooked to your liking. If you have trouble freestyling from their menu, opt for one of the banquet options that pair entrees and sauces with meats, masterfully.
Image source: @hanoihannah_
Looking for a fabulous Vietnamese joint with vegan options? Look no further. At Good Days [165 Sydney Road, Brunswick], half of its to-the-point menu caters to those preferring a plant-based diet. The mushroom pho is pho-nominal and made of mushroom and vegetable broth and a range of grilled and braised Asian mushrooms. Not feeling pho? Try the tofu and mushroom noodle salad, topped with nuoc cham Vietnamese dressing. Enjoy your meal in this chic pint-sized restaurant while looking out onto the bustle of Sydney Road.
What this place lacks in street appeal it more than makes up for with its tasty fare. So much so, there's often a little bit of a wait to dine at Watton Vietnamese [19 Watton Street, Werribee], but rest assured, it's one that's worth it. It’s a hit with locals for its toothsome dishes and for maintaining excellent service, regardless of their popularity and subsequent busyness. The prawn dumpling soup is a must-try entree, while the hot chilli beef with vegetables packs a serious punch. If you're after some lunch, go for the Vietnamese rolls that are both delicious and kind to the hip pocket.
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