The D.C. area has a vibrant Vietnamese community that’s particularly concentrated in Falls Church, the Northern Virginia town that boasts its own Little Vietnam in the expansive Eden Center. But top-notch pho, banh mi, and vermicelli dishes are also available everywhere from Silver Spring to parts of D.C. proper. These are the destination Vietnamese restaurants around D.C.Read More
D.C.’s Essential Vietnamese Restaurants
Where to go for pho, banh mi, bun, and so much more
1. Mi La Cay
Maryland suburbanites visits this Vietnamese restaurant for marinated quail, bun bo hue (beef noodle soup,) and egg noodle dishes such as crispy Maryland chicken egg-noodle soup, which comes with a whole chicken on its own plate.
2. Bun DC
This is the place to get vermicelli crab soup. One version is packed with squid and shrimp. Another features pork heart and pork blood. Sample an array of appetizers from the kitchen by ordering the banh hoi, a bed of fried vermicelli topped with spring rolls, grilled shrimp, and skewered balls of pork and shrimp.
3. Pho 14 (Multiple Locations)
Pho 14 keeps D.C. residents fueled with pho, while also serving up Vietnamese crepes, bun bo hue (spicy noodle soup) and more.
4. Simply Banh Mi
Not everyone can make it all the way out to Virginia for a banh mi sandwich. This Georgetown shop takes a build-an-entree approach to sandwiches, rice bowls, noodle bowls, and salad bowls. It also serves pho.
5. Pho 75 (Multiple locations)
The area’s most well-regarded pho shop is no-frills: don’t expect fawning service or even appetizers like spring rolls here. Just fill up on the expertly balanced soup, available with several different cuts of beef, and the strong Vietnamese coffee.
6. Nam-Viet Restaurant
The family-run Vietnamese staple started as a small 15-seat eatery on Highland Street in 1986 and is still going strong in Arlington. Nam-Viet, which counts various politicos and Washington Capitals players as regulars, makes 10,000 crispy spring rolls a week. They come stuffed with deep-fried pork, chicken, crab meat, carrots, and onion. Other hit orders include deep-fried baby back ribs sautéed in its sweet fish sauce glaze, seasonal Saigon-style soft shell crabs, and a Pandan Express cocktail built with the vanilla-like herb from Southeast Asia. — Tierney Plumb
7. Nhu Lan Sandwich Shop
An Eden Center destination for banh mi sandwiches stuffed with Vietnamese meatballs, sour pork, pate, and so much more.
8. Nha Trang Restaurant
Falls Church, VA 22044
Another Eden Center gem (hidden in the Saigon East section of the mall area), this restaurant’s specialities range from nem nuong cuon ninh hoa (barbecue pork rolls) to mi quang, a turmeric-spiked soup with pork and shrimp. Dishes like bun, rice paper rolls stuffed with fried scallion sticks, and congee shine at this homey restaurant, too.
9. Rice Paper
Rice Paper’s prodigious menu has pages and pages of Vietnamese dishes. Make sure to save room for crispy lemongrass tofu or any of the broken rice dishes. Hot pot is a favorite of the crowds here.
10. Huong Viet Restaurant
Falls Church, VA 22044
Huong Viet has been a standout restaurant in Falls Church’s Eden Center for decades. Here, dishes like crab fried rice, ban xeo (crepes) and grilled rice vermicelli are treated with care. The lemongrass pork chops are a highlight here. For something lighter, go with the sweet and sour pineapple and tamarind soup.
11. Thanh Son Tofu
It’s easy to walk by the long lines inside this Eden Center cafe and wonder what all the fuss is about. Customers are waiting in line for homemade tofu, including deep fried versions in flavors such as lemongrass. Desserts, bubble tea, and even tofu pudding are all served carryout buffet-style.
12. Hai Duong Restaurant Eden Center
A family-friendly Eden Center standout, Hai Duong excels at clay pot rice, shaky beef, and more.
13. Four Sisters Restaurant
Now located inside Merrifield’s Mosaic District development, Four Sisters was a pioneer in the city’s Vietnamese restaurant scene. The shrimp toast and crispy spring rolls are iconic. Rice and noodle dishes are plentiful, and there are even family-style tasting menus. A fast-casual version of the restaurant is located in Arlington, as well as a “snack bar” in Ashburn. Both serve limited versions of the menu.
14. Banh Mi DC Sandwich
Falls Church, VA 22042
This takeout counter in a Falls Church strip mall sets the standard for banh mi sandwiches in the area, particularly on account of their homemade bread and comprehensive list of fillings.