The Top 10 Vietnamese Restaurants in San Jose, California

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Coming up with the Top 10 Vietnamese restaurants in San Jose, California is no easy feat. Read on to learn what my favorites are.


Before I start the countdown, I purposely excluded any restaurants that didn't specialize in 100% Vietnamese cuisine. San Jose has many awesome Vietnamese restaurants that combine other cuisines, which I will have to write about later. So for now, these are my Top 10 favorite Vietnamese restaurants in San Jose, California (after my wife's home cooking, which is always number one!).


Pho 90 Degree serves up a healthy portion of noodles and meat in their pho. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

#10 - Pho 90 Degree


Pho 90 Degree was one of the very first businesses to open when Vietnam Town plaza was built. Some people hate it, but guess what? You measure a business by how long it's been in business and Pho 90 Degree constantly has customers like me because they serve quality pho. They did raise their prices, so expect to pay around $12 for a bowl of pho. The broth is above average, but you get a very big bowl with a lot of noodles and meat. I love coming to eat here for breakfast or a late night meal.


Address:

999 Story Road

Suite 9090

San Jose, CA 95122


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The lobster at Nha Trang is finger licking good. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)


#9 - Nha Trang


Nha Trang is named after a region in Vietnam of the same name. This restaurant has been around for a very long time. I remember coming back in the 90's when Lion Plaza was the place to be. If you are in the mood for Vietnamese style lobster, most people will take a trip all the way down to Southern California, but why do that when you can enjoy a very good Vietnamese lobster locally here in San Jose?


Address:

1820 Tully Road

San Jose, CA 95122


Two items to order at Saigon Kitchen are the baked catfish and the baby clam salad with rice crackers. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)


#8 - Saigon Kitchen


Saigon Kitchen has been around for many years. It's been in existence since the famous Grand Century Mall was built. What I love to order when dining here is the baked cat fish and the baby clam salad with rice crackers. This is also a place I've attended a post-wedding reception dinner just in case anyone was looking for alternatives.


Address:

111 Story Road

Suite 1005

San Jose, CA 95109


Expect big, slippery noodles with thick, flavorful broth at Banh Canh 3 Mien. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)


#7 - Banh Canh 3 Mien


Banh Canh 3 Mien is a Vietnamese udon noodle shop that is named after the three main regions in Vietnam, which are north, central and south. When you come to eat here, you're coming to eat their yummy Vietnamese udon noodle soup, which comes in a couple of combos. One comes with crab and seafood or you can get one with pork too. Also, don't forget to order a side of Chinese donuts to toss inside the soup. Be careful with their red peppers, they will make you sweat, but you'll leave extremely full.


Address:

958 Story Road

San Jose, CA 95122


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These banh khot are a very popular item at Vung Tau Restaurant in San Jose. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)


#6 - Vung Tau Restaurant


Vung Tau is in my humble opinion one of the few upscale Vietnamese restaurants in San Jose. They've been around since 1985. This restaurant is located in downtown, but they also have two other locations in Milpitas, California and Newark, California. I always like to order the banh khot, the thin sliced beef wrapped with grilled onions and calamari. Dip everything in their authentic homemade sauces.


Address:

535 East Santa Clara Street

San Jose, CA 95112


A large bowl of Pho Y #1' s Pho Tai Chin Ve Don is my favorite. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)


#5 - Pho Y #1


Pho Y #1 is an original pho restaurant in San Jose. If it's not the original then it's one of the top 5 original pho spots in town. I could actually write a top 10 on just pho joints in San Jose, but again I'll save that for a later blog post. Pho Y # 1 doesn't look like much inside or outside, but the quality of their time-tested pho broth speaks volumes as to why they have stayed in business for so long. I always opt for a large bowl of their Pho Tai Chin Ve Don.


Address:

1660 East Capitol Expressway

San Jose, CA 95121



#4 - Banh Cuon Tay Ho


Banh Cuon Tay Ho specializes in Vietnamese rice rolls. These Northern Vietnamese rice rolls taste very light and come served with a variety of other tasty morsels. In Vietnam, banh cuon is usually served as a breakfast item, but you can obviously eat it here for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So come grab this cheap and healthy meal while in San Jose.


Address:

2895 Senter Road

San Jose, CA 95111


The com tam from Com Tam Thien Huong is delicious even when you take it home to eat. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)


#3 - Com Tam Thien Huong


Com Tam Thien Huong has two restaurants right across the street from each other in Little Saigon, San Jose. One is located in Grand Century Mall and the other is across the street in a strip mall. They both serve up broken rice served with a pork chop, which is known as com tam in Vietnamese. Broken rice is actually what it sounds like. In the not too distant past back in Vietnam, when rice was harvested parts of the rice would break apart and fall to the bottom of the bag. The people who harvested were usually very poor so they decided to eat the rice remnants. Today, com tam is not really made with "broken rice" due to the rules of supply and demand. There is simply too much demand for this outstanding meal, so whole rice is now used. Bummer.


Location #1:

1111 Story Road

Suite 1086

San Jose, CA 95122


or


Location #2:

1181 Story Road

San Jose, CA 95122


Ever since Duc Huong Gio Cha Sandwiches opened, they've constantly delivered excellent banh mi. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)


#2 - Duc Huong Gio Cha Sandwiches


Duc Huong Gio Cha Sandwiches is one of my favorite places to grab a good Vietnamese sandwich. The banh mi here is not only cheap, but you get totally full and satisfied. They also bake their own bread daily. If you buy 4 sandwiches you get one free. There is usually a line no matter what time you come, but don't fret because it moves at a decent pace. I love the service here, I try to speak my limited Vietnamese to the nice people who work here and they understand it!


Address:

1020 Story Road

Suite C

San Jose, CA 95122


It's very hard to find excellent Bun Rieu in San Jose! (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

#1 - Ngoc Suong 2


Ngoc Suong 2 is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant because they serve a wide-variety of all the Vietnamese classics above average. My favorite Vietnamese food is Bun Rieu. Bun Rieu takes a lot of time and preparation due to it's many ingredients and the time it takes to make. That's why you don't find a lot of places that sell this tomato and crab based soup. Luckily for us, Ngoc Suong 2 has excellent tasting Bun Rieu. The pho here is also phenomenal!


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About Digital Nomad Foodie

Digital Nomad Foodie is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area.  He was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army and has lived all over the world.  In addition to blogging, he is also a digital nomad working in healthcare.  He writes about his experiences and recommendations in various locations around the world.  His photos and reviews have helped over 79 million people learn about local & exotic destinations plus delicious food and can be seen on InstagramGoogle Maps and Yelp.

 

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