100 Best Restaurants 2012: Minh’s

Tried and True: 10 Restaurants that Have Consistently Offered Very Good Dining


This Vietnamese restaurant in Clarendon is an antidote to the unimaginative renditions of Asian food that proliferate and to the comfort food that has become a default setting at many restaurants. A meal here is a chance to recalibrate and restore the senses.

Minh’s is nicer and comfier than many of the holes-in-the-wall in Falls Church’s Eden Center, the area’s de facto Little Vietnam. But that’s just a bonus. Our enthusiasm is for the intensity of flavors coming from Anh Nguyen’s kitchen. You shouldn’t have to shell out a small fortune for a restaurant to provide a memory to hold onto.

What to get: Shrimp-and-yam patties; bun cha, charred pork meatballs in spicy fish sauce; Hanoi-style sizzling catfish with dill and mint; clay pots of pork or catfish; lemongrass-marinated short ribs; Vietnamese coffee; tempura-fried bananas.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

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.