Fresh and flavoursome, Vietnamese cuisine is best known for iconic dishes such as pho soup and the bánh mi sandwich made with a baguette – a legacy of the French colonial era. One of the trendiest Asian cuisines of the moment, it’s no surprise that there a number of excellent Vietnamese restaurants in Barcelona, from the traditional to the hip and modern.
Bún Bò Viêtnam
The modern décor of Ikibana | Courtesy of Ikibana
Named after the iconic Vietnamese dish bún bò hue, this modern Vietnamese restaurant is located in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The brightly coloured lamps that adorn the locale make the dinning room playful and casual. Despite the modern veneer, the dishes on the menu are authentic Vietnamese classics, which include the eponymous bún bò as well as bánh mí sandwiches, Vietnamese stuffed pancakes and pho soup. On the drinks menu, you’ll find imported beers such as Tiger, Kingfisher and Cobra, as well as a selection of reasonably priced cocktails.
Located in the trendy Gràcia neighbourhood, La Vietnamita is a casual Vietnamese eatery offering both take-away and eat-in dining. Drawing on Vietnamese street-food culture, the dishes are inspired by traditional dishes but given a personal twist such as the bun bao burger or the crunchy noodle salad with lime dressing. The restaurant’s weekly lunch menu at just €11.45 is great value for money and won’t leave you feeling hungry.
Named after the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi is a rather rustic restaurant with a rather simple décor of plain walls, dark wood tables and white table cloths – if you’re after atmosphere, you’ll have to be sure to bring it yourself. However, the menu is full of colourful descriptions of exotic dishes, mostly from Vietnam but also a few borrowed from Thailand and China. If you’re not enthralled by the locale, you can also order all dishes to take away, although they lose a little in presentation.
One of the most well-regarded Asian restaurants in Barcelona, Indochine Ly Leap is as appreciated for its food as it is for its incredible décor. Like a tropical garden, the dining room is brimming with exotic plants, large solid wood tables and cozy cushions as well as authentic Asian artwork, which leave guests feeling transported to a tropical jungle. The menu is an homage to some of the most popular dishes from southeast Asia, especially Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.
Restaurant, Vietnamese, Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Fast Food, $$$
According to its website, Món Việt is ‘bicycles, green tea, banana leaves, bamboo baskets filled with fruit, bright colours’ – in other words, it’s a trip down a busy Vietnamese street full of life and full of flavour. The hip, industrial-style dinning room with its red brick walls, neon signs and straightforward furniture is playful and laid-back. On the menu, you’ll find pho soup, bánh mi sandwiches but also fresh rolls and crispy nem, all of which are fresh and bursting with flavour.
On the first page of the menu at Capitol de Vietnam you’ll find an explanation that there are five essential spices in Vietnamese cuisine – ginger, star anise, cinnamon, lemongrass and clove. These, and the all important nưó’c mắm sauce, form the basis of most of the most common Vietnamese dishes, a large selection of which you’ll find in the pages of the menu. One of the best ways to dine at Capitol de Vietnam is to opt for the so-called Việt-Tapas menu, which comes as a selection of dishes to share, just like the concept of Spanish tapas.
Restaurant, Vietnamese, Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Gluten-free
Located in the neighbourhood of El Clot, past the Sagrada Família on the way out of the city, Tutu Vietnamese is a cozy locale serving home-cooked Vietnamese food. Something of a local’s favourite in the area, the lunchtime menu at €10.50 for a main course, dessert and a drink is great value for money and can be made Jumbo XL for just an extra 1€. The homemade spring rolls come recommended, as do the bó bùn noodle dishes that come with a flavoursome peanut sauce.