So fresh yet so flavoursome. Vietnamese food is, in our humble opinion, probably the healthiest Asian cuisine around. We can't go pass the vibrant flavours of mint, lemongrass, lime and chilli—oh-so satisfying. You just can’t beat a bún chả noodle salad in the summer and a steaming bowl of beef pho during the chilly months.
With Vietnamese joints opening on every Auckland street corner, there’s plenty of choice. Whether you're out to impress a date after a hearty evening meal or just grabbing lunch on the go, our list of Auckland's best Vietnamese offerings will see you right.
In the heart of Britomart, Café Hanoi is a tried and true and offers more "up market" Vietnamese cuisine. The star of the menu is undoubtedly the tiger prawn cutlets coated in young green rice. Other must tries include the sweet caramelised mullet steaks and the zesty poached chicken green papaya salad.
Try It Out
A hidden gem in Otahuhu—this cheap and cheerful joint is your go-to for a huge bowl of fragrant pho. But make sure you also grab a banh mi because Try It Out's traditional pork and ham sub is rumoured to be the most authentic in Auckland.
Saigonz is a solid choice for a pre-show bite, especially when you discover all other Vector Arena vicinity restaurants are chocka. Equally suitable takeaway lunch option as everything is served in plastic (even if you dine in...). The spring rolls on vermicelli is a tried and true but for something different, get the banh xeo—a crispy panfried Vietnamese crepe filled with pork and prawn.
Le Vietnamese Kitchen
Located on the busy main road of Ponsonby, Le Vietnamese Kitchen is the ultimate classic date night spot. Book a corner table in the courtyard and make sure you order the flaming king prawns. You can thank us later.
While quite literally a road side stall, this colourful little shack offers Viet street food at Shortland Street prices. Having said that, District 5's beautifully braised pork belly—star of the spicy pork bánh mì—is well worth the big bucks.
This Vietnamese tapas bar is tucked away on Fort Street, which is becoming cooler with every new gastronomical pop-up. Take a long lunch, get the Combination Gỏi cuốn & bánh mì and wash it down with a lychee, lime & soda. Or, if its Friday, get a round of Indochine Kitchen's Vietnamese coffee martinis and call it a day.
The Bamboo Basket
The baguettes are perfectly crunchy and chewy and the pate serves, generous. With quirky names such as the "Saigon Piggie" (the traditional ham and pork) or the "Running Chick" (soy glazed chicken), we'd come back to The Bamboo Basket just for the lols…and of course the sandwich rolls!
It’s the battle of the bánh mì, with the famous Viet Sandwich stall/cart/kiosk all set up on Elliot Street, a mere 100 metres from The Bamboo Basket. While known for their namesake sandwiches, we suggest you also grab a Vietnamese coffee sinfully laced with sweet condensed milk. Mmmm.
Say hello to the latest newcomer to Auckland's Viet scene. All set up like a cute little café, Hello Mister conveniently offers half sizes of all their meals so you can try a bit of everything. We were most impressed with the colourful cabinet displaying an array of rice paper rolls. There is an overwhelming choice of flavour combinations but if you're feeling adventurous, go for the Peking duck or crumbed fish.
Looking for more Asian delights? Check out Auckland’s Best Malaysian Restaurants.
Image credit: Yaseera Moosa