Food

Cheap Eats 2010: Present

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: Unlike many places in the nearby Eden Center, this Vietnamese oasis pays as much attention to decor as it does to food. The charm of the serene setting and complex dishes is in the details: a stone waterfall, bamboo latticework, intricately carved vegetable garnishes, and house-made sauces.

What to get:
Prawn-and-pork spring rolls with a wrapper of house-made rice paper; Cow on the Open Field, tender nubs of beef over watercress; banh xeo, a rice-flour crepe with seafood, pork, and bean sprouts; crisply roasted duck with tamarind sauce; Tolling in the Morning, a pork-fat-enriched soup with tofu and scallions; vermicelli bun with grilled pork.

Best for:
Learning the ins and outs of Vietnamese cuisine—the servers will tell you how to wrap, sauce, and dip everything on the table.

Insider tip:
Waiters have a list of dishes they always recommend, such as green-papaya salad and crabmeat with noodles and vegetables. Don’t hesitate to veer off the beaten track.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

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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.