I love the interactivity of Vietnamese soups, as most come with a side plate of herbs, vegetables, and lime wedges. It’s a must to taste the broth as presented, and then figure out how to spice it up, both with herbs and perhaps jalapeños for heat. A squirt of lime can quickly brighten up the broth.
Best of all, bowls of Vietnamese soup offer a great diversity of noodles and other ingredients. Noodles can be made of rice, wheat, tapioca, and more. Meanwhile, your bowl may be filled with surprises like banana blossoms, ham hocks, quail eggs, pork blood cubes, and fish cakes—all offering fascinating flavors and textures. I could have happily recommended Huong Binh, featured previously for its congee and dumplings, as the best for many of the bowls, but in an attempt to offer more dining options, I present from eight restaurants ten bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup worth seeking in Seattle.
For photos and descriptions of the ten soups (including the bun oc, pictured above), check out the Serious Eats story, here. Restaurants mentioned: