The Best Vietnamese Food In Melbourne

 

Vietnamese food is well known for its clean tasting, fresh, fragrant and exciting flavours. Melbourne is fortunate to have an abundance of Vietnamese restaurants that serve this incredibly delicate and diverse cuisine.  With so many different types of Vietnamese food available, it can be difficult knowing what to order. 

To help you in your quest for delicious Vietnamese cuisines, here is our list of popular Vietnamese dishes you must try in Melbourne. 

 

1. Banh Cuon

 

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This delicacy from northern Vietnam evokes fond memories of my childhood as it was one of my favourite dishes. This is a popular breakfast dish in Vietnam and so I joined the locals and had it for breakfast everyday during a recent trip to Hanoi.  

Though light and delicate this deceptively simple-looking dish packs a flavourful punch. These light, steamed rice crepes are typically filled with ground pork and wood ear mushrooms and served with cha lua (Vietnamese ham) and garnished with fried shallots and coriander. Dipping the banh cuon in the nuoc mam sauce ties all the ingredients together creating a delicious and perfectly balanced dish. 

Try it at these locations:

Xuan Banh Cuon
232 Hampshire Road, Sunshine 3020

Dong Hue
102 Hopkins Street, Footscray 3011

 

2. Goi Cuon

 

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Goi Cuon is a popular clean tasting and refreshing dish that is typically ordered as an appetizer in restaurants here in Melbourne.  

These translucent cigar shaped rolls are traditionally filled with pork, prawns, vermicelli noodles and herby goodness which is then dipped into a dipping sauce. The type of dipping sauce can vary from a hoisin based peanut sauce to the ever ubiquitous nuoc mam

Try it at these locations:

Dong Hue 
102 Hopkins Street, Footscray 3011

Nam Giao
4 Lightwood Road, Springvale 3171

Sapa Hills
112 Hopkins St, Footscray 3011

 

3. Banh Mi

 

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The French influence is clearly evident in the ever popular banh mi. A crunchy light baguette filled with  pickled salad, lots of fresh herbs, a nice slather of rich pate and cold meats. Other meat fillings include nem nuong (grilled pork), grilled chicken, xiu mai (Vietnamese meat ball) and heo quay (crispy pork).

One bite is an explosion of flavours and textures in the mouth and is an experience to be had. There’s crunch from the crispy outer of the baguette, juicy tender meat filling and the freshness of the pickled vegetables and coriander cutting through the richness of the smooth flavoursome pate. It is the perfect street food as you can eat it on the run. They’re light, fresh and great value for money.

Thank goodness Vietnamese bakeries selling banh mi open nice and early in the morning so you can satisfy your banh mi cravings.  

Try it at these locations:

T & D Hot Bread
814 Pascoe Vale Road, Glenroy 3046

Bun Bun Bakery
288 Springvale Road, Springvale 3171

Nhu Lan
116 Hopkins Street, Footscray 3011

152 Victoria Street, Richmond 3121

 

4. Pho

 

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Walk into any pho restaurant in Melbourne and you will be greeted with the sound of content customers slurping away at their bowls of pho broth. This iconic dish is a hearty and comforting meal which is perfect to have when the weather in Melbourne is cool.

Pho originated from northern Vietnam and is most likely derived from the French dish ‘pot-au-feu’ with the word feu translated as fire. The most popular of pho varieties is Pho Bo which is based on a beef-intensive stock. Pho ga is also widely available and is based on a chicken stock.

This Vietnamese noodle soup consists of an intensely flavoured and fragrant stock that has been simmering away for hours resulting in a warm aroma of cloves, star anise and cinnamon.  Pho bo consists of a full bodied clear broth with slippery soft flat rice noodles and tender, thinly sliced beef which should be served with a tinge of pink. Other bits and pieces can also be ordered such as tripe, beef brisket and tendon. Pho is served with a plate of fresh herbs, beans sprouts, lemon, hoisin sauce and chilli can be added to your liking. Each accompaniment like any dish in Vietnamese cuisine plays an important role in maintaining the balance of flavours and textures. 

Try it at these locations:

I Love Pho 264
264 Victoria Street Richmond

Pho Hung Vuong Saigon
128 Hopkins Street, Footscray 3011

Pho Hien Vuong Pasteur 
146 Hopkins Street, Footscray 3011

 

5. Goi

 

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Goi translates to salad and Vietnamese salads are a vibrant looking, healthy and a delicious blend of flavours and textures.  They’re perfect to have as a side dish or as a light meal in itself.  It is amazing how some Vietnamese salads can have up to ten or more ingredients yet all the components balance and complement each other perfectly.

There are different types of goi available such as goi ga (salad with chicken) and goi du du (salad with papaya). Goi is a textural and tasty feast for the mouth with a mix of sweet, sour, spicy and fresh flavours.  Ingredients range from crunchy fried shallots, toasted peanuts, pickled vegetables, a range of aromatic herbs, fresh chillies and either meat or seafood dressed with a tangy nuoc mam sauce. 

Try it at these locations:

Sapa Hills
112 Hopkins St, Footscray 3011 

Thuan An
253 Hampshire Road, Sunshine 3020

 

6. Bun Bo Hue

 

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Bun Bo Hue is another popular and incredibly tasty Vietnamese noodle soup dish originating from the central region of Vietnam in an area called Hue. The base of the broth is mainly driven by notes of lemongrass that makes Bun Bo Hue a much spicier dish than Pho.

Again the stock is full of flavour with its base being a combination of beef and pork bones.  Bun Bo Hue is another exemplary dish that demonstrates the complexity of flavours combined resulting in a dish that is utterly satisfying to the tastebuds. Mouthful after mouthful of spicy, flavoursome broth, slippery but firm rice noodles, crunchy bean sprouts and aromatic herbs and the tender juicy and gelatinous meat will soon have you addicted.  So addicted that you won’t even realise how loud you’re probably slurping up the broth from your bowl. 

Try it at these locations:

Song Huong
71 Alfrieda Street, St Albans 3021

Dong Ba
133 Hopkins St, Footscray 3011

Huong Giang Bun Bo Hue
2 Windsor Avenue, Springvale 3171

 

Vietnamese Food In Melbourne!

 

Now that you know more about the different types of popular Vietnamese dishes, which ones do you like best? Share with us your Vietnamese food experiences and favourite Vietnamese eateries in the comments section below!