100 Best Restaurants 2008: Huong Viet

No. 88: Huong Viet

Cuisine: Noodle soups, rice-flour pancakes, cool and crisp vermicelli bun—you’ll find superb renditions of these Vietnamese classics, plus more adventurous flavors, at this long-established restaurant in the eatery-heavy Eden Center.

Mood: The plywood-paneled dining room—its cafeteria tables filled with guys hanging out, expat families, and chatty teens—has the in-and-out pacing of a diner.

Best for: Taking the family out for a big, multicourse meal, dashing in for a bubble tea or quick bite, recovering from a hangover or a tough day with a big bowl of noodle soup.

Best dishes: Quail with lime and a bowl of salt and pepper; classic pork spring rolls; shrimp soup made sour and tangy with tamarind; crunchy lotus-root salad with cold roasted pork and shrimp; butter-fried frog’s legs; cool vermicelli bun with skewers of grilled pork; grilled beef with lemongrass; sparkling lemonade; bubble teas.

Insider tips: Servings are sized for sharing, so if you’re not in a group, expect leftovers. And bring cash—no credit cards or checks are accepted.

Service: •

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.