Should you live in Melbourne, then you’re fortunately spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out, particularly when it’s Vietnamese food you’re after.
Delicious bánh mì and phở are all around, but there is one problem with the sheer number of Vietnamese eateries in the city – it can be a bit of a job to sort the wheat from the chaff.
That’s where this article comes in. We’ve taken the trouble of doing exactly that for you, and the result is the list you see here – only the best Vietnamese restaurants Melbourne has to offer.
Perhaps coconut-scented bowls of noodles are more to your liking? See our review of Laksa Garden for more.
Location: 35 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 90782285 & 65 Swan St, Richmond, VIC 311 Ph: (03) 9077 5098
This is one of the most cutting-edge Asian fusion restaurants in Melbourne, and they owe a lot to the influence of Vietnamese cuisine in particular.
You can see and taste it in their Hanoi style whole market fish (one of the most exquisite dishes on their menu), their rice paper rolls, and their Vietnamese iced coffee.
Admittedly, this is not the place to come if you’re looking for a cheap bowl of good pho like you’d get in a Hanoi backstreet. While that’s a wonderful thing, it’s not what this place is about.
This place is about mixing things up, drawing influences from across the continent, and reimagining them in a sleek, sophisticated modern style.
It has to be said that few places manage this as well as Hochi Mama, where the Vietnamese mixes effortlessly with Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and other influences to make flavour combinations you won’t forget in a hurry.
They have two locations in the city – one in the CBD and one in Richmond. They’re also open for takeaway, in case you can’t make it to either spot but still want your sticky beef ribs and octopus salad.
We can’t say we’d blame you. With good vegetarian/options as well and a great range of original cocktails to boot, there’s a reason this place is so well-loved in Melbourne.
Location: 138 Russell St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9654 2024
The second of our best Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne is also in the CBD. Straight Outta Saigon is a little more focused on serving up authentic Vietnamese cuisine while definitely having a playful, fusion side as well.
Things included on the menu are bo luc lac (stir-fried Vietnamese beef, a Saigon favourite), ca tai chanh (a Vietnamese style of sushi), and a dish called “Tradional-ish Viet Salad”.
The decor has a cool, noir vibe to it, with low lights and neon signs the order of the day.
This is a great spot to hit with a few friends and dive into the Sharing and Banquet Menus. At $78 per pair, the 2 Smaller, 2 Larger and 1 Side dish menu is fabulous value for money. Whilst at $45pp, ‘Baby Got Banq’ has got to be one of the best multi-course dining options around. This last selection includes the outstanding Vietnamese Curry – a funky, lush, mustard yellow concoction based around (we feel) the most perfectly cooked eggplant in town.
Their cocktails also deserve a mention; they’re all great, but if you like a bit of heat, the Hot Chi Minh – chilli infused tequila, agave syrup and lime juice with a salt rim – goes down particularly well.
Nothing could be easier than preparing perfect rice or quinoa in the microwaves with the Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave Rice & Grain Cooker Steamer
Location: 307 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Ph: (03) 9486 0066 & 15 Hardware Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9663 9890
Geddit? Rice Paper Scissors? This is another restaurant with two locations, one in the CBD and another in the Brunswick Street shopping district in Fitzroy. It’s also another one with a definite foot in the fusion camp but which still cares about authenticity in their cooking.
For something that’s almost certainly never been seen in Vietnam before but is delicious nonetheless, try the grilled kangaroo salad. For something a little more authentic, the duck banh mi is excellent too.
While most restaurants will offer a few options for vegetarians and vegans, it’s great to see this one going the extra mile by offering a whole separate vegan menu, most of which is also gluten-free. In fact, as I write this (October 2022), their are promoting Spring into Vegastation. This is a full 10-course vegan degustation menu for $69pp.
What more could the veggie in your life want?
Location: 140 Rouse St, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207 Ph: (03) 9042 7921
Located in Port Melbourne, the goal of this restaurant is to give customers an overview of the cuisine of Vietnam from North to South with a touch of luxury to it.
Take their pho, for example, which uses fine wagyu beef for an amazing flavour and texture.
The Mekong red curry is a wonderful vegetarian dish while seafood lovers are also catered for with soft shell crab, salmon, kingfish, snapper, and more gracing the menu.
Their desserts also deserve a mention. Plenty of Asian restaurants in Western countries offer only Western style desserts. These are available here (ice cream, peanut butter parfait), but there is also a delightful selection of options with more Southeast Asian flavours, like the lemongrass meringue and coconut sago.
With all this and more, no wonder this place makes our list of the top Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne.
Are you intrigued by indigenous ingredients and flavours? If yes, check out our review of Big Esso by Mabu Mabu
Location: 530 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9642 7398 & 807 Bourke St, Docklands, VIC 3008 Ph: (03) 8080 9699
Banoi means “grandmother” in Vietnamese, and this restaurant is a culinary tribute to the owners’ grandmother.
Currently, both the CBD and Docklands outpost of the restaurant are closed. However, we have heard that they will both be reopening soon. We will let you know as soon as that happens.
This is a fun place to come and eat with friends, with many of the dishes being good for mixing and sharing, from the spring rolls and rice paper rolls to the “Banoi taco buns” (bao buns) with various fillings.
There are also noodle soups, rice dishes, vermicelli, along with salads and a few other specialities.
The Hoi An noodles are a particular highlight, but really the menu makes it difficult to pick one thing for fear of missing out on the others.
Whatever you order, it will be great washed down with a kumquat lemonade from their drinks menu. Oh, and on Fridays, there’s an extra selection of dishes with crispy pork including rice, noodles, noodle soup, and more.
For punchy, Asian fusion dishes with zing, see our review of Kekou in Richmond
Location: 241 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9663 3288
There’s a sign in this restaurant claiming that Bill Clinton ate there and liked it so much that he had two bowls of pho. Pho Bo Ga Mekong is a bit of a departure from the other restaurants we’ve seen so far on this list.
While they were, to varying degrees, selling a modern, fusion style of Vietnamese cuisine, this place is very much sticking to authentic Vietnamese traditions. It’s the kind of place where Vietnamese people themselves go to eat.
If you go, you’ll notice that it only seems to have become more popular since Clinton’s visit. Even if you arrive in the late afternoon, well after the lunch rush, the place will probably be busy.
As you might have guessed from the name, pho is the speciality here, and their beef pho is their signature dish. It’s delicious, full of flavour, and includes not just beef but also tendon, tripe, and bone marrow.
You might not be used to eating those things, but you really should give this dish a tr. Not only is it authentic, but we promise you’ve never had pho like it before. You can find Pho Bo Ga Mekong in the CBD.
Location: 85 Hardware Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 8590 4955
The people who run this place love Vietnamese cuisine, and it shows in the way they run their restaurant. They have two separate menus for lunch and dinner – for instance, the banh mi are only available at lunchtime.
Those banh mi are wonderful by the way. You can choose fillings from crispy fried tofu to char siu pork to soft shelled crab and much else besides. That’s far from all, though – both menus are quite extensive, and are likely to tempt you into repeat visits.
You might get the coconut chicken curry on one dinner visit and just have to come back for the shaken beef next time. We also have to talk about the lobster tail XO sauce noodles.
This is the most expensive thing on the menu, but we can confirm that it’s worth every last cent.
There are also some great Vietnamese cocktails available in jugs. What more could you want when dining with a group of friend?
Turn out beautiful zoodles and more with this Vegetable Spiralizer & Slicer which comes with a 3-in-1 Zucchini Spaghetti Maker
Location: 256 Swan St, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 9421 0510
If you were able to deduce that this is a wine bar as well as a restaurant, then well done you!
The food here is not all traditional Vietnamese but also includes some French-Vietnamese fare. For example, there’s duck a l’orange, flavoured with an orange reduction but also chilli and spring onion.
There are also plenty of more Vietnamese options and the pork and lemongrass is simple and delicious.
The wine list is quite extensive, though there are a lot more available by the bottle than by the glass, including a few superb burgundies.
If you’re not too into wine, you can pick from a wide range of other spirits and non-alcoholic drinks to suit your tastes.
Classy and refined, this is one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne.
Talking of drinking spots, these are our favourite Cocktail Bars in Melbourne
Location: Crown Melbourne, Level 1, Crown Riverwalk, Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, VIC 3006 Ph: (03) 8582 3033
This place is something of a surprise because it’s a restaurant in a casino. All too often these restaurants are nothing to write home about. After all, gamblers just want something to fill up on before they get back to the tables. But Tia To is a cut above the ordinary.
From the lemongrass chilli prawns to the Viet tossed beef, the food here is top-notch.
If you want to try a selection of different things, the Vietnamese platter is a great idea, giving you a mixture of 5 different dishes including sugarcane prawns and marinated beef wrapped in betel leaves.
It’s up to you whether you want to try your luck at the card tables, but either way, this restaurant is definitely worth your time.
For elevated Japanese street food and more, read our review of Robata Japanese Grill
Location: Basement/141 Flinders Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9650 3155
Variously described as a French-Vietnamese restaurant and an Asian fusion restaurant, all you really need to know is that Chef Adam D’Sylva’s food is yummy. And whilst some dishes owe obvious debt to the culinary techniques and flavours of Vietnam, others look to Japan or maybe Korea.
Either way, this trendy basement eatery has been a fixture of the Melbourne dining scene for some years now. From it’s fishing pot decorated, industrial chic bar to the fabulous serving staff and vibrant plates of food, Coda restaurant is still a place that many other venues try to emulate.
The semolina puff, duck liver parfait, umeshu and sumac is a flavour bomb of rich, gamey liver in a wafer thin shell. It’s a clear nod to the awesome pani puri on the menu at Tonka – Coda’s Indian-focused sister establishment.
In contrast, the Spencer Gulf kingfish sashimi, chrysanthemum, kohlrabi and potato salad with chuka vinaigrette is a burst of Vietnam, thanks to the dressing. The chuka vinaigrette is that perfect balance of salty, sharp, sour, sweet – and just simply delicious – that dances on the palate and makes the heart sing.
Moreover, the Eight Treasure Duck Fried Rice is the kind of dish that I could eat for lunch every day of the week – if only someone would pop over and cook it for me!
Whilst Coda is not a cheap night out, each dish packs a punch. And, of course, it’s still a cool spot to hang out for a cocktail.
Two good reasons why Coda is one of the Best Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne.
Why not try some of our favourite Bars in Melbourne?
Location: 25 High St, Glen Iris, VIC 3146 Ph: (03) 9885 2846
Bright and breezy rather than fine diner moody, So Pho So Good is a popular local cafe cum restaurant which specialises in Vietnamese street food.
From light dishes such as Rice Paper Rolls and delicious Banh Mi with Roast Pork Belly through to more substantial meals like their Pork Wonton Noodle Soup, everything is fresh and delicious. Our personal favourites include the yummy Broken Rice with Chargrilled Chicken and the Beef Pho.
Add in cheerful, friendly service, good coffee and a welcoming courtyard garden out the back and it’s no wonder this cute cafe has so many regulars.
For a more detailed review of So Pho So Good, see here.
Location: Shop 2/10-12 High St, Glen Iris VIC 3146 Ph: (03) 9885 2009
When a local Vietnamese restaurant wins the Vietnamese Restaurant of the Year 2022 in the RCA Awards for Excellence, you sit up and take notice.
Such is the case with QT Kitchen in peaceful Glen Iris – a yellowed-hued hub of life and flavour in an unassuming row of shops.
However, for the regulars, the accolade is no surprise. Since it first opened, QT Kitchen has been busy. It’s a popular venue for birthday’s and EOFY gatherings and also does a swift trade in take aways. Yes, the locals are well aware that it is amongst the best Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne.
Serving modern Vietnamese food made with fresh Aussie ingredients, everything arrives at the table beautifully presented and bursting with flavour.
We’re huge fans of the Wagyu Beef in Betel Leaf ($8). This pretty little morsel packs all the explosive flavour we’d hoped and gets any meal started with a bang. And who can resist a Bao ($9)? Certainly not us. Amongst the Larger plates, the Crispy Otway Pork ($35) is a crackly, fragrant wonder. We’ve ordered the Homemade Curry ($33) numerous times and whichever protein we’ve selected – Duck Breast, Kingfish or Vegan Duck – it’s been a delight to eat.
Rather than a regular Set Menu, QT Kitchen shows it’s more upmarket credentials with a Chef Degustation at $120pp for 10 or more. We’ve not tried it yet, but believe us – it’s on our ‘to do’ list.
And let’s not forget the drinks menu. The cheerful staff are also more than capable of shaking up a tasty cocktail or 2.
Which brings us to the service. The crew at Qt Kitchen are truly wonderful – attentive, helpful and charming.
Lastly, QT Kitchen offers lunch from Tuesday to Sunday and this includes steaming bowls of addictive Pho. And if those don’t get you through the door once the weather turns cooler, we don’t know what will.
On the hunt for great coffee and more in the area? Check out our Best Cafes in Camberwell (and nearby)
Location: Ground Level, 79 Swan St, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 8391 1388
This sleek, buzzing eatery does refined modern Vietnamese cuisine, with the odd segway into Asian fusion.
We love the textures, polish and downright deliciousness of the Banh Mi Finger ($9). It’s a delicate, gamey delight of creamy Chicken Liver Pate sandwiched between 2 slithers of tiger-striped, pieces of thin bread.
If noodles set your heart racing, you really should try the Duck Floss Egg Noodles, Spring Onion & Chives ($28). It’s a rich, complex bowl of sweet and umami flavours that compliment one another beautifully. And if you like to get hands-on with your dinner, go the Lemongrass Pork Cutlet ($46). It arrives with Sharing Leaves for you to wrap the meat in and Lime & Sate Salt for dipping.
Happily, the kitchen does a couple of well-considered Set Menus at $75 and $89. Vegans are also included with a plant-based set of dishes for $75.
And did we mention the Cocktail list? Well, as we’re in hip and happening Richmond, it’s hardly surprisingly that the bar staff know their way around a cocktail shaker. The Finger Lime Collins ($18) and the Kaffir Lime Margarita ($22) are both a great way to start an evening.
With its cool bar, moody lighting and yummy food, New Quarter is one of the finest Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne.
If a mix of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and more cuisines excites you, see our piece on the Best Asian Fusion Restaurants in Melbourne
Location: 223 High St, Prahran, VIC 3181 Ph: (03) 9088 8093
As the name implies, at Firebird, the grill is the focus of this hip Vietnamese inspired joint.
Another winner from The Commune Group (see New Quarter above), the restaurant is a high-ceiled, moodily lit warehouse conversion. As you step inside, the aromas of wood smoke and delicious fare waft invitingly from the kitchen at the back. Resistance is futile. But then would you want to fight?
Now Flat Pressed Baguette with Whipped Black Garlic Puree ($10) might not sound like the most thrilling dish in the world, but believe me, it’s worth getting excited about. As is the Beef Carpaccio ($25) which dances with Fingerlime and Charred Betel Leaf.
The Wood-Roasted Cabbage, Turmeric, Charred Corn, Spring Onion & Dill ($29) shows just how a lick of flame and a bit of love can transform an everyday vegetable into something amazing. The dish at Firebird Restaurant reminds of us it’s Filipino cousin over at Serai – and that’s a good thing. But if you’re looking for a meatier option, the Smoked Dry-Aged Duck with Burnt Orange Vinaigrette & Pickles ($54/106) is a must-try. What’s more, it goes beautifully with the Aromatic Tomato Fried Rice, Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Cured Egg Yolk & Thai Basil ($28).
For Dessert, a wee piece of the caramelly Burnt Coconut Fudge with White Chocolate Ganache ($4 ea) is the perfect finishing mouthful.
The Wine List is smart and tight, drawing mainly from Australia and France. As you might expect, the Cocktails mix familiar ingredients with an Asian twist. The succinctly named Tropical is a fruity blend of Rum, Green Chartreuse, Kiwi, Rambutan, Orgeat & Citrus ($23). It tastes like sunshine in a glass.
By making flames the heart of the kitchen, Firebird is doing something different in the Vietnamese restaurant space. And we’re here for it.
Heading up to FNQ for some sun and sea? Then see our recommendations for the Best Restaurants in Port Douglas
Location: 644 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn East, VIC 3123 Ph: (03) 9882 0146
Since 2015, St. Cloud Eating House has been treating the hungry of Hawthorn to their take on Vietnamese cuisine.
Set in an attractive black and white corner building on Burwood Road – just over from Lawson’s Bagels – this modern eatery spreads over 2 floors and onto the pavement out front. From the moment it opened, it’s been a popular addition to the local dining scene. However, this funky venue is about to enter an exciting new era.
Jerry Mai – the star chef behind Annam and beer hall Bia Hoi – is coming on board to shake up the menu. And although she’s an undoubted star of Vietnamese cuisine, Mai is promising a taste of Cambodia along side her spin on Vietnamese fare.
Dishes we can’t wait to try include Crispy Silken Tofu ($17) – Tossed in 5 Spice Salt & Wok Tossed Gai Lan – and Twice Cooked Lam Ribs (4pc $22) with a Sticky Caramel Sauce. Another delicious sounding plate is Crispy Fried Whole Snapper ($48) which comes with a Lemongrass, Coriander Sauce & Green Mango Salad. However, our biggest concern is that we leave room for the Fried Bao (2pc $16). Featuring a Salted Caramel Ice-Cream and Pumpkin Seed Praline, we’re confident it’ll be love at first bite.
As the warmer weather approaches, what could be nicer than sipping a Kaffir Lime Margarita and then settling down for a vibrant Vietnamese banquet?
St. Cloud Eating House has been one of the finest Vietnamese Restaurants in Melbourne for some time now. However, with such dynamic new blood dictating the menu, we reckon a new era of exciting food is about to begin.
Click here for our guide to the Best Korean BBQ Restaurants in Melbourne
If you’ve finished this list and aren’t hungry for some Vietnamese food, then we don’t know what to say.
Whether you’re looking for authenticity or fusion, there’s a place for you in this list. We wouldn’t blame you for wanting to try them all, and in fact we’d encourage you. Eat well and enjoy your meals at our best Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne.