Affordable, mostly healthy, and not "too weird" for most American palates, Vietnamese food is easy to enjoy. But if you don't plan on using the sauces and condiments on the table, you're missing out on what makes the cuisine so delicious. Don't worry about having to understand them all; just try a few, or better yet, ask for help. And if there's a language barrier, simply shrug your shoulders, look confused, and point to them. The reward is better-tasting and more flavorful dishes.
This no-frills eatery in Chandler focuses on solid and inexpensive fare as well as friendly service. Check out satisfying spring rolls, sweet lemongrass chicken over rice, and the popular Saigon beef rice noodle soup (pho) or opt for less familiar (but still delicious) dishes such as ca kho (caramelized clay pot catfish) and canh chua (sour soup with okra and taro stems).
This warm, contemporary restaurant in Mesa features stellar bo bia (rice paper-wrapped spring rolls packed with sweet Chinese sausage) and banh tam bi (rice noodles with shredded pork and coconut milk), but it may be most coveted for its varieties of bun. Don't miss creations like bun bo xao xa (Vietnamese beef sauteed with lemongrass) or spicy bun bo hue (Hue-style noodle soup with lemongrass.)
This family-owned staple in Central Phoenix has been serving up crazy-cheap, authentic Vietnamese fare from its hole-in-the-wall home for around 20 years. With over 75 items in the menu, indecision can set in fast, but remember to stick with the highlights: gigantic spring rolls, dishes of barbecued pork and shrimp, the seafood hot pot, and, of course, pho. Flour crepes pan-fried with shrimp and pork or a cháo (porridge) are also tasty selections.
The number of steaming bowls of pho being slurped up by regulars at this cozy spot tucked into a Tempe strip mall should be a good clue as to what to order. From sliced chicken breast, to thin sliced rare beef, to the all-kinds-of-beef " #1 Super Everything" variety, the bowls of pho come out quicker than you might expect. Perfect if you're in a rush -- or just really hungry.
Yes, the name is a bit silly, but this welcoming spot in Mesa's Mekong Plaza is serious about delivering satisfying Vietnamese food to its customers. Along with several varieties of pho from various regions of Vietnam, expect to find rice paper rolls stuffed with ingredients like fried eggs, handmade pork sausage, and jicama, and bun creations like bún thịt nướng chả giò, featuring grilled pork and fried spring rolls.
This little eatery in a Central Phoenix strip mall serves up serves up solid Vietnamese favorites -- and quickly -- along with affordable prices and friendly service. The house specialty is pho, which can be followed by dishes like seafood banh canh, Viet Vermicelli (a rice noodle dish with grilled pork and shrimp and a side of fish sauce), and pork and shrimp pancakes. Don't miss the spring rolls -- they're a customer favorite.
This inviting and tucked-away eatery in Chandler sees a steady stream of regulars thanks to its satisfying selection of Vietnamese favorites. Most come for the pho -- in particular, the spicy seafood, chicken, and rare-beef varieties -- as well as lemongrass chicken, giant spring rolls, and grilled pork dishes. Need some help? A friendly staff is happy to help you find a favorite; or if you're a newbie, let you know what condiments will work best.
This cozy cottage in downtown Glendale's historic antique district seems fitting for its offerings of Vietnamese comfort food. The family-owned restaurant is a hit with the locals who love to order up dishes like huge and crispy rice-flour crepes packed with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts; satisfying combination plates such as grilled shrimp and pork with steamed white rice and topped with a sunny-side up egg; and the veggie friendly rau bo xoi xao toi featuring sauteed spinach.
In 2011, this go-to spot in Central Phoenix doubled in size -- a testament to the fact that word's getting out about its exceptional, affordable Vietnamese dishes (over 150 of them). The pho is exceptional -- wonderfully rich and flavorful -- plus, there are satisfying dishes like DIY rolls featuring shrimp paste grilled on sugarcane, raw beef tenderloin that you cook on a tabletop grill, and $2.50 (not a typo) bahn mi sandwiches that rival most in the Valley.
Like the moniker, this little gem of unique Vietnamese fare hidden in the food court of Mesa's Mekong Plaza focuses on the distinctive cuisine of Huế, the capital city of Thua Thien, in the Hue province of Vietnam. Try dishes like bun bo hue (spicy red soup); rice cakes topped with dried, ground shrimp, and fried pork skin; bánh khot (miniature fried pancakes); nem chua huế (cured meat wrapped in banana leaves); and pâté chauds (Vietnamese puff pastries with a meat filling.)
All our favorites lists also are available on our Best Of app -- see it in action here.
And check out our other lists: 10 Favorite Spots for Crepes in Greater Phoenix 11 Favorite Phoenix Beers 10 Favorite Spots for Seafood in Greater Phoenix 10 Favorite Gelato Spots 10 Favorite Burrito Joints in Metro Phoenix 10 Favorite Spots for Wings in Metro Phoenix 11 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Leave Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Hot Sauces and Salsas Top Ten Spots for Mac 'n' Cheese in the Valley Three Favorite Espresso Shots in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Farmers' Markets Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Eleven Favorite Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Cupcakes Eleven Favorite Barbecue Joints in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Wine Bars Ten Favorite Phoenix Irish Restaurant & Pubs Six Favorite Specialty Cocktails in Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Craft Beer Bars Ten Favorite Gourmet Pizza Shops in the Valley Five Favorite Japanese Restaurants in Phoenix Ten Favorite Margaritas in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Coffee Shops in Phoenix Five Favorite Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix Eleven Favorite Ice Cream Shops in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Happy Hours Five Favorite Sonoran Dogs in the Valley Ten Favorite Hot Dogs in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Desserts in Phoenix Ten Favorite First Date Restaurants Ten Favorite Burgers in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Downtown Phoenix Restaurants for Late Night Dining Ten Favorite Vegetarian Entrees in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Greater Phoenix
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!