I had my first bun ever in Paris, the European capital of Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian food. That encounter caused a coup de foudre. Who wouldn’t fall for this vermicelli rice noodle salad with cucumber, bean sprouts, pickled carrot and daikon, coriander, crushed peanuts, a sweet-sour fish sauce dressing and spring rolls on top? Why wasn’t the whole world eating this fresh, light dish of multiple tastes? During my trip to Vietnam five years later I conquered one bun a day and was wondering why good Vietnamese was unavailable back home. Luckily the Amsterdam food scene has changed over the years and has some great Vietnamese options now. My favorite bun eatery and takeaway is Pho 91: vibrant, cool, international and welcoming. The cooks buy their ingredients at the market on their doorstep. Most of their tasty (organic) dishes are gluten, egg and dairy free. The signature dish is the uplifting beef-noodle soup. The fried chicken wings drizzled with a caramelized sauce are winners. But please do ask yourself: ‘Did I have a bun today?’ If not, score one with pork spring rolls, fish cakes, beef, chicken or tofu.
Bun cha gio, one portion, €12.50
Albert Cuypstraat 91, South (De Pijp)
+31 (0) 20 752 68 80
Opening hours: Tuesday-Thursday 5.30pm-10pm, Friday-Sunday noon-10pm