I love Vietnamese food, but don’t consider myself an expert. I am lucky to be in an area with a large Vietnamese immigrant population, so I feel we have an excellent selection of foods.
My top choices:
Banh mi - I prefer the regular combo with extra cilantro, pickled daikon/carrots and jalapenos but also love tofu versions I’ve tried locally. This to be is an excellent take out, on the go food. I’d go for any of these.
Any and all pho - noodle soups are my thing, so I eat this stuff year round. All versions always welcome. My fave is not on the menu - the Hue style one with pigs feet. Spicy and rich. Most local places know to separate noodle and soup, so it’s been great for take out for me.
#10 Caramelized Fish (haven’t tried with pork) - when done well, this dish is soo delicious and pairs super well with white rice. One of those dishes you might feel compelled to pour any leftover sauce onto your rice to eat it.
#11 “Hot & Sour soup” (Canh Chua) – I love this soup, and its Cambodian counterpart. I think their translation stinks though, and it’s nothing like what most people think of Chinese hot and sour soup.
I describe anh chua more as a slightly sweet, tart, and not that spicy but refreshing soup. Often ordered as an entree, and with rice, which is not how I prefer it.
#41 Papaya salad – I love the crunch to this. I prefer the spicy Thai version, but the Vietnamese papaya salad still provides a nice light, refreshing crunch as a starter.
#73 Grilled meat rice dish - If I’m super hungry I go for one of their rice dishes, usually pork chop and maybe something else. We often have combo dishes locally so you get a few extra items (e.g., pork skin, a Vietnamese meat loaf, or shrimp paste/bean curd skin). Love the savory lemon-grassy marinade on the grilled meats. FILLING!