Jimmy Wah’s, Burleigh Heads: This seaside dining gem dishes up authentic Vietnamese cuisine with modern-Australian influences in a fun-yet-refined setting. You’ll find everything from yellowfin-tuna sashimi through to soft-shell-crab banh mi, poached chicken rice-paper rolls, braised beef short-rib steam bao buns and must-try snapper and crab dumplings. To finish? A condensed milk-laden Vietnamese espresso martini, of course.
Light Years, Byron Bay and Burleigh: Styled off 1950s Hanoi (think shades of pink, neon lights and plenty of greenery), Light Years encourages you to share its flavour-packed menu. Right now, there’s a reduced menu on offer due to the restrictions, but you can tuck into tasty bites like spring rolls, firecracker chicken, flavour-packed curries, punchy Vietnamese slaw and more. The turmeric and coconut fish curry is a must.
Can Tho Kitchen and Bar, Runaway Bay: From its eclectic digs on Oxley Drive, Can Tho Kitchen and Bar brings authentic home-style Vietnamese to the table. The share-style menu focuses on traditional flavours of Vietnam, starting with smaller plates like steamed chilli dim sims and sour seafood soup, before moving on to authentic beef pho noodle soup, delicious banh xeo (savoury pancakes) and punchy wok-fried classics like lemongrass chicken. You can end with the likes of taro ice-cream with crushed yam cookies or a deep-fried Gaytime bao.
My Saigon Tuckshop, Burleigh Waters: Don’t judge a book by its cover. This hidden daytime eatery, tucked in Burleigh’s industrial precinct, is often found brimming with local workers getting their fix of traditional Vietnamese fare like pho beef-noodle soup, vermicelli salads, rice paper rolls, spring rolls and grab-and-go banh mi baguettes. This as authentic as it gets.
Quan 55, Chirn Park: Nestled in the heart of Chirn Park, Quan 55 serves up a vibrant share-style menu inspired by authentic tastes and homestyle flavours with an edgy modern twist. Off the the grill you can enjoy delights like skewered beef and lemongrass wrapped in betel leaves, and grilled squid stuffed with pork mince, glass noodles and wood ear mushrooms. Up the ante with the larger plates – you’ll find everything from traditional pho to a whole chicken with chilli and lemongrass, and clay-pot prawns with a roe and shallot sauce.
O-me-ly, Broadbeach: This longstanding hub is well known by locals for its authentic and fuss-free Vietnamese fair. Open for both lunch and dinner, O-me-ly dishes up everything from traditional noodle soups (the crispy chicken and egg soup is a delight) and pho, though to fresh green papaya salads, banh xeo pancakes and giant vermicelli bowls topped with fillings like sugar-cane prawn and lemongrass chicken.
Eddy + Wolff, Robina: While not exclusively Vietnamese, Eddy + Wolff comes from the same owners of Can Tho Kitchen in Runaway Bay and offers a fun modern-Asian menu that is dotted with authentic Vietnamese dishes. Enjoy dishes like baby pho with charred bone marrow and drinks like the Pho-groni – a negroni infused with pho spices. Hello happiness.
Saigon 101, Mermaid Waters: If you’re after good Vietnamese minus the fuss, this casual hang will be right up your alley. You’ll find simple, affordable and traditional Vietnamese dishes served across lunch and dinner. Think noodle soups, vermicelli salads, rice bowls and fresh rice-paper rolls.
Be sure to check out our round-up of the Gold Coast’s best banh mi.
Got a favourite Vietnamese spot you think we should know about? Email [email protected]