In the last few decades, Vietnamese cuisine has become ingrained into Australian food culture. Sydney, as a major hub for Vietnamese refugees in the 1970’s, has been a beneficiary of this wonderful influx of community and cuisine.
For example, the story of Luke Nguyen, celebrity chef, author and restauranteur is typical of so many who have contributed to the explosion in popularity and availability of Vietnamese food nationwide.
Luke began learning his trade at a very young age, helping out in his parents’ Vietnamese restaurant in Cambrammata, in the city’s South-West.
Nguyen’s family were refugees who found a new life in Australia. His family toiled for years in local Vietnamese eateries until finally saving enough to open their first restaurant. It was an endeavour that involved the entire family, day-in, day-out.
As soon as we could walk, we were working—before school, after school, weekends, school holidays.”Luke Nguyen
Today, Luke is one of the most feted chefs in the country and Vietnamese cuisine is one the most popular in Australia.
So, whether you hanker for Lemongrass Chilli Chicken, Banh Mi, Pho Bo or Rice Paper Rolls there is a plethora of choice in Sydney.
Read on to discover our favourite Vietnamese restaurants of the harbour city:
Location: Shop 7/1 Little Pier St, Haymarket, NSW 2000
Mr. Bao has added a fusion of Vietnamese (and Japanese) twist to the iconic Taiwanese street food – Gua Baos. This little eatery has made an art form out of producing gourmet, pillow-soft gorgeous steamed buns.
The owner (James Pham) has a generation of baking history and learnt at an early age the goodness of hand-made food, working as a kid in his parent’s Vietnamese bakery. This in turn inspired his obsession to create the perfect hand-made pillow-soft steamed buns.
Today James continues to respect the legacy of traditional baking, whilst introducing contemporary Asian flavours to bring the street-food culture of Gua Baos to a new level.
Mr Bao was originally a market stall but has now evolved into a restaurant-bar serving Vietnamese (and some Japanese) inspired bar food. The baos are light, moist and fluffy with a range of delicious and wholesome fillings.
You must try the crackling pork belly: a slab of succulent roast pork, hoisin and home-pickled cucumbers. Superb.
Editor’s Note: We have heard reports that Mr Bao has recently (Feb 22) closed its doors for the last time. As this is the case, why not try this recommendation istead…?
Location: 278 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204 Ph: (02) 8068 8200 & Darling Square, Shop 2/16 Nicolle Walk, Haymarket, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8072 8838
Across 2 venues, Hello Auntie is introducing the hip and cool to its innovative modern Vietnamese food.
Hello Auntie Marrickville remains true to its Inner West roots with a casual dining space. Meanwhile the Darling Square outpost leans towards city chic. But whichever eatery you visit, the food is sure to grab your attention. And whilst drawing heavily on Chef and Owner Cuong Nguyen Vietnamese heritage, there’s a sprinkling of Asian Fusion magic on the plate too.
So what can you dine on? Well, the Lui Cuu ($29) are fab. A brilliant combo of Annatto, Cumin Lamb Skewers Grilled Over Charcoal & a Fermented Tofu Sauce. And if you like Eggplant, the Ca Tim Xao ($31) – Caramelized Eggplant – aromatic with Soy, Mint & Garlic Stem, Chilli & Pepper is a must-try. For the hungry, we recommend the Ca Chem/Barramundi ($45). A pearlescent Barra Fillet, Vietnamese Bilbaina, Rice Paddy Herb, Chilli, Garlic, Perilla & Coriander. It’s outstanding.
Apart from a great a la carte menu, the team offer the wittily named Feed Me Auntie ($70 pp) and Feed Me More ($90 pp) options. These are perfect for groups who are happy to share dishes.
Finally, Hello Auntie also does a Bottomless Brunch ($80 pp). Personally, we can’t wait to give it a go.
Yep, original, fun and cool Hello Auntie is definitely one of the finest Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney.
Location: 2/14 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW 2008 Ph: (02) 9282 9079
Situated in the trendy suburb of Chippendale, Mekong is perhaps one of the fanciest and most high-class Vietnamese restaurants around.
You can enjoy the incredible flavours of Vietnam, while situated in lush and fancy surroundings, with green walls illuminated by warm lights, and bamboo sticks reaching high into the ceiling.
If you decide to pay a visit to Mekong, you absolutely cannot afford to miss out on the luscious duck pancakes, which provide a wonderful savoury taste profile that will have your mouth watering every time you think about them.
Order them alongside the green mango salad, and you can enjoy a satisfying sweet flavour that perfectly complements the taste of the duck pancakes. The menu is wide and varied, with a mixture of traditional Vietnamese hawker food as well as more extravagant dishes.
No wonder the chef, Tiw Rakarin, is award winning. Mekong is an obvious choice for our best Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney.
Location: 296 Crown St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 9360 8688
Creating a modern twist on classic Vietnamese flavours is the goal of the much-loved Bay Hong, situated in the heart of Darlinghurst, New South Wales. This is also reflected in the immensely warm decor that can be found in the restaurant.
Beautiful photography stretches from floor to ceiling, and lanterns provide a warm glow. Somehow it that makes every bite of your food feel all the more satisfying.
Bay Hong is well known for its delicious lemongrass chicken curry, which has a fresh and fragrant flavour. Try the dish for yourself, to really see what the hype is about. You won’t be disappointed.
Location: 2/145 Victoria St, Potts Point, NSW 2011 Ph: (02) 8542 0133
Don’t let its small size fool you. Bang Tang has some seriously amazing flavours jammed into a dinky little space.
The second you step into this Vietnamese restaurant, you’ll be met with appetising aromas. All those amazing smells will make you want to taste everything the menu has to offer.
And speaking of the menu, Bang Tang boasts an incredible range of foods to try. There is as a variety of entrees, including spring rolls that are packed with ingredients, and gyoza, a Japanese dish which, here, takes on a uniquely Vietnamese flavour.
And if you want something with a refreshing bite, be sure to try the smoked trout.
Bang Tang’s chef honed his skills at such influential Asian restaurants as Sailor’s Thai, so no wonder his eatery is on our list of the best Vietnamese Restaurants in Sydney.
Blacktown is a fabulously diverse suburb with some amazing food – including some superb Vietnamese cuisine.
Location: 1151 Botany Rd, Mascot, NSW 2020 Ph: (02) 9667 2069
Want something a little more down to Earth? Something with simple ingredients but big flavours? Then head on down to Mascot and order one of the best take away Banh Mi you’ll find this side of Ho Chi Minh City.
Hong Ha is praised daily by their customers for their unpretentious surroundings and delicious food.
When you visit, you simply must try out the crispy pork roll. This stellar sandwich is stuffed to the brim with fresh pork, carrot, and onion. You’ll struggle to find a better flavour fix to eat on the go!
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Location: 236 Illawarra Rod, Marrickville, NSW 2204 Ph: 0479 000 445
You may have seen this takeaway joint making the rounds on social media. That’s thanks to its wonderfully wholesome banh mi pork rolls, which make for great selfies and legendary status.
The restaurant is small, unassuming and completely without airs and graces. It’s nothing to look at from the street, and is almost a hole in the wall, but the beautiful banh mi are packed with fresh ingredients and deliver a real punch.
If you need a quick hit of the wonderful flavours of Vietnamese banh mi pork rolls, then pop down to Marrickville to visit this small takeout store. Hole-in-the-wall dining really doesn’t get much better than this.
Location: 60 Riley St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Ph: (02)9698 4355
Well, we couldn’t take a look at the best Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney and leave our this jewel of a dining room.
You know that you are in capable hands as soon as you step into the famous Red Lantern Restaurant, situated in Darlinghurst, New South Wales.
Right from your first moments in the restaurant, you’ll be met with amazing fragrances, which are soon matched by scintillating tastes from their extensive menu.
What’s more, the award-winning restaurant features a wonderful blend of modern and contemporary Vietnamese design sensibilities that make for a sumptuous setting.
On their impressive menu, you will find mouth-watering dishes such as delicious calamari, and rich soft shell crab. The latter is perfect for sharing – though you might not want to!
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Location: 1 Mrs Macquarie Rd, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: 1300 558 980
Botanic House knows just how to make you feel like royalty. Sit amongst the airy surroundings of the restaurant, flagged on all sides by large glass windows that let in a glorious amount of sunlight, to give the restaurant a warm and welcoming glow.
This Modern Asian temple to gastronomy is overseen by Ambassador Chef Luke Nguyen.
Every dish on the Botanic House menu is of the highest quality, with bespoke ingredients and recipes served up in the most beautiful of ways. This is seriously ‘Grammable food that tastes as good as it look.
Even better, you won’t need to sell your car to dine here. In fact, the Shared Lunch Menu is superb for $89 pp.
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Location: 294 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204 Ph: (02) 9559 4149
Vietnam is well known for its wonderful street foods that offer exciting, clean flavours without fuss. This humble little restaurant lets you experience these fabulous street food flavours, well, on the street!
Tables spill outside of the premises and extend slightly across the street. This allows you to take in the open air while you enjoy refreshing, tasty dishes.
Make sure to try the bun-cha, which you can get as part of a box meal, alongside rice, soups, and a range of drinks. This restaurant knows that less is more, so though it may have a small premise, it more than makes up for it with a wealth of food options, and character.
It definitely merits its place amongst our best Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney.
Location: 457-459 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 8021 2701
Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its links to the rich culture of the Vietnamese people. Every dish has a special and nostalgic connection to somebody who has enjoyed it before.
If you want to experience evocative dishes that will give you a sense of Vietnam’s rich culinary history, then visit Mums Table.
Mums Table wastes no time in providing you with exactly the flavours you crave. There are no fancy bells or whistles to distract you from classic food that is filled with the passion and love of the chefs inside their small kitchen.
Look up at the roof when you visit this humble establishment, and note the modern decor, with pointed hats hanging down from every corner of the ceiling.
Editor’s note: Mums Table has been reported as closed. We will let you know if this changes. Instead, please see this new recommendation:
Location: 395 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042 Ph: 0432 587 769
Set in bustling Newtown, Vina Vegan Restaurant has a strong reputation for serving delicious, healthy dishes made from the freshest ingredients.
Whether you follow a plant-based diet or not, enjoying a meal at Vina Vegan is a treat. Dine here and you’ll some come to understand why Vietnamese cuisine is such a champion of vegetarian food. From fresh spring rolls and spicy stir-fry dishes through to amazing noodle-packed soups – the flavours keep on coming.
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Also known as Phamish Cafe and Phamish Vietnamese Cafe
Location: 248 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 9357 2688
These guys mean serious business when it comes to satisfying those pesky hunger pangs. So it’s no surprise how they got their creative name.
With decent sized portions and unpretentious presentation, Phamish offers value for money. Visit on an empty stomach and you’ll leave satisfied.
With a range of classic dishes, including duck and prawn pancakes, salt and pepper squid (which is perfect for sharing) and the subtle pork belly. There’s no shortage of amazing Vietnamese dishes to try whenever you visit this restaurant.
No matter what you choose to eat, Phamish claims that every dish is made with love and reverence. It’s a cute slogan, but it also rings true. Highly recommended.
Location: 9/33 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8097 3663
If you choose to miss out on this wonderfully modern take on Vietnamese cuisine, you’ll no doubt develop a case of ‘Phomo’! (Get it?) Yes, it is impossible to resist the temptation to indulge as soon as you step into Phomo.
The smells of Vietnam permeate throughout the restaurant, which gets your stomach rumbling, ready to be satisfied by its plentiful menu.
Visiting Phomo and don’t want to end up with FOMO? Then try the stir fried beef with broccoli, or the Phomo fried rice, to get a belly-filling meal that you’ll be remembering for months to come.
With a delightfully modern restaurant close to the bay, and with plenty of outside seating, this is a perfect restaurant for those looking for summertime fun with friends.
Editor’s Note: We have been informed that Phomo has now closed permanently.
Location: 260 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville, NSW 2204 Ph: (02) 9090 2869
Next up on our take on the best Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney we are back in Marrickville. If you haven’t worked it out yet, this suburb has thriving Vietnamese community.
Here in the lively Inner West, you’ll find the quaint but impressive Pho Phd restaurant, which specialises in bringing the best of Vietnam to Sydney.
Take a seat at this restaurant and let your tastebuds guide you on a journey across its menu. You’ll never be at a loss for something to eat. Luckily, there’s something for everyone available, no matter the dietary needs.
This makes it a great place to visit with friends, especially if some of those friends are vegetarian.
Check out the crispy chicken to see for yourself why this restaurant is so adored by its local customers, who visit it frequently.
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Location: 711 George St, Haymarket, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9211 0221
Want Vietnamese wonder on a budget? Head to Pho Gia Hoi. This small restaurant boasts an incredible selection of the best food that Vietnam has to offer. And all at prices that just cannot be beaten.
If you want a serious flavour fix, then be sure not to miss out on the delicious Beef with Vermicelli noodles. These will fill you up, and taste good into the bargain.
Location: 15/545-551 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9268 0084
Continuing our skip through the best Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney, to have a soup mecca.
Pho LV no doubt got its name from its love for the famous Vietnamese food staple of Pho, a delicious and complex soup of thinly sliced meats, rice noodles, and masses of spices. These flavours are to die for, and should not be missed by any self-respecting foodie.
Pho LV has developed a range of pho dishes that are well-worth trying. Each of them has been carefully developed to produce the best flavours and to satisfy the most hungry of stomachs.
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Location: 233 Darling St, Balmain, NSW 2041 Ph: (02) 8668 5865
When you visit this beloved establishment, you’ll no doubt understand how it earned its name. This restaurant is rightly popular amongst the locals in Balmain. This is a neighbourhood favourite and deserves a wider dining clientele.
Want to see what all the hype is about? Then you absolutely should order the calamari, or the seared scallops with betel leaves. Both these plates have a wonderfully complex flavour profile that you definitely won’t find in any other cuisine.
Pop it on your list of the top Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney.
See our recommendations for the Best Thai Restaurants in Sydney.
Location: Westfield Sydney, Shop 5002, Westfield Sydney, 188 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9221 6585 For further location, see the website
Whilst not quite as prolific as in their home city of Melbourne, the Roll’d team are still racking up a steady presence in NSW.
The concept of Roll’d is brilliant, really. Take the beautifully simple – yet delicious – fresh spring roll and make it fresh with a variety of fillings. Pair it with a selection of complimentary dipping sauces and you have the ultimate in Vietnamese fast food.
What’s more, it’s a healthy option compared to the many of the usual lunch and snack options in food courts and train stations across the country.
Although the fare at Roll’d doesn’t have the range and complexity of some of the finer establishments on this list, when it comes to a quick, fresh, tasty handful, Roll’d is one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney.
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There you have it. These are just a few of Sydney’s amazing Vietnamese cuisine offerings. Don’t make the mistake of settling for just one of these restaurants; all are worthy of repeat visits. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have them on our guide to the best Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney.
Visit as many as you can and embrace the wonderful food culture that Vietnamese migration has brought to Sydney and Australia.
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