Chef Thai Dang and his wife Danielle write a love letter to Vietnam at their acclaimed Pilsen restaurant. Even if you’re familiar with the flavors of Southeast Asia, Dang will surprise you with his deft execution. Papaya salad bursts with herbaceous notes; jumbo chicken wings are double fried and coated in a caramelized fish sauce; and whole fried fluke is a beautiful marriage of crackly skin and silky white flesh. Those with large groups can opt for the family-style tasting menu for a guided dining experience.
When the craving for Vietnamese food hits, you’ve got plenty of options in Chicago. Most locals are familiar with West Argyle Street Historic District, the city’s mecca for Southeast Asian cuisine, but it’s not the only area to find terrific sandwiches and noodle soups. Places like HaiSous and Sochi Saigonese Kitchen offer refined and elevated spins on authentic dishes, and are among the finest restaurants in the city. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, reliable mainstays Nhu Lan and Nha Hang are sure to hit the spot. You’ll find banh mi stuffed with pork and pickled veggies, rich pho teeming with beef, crispy banh xeo and much more. They also double as the best cheap eats in town. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Chicago’s best Vietnamese restaurants have you covered.
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