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Mar 26, 2014 04:19 PM

Vietnamese not too far from French Quarter

I'm visiting New Orleans from Boston with my foodie friends and we're interested in trying some Vietnamese. We'd prefer not to have to rent a car although I know from what I've been reading that the best places require a car ride. Most of the boards I have seen on this topic are a little outdated. Any recommendations for Vietnamese that are a quick street car/cab ride/or walk away from the french quarter? Some places I've come across are Magasin and Doson's noodle house- any other suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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    1. If you said you were from the sticks somewhere it wouldn't be difficult to make recommendations; since you're from Boston and have access to the slew of really excellent Vietnamese in Chinatown it's harder -- the best in New Orleans is really outside of the easily accessed areas.

      There are a few places that are newly opened and solid if not exceptional: Mopho, Namese, Pho Cam Ly, Mint Modern, and (the slightly older) Magasin. Any of these are easily accessible with a short cab ride (call United). I'd think that Mint Modern, with its location on Freret St. would be the most attractive option: there's a ton of stuff to do in the neighborhood once you're out there.

      The food at these places has been "updated" and "riffed on" to appeal more to the mainstream. None are bad (indeed, some of the food coming out of these kitchens is very good) but you'll not find many Vietnamese people eating dinner at any of them.

      On an entirely different note: although I might not recommend it based solely on the food, the Lost Love Lounge is a fine destination if you're looking for somewhere to kick back, have a few drinks and pho, bun, & banh mi as bar food. It was a revelation to me how well serious drinking and pho go together. Easily walkable from the FQ or Frenchmen St. and a great example of a neighborhood bar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: montuori

        i live near Lost Love Lounge -- it's a shame the food is so terrible....the first operator they had in there years back was actually pretty good. they parted ways over some dispute and now theyve got some of the sloppiest pretend-vietnamese anywhere. pho that is so completely void of flavor that im convinced its missing ingredients, bun thats for sure missing sauce (we get it all take-out at home), sloppily-rolled rolls, rolls that are almost all rice noodle filling, etc... despite the convenience we've sword them off forever. too many disappointments.

        1. re: kibbles

          Well ... there's that.

          I like the place as a bar first and foremost. In the context of an evening out drinking I still think there could be much worse -- the pork bun is pretty tasty bar food (though not without the sauce...). Considered as a restaurant or take out joint, I'd probably have stronger negative feelings about it all.

          Sorry for any confusion; in truth I should have kept that one to myself. Part of my rationale in sharing it was that it's remarkably different than what you'd find these days in Boston. Siberia, Finn's, or 12 Mile Limit might have been a better "bar serving food" example.

      2. Would the Vietnamese Farmers Market have food stalls or anything of the like?

        Maybe renting a car and driving an hour or so to Vietnamese neighborhoods east and north-east of NOLA is the way to go. I recently spoke to a friend from Weezian and she told me that a lot of Vietnamese in the surrounding burbs and towns of New Orleans. I know Andrew Zimmern did a show on that. Wish I could remember the episode. Happy Mangia!

        1 Reply
        1. re: David11238

          The Vietnamese farmers market have a couple very small food stalls mostly with things like sticky rice, banh mi and a couple other very small dishes but nothing substantial. The market is more for produce then anything.

        2. Lily's Cafe, in the Lower Garden District, is modest but delicious and is an easy cab ride from the Quarter.


          (BTW, kudos for seeking out Vietnamese in NOLA.)

          1. Thanks for all the recs. Will look into them, excited for my trip!