Astoria, Restaurants
Apr 17, 2014

Vietnamese Food Alert! Saigon Cafe Opens in Astoria

We heard that a Vietnamese spot has opened up in Astoria, Saigon Cafe. From what we can tell, it’s both a place to eat and surf the net, and they (…)

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Those fresh herbs look amazing! Photo credit: George M. on Yelp

We heard that a Vietnamese spot has opened up in Astoria, Saigon Cafe. From what we can tell, it’s both a place to eat and surf the net, and they even have a couple of iPads to use. That’s cool in and of itself, but the food has gotten mostly good reviews. The source info wrote this:

This seems to be a “Saigon”-style Banh mi and Pho place with limited seating. So, take away seems to the bulk of their future business. I talked with owner(?) briefly who was still getting everything in order. Strangely, he did not strike me as Vietnamese or even southeastern Asian at all. He seemed to be from Middle East. Hopefully, he can deliver a decent Banh Mi or bowl of Pho.

The Yelpers seem to really like it, though I felt a bit dismayed when reading about microwaving the pho and mushy noodles:

The soup has good flavor but needs a little work in the presentation. They keep the broth and noodles in the fridge behind the counter and just microwave it for you when you order, which is fine except that the noodles can get mushy from microwaving, to the point where they break into little pieces when you try to pick them up with chopsticks. Also they serve it in a wide, shallow, plastic take-out bowl which is ok, but a deeper bowl would make it easier to eat the soup. I would recommend maybe getting the soup to go (they’ll give it to you cold, with the wet and dry ingredients in separate containers), and then heating it up at home.

The menu is pretty basic, but one hopes that they’ll be able to focus and put out something really tasty; you can see their food menu here, which includes sandwiches, soup, and meat/rice plates. For drinks they offer Vietnamese coffee, bubble tea, and salty plum soda, which is quite good but a bit of an acquired taste. Drink menu is here.

It’s exciting to see Vietnamese food enter the Astoria dining scene. We’ll check it out and let you know our impressions!

Saigon Cafe, 25-90 41st St., Astoria, NY 11103, (347) 617-1207, Yelp

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

4 Comments

Brendan

I love this place. Me and my wife have eaten here three times, and I have stopped by frequently for their Vietnamese ice coffee. The pho is spicy, smokey, and fresh. The banh mi is light and tasty. Like the previous commenter mentioned, I love how casual the atmosphere is. Minh, the owner, is great. I felt like I was eating a home cooked meal in a friend’s kitchen.

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Hungry Asian Girl

Was one of the first patrons here too! Discovered it by dumb luck. Being a finicky Asian eater myself, I voraciously devoured their pho here. I didn’t mind the take out container so much nor the heating up. The owner’s tender, love and care is all in the broth which she simmers for hours and hours. It’s not like the MSG crap their brethren in Flushing, Elmhurst or Chinatown cooks. Two thumbs up!

PS – Love this blog! I’m so glad I found it. I moved to the neighborhood not long ago and am just discovering all of the gems!

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