Can I just say a big hell yeah to Vietnam for providing the world with delicious bowls of pho, rice paper rolls, banh mi baguettes and the strongest, sweetest coffee known to humankind? Luckily for us Brisbanites, our local Vietnamese food game is so strong there’s no need to pine for the food you ate on holiday in Saigon, Hoi An or Hanoi.
From bustling authentic joints, to French-inspired modern Vietnamese, to all the types of pho, here are all the best Vietnamese restaurants in Brisbane that more than make the grade.
Café O Mai in Annerley had to buy out their neighbours so they could expand, that's how epic their banh mi baguette following is. Lunch faves include free range chicken pho and the five spice brisket banh mi. They also know how to add a touch of luxe to their menu, using Cape Grim grass-fed black Angus and free range chicken in their pho soups - it’s next level. Make sure you swing by for breakfast one of these days, until you've had Aunty Five's claypot baked eggs with lemongrass pork sausage you haven't lived.
As if having one of Brisbane's best Vietnamese restaurants in Annerley wasn't enough, Red Lotus sits just a few doors up from its (actual) sister establishment, Cafe O Mai. While Cafe O Mai shines earlier in the day, Red Lotus rules the night with traditional Vietnamese dinners including crackling Bangalow pork, lemongrass beef vermicilli salads and wagyu beef pho. Red Lotus also does a very nifty take away menu for those who need a Vietnamese fix but don't want to dine out, and a cracking menu of cocktails for those who want to stick around.
Pho Hung in Sunnybank has rightly earned a reputation as one of Brisbane’s best purveyors of pho. The clear broth, fragrant basil and spices make their pho super soothing any time of day or night. We also love their fresh rice paper rolls with pork and prawn which are great for the gluten free among us.
Quan Thanh in West End is a hot contender for the best pho in Brisbane. The steaming bowls of clear, aromatic soup topped with basil, chilli and sprouts never, ever disappoint. Round out the experience with sauteed gai-lan greens and a tart 'soda chanh' (lemon soda) for the full experience.
Lively Fortitude Valley restaurant, Vietnam House, has an awesomely authentic Vietnamese menu including six different versions of pho and crowd favourite: the super fresh Green Papaya Salad. The bustling restaurant is perfect for big groups, but if you feel like eating at home in front of the box, they'll pack up your dinner for take away.
Tan Thanh in Inala is a big favourite for authentic, well-priced Vietnamese on the Southside. TT is noted for their super quick service so you can pop in and get a bowl of steaming hot beef or chicken noodle soup on the table in a matter of minutes, which is a dream in our books.
My Street Food Vietnamese
My Street Food Vietnamese in Woolloongabba has has lines out the door most days for their authentic street food delights. We're talking about banh mi in spicy lemongrass chicken and flame grilled pork, vermicilli salad bowls topped with crispy spring rolls, and fresh pork and prawn rice paper rolls. Warning: drink the iced Vietnamese coffee before midday because it will have you buzzing for hours!
Nom Nom Cafe
Nom Nom Cafe in Salisbury has set itself up as a very solid contender among Brisbane’s best Vietnamese. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this modern restaurant serves up stellar banh mi, rice paper rolls and authentic pho all day long.
Van Vietnamese Restaurant
You can't call yourself a true Vietnamese aficionado unless you've been to Van Vietnamese in Darra. These guys are known for making super authentic and traditional Vietnamese, and a pho that'll impress even the most discerning palate.
Can't get enough? Make sure you check out the best pho in Brisbane.
Image credit: Cafe O'Mai by Ariana Gillrie for The Urban List