Cheap Eats 2016: Hai Duong

Cheap Eats 2016: Hai Duong
Get yourself to Hai Duong for a taste of this Vietnamese fish with plenty of dill and turmeric. Photo by Scott Suchman.
Good for Groups

With its looming flat-screen tuned to CNN and glaring fluorescents, this Vietnamese spot looks more like a mani-pedi joint than somewhere you’d want to have dinner. But bypass the place based on looks and you’ll miss out on one of the best reasons to visit the restaurant-crammed Eden Center. Dishes arrive in rapid-fire succession, so you might find yourself juggling appetizers and entrées. Still, don’t stint on either. This is a kitchen that handles so many things with skill—shattering-skinned spring rolls, tender nubs of shaky beef, a textbook bánh xèo crepe or gingery sauté of clams—that it’ll likely take you as long to decide what to order as it will to eat.

Also good: Garden rolls; cha ca thang long (fish with turmeric and dill); bun cha Hanoi (Northern-style grilled pork with vermicelli).

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.