Vietnam has made a permanent stay in Sydney’s Inner West.
It was once called Little Athens thanks to the vibrant Greek community, but lately, the blossoming suburb of Marrickville has become a mini mecca for Vietnamese. Or, what we like to call “Little Vietnam”. And most of it is centralised along Illawarra Road between the station and the main strip. The Vietnamese culture has permeated so much that this suburb holds over a dozen Vietnamese restaurants, two banh mi outlets, three Vietnamese cafes, a Vietnamese medicinal dispensary and a Vietnamese greengrocer. Even the feng shui of the place brings to mind a Vietnamese reality.
Let’s see what Vietnamese eateries you could dine at in Marrickville:
VN Street Foods
This is the local favourite, bringing not only the tastiest of flavours of Vietnam but even the most authentic backdrop. You’d be hard-pressed to find a seat during their busy periods, especially over the weekend, which shows just how good they are. They cook up the most generous serving of vermicelli with your choice of meat or poultry, while also sharing bespoke lunchboxes.
Marrickville Pork Roll
A cheap lunch isn’t necessarily a bland lunch and Marrickville Pork Roll makes sure of that. They serve up freshly baked rolls that can be filled with chicken, meatballs, ham or even roast pork (with crackle included) topped with salads and optional chilli. Match it with a can of coke and you will see why these guys always have a queue at lunchtime.
Hello Auntie brings forth the classic style of Vietnamese cooking, while also throwing in contemporary twists along the way. Their menu is served to share, just like it is in South Asia. If you’re lost in what to order or even indecisive, perhaps a banquet is the answer. Think twice-cooked pork belly and lemon cured rare beef plus an impressive lineup of desserts to share.
For some of the best pho in Marrickville, look no further than Khoi. You’ll be coy for it! The restaurant portrays a modern and crisp dining room, sharing bright colours to anyone who enters. And while the shared plates and vermicelli noodles are amazing, we highly recommend picking out a pho dish and be transported to authentic Vietnam. Also, a side note: tea lovers will enjoy their cute teapots!
Banh Cuon Ba Oanh
This is fast food, Viet style!Recrnytly opened, Banh Cuon Ba Oanh is a small restaurant serving up all the classics. The most important of these is their rice noodle rolls which cascade with silking finesse on every plate. Banh Cuon is not the place to bring 10 of your friends and two or three bottles of wine, but it is the place to get an authentic filling of Vietnamese in a steaming environment.
Alex 'N' Rolls
For the last decade, Marrickville Pork Roll (MPR) was the king of banh mi, but there’s a new kid on the block and he’s stirring up the scene. Make welcome Alex ‘N’ Rolls! The main difference between MPR and Alex ‘N’ Rolls is the bread. Alex ‘N’ Rolls makes bread that is less harsh on the crunch than MPR, but MPR has a wider variety of choice. Which one to choose is up to you.
Khoi has competition, and it’s called Eat Fuh. They’ve got some more amazing pho for you to slurp down. Eat Fuh pack in so much to make their pho soup taste like heaven, including some quirky flavours like star anise, cloves, cinnamon, chilli and cardamom. It’s a daring but tasty concoction. They also serve a quaint selection of wines and beer along with non-alcoholic mixes.
Pho Phd Vietnamese Restaurant
When you’ve got a decent gathering of hungry mouths to feed, Pho Phd Vietnamese Restaurant is your ultimate choice. They have a top section that overlooks the lower dining room, easily fitting a gaggle of 20+ people. Most of their menu is served as share plates, but if it’s just you, fill up on a pho or vermicelli noodle dish. They also cater for vegans with a decent-sized section on their menu.
Nguyen Garden Vietnamese Noodle House
Nguyen Garden is a recent Vietnamese creation in the southern end of Marrickville. The dining room evokes a fresh and rustic atmosphere featuring dangling pot plants and simple decor. But it’s the food that’s getting customers talking. They bring the classics into the modern age with dishes like steamed whole snapper with rice papers, vermicelli, salad and pickles. Or perhaps eggplant fritters.