Cheap Eats 2009: Huong Viet

Great food, low prices, lots of fun

Why go: This cash-only, cafeteria-like restaurant, approaching a quarter century in the Eden Center, offers a culinary tour of Vietnam, from familiar wonton soup to intriguing pork blood with bean sprouts and sweet leeks.

What to get: Cha gio, fried spring rolls stuffed with pork, cellophane noodles, and carrots; salad of chilled shrimp and pork tossed with shredded pickled carrots, lotus root, and crispy shrimp toasts; charbroiled pork-paste balls to be rolled in rice crepes with vermicelli, mint, and cilantro and then dipped in peanut sauce; sweet-and-sour shrimp soup with pineapple and fresh tomato.

Best for: Group exploration—many dishes are best eaten family style.

Insider tip: Overwhelmed by the 160-plus dishes on the menu? The gracious servers are happy to pick for you.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats Restaurants here 

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 Logan Circle.