vietnamese in kansas city
The Korean taste perspective:
I would recommend Vietnam Cafe on Campbell and Missouri Ave (Columbus Park). I drive all the way from Lees Summit to eat there. Price is very reasonable. I think the appetizers are a bit expensive for the small portion such as the fried spring rolls. Pho is always good. The rice/meat dishes are great. I think they have one of the best fried rice combination.
I would also recommend the Vietnam Cafe on 39th and Rainbow (same owner I think). This is in a nicer location but the price is a bit more than the other location at Columbus Park. The cooks are different so you will notice something different about how the food prepared / presented compared to the one at Columbus.
If the cook is the same for the past years, then Hien Vuong at the city market is on the "so so" level depending on what you get.
I have not tried Pho KC on 315 Cherry St. I will probably check it out later.
Food is usually very good at Hien Vuong, but the service is, um, erratic to say the least. It's not at all unusual for dishes to come to a single table spaced a good 20 minutes apart. When I eat there with friends, one of us will often be almost finished before another of us even gets our food. But I can't complain about anything I've ever eaten there.
HUGE thumbs-up to Vietnam Cafe, my favorite. I've never tasted anything there I didn't love, and their pho is hands-down the best I've had in a restaurant. The people who run it are among the nicest restaurateurs I've ever encountered. Check out the banh mi, which they usually keep behind the counter.
But Pho KC is also pretty much perfect. Nothing to complain about at Kim Long either, though a lot of what they offer is in steam tables. I think it's the only place I know of to offer some of the stuff a Vietnamese friend tells me was common in his house, like whole fish and chicken feet, as heatherkay says. They have a large and very clean market too.
There's a Vietnamese/Chinese place in Westport called Sung Son, and it has some very good food, served in what is easily the most attractive and elegant Asian restaurant in the whole city. The banh cuon is the best I've ever tasted. They have a buffet at lunch, which includes a custom-made pho if you want it, but it's not really very flavorful. There are lots of nice things on that buffet (though I'm not a buffet eater).
And why no love anywhere for Pho 97 on Independence Avenue? Yes, the neighborhood leaves a little to be desired, but the food is out of this world. Very no-nonsense inside, but you weren't coming here for the white-jacket experience, were you? They make an icy durian shake that is totally great. It's a perfect introduction to the fruit for those who are afraid of its texture.
My personal favorite is called Pho KC.
Don't remember where exactly it's at (all I remember is a big sign that
says Phớ KC on a big sign.
(I don't really remember the way it had the tones marked... I'm not Vietnamese, so don't hold it against me x] ) Anyways, the Pho there is really yummy!! (along with the other food on the menu^^) I really like it with the beef && the 'meatball-like' things ^^'
I can't get enough of it, ahaha!
(For those who've been there, how much does Pho normally cost? I'm going there on the 15th (of August) with my friends, and I need to know how much to bring to pay for us all^^
Yeah, I've been there before, but it was always with my friends Phuong, Oanh, and their Dad/Mom. And it's not polite to ask them how much they're paying for you.)
Anywho, I'm going to try out some of these restraunts I'm hearing about here.
It all sounds sooo good<3 (Curse my addiction to this food...@__@)
glad to hear that so many people here have opinions on the the same vietnamese foods i love. my new favorite is pho kc. its on 3rd and cherry i believe, and the neigborhood is called east river market(?). from the outside the place doesn't even look open and the sparse dark dining room is not not the proper prelude for the food to come. foodies are used to that though. so far the highlight for me has been the wonton egg noodle soup. delicious rich broth, countless wontons, eggnoodles, fried garlic and of course the herb plate which can be used at your discretion. they even make there own hot sauce(the dried chili/oil kind,) and it is amazing. i think they add some fried garlic, and if you like they will sell you some in a to-go cup.
kim-long is my new spot for pho-ga. they give you a mix of white and dark meat chicken in a golden, rich chicken broth with rice noodles, a bounty of white and green onion and fried garlic. the plate of herbs they give you is HUGE and fresh. do they throw away whats left? is it okay to ask for a to-go box to take what looks like a pound of mung bean sprouts and a whole bunch of cilantro?
Is the Vietnam Cafe on 39th and Rainbow owned by the same family as the Vietnam Cafe on 5th and Campbell? I have eaten at Hein Vuong and the Vietnam Cafe in Columbus Park and although I'm slightly partial to the one in Columbus Park, I think is because as a kid, my dad and I used to go there every now and then and split orders of spring rolls and pho. It was funny because he the only white guy in a room full of asians. He had a somewhat timid palate but he always went to Vietnamese with me because I loved it so. Prices are very reasonable. I took some friends there a while back and someone ordered the basil chicken. The smell was intoxicating as they used a ton of fresh basil, but my friend, who grew up on the dried tasteless stuff was less than enthusiastic. I think she was shocked to actually be able to "taste" basil. Our orders were to go and they gave a whole sackful of cilantro...too bad I hated to stuff at the time (I'm now a big fan).
My current favorite is Vietnam Cafe at 39th and Rainbow. I could pretty much eat the bun there every single day. Particularly fond of the pork and shrimp, which is seared and limey. Mi xao bo is also very good. The service is always excellent. And the place is usually full of SE Asians, if that makes any difference to you.
I'd also like to put in a word for Vinh Hoa on Burlington in North Kansas City (or maybe just Kansas City North -- not sure where the line is). The are the only place I've seen in KC that has bahn mi, and they are very good. Also astoundingly cheap for the amount of food you get there.
If you're looking for something that is more chicken-foot-y, you should check out Kim Long Asian Market at 5th and Cherry. They have a buffet that looks very good, with the aforementioned braised (? maybe stewed) chicken feet. I had some very good pho there, served with the thin sliced raw beef that you cook in the broth. The broth was excellent, tangy and deeply flavored. My main problem with the large amount of tendon and tripe. I know they're delicacies and the reason the broth tasted so good. I just can't get past the texture. But even if you eat around it, there is still a HUGE amount of food.
Vinh Hoa is no longer open as far as I can tell. The place is dark and there is a for sale sign in front:(
I really love Pho 97. The green papaya salad is wonderful as is the Pho Ga.
I also love Vietnam Cafe in Columbus park. Very good sizzling pancake and bun. One of my favorite soups is a vegetarian glass noodle soup with lots of fried tofu and assorted vegetable.
I've only been there for lunch, so you should probably call ahead to get the hours. And buffet is kind of a misnomer -- it's more like a salad bar. They have items that you order by the pound or pint. They also have made-to-order entrees, soups, etc. That's where I got the pho, which was a regular menu item. As far as price -- I don't remember any specifics, other than super cheap.
The Vietnam Cafe on 39th and Rainbow is excellent. The pho is wonderful and they have something that will probably appeal to anyone. I'm a big fan of the chicken hot pot--nice sized chicken pieces, portabella mushrooms, and onions in a very tasty brown sauce over rice. Very spicy. I also appreciate the fact they are quick. I work at the med center and I'm able to leave my office and be back in 45 minutes.
I love Pho 97 best, then the Vietnam cafe in Columbus park. Pho 97 has the friendliest service from the man who is always there at lunch. You get your food very quickly.
I have eaten most often at the Hien Vuong for lunch with work folks, but service there is pretty bad. On more than one occasion we've had one member of our party of 4 wait long after the other orders came out to get his dish that was the same thing another of us ordered. Also have more than once gotten our main dishes before our spring rolls.
My favorite is Hien Vuong at the city market. Love everything they do there especially the Pho tai.
Vietnam Cafe in Columbus Park also very good as well as the one on 39th st on KS side.
Tried a couple of them on Independence Ave. (Pho 97 maybe) and they were also very good. But I like Hien Vuong's Pho the best + the atmosphere of eating in the sort of shabby garage-like storefront and the activity of the city market make it a great place for me.