Saigon Bistro

Lined with Thai, Indian, Korean, and Vietnamese restaurants near one another, Budapest’s sleepy Szondi Street in District 6 is a paradise of international food. Saigon Bistro, a humble, takeout-looking spot, is one of the few Southern Vietnamese places in Budapest Hungary took immigrants from the Communist north during the Vietnam War which means that the dishes here are more gussied up with garnishes and sweeter flavors than elsewhere.

Although Vietnam’s national dish, the pho, will not disappoint, it's the “Saigon soup” (hủ tiếu) that sings: a steaming bowl of flavorful broth packing parsley, mint, Thai basil, ginger, lemongrass, beef, shrimp, pork, and glass noodles. All this topped with a couple of soft quail eggs. I only wish the portions were a little heartier. Almost alone in Budapest, Saigon Bistro also serves banh cuon, rice-noodle rolls filled with minced pork (they're only available on Saturdays, or if you call in advance).

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