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An overhead photograph of a bowl of clams in butter sauce with bay leaves and a slice of baguette
Clams in a butter sauce at Em.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

32 Outstanding Vietnamese Restaurants in NYC

Where to find the best shaking beef, pho, banh mi, and more

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Clams in a butter sauce at Em.
| Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Vietnamese cuisine in New York City has come of age in the past decade or so, going from a series of cafes with similar menus clustered in Chinatowns across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to a startlingly diverse collection of banh mi shops, bistros, regional specialists, quirky inexpensive cafes, and, yes, pho parlors, where the signature soup sometimes include renditions of the original versions from Hanoi, and joined by other delicious soups like bun bo Hue.

But the coronavirus has been particularly tough on Vietnamese restaurants, as it has been on Chinese ones, and over the last two years we’ve seen lots of old favorites close, including An Choi, New Xe Lua, Nha Trang Centre, and Saiguette, though the last has recently reopened.

Meanwhile, several promising new places have popped up since this map was last published, like Falansai, Bánh, Bolero, and Nha Minh, all offering unique takes on a cuisine that continues to increase in popularity in a broad range of neighborhoods. Here are Eater’s favorite Vietnamese places in all five boroughs, plus a bonus in Jersey City.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều

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Not far from Edgar Allen Poe’s cottage in Fordham Heights, this Vietnamese restaurant lies in a neighborhood known for its Cambodian community, represented by a couple of very good grocery stores. Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều excels at soups, including a half dozen options for pho. The traditional beef noodle soup is great and is of a simpler sort than most Saigon-influenced bowls are; make sure you get it with beef balls, best removed and dipped in chile sauce.

A restaurant with a neon bowl of soup in the window and a blue on white awning.
After eating at Cơm Tấm Ninh-Kiều, visit Edgar Allen Poe’s cottage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bánh Vietnamese Shop House

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The new crop of Vietnamese restaurants to open in NYC in recent years have often taken a more modern approach to their menus. Bánh, however, skews more on the traditional side with dishes not often found in the city, whether it’s the bun cha where pork skewers and patties are grilled over charcoal or the rice cake known as banh chung. The chef, Nhu Ton, is constantly adding dishes to the menu for limited runs and those are especially worth ordering.

A white plate with cubes of crispy pork belly, steamed rice rolls, leafy green lettuce, and other vegetables set on a stainless steel table with a small white cup of orange dipping sauce placed nearby
Pork belly and rice noodles at Banh.
Rachel Vanni/Eater

Two Wheels

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The name doubtlessly refers to the tiny neon bicycle in the front window of this small and charming shop. The Vietnamese food has been Westernized somewhat, to good effect. The pho features meatballs that resemble more Italian-style ones versus the compressed, pounded Southeast Asian style variety, and the banh xeo, while retaining its rice noodle wrapper, has been fried to resemble a hard-shell taco. And don’t miss the sticky-and-spicy chicken wings. Outdoor dining.

Two deep fried rice wrappers loaded with shrimp look like hardshell tacos.
Banh xeo at Two Wheels.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

District Saigon

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Located in Astoria, District Saigon is one of those modern places seeking to present the cuisine to younger audiences, the decor combining elements of a Quonset hut and a discotheque, with a striking sunset mountainscape on one wall. There are snacks and unusual dishes galore, including homemade pate presented on a baguette, crispy catfish served atop cold vermicelli noodles, and phos that focus on beef balls and smoked brisket. A full bar also attracts the customers.

Brisket and beef ball pho, Ho Chi Minh City style
Brisket and beef ball pho at District Saigon.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sai Gon Dep

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Murray Hill’s Sai Gon Dep, founded three years ago, is that rare pho parlor that specializes in pho ga, or chicken pho. This stomach-soothing soup boasts firm rice noodles and a pungent dipping sauce of chicken fat and fresh ginger. Many other Vietnamese soups are available, and don’t miss the pig ear salad.

A soup with chicken parts and white noodles visible, with herbs and an orange dipping sauce, all on a filigreed blue background.
Chicken pho ga, the specialty of Sai Gon Dep.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Thai Son

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Somewhat hidden in the shadows of elevated 7 train tracks on the Elmhurst-Jackson Heights border, Thai Son was once part of a chain that had many prominent branches. Now this is one of two remaining (the other in Manhattan’s Chinatown). It constitutes a very agreeable Vietnamese hash house, specializing in the rice dishes favored in the Mekong Delta, plus the usual spring and summer rolls, pho and banh mi, as well as some unexpected entrees, such as frog legs in French butter.

Com dia of broken rice with pork chops and other ingredients on top.
Com dia featuring grilled pork chops, shredded pig skin, and crab omelet at Thai Son.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Chelsea restaurant incorporates elements of a French bistro with white tablecloths and a partly Gallic wine list. The pho is exceptional, with noodles more delicate than most, served with a pair of sauces that should be used for dipping the meat rather than dumped into the soup. Other standouts: bo bia (soft vegetarian rice paper rolls), co bam (seared monkfish with rice crackers), and vit nuong (duck with ginger lime dipping sauce).

A bowl of pho front and center, with a spoonful of rice noodles raised up, and a plate of basil and cilantro in the background.
Omai’s classically simple and elegant pho.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Founded in 2011, JoJu extends the frontiers of the classic banh mi sandwich, constructing some newfangled ones out of things like Korean bulgogi and Japanese pork belly, while retaining the usual Vietnamese varieties. All may be customized with a fried egg, and made especially spicy by the addition of both green and red hot sauces. An unusual offering is banh mi fries heaped with pickled vegetables, herbs, and sauces. There’s a Manhattan location, too.

A facade with a beige marquee awning.
JoJu is one of the city’s most unusual banh mi shops.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This banh mi and bubble tea parlor in an obscure corner of Elmhurst south of Queens Boulevard sells some of the best Vietnamese sandwiches, with a signature version featuring pork, bacon, and a fried egg. Another attraction is a customizable soup (called “spicy hot noodle soup,” even though it’s not particularly spicy) something like bun bo Hue that allows one to choose two ingredients to be added from a varied list that includes fish balls, clams, duck feet, pig skin, fatty beef, and squid.

Bowl of soup with a reddish broth lotus root and beef on a red tray.
The customizable soup at Summer always includes crunchy lotus root/
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sao Mai

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Sao Mai is the East Village’s Vietnamese standby that’s laid-back and inexpensive. It offers a full menu of standards that are consistently better than they need to be, including a papaya salad rife with fresh herbs, lemongrass chicken over rice, caramel clay-pot pork, and luxurious bun platters served with brittle rice paper wrappers that must be dipped in warm water before use.

Shredded green papaya heaped in a salad with slender red chiles and mint leaves.
The herby and refreshing papaya salad at Vietnamese East Village pioneer Sao Mai.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Di An Di

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A neon bowl of pho blazes in the window at this Greenpoint favorite from the owners of the late, lamented An Choi. That pho is excellent, more Hanoi-style than Saigon, and served with a phalanx of homemade condiments. The rest of the menu hops around to some interesting places, including lemongrass lamb belly with fermented tofu to wrap in lettuce, caramel-braised black pepper fish, and garlic egg noodles with seafood.

Two pieces of chick perched on yellow rice with a bowl of amber sauce on the side.
Fried chicken over rice with fish sauce at Di An Di.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Madame Vo

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When Madame Vo popped up in 2017, it paid homage to homestyle Vietnamese dishes. Diners would pass a Vietnamese cyclo (pedicab) from the front window, and the menu seemed more devoted to Saigon than the currently faddish Hanoi-style dishes that keep appearing on menus. That meant pho in several permutations, with heaping plates of herbs and sprouts, as well as fish sauce-glazed chicken, salted crab, and a particularly lush rendition of Vietnamese fried rice.

A bowl of dark broth with noodles and fresh jalapenos.
Madame Vo’s special pho.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

New Thanh Hoai

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This Jersey City restaurant, located near the mouth of the Holland Tunnel, provides three elegant dining rooms, a full bar, and a voluminous menu that’s only slightly more expensive than the usual Vietnamese café. The pho is top notch, and a bowl seems to be on every table at lunchtime. But maybe go for some of the other dishes, including the legendary “shaking beef” (bo luc lac), a lemongrass saute of squid or chicken, a fried whole flounder, or clams steamed in beer. Seafood is a strong point.

Deep fried rolls with herbs and lettuce on the side, and a bowl of dipping sauce half visible.
The pork stuffed cha gio are particularly large and luxurious.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hello Saigon

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This breezy greeting is Greenwich Village’s neighborhood Viet restaurant, intent on attracting locals by offering comfortable surroundings and good food. And not just with its pho and banh mi — try hot-and-sour canh chua; or the clay-pot chicken bobbing with quail eggs; or the bun thit heo nuong, an omnibus bowl of rice noodles, grilled pork chops, shrimp crackers, and crisp spring rolls littered with crushed peanuts and fresh chiles.

A bowl of peanut-dusted pork chops with wobbly white shrimp chips on the side.
Rice noodle bun with pork chops, spring rolls, and shrimp chips.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hanoi House

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When it landed on St. Mark’s a little over four years ago, Hanoi House was an anomaly on the East Village scene, providing a real contrast to mainstay spots like Sao Mai. The smaller menu at this stylish spot included dishes many diners had never seen before, many from Hanoi, including a bowl of pho that attracted immediate attention. Frog legs heaped with pickled garlic and peanuts, clam congee, and crunchy spring rolls loaded with pork and crab were especially popular.

Bun cha at Hanoi House provides a filling meal
Bun cha at Hanoi House provides a filling meal.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Van Da is a small cafe that describes its purview as “modern Vietnamese cuisine.” What that means is delicate small plates like steamed rice cakes topped with minced shrimp, in addition to bigger snacks that include a short-rib grilled cheese served with a cup of pho broth, for dipping. Then there are noodles, salads, dumplings, and mains that run to turmeric skate and roasted duck with egg noodles. There are lots of of modern flourishes on an eclectic menu.

A half toasted cheese sandwich with beef inside propped up next to a glass of broth.
Short rib grilled cheese with pho broth at Van Da.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Saigon Social

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Moving into the old Mission Cantina corner spot on the Lower East Side, Saigon Social set tongues wagging with its fried chicken sandwich, which layered an outsize crisp cutlet with shredded pickles and vinegary red hot sauce in banh mi fashion. But even more impressive were its garlic noodles, which layered a shifting roster of flavorful main ingredients over the glistening noodles. The usual pho and other classic Viet dishes take a back seat.

The middle of a fried chicken sandwich, on a white plate with a blue edge.
Fried chicken sandwich at Saigon Social.
Serena Dai/Eater NY

Bánh Mì Saigon

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Starting out around the corner on Mott Street in the back of a jewelry store more than 30 years ago, this wonderful sandwich shop was the among the first to make its own baguettes, the perfect light and airy vehicle for a banh mi. The sandwich is made in all the usual permutations, including the primary one with pate and barbecued pork. Then on to sardines, chicken, and beef, plus a vegetarian banh mi that showcases faux meat, plus a few miscellaneous Vietnamese dishes available, including wonderful shrimp crackers.

A baguette sandwich seen from the end and held aloft, bursting with shredded pickled vegetables and cold cuts.
This is banh mi #1 at Banh Mi Saigon.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Decorated with contemporary Vietnamese building materials, including perforated concrete blocks and decorative metal screens, Bolero is named after a dance craze popular in Vietnam when chef and PhD pharmacologist Matt Le-Khac was a kid. The menu runs to elegant versions of Vietnamese regional standards — a bun bo Hue that substitutes mushrooms for meat, for example, and a crab-pomelo salad. There’s a choice of fish sauces, and the backyard tea garden is one of the better outdoor spaces in Williamsburg.

A round white bowl with chunks of pink fruit, white crab meat, and green triangular leaf cuttings.
Crab-pomelo salad at Bolero.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pho Grand

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This sentimental favorite just off Chrystie Street boasts a menu that, in an old-fashioned way, lists 20 variations of pho based mainly on the beef combos thrown therein. The over-rice dishes called com dia are also a high point, and so is beef with lemongrass, shrimp paste on a sugar cane, chicken curry served with a baguette, and anything featuring grilled beef or pork.

A thronged dining room in shades of red.
Pho Grand has two dining rooms with a Vietnamese village decor.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bunker Vietnamese

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Formerly located on Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood, Bunker moved across the border into Bushwick into much bigger, flashier premises, tricked out to look like a hawker market. The menu uses premium ingredients to turn out the banh xeo (a Vietnamese-style crepe filled with heritage pork), papaya salad (dotted with beef jerky), banh mi (including grilled bacon), and spring rolls. Vegetarian options abound, and a full bar is available.

A curving bar with colorful backless metal stools along it.
Bunker channels a Vietnamese hawker market.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Falansai

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Chef-owner Eric Tran has done much with the menu at Bushwick stalwart Falansai, which reflects of his combined Vietnamese and Mexican heritage. Recently, a tilefish ceviche was paired with freshly fried tostadas, while traditional Vietnamese summer rolls surprised us with slivers of foie gras. The corner premises, located in an industrial area, is particularly charming, with a partly enclosed back patio that features a reflecting pond with koi.

Four long semi transparent rice paper wrapper filled with cilantro and other semi-visible ingredients, angled in the frame.
Foie gras summer rolls at Falansai.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Em Vietnamese Bistro

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Fruit importer Patrick Lin met Ly Nguyen while he was in Vietnam, and the rest is history: from how they opened a soup-and-sandwich shop in Bensonhurst, where the specialty was the Cambodian-Vietnamese potage hu tieu, then expanded the concept into a full-blown modern bistro in Dumbo. There, they invented a riff on the banh mi featuring an elongated hamburger patty, and a recipe for mussels in a lemongrass-scented broth, along with a brothless version of their original hit soup, hu tieu.

A bowl of ground beef, with two halves of a soft-boiled egg and shrimp over a bed of lettuce
Brothless hu tieu at Em Vietnamese Bistro
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Lucy's Kitchen

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This neighborhood spot in Bushwick pays special attention to vegetarian versions of Vietnamese dishes, and the pho comes with a choice of beef or meatless broths. Another quirk is that smoked brisket is put in the beef pho, blurring the line between barbecue and Viet cuisine. Banh mi are also offered on a very short menu, obviating the need for difficult choices. The place shone in Eater’s pho tour of the city. It has a Williamsburg branch, too.

Two diners with chopstick sharing a bowl of soup.
Enjoying the smoked brisket pho at Lucy’s Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Nhà Mình

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Vietnam has a big coffee culture, so it comes as no surprise that a Vietnamese coffee shop has appeared in Bushwick that sells American and Vietnamese versions of the caffeinated beverage. Nha Minh is located in the front of music club Trans-Pecos, and also sells banh mi, rice-noodle bun, and breakfast rice bowls; many are vegetarian and inspired by Central Vietnamese Buddhist Vietnamese cooking, via chef and owner Fred Hua.

Several brown boxes open with eggs, rice, and baguettes visible.
Breakfast at Nha Minh.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bricolage

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This Park Slope Vietnamese bistro has a San Francisco pedigree and a cozy dining room. Don’t miss the lemongrass grilled pork chops; the shrimp claypot, washed down with salted lemonade; or the spicy-sweet pomegranate tofu. The menu takes Vietnamese standards as a starting point, then embroiders on them, usually with positive results.

A bowl of sardine fragments in sauce topped with green herbs.
Clay pot sardines at Bricolage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Banh Mi Place

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A gem on the border of Prospect Heights, Banh Mi Place doesn’t look like much, but it has one of the best menus of the Vietnamese sandwiches in Brooklyn. Not only does it proffer the classic meat, poultry, and seafood versions, it goes one step beyond to use meat substitutes. This sounds like an inherently bad idea, but the mock meats work perfectly here, maybe even better than the original products. Bun salads, pho, and com dia (over-rice dishes) round out the menu.

A baguette sandwich cut in half with shredded carrots visible.
Vegetarian pork banh mi, you won’t miss the meat, at Banh Mi Place.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ba Xuyên

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This classic Vietnamese sandwich shop on the northern verge of Sunset Park’s Chinatown is nearly as old as Banh Mi Saigon, and it constitutes a local hangout for the Vietnamese population, who sit drinking tea and feasting on snacks from the cases that line the walls. The hilltop park from which the neighborhood gets its name is nearby, so why not carry out and have a picnic?

A long baguette sandwich cut in half on a green formica table.
Why not take your banh mi to the nearby park and have a picnic?
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Thanh Da

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The most agreeable Vietnamese cafe in the city makes you feel like you’re sitting in someone’s kitchen. Sure, you can a great banh mi or bowl of pho, but a favorite has long been banh xeo, a perfect rice-batter crepe that cooks up crisp and yellow, furnished with herbs and lettuces for wrapping bites, and the usual nuoc cham (the fish sauce-based condiment). Thanh Da has an offshoot at 56th Street and 8th Avenue, also in Sunset Park, that mainly peddles banh mi.

The banh xeo crepe makes an amazing brunch
Banh xeo crepe at Thanh Da.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Phở Tây Hồ

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This Bensonhurst cafe is incredibly popular — not only is the pho here first class, with one of the best beef broths, but the lively shrimp canh chua tom, a pink soup by turns sour, spicy, and sweet, is also worth ordering. The cook-it-yourself fondues and grilles are also commonly selected. In total, the menu offers 150 dishes, and many of the customer here are Russian. 

A green awning underneath and red lettering above.
Pho Tay Ho lies on bustling 86th Street in Bensonhurst.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Little Saigon Pearl

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Named after a Ho Chi Minh City market, this tiny cafe in Bath Beach offers a smaller menu than most places, to its credit. The dish everyone raves about (it’s on every table), tom hoa tien are whole shrimp wrapped in paper-thin pastry with crabmeat. Soups are another strong point, from the pho to bun bo Hue to sup mang cua (made with crabmeat and bamboo) to canh chua ga (a sweet-and-sour chicken soup with tomato wedges). 

Shrimp wrapped in pastry with lettuce on the side.
The flagship app of Little Saigon Pearl.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pho Rainbow 3

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What could be better than a razor-thin, flame-grilled pair of pork chops tossed atop broken rice and garnished with tomatoes and cucumbers? Pour on the nuoc cham (the sweet and vinegary fish sauce). Located just over the light-rail tracks in the ancient Dutch town of New Dorp, Pho Rainbow does the over-rice dishes called com tam best, but also turns out a great beef-ball pho.

Grilled pork chops over rice.
If you’re a pork chop lover, Staten Island’s Pho Rainbow is your place.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều

A restaurant with a neon bowl of soup in the window and a blue on white awning.
After eating at Cơm Tấm Ninh-Kiều, visit Edgar Allen Poe’s cottage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Not far from Edgar Allen Poe’s cottage in Fordham Heights, this Vietnamese restaurant lies in a neighborhood known for its Cambodian community, represented by a couple of very good grocery stores. Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều excels at soups, including a half dozen options for pho. The traditional beef noodle soup is great and is of a simpler sort than most Saigon-influenced bowls are; make sure you get it with beef balls, best removed and dipped in chile sauce.

A restaurant with a neon bowl of soup in the window and a blue on white awning.
After eating at Cơm Tấm Ninh-Kiều, visit Edgar Allen Poe’s cottage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bánh Vietnamese Shop House

A white plate with cubes of crispy pork belly, steamed rice rolls, leafy green lettuce, and other vegetables set on a stainless steel table with a small white cup of orange dipping sauce placed nearby
Pork belly and rice noodles at Banh.
Rachel Vanni/Eater

The new crop of Vietnamese restaurants to open in NYC in recent years have often taken a more modern approach to their menus. Bánh, however, skews more on the traditional side with dishes not often found in the city, whether it’s the bun cha where pork skewers and patties are grilled over charcoal or the rice cake known as banh chung. The chef, Nhu Ton, is constantly adding dishes to the menu for limited runs and those are especially worth ordering.

A white plate with cubes of crispy pork belly, steamed rice rolls, leafy green lettuce, and other vegetables set on a stainless steel table with a small white cup of orange dipping sauce placed nearby
Pork belly and rice noodles at Banh.
Rachel Vanni/Eater

Two Wheels

Two deep fried rice wrappers loaded with shrimp look like hardshell tacos.
Banh xeo at Two Wheels.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The name doubtlessly refers to the tiny neon bicycle in the front window of this small and charming shop. The Vietnamese food has been Westernized somewhat, to good effect. The pho features meatballs that resemble more Italian-style ones versus the compressed, pounded Southeast Asian style variety, and the banh xeo, while retaining its rice noodle wrapper, has been fried to resemble a hard-shell taco. And don’t miss the sticky-and-spicy chicken wings. Outdoor dining.