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Jul 25, 2006 12:53 AM

Authentic Bun Cha in bay area?

I've always been a big fan of Bun Cha Giao Thit (grilled pork with rice vermicelli and fried rolls), but after recently travelling to Vietnam I've discovered it's served a bit differently (big suprise) there.

The char grilled pork is served in a warm tangy broth rather than on top of the noodles with a fish sauce on the side. Noodles and a garden of leafy veggies and sprouts are served on the side to add to the meat and broth. I found the VN version to be much tastier and more complexly flavored.

some pics of what I'm talking about on the wonderful noodlepie blog...

I'm wondering if anyone familiar with the authentic preperation knows if it is available in the bay area?


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  1. There are two places i know off. Loi's on Irving and Hy ky sp? in the Tendorloin. Not as good as VN of course, but closer to what you're looking for. There have been numerous posts and even a chowdown at the latter restaurant. Other chowhound might help us with the correct restaurant name.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Offal Lover

      I think you mean Hung KY. I haven't had the bun cha giao thit you're looking for but the banh kuon were really good.

      According to the chowdown report the pork for the bun cha giao thit was presented in broth.

      Here's one thread on the chowdown:


      1. re: Euonymous

        Hung Ky's bun cha ROCKS!!! Served in a bowl separately with that lovely broth. Yum!

        1. re: Euonymous

          There are 2 places you can get authentic bun cha in the South Bay... Minh in Milpitas, and Da('c Phu'c in San Jose.

          1. re: coolcamden

            Dac Phuc, really? The kind with pork patties, not pork meat? If so, that seals it in my mind that Dac Phuc is northern vietnamese, no wonder I like the pho there so much.

            1. re: Alice Patis

              Da('c Phu'c IS Northern Vietnamese. Actually, the original owner was from South Vietnam, like most of us who have immigrated here, but his ancestries were from the North. He then sold the restaurant 2+ years ago to another family who are actually from the South. But the pho recipe was carried through to the new owners.

            2. re: coolcamden

              Dac Phuc

              Dac Phuc Restaurant
              198 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

          2. re: Offal Lover

            I love Loi's with a burning passion, but I've only seen the standard US meat-on-top style there. Their bun is excellent--the char on the meat is unbelievable, and the meat itself fresh. If you get there early enough, you may see the owner walking through the restaurant with live chickens to prepare for the dinner hour.

            1. re: pane

              You can indeed find bun cha of the type discussed at Loi's: it's on the menu as "Bun Cha Ha Noi". Quite tasty.

          3. At Bodega Bistro, in the Tenderloin, bun cha comes with grilled pork and pork sausage pieces in the tangy broth that I always assumed was based on fish sauce. Noodles, picked carrots & daikon, and a pile of herbs come on the side, along with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

            1 Reply
            1. re: david kaplan

              The bun cha at Bodega is delectable. The pork is so tender and a little fatty and the broth is so good, I'd eat it like soup.

            2. Great, can't wait to try it out! thanks.

              1. Binh Minh Quan in Oakland serves many dishes including bun in that assemble-it-yourself fashion.

                1. Saigon in San Mateo has a decent version. The fish sauce is on the side but the veggies are under the noodles.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jalapenogrl

                    There are two "Saigon" restaurants in San Mateo:

                    Pho Little Saigon at 2978 S Norfolk St
                    Saigon City Restaurant at 418 E 3rd Ave

                    we're looking this up for "Digest". Can you help?