Three best places for Vietnamese street food in Melbourne

The sort of food you buy on the side of the street in Vietnam and eat sitting perched on tiny plastic stools is pretty popular in Melbourne right now.  I’m not talking about your traditional Vietnamese restaurants along Victoria street in Richmond or out in little Saigon in Footscray, but instead the new wave of stylishly decked out no bookings places where people queue out the door for rice paper rolls or a soft shell crab salad.  They’re a modern take on hawker style food and it seems like Melbourne can’t get enough of them.  Here are my tips for the best places to go:

1.  Miss Chu
Sydney’s Vietnamese “tuck shop” Miss Chu has just opened it’s second Melbourne store in South Yarra and the crowds are already gathering.  I think Miss Chu is the best of the bunch.  It’s got a fun, casual atmosphere and the place is unpretentious.  Miss Chu bills itself as the “Queen”of rice paper rolls and they may just have a point.  The rolls ($7.50 for two) are super fresh and have great fillings – like tiger prawns with green mango or the rather untraditional omelette with caramalised onions.  Miss Chu doesn’t limit itself to purely Vietnamese fare and you can get very reasonably priced Peking Duck pancakes ($3.50 a pop).    
Omelette rice paper rolls at Miss Chu
Essentials 
Details: Miss Chu, 297 Exhibition Street, Melbourne 3000 (Ph 02 9077 1097) or 276 Toorak Road, South Yarra
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve.  
7/10

Miss Chu on Urbanspoon

2.  Hannoi Hannah
Hannoi Hannah which opened in Prahran this year is a bit more expensive than Miss Chu and Roll’d and has more of a restaurant atmosphere with proper crockery and food nicely plated.  Rice paper rolls here are $5 each and pho edges up to $9.  There’s a great lightly battered soft shell crab ($11) and the menu takes even more liberties with what can be classified as Vietnamese hawker food – pork belly sliders made with anyone? However service leaves a lot to be desired with staff’s most frequent answer being “no”, “no” there is no knife in the entire restaurant to divide a dish up and “no” to splitting the bill.  
Essentials
Details: Hannoi Hannah, 180 High Street Prahran 3181 (Ph 03 9939 5181)
Damage: Reasonable
6/10

Hanoi Hannah on Urbanspoon


3.  Roll’d
Roll’d is the Vietnamese street food place I go to the most but that’s just because it’s the most convenient to work rather than Roll’d being any better than the rest.  The food at Roll’d is a bit of a sanitised take on Vietnamese cuisine and the cafe doesn’t have the range of Miss Chu or Hanoi Hannah.  It’s strictly a lunch time place and only offers rice paper rolls, pho and banh mi but it’s fresh, cheap and undeniably convenient.  The rice paper rolls can err on the side of dryness at times but the clear, delicate stock which makes up the pho at Roll’d is a real winner.  
Pho and a rice paper roll at Roll’d
Essentials
Details: Roll’d,  Goldsbrough Lane, 181 Williams St, Melbourne  (Ph: 03 9600 1088) Open:  Mon to Fri 11am–3pm
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve.  Pho is $8.50.
6/10

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Posted by: on January 10th, 2013     9 Comments »

Category: Budget, City, Dinner, Lunch, Prahran, Solo diners, South Yarra, Vietnamese
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9 Comments on “Three best places for Vietnamese street food in Melbourne”

  1. sharkingforchipsanddrinks.com said at 11:27 pm on January 10th, 2013:

    Top little round up of places that do decent street food. I wasn’t completely taken with Hanoi Hannah on recent visits either. The first few weeks were a standout but since then it has become very lazy.

  2. Not Quite Nigella said at 11:35 pm on January 10th, 2013:

    Ahh so you have MissChu there now! She seems to be everywhere nowadays :)

  3. Sonya said at 2:51 am on January 12th, 2013:

    Brilliant, thanks for this! I have to try these places the next time I’m in Melbourne.

  4. Kari said at 6:28 am on January 12th, 2013:

    I’d take any or all :-) I adore Vietnamese and when it’s done well, it is so perfect for snacking on as well as eating at meals. I think these would fuel Melbourne shopping / wandering perfectly!

  5. HK Epicurus said at 6:52 pm on January 12th, 2013:

    U know what I really miss sigh… Co Do in Richmond. I can’t get sxxt-all good Vietnamese food here in HK. Not that Melbourne serves the most authentic Vietnamese foods either, but at least it is closer to the truth :S

  6. msihua said at 4:49 am on January 13th, 2013:

    Okay.. I’ve been to 1 our of 3.. but they are all so hard to get too on a workday ! Waaaaaa

  7. Iron Chef Shellie said at 11:29 am on January 14th, 2013:

    DYING to try Roll’d since my CBF friends are addicted to it.
    Need to try the other ones too, can’t get enough Vietnamese food.

  8. Victoria said at 12:39 pm on April 26th, 2013:

    I didn’t know there were so many Vietnamese in Australia. The street food looks so good! I don’t know when I’ll ever get over there since everything’s so expensive, but I’d love to check these places out, and wherever you think has the best pho :)

    Check out my website for Vietnamese restaurants and other places to visit in America!

  9. jason quigley said at 8:23 pm on January 6th, 2014:

    Hate to burst your bubble but miss chu is average at best. The environment is upbeat and contemporary but food is poor. I would not recommend wasting money here.


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