Restaurant comfort food, Asian style

The best in vietnamese cooking from around the Bay area

click to enlarge Trang Viet will leave you hungry Pho more. - Eric Snider
Eric Snider
Trang Viet will leave you hungry Pho more.

In times of economic trouble, people tend to gravitate to comfort food. Vietnamese cuisine is all about comfort, from flavorful soups to big plates of stir-fried noodles, much of it without the depressing heft of Western home cooking. Here's a list of some of the Bay area's destination spots for comfort food with a Southeast Asian twist. Of lime, usually.

Bamboozle Café

516 N. Tampa St., Tampa, 813-223-7320 or This downtown Tampa quick-serve spot specializes in noodle dishes and fresh-made spring rolls stuffed with your choices of veg and meat.

Ha Long Bay

5944 34th St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-522-9988. Hit Ha Long for lunch and you'll find classic Chinese dim sum dishes. After that, though, the restaurant's natural inclination to well-balanced Vietnamese dishes comes to the fore.


1912 S. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, 813-254-3757. This well-loved Vietnamese joint used to be on Gandy, but has recently moved to Dale Mabry. Expect more of the same slightly upscaled classics.

Restaurant BT

1633 W. Snow Ave., Tampa, 813-258-1916 or BT Nguyen-Batley's menu is more pan-Asian, but her culinary foundations are strictly in Vietnam. Expect to find updated and modernized versions of your classic dishes.

Pho An Hoa

3828 49th St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-522-8380. Typical but tasty classics.

Pho Quyen

2740 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, 813-632-3444, 4505 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, 727-545-5678. Pho Quyen is know for inexpensive standards that don't sacrifice quality for savings. The pho is the star here, even more than at other Viet joints.

Saigon Bay Vietnamese

2373 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, 813-971-0854. This long-standing Tampa Vietnamese destination has the core values of inexpensive and flavorful soups and delicate noodle dishes down pat.

Trang Viet

1524 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, 813-979-1464. Known far and wide as a vegetarian hang-out, you can still find rich beef pho and other carnivorous dishes.

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