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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Seven Best Vietnamese Restaurants in St. Louis

Posted By on Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        Pho for days. | Ian Froeb
  •         Pho for days. | Ian Froeb

Editor's note: It has come to our attention that some of the language in the recommendations below was excerpted from previous Riverfront Times' articles without giving proper credit to the writer who originally reviewed the restaurant. RFT is working on correcting this oversight and ensuring that it won't happen again.

In recent years, a spate of Vietnamese restaurants have popped up, bringing delicious Pho, a spice-filled broth served with noodles, to the masses. And we couldn't be happier. Lemongrass and ginger, rice and noodles, all fresh and remarkably healthy -- here are seven of our favorite spots to grab authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

See also: The Nine Best Chinese Restaurants in St. Louis

Pho Long (8629 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-997-1218)

The pho broth at this U. City spot is so deeply flavored with the generous addition of basil and lime that you'll pause for a moment just to take in the aroma. You don't need much more than a bowl of good pho for a fast, satisfying meal: thin rice noodles, onions and scallions in beef broth, customized with your choice of meats -- eye round steak or flank steak are a solid option; oxtail or beef meatballs offer a heartier, earthier flavor. Best of all, pho is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, in hot weather or cold.

Mai Lee (8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood; 314-645-2835)

Mai Lee is St. Louis' first Vietnamese restaurant, bringing in the crowds and introducing our city to this sumptuous cuisine. Though somewhat strangely located on the ground floor of a parking garage in Brentwood -- sandwiched between the Best Buy/Sports Authority colossus and the South Hanley Road Home Depot -- Mai Lee thrives, its dining room seemingly packed at every lunch and dinner. The menu is massive -- more than 200 dishes. Order any of them with confidence, from simple goi cuon (fresh summer rolls) to exotic ech xao lan (a stir-fry with lemongrass, curry and frogs' legs).

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