Food plays a significant role in Vietnamese culture. China historically influenced the cuisine, with France adding some touches during its six-decade colonization of the country. Today, there are plenty of amazing Vietnamese restaurants in America and across the globe.
However, Vietnamese cuisine is decidedly its own, featuring a unique mix of sweet, savory, and spice that varies a bit depending on which region of the country you’re in.
As Vietnamese immigrants came to the United States, they brought their cuisine with them. Restaurants spread across the country not only to provide a place for Vietnamese persons to enjoy a taste of home but to also share with their now fellow Americans their culinary culture.
You can find great-tasting Vietnamese food from Los Angeles to New York and plenty of places in between.
Vietnamese restaurants are found in strip malls, Brooklyn brownstones, and near the Mississippi River in New Orleans. You’ll have no trouble finding delicious noodles, rice, and more no matter where you are.
If you’re looking to try some of the best Vietnamese restaurants in America, check out these local favorites across the country.
16105 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Brodard Restaurant is located across the street from a large park in Fountain Valley, California just outside of Los Angeles.
The park provides the perfect opportunity to mix outdoor time with your meal, featuring designated picnic areas, baseball fields, archery ranges, and more.
You have to fuel up before having fun, and Brodard is a delicious spot to charge your body. This upscale restaurant boasts one of the most extensive selections of spring rolls I’ve ever seen.
I recommend their ribeye rolls, featuring tender ribeye wrapped in rice paper with pickled veggies, fresh mint, cucumber, and lettuce served with a lemongrass citrus sauce.
Di An Di
68 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Di An Di is just blocks from Brooklyn’s WNYC Transmitter Park, which provides gorgeous views of Manhattan you can enjoy after your meal.
The restaurant has a hole-in-the-wall near-the-water vibe you’ll appreciate while enjoying some delicious Vietnamese food.
I recommend ordering the Banh Mi Dau Hu. This vegetarian dish features house-made tofu, pickled carrots, cucumbers, hoisin, Tuong ot, cilantro, and a delicious tofu aioli.
Di An Di also has a uniquely-Vietnamese cocktail menu featuring ingredients like Thai chili, condensed milk, and ube whipped cream.
Those seeking non-alcoholic options can enjoy drinks such as cold brew with coconut milk and artichoke tea.
Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen
835 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
The art and colorful lighting of Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen perfectly represents the Portland hip vibe.
This is the place to go if you’re looking for Instagram-worthy photos, delicious food, and stellar service.
It’s also located just a couple of blocks from the Waterfront Park Trail along the Willamette River which provides scenic views during an after-meal walk.
I recommend ordering the restaurant’s namesake item – Luc Lac. This dish features wok-seared cubed beef and Hennessy, black peppercorn, and garlic served with cherry tomatoes, mixed greens, and tomato-fried rice.
Enjoy a delicious handcrafted cocktail with your meal, or choose from one of the Portland-brewed beers on tap.
2738 SE 82nd Ave UNIT 102, Portland, OR 97266
HaVL is a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup spot located around the back of an herb market in Southeast Portland.
This community-focused restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday, featuring a select menu of 2-3 soups that changes daily.
Check out their daily menu to see if anything sounds particularly appetizing to you, but you honestly can’t go wrong with any of HaVL’s noodle soups.
I went on a Saturday for the spicy beef noodle soup. The bowl featured sliced pork, tender beef, and vermicelli noodles in a lemongrass beef broth.
Thursday features a tropical-flavored soup featuring passion fruit, pineapple, shrimp, tofu, and squid that also sounds delicious.
16563 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Au Lac offers two great locations for diners to enjoy their plant-based cuisine.
You can enjoy their Vietnamese food in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles or head about an hour outside the city to Fountain Valley to be closer to the beach. Both locations offer menus featuring a delicious variety of vegetarian fare.
I recommend ordering the sweet and spicy tempeh. Enjoy this dish of root veggies and tempeh paired with a palm-sweetened chili sauce with melinjo crackers and served with hemp seeds.
You have to finish your meal with Au Lac’s rainbow flan. This dessert has chilled layers of coconut, kale, mango, palm sugar, raspberry, and blueberry. Trust me, the kale works here.
9361 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683
Song Long has been a fixture of Westminster, California’s Little Saigon neighborhood for decades.
The restaurant’s vibe and décor are the same as when they first opened – which I love.
It’s not quite hole-in-the-wall, but a simple and relaxed place to enjoy a meal. Take advantage of the limited outdoor seating if you can.
You have to try their ca-ri ga. This curry dish features chicken, yam, and potato served with your choice of rice, bread, or vermicelli.
They also have an oddly-delicious dessert called che Thai made with corn and tropical fruit soaked in coconut milk.
1705 Lafayette St, Gretna, LA 70053
Tan Dinh is located just across the Mississippi River from Uptown New Orleans, in the relaxed working-class city of Gretna.
The restaurant reflects the vibes of its city, featuring an open and welcoming atmosphere free of flashy décor.
This restaurant is where you go to sit down and enjoy a solid meal outside the hustle and bustle of New Orleans.
I recommend taking advantage of Tan Dinh’s create-your-own-pho option. You can choose from 1-3 different meat options if you order a large bowl to accompany a mix of onion, basil, jalapeno, cilantro, and bean sprouts.
Your choices are brisket, rare flank, tendon, tripe, and meatball.
Make sure to order one of their homemade tapioca drinks with your food. They have nearly 20 flavors to choose from.
11210 Bellaire Blvd #140, Houston, TX 77072
Thien Thanh is the place to go if you’re looking for large portions of delicious food at affordable prices in Houston.
The restaurant also has a wonderfully chill feel, with warm browns and greens giving off the impression you’re eating outside – a feeling assuredly helped by the bamboo wallpaper on most of the walls.
I suggest ordering a combo of the cha ca thang long and banh beo tom chay. The first is a delicious seasonal grilled fish served with dill, and the latter is a filling steamed rice cake with minced shrimp.
I’d be impressed if you consume this entire meal in one sitting, but be prepared to take some leftovers home. You can’t go wrong with having delicious Vietnamese food two days straight!
1800 S Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60608
HaiSous is located in the heart of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, known for its prominent international culture and food scene.
The restaurant feels modern but with a warm and relaxing color pallet that makes it easy to sit back and enjoy yourself.
The food here is delicious, but I recommend grabbing a drink during their Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m.
Thursday-Sunday. They have a large selection of craft cocktails and beer that perfectly pairs with their delicious bar food.
I recommend the combo of their crispy Thai chicken wings coated in chili and a caramelized fish sauce with a cold locally-brewed beer. Their rum bunch featuring a delicious spice blend is also a tasty beverage.
2121 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Everything about Hai Hai represents the laid-back Minneapolis cool the city is famous for.
The bright yellow exterior with contrasting electric blue shutters and covered patio draws inside, where I’ll admit I was honestly impressed with the simple beauty.
Whoever designed this restaurant did a great job with colors and accents that made me happy to forgo the fresh air of the patio to eat inside.
I recommend going with the beef rendang. This spicy beef dish features coconut cream, tamarind, curry, and lemongrass served with a Chinese broccoli wrap and coconut rice.
Don’t forget dessert. Order the Vietnamese coffee pot de crème made with coffee custard, cocoa nib, crème fraiche, and crispy tuile.
21022-21148 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
LSXO is ridiculously gorgeous. Let’s get that out of the way now. Every aspect of the interior design is fancy in a way that still feels welcoming.
Large windows look out at Huntington Beach and the Pacific Ocean, providing the perfect view while you enjoy your meal.
The food is just as good as the view.
Since you’re already looking at the ocean, I recommend ordering fried sea bass.
The fish dish comes with herbs, peanuts, scallion oil, a delicious ginger chili sauce, and just enough fresh lime to tie everything together.
177 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Bolero is located in a quaint pocket of Brooklyn filled with international restaurants and markets.
I was impressed with the amount of sitting and standing outdoor space available.
There’s a hut out front for those looking for a quick bite, and a private space in the back filled with plants and natural elements to help you forget you’re in one of the largest cities in the world.
The private outdoor area is the perfect place to enjoy something sweet. I recommend ordering the Pandan Honeycomb Cake with roasted almond butter and Asian pear jam.
Pair that with a Vietnamese cold brew with condensed milk and you have the perfect combo to relax with friends or family.
The Pig and the Lady
83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817
The Pig and the Lady is a community-focused eatery. In addition to their restaurant in Downtown Honolulu, they set up at numerous farmers’ markets throughout the city multiple days a week.
The restaurant has a simple and hip modern aesthetic with high ceilings, exposed brown brick walls, and varying hanging lighting.
I suggest ordering the oxtail pho. This dish features oxtail stewed in a spiced beef broth and served with herbs, fermented chili, and rice noodles.
Finish your meal with a Hanoi egg coffee. This Vietnamese drink is served with a whipped egg yolk and vanilla bean.
Kau Ba Kitchen
2502 Dunlavy St Suite B, Houston, TX 77006
Kau Ba Kitchen is located in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood, an area known for its wide range of bars, vintage stores, and restaurants.
It was nice escaping the traffic of Downtown Houston to eat at this quiet corner spot with a great covered patio to enjoy fresh food in the fresh air.
The unique fusion of Vietnamese and Cajun cuisines makes this restaurant’s menu difficult to recommend just one meal from.
If forced, I suggest visiting during lunch or ordering their Lunch Box. The box features a large selection of meats from candied salmon to grilled lemongrass pork belly served with a salad and steamed rice.
Kau Ba Kitchen has an expansive bar, serving a large selection of cocktails, beer, and wine.
They also do a few tasty non-alcoholic cocktails for those in your party who don’t or can’t drink alcohol.
212 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003
Madame Vo has a great vibe that combines classic New York style with modern flares.
The tile floor and exposed brick walls pair perfectly with eclectic lighting and wood accents which creates a relaxingly modern New York eating experience.
The menu is a combo of modern and traditional as well. Start your meal with salt-toasted squid and avocado sauce before moving on to a main course of The Madame Pho.
This noodle dish features short ribs served in beef broth with rice noodles. Enjoy your meal with a salted or unsalted fresh-squeezed limeade.
Garlic and Chives
9892 Westminster Blvd # 311, Garden Grove, CA 92844
Garlic and Chives is located in Garden Grove, about an hour southeast of Los Angeles near Anaheim.
It’s part of a strip mall featuring a variety of restaurants, bakeries, and shops. I always enjoy a place you can grab a good meal and then walk around to do some shopping, and Garlic and Chive provides that opportunity.
I recommend starting with fried sweet potato fries spiced with Vietnamese seasoning before diving into one of their delicious clay pot dishes.
They have plenty to choose from, but I went with the pork belly and caramelized catfish. This Vietnamese take on catfish was delicious.
Garlic and Chives has a large selection of sweet teas to enjoy with your meal. Their lychee tea is refreshing and pairs perfectly with a spicy meal.