Vibrant, fresh, and bursting with the flavors of lemongrass, ginger, and mint, Vietnamese food has hit London in a big way. Now it’s easy to grab a banh mi in Soho or a bowl of pho in Shoreditch. Read on to discover the top Vietnamese restaurants bringing the flavours of South East Asia to the city.
Cây Tre’s Soho branch is another roaring success from the Vietnamese Kitchen group. The décor is West-End-slick with minimalistic, monochrome interiors. It’s the food, however, that’s at the heart of this restaurant, and the pared-back surroundings help keep the focus where it should be; on the menu. The main dishes of classic pho and bun bo are delicious, but we recommend loading up on small plates and sharing the lot, the better way to try all the incredible flavours on offer.
Smack bang in the center of London’s ‘theatreland’ lies the glamorous Com Viet. You might pop in for a quick pre-theatre dinner, but once you’ve tried the delights on offer, you’ll be at risk of missing the show altogether. The wine selection is satisfying but not too pricey, while the decor is all dark wood and leather, complete with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
The third branch from Vietnamese culinary legend, Bobby Chinn, The House of Ho’s sister restaurants can be found in Saigon and Hanoi. The flavors are authentically Vietnamese, but the dishes have a decided modern update, with beautiful spiced quail, apple-smoked pork belly, and rich, fragrant steamed lobster with glass noodles all on the menu. The focus is on sharing plates, but this summer sees bahn mi and pho also come to Ho.
Don’t be deceived by the appearance of this little restaurant. It may not look like much, but the rough-around-the-edges exterior hides an absolute jewel of a Vietnamese restaurant. The menu includes dishes local to the Mien Tay region and all are done to perfection, with steaming, succulent beef, chargrilled quail, and summer rolls that are fresh and crisp.
The star of Kingsland road, the pho at Sông Quê Café is notoriously good. Filled with natural light and the chatter of its Vietnamese loving crowd, the staff is friendly, and the food delicious from rolls that give a satisfying crunch when bitten to beef with a kick of lemongrass. Rumored to be the best in London, the pho is where it’s at, and it’s easy to see why.