When visiting New York, my question always is: Where should I eat? This weekend I'm in New York and a number of people have emailed, tweeted and Facebooked me restaurant recommendations. One person, Jennie M. sent this detailed message and though I can't go to all of these places, I'm sharing her list of mostly Vietnamese restaurants with you:
I just saw your tweet about NYC asian food recommendations on Twitter. Honestly, Asian food is really watered down in the city. Cong Ly is about the only Viet place I go to when I'm in Manhattan's Chinatown. I usually order pho, #57, banh beo, or cha gio there. I think the outer-boroughs have much more variety and flavor compared to Manhattan. It's not California for sure, but it's the best list I've got.
Thanh Da (review)I've never had banh canh cua (pic) outside of Brooklyn so I don't have much of a basis. All I know is that, I go to this restaurant at least once a month with my pops. Sometimes we go once every week. We slurp up all the soup with "bowl in face" til the last drop. They make banh beo only on the weekends as well. The rice cakes are as fresh and home made tasting as you can get.
6008 7th Ave
(between 60th St & 61st St)
Brooklyn, NY 11220
Thanh Huong (review)
533 West Side Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07304
Good bun rieu and great cha gio. I haven't tried a lot of other dishes from this place, cause well, it's in Jersey. They have the best cha gio for the east coast!
Pho Hoai (review)
1906 Avenue U
(between 19th St & Ocean Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11229
Deeelicious but inconsistent bo luc lac and a good hearty bowl of pho.
158 9th Ave
(between 19th St & 20th St)
New York, NY 10011
This place is not your average $6 pho. It's a small restaurant in Chelsea that makes modern Vietnamese cuisine similar to Ana Mandara or Slanted Door in San Francisco. They have a great chef who definitely knows how to cook. All their appetizers are very good. I used to order grilled prawn and scallops over veggies, rice noodles with lime and basil sauce from my office all the time. They have a good banh xeo and grilled calamari.
Imperial Palace (review)
Neighborhood: Downtown Flushing
13613 37th. Avenue
Flushing, NY 11354
The NYT wrote an article about this place yesterday.. This is one of my FAVORITE PLACES with traditional Cantonese cooking. I love crabs - and I can have cravings for their crabs with sticky rice every day. Read the article and you will want to go to Flushing to try it. (Just don't get Viet food in Flushing) While you are on that street, make sure you stop by the smokiest street cart to get a few lamb skewers before dinner cause you might have to wait. The lamb skewers at this Xin Jiang cart are to DIE FOR. I just introduced my dad to it last Sunday, and he can't stop talking about it. He told me next time he is going to bring rice to accompany it with. These Xin Jiang lamb skewers are Western Chinese/Middle Eastern.
Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House (review)
86-08 Whitney Ave
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Time Out magazine recently published a piece on "Best Food Neighborhoods." This dumpling place was featured in it. It's very popular. I don't know if I love it. A lot of people do. Maybe I don't have enough experience in dumplings. If you are still hungry, get soft shell crabs at Chao Thai (it tastes like chips. I think it's deep fried in lard to get it's crispy airyness) or get a bowl of pho at Pho Bang.
I hope you make it to some of these places. If you do, let me know how you like them!
If you've been to these spots, do weigh in! Or, if you have additions, include them so we can expand the listing.