Finally! A Vietnamese Restaurant in Madrid!

Vietnamese Restaurant in Madrid

The day Vietnam Restaurante opened its doors on Calle Huertas it had already created quite a buzz among fellow expats in Madrid. This new eatery in the trendy Letras neighborhood had the power to fill an enormous gap for many of my fellow Americans– pho had finally arrived to Madrid! For those (like myself) who haven’t grown up with pho, it is described as a Vietnamese noodle soup, consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat. Sounds pretty amazing, especially for a cold winter day in Madrid.

So we had to check it out. The verdict? I’d go again, but it’s lacking in a few areas. That said, it is the only Vietnamese restaurant in Madrid at the moment, so best of luck finding something better!

We walked in without a reservation and they were completely booked, but had space at a tiny table by the bar. It was really too small for two people, but we aren’t picky and made it work. We had excellent service throughout by a nice Argentine waiter.

Vietnamese Restaurant in Madrid
Chef and waiter at Vietnam Restaurante.

We ordered the Nem Tom (rolls of minced pork, shrimp, soybean sprouts, rice paper and fish sauce), Pho Bo (pho soup with sliced beef), and My Xao (stir fried crispy noodles with vegetables, pork and peanut sauce).

There were two hits and a miss. The rolls were among the best I’ve ever had, a true explosion of flavors that made me yearn for a trip to Vietnam asap! The noodles were also quite delicious, we just wished the portion had been a bit bigger. But the pho soup was disappointing. After hearing about how amazing pho is from my peers over the past years, I just knew that this couldn’t be what they’d been talking about. Bland and boring, it just didn’t cut it.

Vietnam Restaurante Madrid

Vietnamese Restaurant in Madrid

We also ordered Vietnamese coffees (delicious, but at 4€ each not that different than a Spanish café bonbon for 1.50€), and a passionfuit dessert that I loved (then again, I love just about anything with passionfruit). We left at 25€ a head (including two beers) and felt this was a high price based on the quantity we’d eaten, yet we enjoyed almost everything and had great service. Considering it’s the only place for Vietnamese food in Madrid at the moment, I’d even consider it inexpensive compared to what they could possibly charge.

Vietnamese Restaurant in Madrid

Vietnamese Restaurants in Madrid

I’ll be back for sure, though not on any regular basis. I’m still holding out for some really good, simple, and inexpensive Thai and Vietnamese restaurants to open in Madrid. Or maybe I’ll just have to start experimenting in the kitchen myself!

Update: They recently released a short, but delicious sounding cocktail menu featuring passionfruit mojitos and a “Vietnam Cocktail” with rum, lemongrass, orange juice, and lemon ice cream… I might have to make another visit!

Vietnam Restaurante

Calle Huertas, 4

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Comments

  1. Pho is all about the condiments. Hopefully they had bean sprouts, basil, lime, housin sauce and siracha to add? I loved Pho at home in San Diego, but upon visiting Vietnam I always felt like there were better options to have! I guess for most people it´s more of a comfort food. If you get the beef right, and have all the condiments to add it can be really delicious though!

    I LOVE vietnamese (especially iced) coffee. did they include a lot of condensed milk? That is crucial.

    By the way, my ex was Vietnamese and his grandma who couldnt speak English always cooked the best food. This is kind of where my love and knowledge for their cuisine began haha

    All in all, seems a bit pricey to me for what you described :/

  2. I just had some pho the other night here in malasaña! Le Petit Hànoi, Calle Velarde, 8. It was my first time so I’m no expert, but I thought it was delicious! There are three kinds on the menu, I chose the 2nd one listed, at the bottom of the menu (I can’t remember what it’s called but the lady working said it was the most concentrated one so you could ask for that! Didn’t expect it to have cilantro but it was amazing with the spicy sauce added (I’m assuming it was sriracha). You should try it out! (also is 7,95 a good deal?)

    1. also the bowl was HUGE, my spanish roommate made fun of me super hard that I paid 7,95 “for a bowl of water” (she didn’t go with me) but considering there’s an extreme shortage of pho anyway and the size of the portions it seemed acceptable to me, you could even share it with someone if you added some rolls!

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