Survey 2011: Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Portland

I used to eat a lot of Vietnamese, but not so much anymore, so I’m a bit out of the loop. However, I am in the minority, as there are a ton of Vietnamese restaurants scattered about Portland. The top two choices are owned by the same family. Here are the results –

Out of 639 votes:

  1. Pho Van – 22% of the votes. 1919 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216  Map
  2. Silk – 11%. 1012 Northwest Glisan St. Portland, OR 97209 (503) 248-2172 Map
  3. HA & VL – 5% – 2738 Southeast 82nd Ave #102 Portland, OR 97266. (503) 772-0103. Map

Honorable mention Pho An Sandy -6236 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97213

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. says

    “Pho An” = Pho An Sandy? That’s on NE Sandy, and I agree it’s very good.

    HA&VL is #1 in my opinion, but it’s not really a conventional restaurant as their key dishes are 2 daily specials that sell out before noon (the rest of the menu is perfunctory sandwiches). You have it listed as #3 with 56% – I assume there’s either an extra “5” or an extra “6”?

    • Food Dude says

      I wasn’t sure if people considered Pho An and Pho on Sandy to be the same places, and since they are different restaurants, I kept them separate.

  2. Asianjo3 says

    I would have to agree with Pho An being on the list.. Silk isn’t really actually that great when it comes down to it. Interior is jazzed up but their food is a little off from the real thing. #1 Ha and LV #2 Pho An #3 Pho Hung

    • Food Dude says

      I agree. With all the Vietnamese restaurants in this town, you would think there would be more alternative choices. My last visits to Silk and Pho Van left me less than impressed.

      Your knowledge of this cuisine is far greater than mine. What would your top 3 choices be?

      • says

        I don’t think Pho Van is a BAD choice, just a very “safe” choice and reeks of people expressing what they’ve heard of and been to without acknowledging that they haven’t been to much. It’s like putting Bewon as first in the Korean category. I don’t think it’s as bad a choice as some might, but it’s definitely a “safe” choice and I would question whether anyone putting it as number one has been to the litany of Beaverton Korean joints.

        I don’t know that I could easily rank the Vietnamese in town. Each is best at different things. However, places such as Bun Bo Hue, Ngoc Han Bun Bo Hue, Yen Ha, Pho Oregon, Pho An Sandy, HA&VL, Bun Bo Hue Minh, Quan Hue, Binh Minh, Best Baguette, An Xuyen, Pho Van 82nd/Silk, Hanoi Kitchen, and even places like Bui and Thanh Son Tofu could stake a claim. I hear there are a couple good ones in Beaverton, too, which I haven’t eaten enough at to judge.

        My personal three would probably be:

        1. Pho An Sandy: Excellent pho, bun rieu, and banh mi bo kho, plus very good bun thit nuong and banh hoi dac biet. Good range of dishes with most things among the top versions in town. Pho Oregon would be second in this style of place, which makes sense since they used to be sister restaurants and have largely the same menu.

        2. HA&VL: The banh mi they put in their name is just okay, but every soup I’ve had there has been very good, with some items not just probably the best in town, but easily the best in town, like their hu tieu nam vang or bun moc.

        3 (Tie). Yen Ha: Oldest of the existing Vietnamese restaurants and other than their mediocre pho, the menu has a lot of highlights, like their goi ga rau ram, mi vit tiem, bun rieu, and bo tai chanh. Huge menu and it’s impressive how many dishes are really tasty.

        3 (Tie). Bun Bo Hue: I go back and forth on which of the bun bo hue specialists is the best. Quan Hue also has a very good version. All of them offer banana blossom in the soup, which is usually a good sign. I think Bun Bo Hue is a little more consistent across the menu, though, but it is the smallest place with the smallest menu. They have some tasty fried chicken wings, too. Ngoc Han has been my favorite, but I think due to some cost cutting a couple of their soups, especially my favorite, the bun nuoc leo, has gone a little downhill.

        I defer to people like Polloelastico and Philthyanimal, though, to set me straight since they’ve been eating this food since birth.

        • says

          I should note that HA&VL gets downgraded for me a little because the menu is so limited and a lot of the time when I go there the soup is sold out.

          Also, Yen Ha gets bonus points in that they’re open late every night and you can order their food in the bar. And for those that like karaoke….

          Finally, anyone who hasn’t eaten at a good number of the places up and down 82nd or Sandy is like someone voting for President who has done little more research than watch television commercials. They’re uninformed and just shouldn’t vote.

  3. Eli says

    That must be Pho An on Sandy – I can’t imagine the one on Swan Island getting that many votes.

    To be fair – I haven’t been there, but that would really surprise me.

  4. Dave J. says

    HA&VL should absolutely be the top choice; I can only assume that it’s gotten fewer visitors owing to its non-obvious location and lack of a comprehensive menu. But those soups! Oh…man. So good.

  5. ATrain says

    I know when I voted for Pho An, I meant the restaurant on NE Sandy. It used to be Pho Oregon. I eat there almost every week in the gray months.

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