During the late 70s and 80s, the Vietnamese migrated to Canada, who settled down in Montreal, looking for opportunities and with the dream of building their lives on Canadian soil. They brought along their cultural background, traditions, and culinary skills, introducing Montreal to their bold flavors and insanely delectable native foods from the Northern and Southern regions. Hence, it is a common sight to spot such authentic Vietnamese cafés in Montreal.
These hidden gems, famous for their outstanding pho bowls and carbs-stacked banh mi sandwiches, can be found all over Montreal, all the way from Downtown to Chinatown and beyond. They are unbeatable and incomparable to other cuisines, both in price and authentic flavors.
Some of the below-mentioned Vietnamese joints have been ranked as the best fish cafés in Montreal, among others, as they use fresh quality fish and meats.
Suggested: Full manual for the most effective cafés in Montreal.
The best Vietnamese restaurants in Montreal
If you are on the lookout for a modern and chic eatery with an excellent ambiance, Cafeden is the way to go. It is a far cry from most Vietnamese places you will discover in Montreal, as they give priority to both the quality of the food and the interiors of the restaurant. Not to mention the fact that Cafeden is one of the most impressive cafés serving fresh, delicious, and exquisite food in Little Italy.
There is no doubt that this eatery, just as its name, having derived from the word ‘cave’ in Vietnamese means and stands out from the pack.
Owners Chun Vu and Joseph Campbell conceived a divine palatable menu with a twist, following the southern conventions in the form of pho, with their lip-smacking yuzu chicken wings, green papaya salad, and an array of crispy Banh Bao, in addition to some other Western influences.
Hà is an elegant and charismatic little restaurant with a casual atmosphere and warm decor. Initially, two of their locations were home to exceptional road diners in Hanoi City. However, they presently offer more of a trendy Montreal vibe, plating incredible food that tickles your tastebuds.
Ross Louangsignotha, a master Laotian chef, joined forces with Mr. Hà and crafted various appetizing and flavorful Vietnamese food combos, as well as steamed buns paired with pork belly, shrimp, and other solid choices.
If you desire to go for cocktails, before sitting down to a fabulous meal at Hà, you can head off to the Nhâu, located right in its basement. It is a posh, fancy, and sophisticated bar, which immediately transports you to South-East Asia.
3. Pho Tay Ho
Qualified and recognized as serving the best pho ever, Pho Tay Ho is the talk of the town. It is surprising how such a humble yet delicious bowl of pho, loaded with fried noodles, fresh basil stems, bean sprouts, with a squeeze of lime, can be such a stunning dish, filled with exquisite flavors.
Customers line up in front of the restaurant, right from lunch time up until supper time, to get a chance to enjoy the best jazz music played live by their band for a maximum of $20 while enjoying their addictive savoury soups, chicken, beef, fish, and pork dishes.
4. Pho Bang New York
Pho Bang New York is a restaurant competing with and hot on the heels of Pho Tay Ho. Their main aim is to take over the Pho Tay Ho title of serving the best pho in town. Pho Bang Big Apple is opening this week to the public near Pho Tay boasting their exquisite and best pho ever eaten by locals in town.
They serve North Vietnamese street food such as Banh Cuon, rice crepes heaped with pork and mushrooms, curry chicken, and rice bowls. The pho is their star dish that brings forth an explosion of flavors in your mouth with every sip. None of the other eatables are worth spending money or even trying.
5. Pho Lien
Probably, the only positive thing about this decent restaurant is their specialty pho meals. But other than that, I would not recommend this place to anyone. They have been in business for two decades, faithfully following the recipes of Madam Lien.
The local favorites are their 15+ pho choices of seafood, pork, beef, and duck. Their zesty soup is a treat being served only on weekends. The portions are large, and takeout options are available.
6. Pho MC Brossard
When you are in search of quality cuisine, you would be willing to go the distance. The Pho MC is a popular Brossard restaurant recognized for pleasing various groups and serving pho and stock-less bowls of rice noodles.
During the weekend, you must make it a point to visit the South Shore to have the time of your life and to try out their udon noodle drenched in coconut gravy along with pork and shrimp stuffed pocket cake.
7. My Canh
Located in Chinatown, one of the eateries that should not be ruled out my Canh is completely.
There is something about their hamburgers, chicken infused with lemongrass, and frog legs garnished with lettuce that I enjoy here and entices me to become a regular.
All the soups on the menu are thick and hearty, be it snails, shrimp, or ground pork, and their shrimp cakes are sure to satisfy and fill the palate, confirming the return of first timers.
8. Tran Cantine Vietnamienne
The Tran Cantine Vietnamienne is a cozy and clean hangout, like a breath of fresh air that competes with the traditional Vietnamese restaurants and offers contemporary Vietnamese dishes. When they started the business, the stakes were high, but they went against all the odds and proved to be the best at what they did. Before the Tran, there were no options for pho and Bahn mi in the Saint-Henri area.
Adding seared eggs to a sandwich, in addition to the sautéed soybean curd in banana leaves, a bowl of steaming soup, and other modified delicacies, made this joint a quick success. They also make use of sweet-smelling aromatic spices and citrus flavors in the mixed greens accompanying the hamburgers.
9. Le Petit Sao
The heart and soul of the residents of Montreal, Le Petit Sao is a modern cafe offering comfort food and street-style Vietnamese food, not sacrificing the flavors passed down from generations. They allure customers with their humble pho, lemongrass chicken, General Sao steamed cauliflower, and their homemade vegetable cakes doused in hoisin mayo.
Besides being one of the few, if not the only Vietnamese joints located in Pointe-Saint-Charles, it also offers an appealing early lunch menu paired with their mixed drink menu.
10. Eatery Lyla
Unlike other BYOB competitors, Lyla is a unique eatery that do not hike the prices to compensate for the revenue lost due to the diners not purchasing drinks in-house. You are encouraged to bring along a container of brew or wine to share with friends and family and feast.
The menu has plenty of options for comfort food. There are Chinese stews, Szechuan dishes, and other delicious eatables.
You will get the best value for your money when you buy the supper and lunch combo.
11. Pho Nguyen
Serving specifically to Concordia students, this delicious pho café is open every day. It is a common sight to see folks relaxing to a giant bowl of pho and taking over half an hour to finish up.
The meat cooked three-ways are very popular and are a must-have. The breadcrumb shrimps dunked in the stock, and the battered fish is also mind-blowing, best enjoyed with a touch of hot sauce and hoisin.
12. Marché Hung Phat
This Vietnamese merchant and sandwich shop situated in Villeray is a local spot where you can find an insane Bahn mi. It is a new, two-sided roll loaded with either pork liver pâté or barbecued chicken, garnished with fresh herbs and cured daikon and carrots on the side.
Montrealer’s come here to gorge, and for $5, you cannot go wrong. People from Vermont and Nunavut even go to the extent of ordering by the crate. So, I would suggest that everyone should give this one a try.
Do not judge Dakar restaurant by the neon sign outside or the fact that it is in a basement. They have a simple and straightforward menu offering modest pho options. If you do not have the stomach for soup, we can swap it with steamed rice and vermicelli.
If you can get over its looks, the food is pretty good, and it is a place we can go to regularly.
14. Pho Thanh Long
Most people who eat the northern-style pho here consider it among the best foods offered in the city. They serve thick soups, often thicker than stews, accompanied by proteins, crab, and hot burgers. It is one of the cheap eat spots that does not sacrifice quality.
They are also known for their crab rangoon puffs when available, in which a tab of cream cheese is melted in the center, making the treat even gooier.
15. Nam Do Restaurant
Vietnamese BYOB eateries have been serving Vietnamese pho, piping hot off the wok and spoon for more than twenty years, but at the same time are also well-known for their Chinese and Thai dishes.
On the terrace of their brew bar, after dinner, they offer freshly singed frozen yogurt, bananas, pineapples, or apples and an array of air pocket teas to balance out a lavish supper.
16. Banh Xeo Minh
There is more to this joint than meets the eye. Though the pho is unquestionably good, there is also a whole range of other delicacies that makes the visit well worth it.
Northern rice noodle hotcakes and bánh bèo rice cakes are generally ordered close behind their soup. However, the divine sizzling bánh xèo flapjacks, packed with flavors and served as an omelet, are requested the most.
At times, guests may get anxious and distracted by the menus written on the blackboard in Vietnamese., Nevertheless, the proprietors are always eager to help with the menu or any other inquiries.
17. Banh Mi Banh Yiu
Mile End, home to this small café, was launched only a few months ago. Even though it does not align with the rules and customs of the typical Vietnamese café, it is still adored by customers for the sole reason of getting the japchae plate (stir fry noodles with meat and vegetables).
The roast chicken sandwich is as good as their spicy eggplant and avocado pâté, which are the same caliber.
Anyone craving authentic Vietnamese eats may find this diversified café in Montreal lacking in some way or the other. In any case, the pace at which this diner prepares their food does not slacken how delectable their banh mi is.
Despite all their small issues, through word of mouth, Vao’s Vietnamese sandwiches have widespread across the nation, especially when you consider how much they have to offer in the form of good quality food.