Some things just go together, like PB and jelly, and Posh and Becks, so this year we’ve teamed up with MINI to bring you, our discerning readers and drivers, our fortnightly MINI Fave 5 series: The must-try guide to Brisbane, celebrating the launch of the new MINI 5-door hatch!
SO WHO'S ON OUR HIT LIST OF BRISBANE'S BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANTS?
Let's take a moment to appreciate that delicious bowls of pho, refreshingly light rice paper rolls, crunchy banh mi baguettes and coffee with condensed milk all hail from our friends in Vietnam.
Whether influenced by communist Hanoi or cosmopolitan Saigon, the Vietnamese food game in Brisbane is pretty dang strong. So much so that we said Vang! (that's Viet for 'yes') to a lifetime's worth of banh mi just to be sure we settled on the best possible list for our fave 5 Brisbane Vietnamese restaurants.
Libertine Bar and Restaurant
The beautiful Libertine Bar and Restaurant in the Paddington Barracks pays homage to the French influence in Vietnamese food. And when you sit outside under the lanterns on a balmy night you can almost imagine you're on holiday in Hoi An. High up on our hit list is the green papaya salad with peanut tamarind sauce and the coconut chilli sand crab on betel leaf. If you're feeling fancy, the 'fish in a bag' with Vietnamese herbs, butter and shaved coconut is a winner.
Cafe O Mai
Cafe 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. Their authentic Vietnamese breakfast options always tickle my fancy too including Aunty Five's claypot baked eggs with lemongrass pork sausage.
My Street Food Vietnamese
Despite being a new entrant to the Brisbane Vietnamese restaurant scene, My Street Food Vietnamese in Woolloongabba already has lines out the door 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!
Quan Thanh in West End is a hot contender for the best pho in Brisbane #controversial. 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 full immersion.
As if having one of Brisbane's best Vietnamese restaurants in Annerley wasn't enough, Red Lotus has parked itself a few doors up from it's (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.
We're thrilled to partner with MINI to bring you our Fave 5 series—our fortnightly guide to the best of the best in Brisbane. From food to fashion, Campari to Crossfit, each Fave 5 edition is researched and recommended by The Urban List, and driven by the new MINI 5-Door Hatch—putting the city at your fingertips and giving you the freedom to explore it!
Image credits: Ariana Gillrie