The Phoenix population has been rising steadily over the last few years, and it doesn’t hurt that the area has become home to lots of terrific restaurants. And though the city only has about 5,000 or so Vietnamese residents, Phoenix has plenty of great restaurants that specialize in Vietnamese cuisine.
If you’re a fan of Vietnamese dishes, then you’ll love how the city offers plenty of great spots where you can indulge your taste buds. And if you haven’t really tried Vietnamese cuisine, then it’s time for you to start if you live in (or just visiting) Phoenix.
You’ll find this small restaurant in a strip mall in central Phoenix, and if it seems familiar, then you might recognize the location as the former Maxim restaurant. But things are a little bit different now, starting with the truly expansive menu featuring tasty Vietnamese dishes. You won’t have to repeat the same order every time you visit for a long while, not with more than 100 different dishes to try out.
The pho is a particular standout, which you can get with either meatballs or slices of beef. You should also try the rice and egg noodles in a pork broth. Other favorite items include the plates of broken rice, the vermicelli and stir-fry noodles, and the banh mi with lots of different fillings to pick from.
The “A.V.” in the name, according to owner Phat Pham Tan, stands for American-Vietnamese. This restaurant is also in a strip mall, this time in north Phoenix. It doesn’t really look all that impressive, though the dining room is neatly decorated and you have several cozy booths.
But what will impress you is the long list of dishes featured in the menu. You’ve got pho, porridge, bun, and noodles to try out. There are also several beef dishes that they serve with jasmine rice. The aroma alone of that jasmine rice is already divine!
The history of Rice Paper does involve a lot of moving around. It first started in the Coronado neighborhood, with a renovated bungalow serving as the dining location. Then the restaurant transferred to the Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix, but it closed down in just a year.
Now it’s back in the Coronado area, where the diners hope it will actually stay. The star of the show here is “fresh spring roll bar”, with more than 20 different spring rolls available. Various fillings include filet mignon, chicken, and pork, along with fish, shrimp, and veggies.
Of course, you should try out the entrees as well, and you can’t miss the banh mi, pho, and salads.
Tea Light Café
You’ll find this place on Mayo Blvd. in north Phoenix. It’s a fast-casual restaurant, but you do get genuine Vietnamese cuisine. You have to walk up to the counter to give your order, and then you can sit back and relax with one of their signature drinks while you wait. You can go with the Vietnamese coffee, Thai tea, or organic Japanese matcha green tea.
The menu isn’t really all that large, but you do get a nice range of great options. You’ve got steamed rice plates, bun, salads, and pho to try out first. The shrimp pho is particularly delightful, made with some light broth, fresh shrimp, and rice noodles.
This is a restaurant with a definitive no-fuss, almost fast-food vibe. The pho here must be tried right away, and it’s a particular favorite among various Valley chefs like The Larder + The Delta’s Stephen Jones.
Sure, you have seafood and vegetable options here that you can’t really discount. But the beef options are just magnificent, such as the braised brisket, meatballs, and steak.
And you should get that fantastic bowl of the house special beef noodle soup. It features rare steak, meatballs, tripe, and tendon, along with the flavors brought on by the basil, sprouts, jalapeños, lime, onion, and cilantro.
Find this place on N. Cave Creek Road in northern Phoenix.
This is a recently opened restaurant here in Phoenix, with the first location being in faraway New Jersey. It’s actually a restaurant that offers mostly Vietnamese and Thai dishes, and you can find it around the southwest corner of 12th Street and Northern in north Phoenix.
You’ll find plenty of noodle and stir-fry dishes here, and the prices at Komodo are quite affordable. Their Bo Luc Lak (Shaking Beef) is terrific, features wok-fried filet mignon, along with jalapeños, tomatoes, and red onions. Or you can go with the Leek-Y Beef. It also has the wok-fried filet mignon, but this time it’s with leek and garlic, along with their house-made beef butter.
Get the pho as well, as it’s so good that it’s almost mandatory. Those green onions and crispy shallots combine nicely with the thin rice noodles.
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