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Mekong Restaurant

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

51 Reviews
Mekong RestaurantMekong Restaurant
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

6004 W Broad St
Richmond, Virginia, 23230-2222
United States

(804) 288-8929 | map
mekongisforbeerlovers.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Score:
96
Reviews:
51
Ratings:
138
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
5.45%
 
 
Taps:
50
Bottles/Cans:
55
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 138
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Easily one of the best beer bars in Virginia, if not the country. And I think the title of "bar" is maybe misleading as this really is a good Vietnamese restaurant that has a stellar tap selection.

I can't say enough about the tap list. Last night we had selections from Cigar City (yes -- six taps of CCB alone), as well as local breweries. Great selection of Belgian style ales including sours. Rare one-offs, too, such as the Kong Krush (DIPA made for Mekong). If you don't find something on tap that you like, maybe you should reconsider your beer geek status.

The food is excellent. Everything is appropriately spiced and the entrees are filling. There is something for everyone, too, including vegetarians. The carmelized tofu hot pot is not to be overlooked even by the more carnivorous type.

Service is more or less hit or miss; I remember it being a hit years ago when I went here a few times with grad school comrades. However, last night was a bit of a miss. I know for many of the servers language is a barrier and I am sympathetic to that. However, we would have liked another round last night but felt like we were being hurried out; the server brought the check right after he cleared our plates. There were plenty of tables open and no line at the door -- not sure what the rush was. But given all of the other pros of this place, I can live with this hiccup.

This is not only a great beer place but is unique in that the food served is not your standard pub fare -- a real gem of a place. If you are in RVA for any length of time, you are missing out if you do not make this one of your stops.

 1,617 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of HopAttack3
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Kubishark
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

If you blink you'd miss it. Unassuming restaurant in a strip mall. The inside is similar, basically no windows and the decor consists of beer posters hanging on the walls. Even the ceiling is paneled like an aging office building. That being said, this place is all about the beer. Great selection and many beers that go really well with the fantastic food. Was very busy and service reflected that, but it was completely understandable. Here and The Answer next door are must visits in Richmond, without a doubt.

 513 characters

Photo of dailyminefield
4.11/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of mynie
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

One of the best beer places I've ever been to, though their image and marketing don't signal anything of the sort. The website looks like it was designed in the late 90s, and their building's facade is just a storefront in a strip mall in a completely nondescript street in Richmond. This, it turns out, is a good thing.

The vibe is fantastic precisely because it avoids all the trappings associated with modern, trendy restaurants. There was a great article about this recently, detailing how the rise of uniform reviewing platforms like Yelp have led to a worldwide homogeneity in new restaurants. A new, trendy place in New York will have shockingly similar decor and menu to a new place in LA, or Akron, or even Cardiff. The best places, then, are the ones that establish firm images outside of the uniform ratings system, and Mekong is definitely such a place.

The decor is straighforward: medium strength lighting, woody walls, high tops, etc. TVs play sports at a low volume. Were it not for their very impressive collection of beer swag, this would look like any other medium-priced Asian restaurant housed in a strip mall.

This MOR vibe is accentuated perfectly, however, by the staff. They are kind and jokey and rude and profane. "What you want, motherfucker," the bartender said to a regular, and the regular could not have been happier to have been greeted in such a way.

If you're an excessive normie and profanity burns your precious ears, this is not the place for you. There are plenty of new, Safe Space restaurants that are designed to prevent you from suffering even a secondsworth of confusion or self-awareness. I urge you to consult Yelp to find a list of them.

And I need to stress: there was no meanness whatsoever in the bartender's tone or intention. He was just being friendly in an unguarded way. And, in an era where "progressive" scenes are rapidly losing their edge and spontaneity in sad attempt to make everything as non-threatening as possible, I found this sort of approach remarkable and refreshing.

But even if you hate that sort of candor and prefer the canned, ersatz vibe of newer beer joints ("woah! they have edison lamps and they're playing the Jack Johnson spotify station!"), you cannot deny the majesty of this place's food and beer.

As for the food: I've never been to Vietnam, but I've had pho in places ranging from Portland, Maine to Hollywood, California, and Mekong's was far and away the best I've ever sampled. Even if the beer list wasn't a tenth as extensive, I'd still recommend this place just for the food.

The beer list is also probably as varied and extensive as any I've ever seen, as their geographic placement allows them to draw from some of the best of the midwest, east coast, and west coast, along with an excellent selection of Belgian brews. They had Alesmith, Bells, and Maine BrewCo all on tap, along with Chimay and Rodenbach. They even had Maine's Lunch, which is really hard to find in freaking Boston.

Overall, I'd rank Mekong in the same class as the big boys: Lord Hobo, Map Room, Three Penny, Blue Palms, Sugar Maple etc. Only their otherworldly vibe and excellent food actually push them to the top of that vaunted class.

An absolute must-visit.

 3,257 characters

Photo of Lucular
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Stolenface1
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Zonian1
4.56/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

After reading about Mekong in several of the national beer magazines, I made this stop #2 on my Saturday beer visit to Richmond. I visited in the mid-afternoon, so it was a little slow, which worked in my favor as the bartender had some time to chat with me about the history of the place.

I can honestly say I have never been to a place like Mekong before. I've been to good Vietnamese restaurants. And I've been to restaurants with world class tap lists. But never to one place that features both! The food was delicious, and the tap list was fantastic. A great mix of locals, top US beers, and great international offerings. It was so cool to be in an Asian restaurant that was totally decked out with emblems from the best breweries in the world.

A truly memorable experience and must visit. I drove 2 hours to get there, and it was totally worth it!

 864 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Outstanding list of beers, many of the great belgians which I love, plenty of variety from around the country. The food was outstanding and the prices for the food and beer was excellent. Plus, food was also outstanding. Wish I spent more time in Richmond.

 259 characters

Photo of Bierpapst
4.89/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This was one of my most surprising restaurant visits in the last few months - although I had heared of it before. Basically I came for the food - which was excellent Vietnamese cuisine at a very good price - and took the vast beer selection as an add-on. But once we saw the beer list (which we had to ask for) we were inspired to do beer and food pairings. Our lunch experience was so good that we decided to return for dinner, when the place was a bit crowded. Service was as good as at lunchtime. Beer and food just fantastic (a term I rarely use).

 551 characters

Photo of Macsimus
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Beer and food nirvana !

23 characters

Photo of Barracudas
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of fredmugs
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Unbelievable selection of top beers on tap from around the country, as well a big bottle selection. Huge, busy restaurant with large bar area too. The food is fantastic and the service is as good as it gets. Try the Pho Thai and the fresh spring rolls.

 252 characters

Photo of carterbt
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of lillitnn92
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of dwoolley1
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of Boone757
4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of HuntDaddy540
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of bilstin
4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of Jenebauer
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Cobratrooper
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of elkinbrown
4.49/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of JamesStreet
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Typical looking restaurant from the outside and upon entering. Sat at the bar and the draft board blew me away! Lots of wild ales, several goses, and plenty of IPAs and stouts. Bartender Phillip was prompt and cool and An, the owner, was nice enough to chat with us and show us the brewery next door, The Answer brewpub. Overall, this place is a must stop if you're ever in Richmond.

 386 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

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Mekong Restaurant in Richmond, VA
4.4 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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