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Jul 29, 2007 07:23 AM

Vietnamese restaurants in Tokyo?

I live in Tokyo and after a recent trip to Vietnam, I have cravings for pho and some authentic Vietnamese food. Does anyone have any recomendqtions? I would rather eat at a restaurant than try to prepare pho from scratch...

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  1. Good Idea not to make your own pho in Tokyo cuz a do-it-yourself bowl would probably cost you 5,000 yen.

    Here's from a post on Vietnamese food in Tokyo that I made to

    1. Hoi An in Kabukicho just across the street from Seibu Shinjuku Station. Always busy because it is among Tokyo's best, really good bahn xao (yellow rice crepe). If you crave the Vietnamese stuff you won't go wrong here. I'd seen the place for years but until a Vietnamese friend told me it was great, I never went in--my bad.

    2. Miss Saigon another pretty good place whose hokey name kept me away. Once again I was forced to take the advice of my Vietnamese pal Linh and had a great meal. On Bunkamura dori in Shibuya just a few buildings down from Don Quijote okunai/shibuya.htm

    And finally number 3. Aoi Papaya This place is in the sticks on the saikyo line in Jujo. Hard to find but worth the effort, probably best to make a reservation unless you live out that way, like the Michelin guide often says worth a detour.

    1 Reply
    1. re: steamer

      Thanks for the suggestions! I dreaded the thought of finding beef bones, etc. at Hanamasa to make the broth, and feared that Vietnamese food would be relegated to return visits to HCMC and Hanoi...

    2. The Vietnam Alice restaurants (Printemps Ginza, Akasaka Belle Vie and Shinjuku Lumine 1) are good, if somewhat refined.

      1. Giang's in Futagotamagawa-en is a favorite. Not a huge menu but very authentic.

        Here's a review:

        Cyclo, also written up in that review, is the other end of the price range/atmosphere but my last meal there was terrific.

        1. If you can read Japanese, here are about 6 pages of listings for Vietnamese restaurants in Tokyo.

          1. Giang's in Futagotamagawa is closed. (I don't think the Japan Times has any mechanism for removing old reviews.) The Vietnam Alice branch in Akasaka is also gone. The gnavi listings should be up to date, since they're paid listings.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Robb S

              Too bad about Akasaka. That was a really nice space.

              1. re: Robb S

                Funny. I ate at Giang's two week ago and its website ( makes no mention of closure. You sure it's closed for good?

                1. re: tabehodai

                  Thanks for the update on Giang's - they certainly seemed to be closed forever the last time I checked, but I guess it was a temporary thing.

                  1. re: Robb S

                    Thanks for the restaurant suggestions The Vietnam Alice in Printemps Ginza is closed, which actually started my search for Vietnamese cuisine! I will definitely try Giang's...

                    1. re: truro

                      According to the Queen Alice webpage, looks like (at least after running it through a translation program) there will be a new Vietnam Alice opening in Ginza next month. Also looks like the branch in Shinjuku Lumine 1 is still open.

                      1. re: truro

                        I just ran across this thread. I guess you've been there by now, but I actually wasn't all that impressed by Giang's; the service is not bad, but the food tends toward northern style, which is generally not as good as southern cooking (IMO, at least, but my wife is Vietnamese and an outstanding cook, so I'm probably pickier about that than most people).

                        I recall there's a Vietnamese restaurant in Shimo-kitazawa that was just awful (don't know if it's still there or not; I left Japan 5 years ago). A double mint chocolate chip at the Baskin-Robbins wasn't enough to scrape that taste of my tongue.

                        Of the VNese restaurants I've been to in Japan, the Miss Saigon in Shibuya was the best of the bunch. In an odd twist of fate, it was opened by some of my ex-wife's family. Around 1999 or 2000, I was taking a shortcut through some building in Shinjuku and saw a place called Vietnam Shop, and stopped into to chat with the guy. The VNese world in Tokyo is pretty small, and it turned out he knew my ex's family and told me they'd opened a restaurant, so I tried it. The food is pretty good, by Japanese standards of VNese food. Of course, the food they cook at home is a lot better than that :-)

                        Making pho from scratch is tough, that's for sure. My wife's pho recipe is better than that of most restaurants, even here in California (heck, it's better than most of the ones in Saigon, even; I used to live there), but it takes 8 - 12 hours to prepare. Not for the busy, that's for sure :)