Besides pho—the most famous Vietnamese dish—there is nothing like enjoying a hot bowl of chao long while listening to the hustle and bustle of life in “Raincouver.” Chao long is a traditional Vietnamese rice porridge includes pork blood cubes, small intestine, stomach, liver, heart, and gut. Depending on each province the sauce is prepared with different ingredients like salt, chili pepper, or vinegar. Chao long is usually served with ginger, spring onion, bean sprout, purple basil, and mint.
Here is a quick list of 5 best restaurants for chao long in Vancouver.
Dang Anh cafe
5186 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Dang Anh is the first name people from Hanoi think of when they want chitterling gruel in Vancouver. The popular restaurant, over 30 years old, is most crowded between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. If you want to enjoy a bowl of rice porridge in a quiet space, you should avoid this time. The porridge here is smooth and sweet because of the refinement in the stock which is simmered for hours. In addition, the vegetables and seasonings are very delicious. A special point here is that the owner and chef are from the capital city of Vietnam, so they can provide the best authentic taste of the Northern Vietnamese dishes.
Mr. Red cafe
2131 E Hastings Street
With over 20 years of sales, Mr. Red Cafe has perfected their chao long. They also have another location on Broadway. You cannot forget the taste of the organs in the porridge. When you eat it with the crunchy Chinese donuts it is extremely mouthwatering. Not only that, chao long here is always special. The bold brown color, the delicious aroma, and the glutinous rice is all wonderful. Gather here with friends and enjoy!
Thai Luong Vietnamese Noodle House
5744 Fraser Street
The porridge here is the most delicious for this price. The porridge is cooked not too thick nor too thin. The sticky rice is cooked with the same deliciousness, sprinkled with a little more pepper at the end. The amount of porridge, heart, and vegetables is also quite generous. The restaurant has long hours and the food is delicious, clean, and tasty—that makes this restaurant so popular. The service is fast and enthusiastic, and the space is also warm which is suitable for rainy days. The chao long here is one of the most popular recipes that you should not miss.
Five Elements Cafe
1046 Commercial Drive
The heart in the porridge here is quite plump. A bowl of porridge at Five Elements Cafe also includes the stomach and the bowel of pig, making it more unique. The broth is kept for several hours with the bones, stomach and liver in it. It is served with green vegetables such as broccoli and a bit of red pepper. As well, the porridge bowl is beautifully decorated. You’ll want to enjoy it right away. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is very warm and the staff are friendly. The cafe is quite crowded in the afternoon, so you should avoid that time.
Song Huong Restaurant
1613 Nanaimo Street
One of the best “chao long” in Vancouver is in Song Huong Restaurant. They have a special variation of the traditional porridge and it has attracted a large number of customers. A bowl full of porridge includes the heart, stomach, colon, liver, and a little rice. The restaurant is always crowded. Every time I come here I need to line up for a little bit but it is worth it. They also have another location in Surrey. At any time of day, this place is busy, but people enjoy the unique taste of the porridge so it doesn’t affect their turnout. This dish is really suitable for the rainy Vancouver weather. Don’t miss this special!
As a Vietnamese person, I would highly recommend all the restaurants above for those who want to try authentic Vietnamese food.