Category Archives: Vietnamese

Sao Mai

My wife and I stopped in here for some banh mi sandwiches after eating some pizza at Motorino around the corner. We tried a classic sandwich, and a pho sandwich (sliced beef and the toppings you usually get with pho, like bean sprouts, etc). Both were pretty good, but I think I liked the pho sandwich better. Both were pretty spicy without having to ask for it, which I like. Check out the pics:




203 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Hanoi Vietnamese Kitchen

Stopped off in this place to test out their banh mi sandwich – classic style, of course. The bread was toasty and warm, and the veggies and herbs were all nice and fresh. Not my favorite, but it was okay for a much needed fix.


The pho here is pretty good as well. Nice robust flavor. I’ve had better for cheaper, but the quality of the ingredients here seemed to be a little better.

hanoi viet kitchen pho

448 9th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215


Walked past this little banh mi and pho shop on the way home from Talde and picked up a classic style sandwich to try. It was a little pricey for the size, but it was tasty nonetheless. I’ve had better at other places, but this place is okay if you’r win a bind and need a Vietnamese banh mi fix. Here it is:


134 Smith St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Saigon 9 West Vietnamese Cafe

This little place is on 47th Street just east of 9th Avenue, and is almost never open, despite two signs saying that they are open from 9-9 or 10-10. The people who run the joint also run the dry cleaners next door, which is a very busy place. So, as you may guess, the folks over there don’t always get to open up the food shop. They’re sweet as hell – I just wish their storefront was reliably open.

They have a big menu, and a little space.

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The food is pretty decent, although not ideal, yet all I have managed to try so far is the traditional banh mi sandwich.

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Good for a needed fix, but the ‘hood is lacking in Viet food to begin with, so take this joint with a grain of salt (if it is open when you go).


Thai Son

This was our old standby for Vietnamese food in the old neighborhood. It’s not the best around, but on average it was better for the things we ordered every time. Certain other places had items that we loved that were not on the menu here (like the avocado shake), but this place was cheap and consistent, so we frequented it pretty regularly. Some of the highlights: summer rolls, spring rolls, pho, banh cuon, and that wacky shredded ice drink with all the sweet beans, carrots and jelly thingies in it.




89 Baxter St.
New York, NY 10013

Cha Pas

Cha Pas is a pretty good little mostly-Vietnamese restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. They serve up some pretty good food here, but the prices reflect a place that is not like the downtown joints. This is more expensive. For some dishes, it’s worth it, but for others, not so much. That said, everything I’ve had here is very good. I’ve tried the banh mi, the pho, the Vietnamese chicken wings, the clay pot pork belly, and the chicken curry. No real disappointments to speak of, and the Vietnamese coffee is very good. They also have some more difficult to find Southeast Asian beers as well, and a really cool painted, exposed brick wall on the inside.






beef pho chapas

chicken pho chapas

salad chapas

spring roll chapas

314 W. 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019

Le Colonial

My wife found this cool article that featured Le Colonial’s foie gras pho. It looked amazing, so we had to try it out.

We went for lunch on a Friday. It wasn’t packed or anything like that: we sat right away. Yet it took us an hour to have three appetizers. The wait time between the first appetizer and the second two appetizers was horrendous. Probably a half hour.

We started with the wok fried monk fish, called ca bam. Though very salty, small, and overpriced ($15) it WAS very tasty. The rice chips were the perfect crunchy vessel to eat the peanutty and lightly spiced fish.


Fast forward 30 minutes and our soups FINALLY came to the table. We each ordered the signature pho dish. At $19 a pop I was expecting something at least as filling as a bowl of pho from Chinatown. No such luck. There was about 10-12oz of liquid broth, a few thin slices of the meat, a small handful of noodles, and a small piece of fois gras. The bowl, in all, is a bit smaller than what you’d make with instant ramen or instant pho. While I realize that it is an appetizer portion, I feel that for $19 you should get more substance. At least it was delicious. It was hearty, tasty, and it contained quality ingredients. The foie gras was deliciously fatty and perfectly executed.



The decor was definitely beautiful. I should have thought to snap a pic of that. It was very reminiscent of real French-Vietnamese structures in Vietnam. Hence the name Le Colonial.


But paying $68, tax included for three appetizers to come out over the course of over an hour was fucking absurd. I’ll never eat here again, though I’m glad I got to try the soup. In the future I’ll just stick with the Chinatown pho joints. Only in midtown NYC can you pay $68 for lunch and still be hungry. Fuck that. I guess the good thing is that I got to spend some quality time with my wife in the middle of a work day.

149 E. 57th St.
New York, NY 10022