Need Vietnamese Restaurant Recs
A friend is coming to town and we plan a tour of Chinatown--I would like to introduce my friend to good Vietnamese cooking. Need recs please..
I wouldn't do it. Much, much stronger examples in cities like Houston, Chicago, and the west coast. I've tried five or six places and been disappointed (relative to my experiences in other cities) at each.
That said, if your heart is set on Vietnamese in Chinatown, Nha Trang on Centre St is decent.
Not really. New York just doesn't have a big Vietnamese population, and no one has stepped up to make good Vietnamese in their absence. Standards like bun and spring/summer rolls get mistreated badly. Pho fares better but still lags. Decent banh mi can be had but usually at places without a full kitchen. Dishes centered around cooked meats with few vegetables hold up the best and can be downright tasty in their own right, but still pale compared to their authentic versions.
I haven't been out to explore examples outside of Manhattan, so you may try looking in the Outer Boroughs board.
Mai House in Tribeca isn't too far away from Chinatown and is great vietnamese. But is probably a bit more pricey than regular hole in the wall Chinatown restaurants.