The unique combination of flavors and ingredients sets Vietnamese dishes apart from most every other cuisine in the world. More than just taste, there is a science, a craftsman-like precision, and a philosophy of balance driving the preparation of these remarkable meals. When you’re craving a colorful platter that has been perfected by establishing equal parts Yin and Yang, you need your fix of Vietnamese fare. Luckily, Philadelphia, the cultural paragon that it is, has a number of fine establishments that have all mastered this art. Here are five that provide a divine dining experience.

Le Viet
1019 S. 11th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 463-1570

Located in South Philly, this chic and stylized family-owned restaurant offers traditional Vietnamese dishes spiced up with a bit of modern-day flair. For instance, why just have a slider when you could have a Le Viet Slider? It comes on a steamed bun with carrots, scallion, cucumber, hoisin sauce and your choice of grilled beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp. And, if you’d like to experience a taste of the tipsy, how about a Le Viet’s Long Beach made with Absolute Citron, Tanquery Gin, Bacardí, 1800, triple sec, and cranberry. Delectable and cosmopolitan Vietnamese cuisine.

Nam Phuong
1100 Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 468-0410

Named after the first and only empress consort of the Nguyễn Dynasty of Vietnam, Nam Phuong’s offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine that has received enthusiastic praise from coast to coast. Boasting fresh, healthy ingredients and a staggeringly wide variety of dishes ranging from Spring Rolls to Shrimps Sautéed with Vegetable and Satay Sauce to Vietnamese Crepe with Tofu, you’re sure to find a savory delight that is priced just right at Nam Phuong.

Q T Vietnamese Sandwich
48 N. 10th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 639-4520

QT Vietnamese Sandwich is exactly what it sounds like, an imaginative eatery where you can get your fill of Vietnamese by chomping down on a fresh roll packed with all your favorite Pho fare. You can order sandwiches such as Vietnamese Ham, Lemongrass Chicken, Vietnamese Grilled Pork, Tofu sautéed with onions and mushrooms, and more (which all come with cilantro, pickled carrots, jalapeño peppers and cucumber) as well as more traditional rice or noodle platters such as Lemongrass Tofu, Vietnamese Meat, Lemongrass Beef. Stop by for a try and QT Vietnamese Sandwich just might become your favorite sandwich spot in town.

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308 E. Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125

One thing Philadelphia excels at is the unique. There are popular bars that do not display signage, yet they are local treasures to those in the know. Stock. is a tiny — and by tiny, we’re talking a grand total of 18 seats — Southeast Asian BYO located in the thriving Fishtown section of the city that does not publish a phone number. Though it is not exclusively a Vietnamese restaurant, the dishes that are offered will make you a Stock. loyalist after just one taste. The menu item most frequently cited as absolutely phenomenal is the establishment’s vibrantly fresh Pho. Cash and credit are accepted, but the seating limitations make it difficult to accommodate large parties.

Vietnam Palace
222 N. 11th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 592-9596

Vietnam Palace is located in the heart of Philadelphia, just one block away from the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Over the years, this easy-to-find (due to the giant woman-in-green logo), charismatic establishment has branched out so the menu now includes authentic Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Asian cuisine. The Vietnam Palace is casual dress, suitable for families, great for groups, and accepts both walk-ins and reservations. With banquet facilities available, whether you’re after a private party of 20 or a large-scale event for 150, this is the place that can meet all of your needs.

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Allen Foster, a lifelong Greater Philadelphia resident, has been writing about all those wonderful things that make us feel so alive for over 20 years. He approaches each day as an adventure, eager to discover what new and vibrant surprises await just around life’s corner. You can see his work on