Little Saigon Restaurants Worth Seeking

Neighborhood Sign Orange County

Over 200,000 Vietnamese people live in and around Little Saigon, which includes parts of Garden Grove.


The range of eating options is staggering in Little Saigon, a Vietnamese wonderland that spans four Orange County towns: Garden Grove, Westminster, Fountain Valley and Santa Ana. Despite dozens of trips to the area, there are always new surprises. The depth and breadth in these interwoven neighborhoods continues to astound me, and driving down streets like Brookhurst, Bolsa and Westminster makes it increasingly clear that there are still plenty of restaurants to explore. Learn about 16 of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants in Little Saigon, listed in alphabetical order.

Pho Kimmy

Pho Kimmy has been open for over three decades. It’s named for family matriarch Kim Vu, who hails from Saigon, where her father ran a pho shop. That’s where she learned soupcraft. She moved to the States and worked as a computer programmer before mastering the ways of Vietnamese noodle soup, which daughter Nancy Nguyen now helps oversee. “Special combination” contains every possible meat but chicken and meatballs, and is a great option for first timer diners who are learning what they like best.

MUST ORDER DISHES: Special Combination

Pho Tau Bay L.T.T.

Vietnamese Food Orange County

Pho Tau Bay L.T.T. specializes in banh cuon, delicate steamed rice cakes that are folded around fillings and topped with a variety of ingredients. This is a branch of the Ho Chi Minh City restaurant of the same name, located at 433 Ly Thai To (L.T.T.). The grandmother runs the Saigon original, so when the daughter and granddaughters opened the Little Saigon offshoot, there was already a built-in customer-base of homesick immigrants. There are framed photos of the Saigon original on the wall, featuring rows of motorbikes parked outside and Grandma preparing banh cuon. Pho Tau Bay L.T.T. makes all their steamed rice cakes to order, and it just comes down to choosing the fillings. Menu item #4 utilizes every possible ingredient, featuring banh cuon filled with ground pork and black tree ear mushrooms, topped with crispy fried shallots and pork floss, fluffy shredded pork. The plate’s rimmed with two varieties of Vietnamese mortadella and comes with a little plate of crunchy bean sprout salad.

MUST ORDER DISHES: Banh Cuon Nhan Thit, Menu Item #4

Quan Hop

Vietnamese Food Orange County

This stylish Vietnamese café debuted in 2006 courtesy of the Ton family, which also owns Quan Hy nearby. Quan Hop is further from the epicenter of Little Saigon, so it’s a less hectic way to enjoy matriarch Kim Toa Tran’s Hue-style dishes. According to our waiter, the name means, “people from Hue who come to be happy and eat.” Turns out you don’t have to be from Hue to enjoy Quan Hop. The sleek space rests in a horseshoe-shaped strip mall and features decorative bamboo, wood floors, a curved wood bar, yellow walls and modern track lighting. A backlit water wall showcasing the restaurant’s name connects to a well-populated fish tank, which during my visit included a poor man’s Nemo (fewer stripes) and a standard-issue Dory (the blue one in the movie). Quan Hop’s food is about as good and affordable as Quan Hy, and the restaurant’s less crowded.

MUST ORDER DISHES: Banh uot cuon thit bo nuong, Bánh ít ram, Bún Chá Hà nôi, Iced Mint Tea



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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