Cheap Eats 2010: Four Sisters

100 great places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: Now in its 17th year, the grande dame of the area’s Vietnamese restaurants stands atop a crowded field for its consistency, quality, and freshness. No restaurant is better prepared to introduce a novice to the cuisine. For vets, there’s much to explore and even familiar-sounding dishes are rendered with such care as to seem thrilling and new.

What to get: Thick slices of toast slathered with shrimp paste and thrust under the broiler: simple and irresistible; salty, juicy, lightly caramelized grilled pork with vermicelli; roast quail; ground-beef-stuffed grape leaves, to be garnished with julienned veggies and rolled in warm rice paper; Vietnamese coffee; fresh-made lime soda.

Best for: Celebrations on the cheap.

Insider tip: The 150-plus-item menu doesn’t have many weak spots, but the stir-fries are among them.

>> See all 2010 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.