Arlington / Vietnamese / $$
Cold-brew Vietnamese coffee with coffee ice cubes in the shape of cartoon characters. Both local and Asian beers. Colorful cocktails with Asian flavors.
It’s rare that diners go to a Vietnamese restaurant to drink, but Nam-Viet, with its original dishes and outsize flavors, is no ordinary pho purveyor. Yes, you could order one of the noodle soups, but the best bet is to stick to the specials menu for dishes you won’t find anywhere else. How about deep-fried pork ribs with that cocktail? This is the place to go way beyond basic noodles and rice plates for a meal unique to Arlington.
See This: Don’t be swayed by the dive-y exterior; presidential portraits with the owners line the walls here. Check out the fancy bathroom sinks, too.
Eat This: Can Tho baby back ribs, caramelized salmon, Maiquiri
When to Visit: You want to go beyond your usual Vietnamese basics—and you’re thirsty.