Food & Drink

This new restaurant brings Asia-Pacific culture to the heart of Conway

Bun bo Hue at Saigon Bistro in Conway.
Bun bo Hue at Saigon Bistro in Conway. For The Sun News

What used to house an Italian restaurant now stands as a representative of another part of the world, the Pacific country of Vietnam. Saigon Bistro opened its doors just a few months ago with the intention to serve home-style Vietnamese meals using quality ingredients, and the people of Conway are noticing.

Located on Main Street across from Collins Park, this young eatery feels quiet and spacious compared to the always busy streets of Downtown Conway just a few blocks away. A server greets each party that walks through the doors and will either seat them or get their food ready to go. For those who would like to enjoy the weather, there are a few tables located on the porch.

The menu doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of options, and pictures are next to each item along with a description. This makes it easier when customers are unfamiliar with Vietnamese cuisine and helps them know what to expect. To make ordering even easier for its guests, in the restaurant or over the phone, Saigon Bistro has numbered each food choice as well.

A few appetizers may ring some bells, like Vietnamese egg and spring rolls and even fried gyoza. Chicken wings in Saigon sauce are already becoming a popular choice, while others may experience fried cassava (yucca root) for the first time.

Pho lovers won’t be disappointed here, as Saigon serves this popular dish in huge bowls with a few variations. There is of course traditional versions, steak and chicken included, plus a pho made of crab soup.

For those who enjoy the heat, the Bún bò Huế shouldn’t be missed. With three types of meat, vegetable greens and vermicelli all swimming in a spicy soup base, this generously sized dish is sure to make you sweat.

If soup isn’t your thing, a few other familiar meals include subs (bánh mì) during lunch and salads. Rice and vermicelli noodle dishes are appetizing options, while kids have a small selection of their own to choose from, which includes chicken strips and fries.

Saigon Bistro also provides a wonderful array of refreshing drinks, from bubble tea to smoothies. They also serve Vietnamese coffee, hot and blended, plus freshly squeezed orange juice, lemonade soda, coconut juice and iced soy milk.

It’s important to keep in mind here that meals are prepared upon order, so there can be a bit of a wait. When the food is served, it is piping hot, and the fresh ingredients are evident. While enjoying your food, don’t be surprised if the owner stops by your table to make sure everything is alright and even strike up a conversation.

Doing its best to serve traditional Vietnamese dishes that are made with locally sourced and organic ingredients, Saigon Bistro had brought a little bit more adventure to Conway.

If you go

What: Saigon Bistro

Where: 1600 Main Street, Conway

Hours: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sun, Tue-Thu, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Fri-Sat

Information: saigonbistroconway.com, 843-488-3330

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