Parisian cuisine isn’t limited to escargots and beef bourguignon. The French capital is also home to over 300,000 Vietnamese people and a host of restaurants allowing you to sample the cuisine of this former French colony.
True to its name, Pho 14 serves up a fantastic bowl of pho: an aromatic broth, perfectly cooked noodles, good quality meat or chicken, and meatballs. The line in front of this restaurant pretty much every evening is a testament to just how good the food is here. Do be aware that the restaurant doesn’t accept credit cards, so be sure to come with cash.
129, avenue de Choisy, 75014
Song Huong is small enough to be ignored, especially in the 13th arrondissement, where you can find a Vietnamese restaurant on every corner. That said, don’t miss this very special place, where you can find Vietnamese dishes from all over the country. The hearty soups like northern crab and tofu or southern Saigon soup are the stars of the menu and more than enough to fill you up. The Chè Bap dessert with corn and coconut is a great way to end this very authentic meal.
129, avenue de Choisy, 75013
Comme au Vietnam
This spot is a local favorite for the lunchtime bo bun menu: a steal pricewise, considering the generous portion. The food here is fresh and MSG-free, and there’s a good deal of variety, should you opt to order à la carte: the summer rolls are delicious, the spring rolls are hand-made (a rarity amongst Asian restaurants in the capital), and the Vietnamese omelet quite copious and flavorful.
195, avenue de Choisy, 75013
Many Vietnamese restaurants in Paris seem to want to cram every single Vietnamese recipe onto one menu. This is not the case at Saigon Panthéon, which opts to serve just a handful of dishes but makes sure that each and every one is perfect. As its name suggests, this restaurant offers a fusion take on Vietnamese cuisine, with dishes like duck breast spring rolls alongside classics like the aromatic beef pho. An extensive wine list features reds, whites and rosés to accompany your meal.
27, rue Descartes, 75005
Lao Lane Xang 2
This Vietnamese, Laotian, and Thai restaurant is so well loved, it made it into the 2017 Michelin guide – and it’s no wonder. The Siackhasone family has been in the restaurant business in Paris since the 1990s with several successful restaurants, before opening this one in 2007. The house special red curry and basil duck dish is always a success, with a slightly sweet tamarind sauce that’s not too greasy or heavy. The whole steamed sea bass with lime is great to share.
102, avenue d’Ivry, 75013
Pho Dong Huong
This family-run noodle shop in the Belleville district used to be a hole in the wall, but people have gotten wind of how good the pho bowls are, and now it tends to fill up fairly quickly – that said, the speedy service and three whole dining rooms means that you usually don’t have to wait very long. While the menu is extensive, with grilled dishes as well as a variety of regional specialties, the classic pho bowls (P5 features meatballs and raw steak – no tripe) are where it’s at.
14, rue Louis Bonnet, 75011
Le Foyer Vietnam
This spot isn’t a restaurant, per se – it’s actually the cafeteria of a Vietnamese cultural space: all the more reason to give it a try. The dishes are prepared by two Vietnamese chefs and served by Vietnamese students and volunteers. Twenty cents from each meal is contributed to humanitarian, cultural, and artistic projects. As for the food itself, it’s delicious, fresh, and MSG-free. The menu changes monthly, but will often include classics like the bo bun, which is regularly rated one of the best in Paris.
80, rue Monge, 75005
This tiny restaurant hidden behind the Pantheon only has four tables, but it’s well worth the wait to get one. The quality of the dishes at this restaurant is unparalleled. You can even watch the chefs prepare them in the open kitchen. The summer rolls are delicious and fresh, and a house platter allows you to taste a number of different delicacies, including tapioca dumplings, rice dumplings with shrimp, rice cakes and spring rolls.
6, rue Thouin, 75005
Cô My Cantine
In France, the concept of a “cantine” means both a cafeteria and a regular restaurant you can’t help but keep coming back to. In this case, it’s definitely the latter: Cô My Cantine is very popular, and for good reason: every dish on the diminutive menu is a home run. The bo bun is the most beloved choice, but don’t miss out on the loc lai, a similar bowl generously filled with goodies including a fried egg and the sautéed meat of your choice.
18, rue Ménilmontant, 75020