Mekong Restaurant

BA SCORE
96
world-class

54 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:
54
Ratings:
143
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
5.45%
 
 
Taps:
50
Bottles/Cans:
55
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 143
Photo of uvachief
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Total hole in the wall but a hidden gem in Richmond. Located near Libbie and West Broad Street. Don't worry if you don't speak the language...the menu is in English also. Fantastic food variety but amazing beer selection. One of the best I've ever seen. Tons of beer on tap. Many of the local breweries and quite a few hard to find smaller batch breweries. Something for every palate. I love spicy food with a nice stout. Great for lunch or dinner. Many release parties as well. They are building their own brewery next door called "Beer is the Answer". 30 taps and everything on tap is outstanding.

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Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

I was fortunate to finally make it to Mekong when my Roanoke beer sons and I went up to Richmond for the Hardywood Park GBS release on 11/16/13.
I had been forewarned that their tap list was impressive and I was not disappointed. I'm not sure how many taps they have but in RedNeck terms, it was a shit load. We all settled in to trying various Hardywood brews and they were all on point. You could tell they take pride in serving great brews properly (no tap line funk, great glassware, ect).
The service was outstanding without being overbearing, when you needed food/brews they were there Johnny on the spot.
Everyone enjoyed the food with me ordering an appetizer of pork dumplings. I love spicy foods and the dipping sauce (I asked for spicy) was deliciously HOT. Spot on in my book.
My only tick on the place is that it's 2 hours north of me and I could not convince them to pull up stakes and relocate to Greensboro, N.C. (sigh).
I had a blast there and wish we coulda stayed longer but we had to mosey over to Hardywood for the GingerBread Stout release. Thanks to my Roanoke sons (Kenny, CJ, and Chris) for turning me on to this fantastic place. Perhaps my old ass will make it back up that way onced again.

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Photo of jonesmr
4.84/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

At Mekong, Beer is the Answer!( Review from my 11/16/13 visit.)

This place is a Vietnamese Restaurant with an awesome beer selection. They always have a large selection of Belgium and Belgium style beers on-top. They even have some sours and beers that I rarely see at other beer bars.

Every time I visit Richmond, VA, I have to stop here. The wait staff is friendly and the bartenders are very helpful at recommending beers.

The food pairs well with Belgium beer. They have a really good pho and make your own spring rolls.

The beer prices are very reasonable for what you get.

If you are ever in central virginia, MEKONG is a must.

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

It's hard to find a place with a wide variety of beers in the Richmond, VA area that are truly a wide variety and are not just pandering to the mega-produced and/or faux craft drinkers. An & crew has taken a Vietnamese restaurant with great food and atmosphere and transformed it to a beer Mecca.

Recently, he's re-configured the bar to now have 50+ taps, plus many different bottles. His 4 white-boards of draft beer listings contain beer, brewery, price, ABV, and sometimes a note about flavor... while containing many beers listed on each board. They're usually updated as soon as a keg has kicked.

The selection runs the gamut from your IPA's to your Red ales, Lagers to Sours - he keeps a few beers around, but rotates many of the taps. I've never seen any mega-produced anything served there, though the running joke is he'll find a bottle of Zima if anyone wants. Not only are the beers craft, but most score high points in ratings as well.

Depending on who you know and how busy they are, you can usually find An, Qui, or one of the other crew members discussing beer... and possibly pouring you ridiculous stuff you won't find on a menu. If it's your birthday, you even get the 64 oz birthday snifter filled with your choice (or theirs... depending on what they want to do). Otherwise, you'll get beer served in it's proper glassware; few shaker pints.

The food is excellent as well. Though most bar/restaurants in this area pair with good ol' American classics, you can't go wrong with crispy spring rolls, clay pot chicken, pho, and plenty of beer.

The only thing that might stick out is that if you go when it's busy, there's a good likelihood you may have to wait for a table, and wait for a bartender if seated at the bar... but usually they take care of you when they get to you.

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Photo of BeccaHuber
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is awesome! It's a Mecca for Virginia beers, Belgian-style ales and hard-to-finds. The staff is generous with the tasters, but you'll never be disappointed with a full pour. Everything is of the highest quality, perfect representations for each style, and the prices represent a tremendous value. Pair all of that with some top-notch Vietnamese food and you've got a guaranteed winning outing.

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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.

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Photo of JWing
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

A must visit! An, the owner, now has fifty taps to please. Local brews from Hardywood, COTU, among others. The best list of Belguim's and Sours on tap. I am always amazed at the turnover of what is on tap as it constantly changes. The food is wonderful, big portions and great flavors. The special nights here are amazing. Barrel week was awesome! I only wish I could go everyday of the week. In fact I will be eating lunch there today and enjoying some beer I have never tasted!

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Photo of Cody101
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Great place to go to. Had a lot of variety and a very friendly staff. I had wokey jack and a sour beer. Food was good as well was better than I thought it was going to be. It was very mellow tho not a very lively bar, but then again I went around 2PM.

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Photo of l1fted
4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This was my first time visiting here and i was not disappointed. I sat at the bar and the staff was very friendly as well as interactive. The list of beers on tap were a mix of local and good quality craft beer. I was lucky enough for my first time to be when there was an event going on which just added to how great this place is. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Fast-N-Loud
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The first time I went to Mekong I thought it was a very good establishment. But after going back time and time again, I realized what an amazing place it really is. The extra long beer list is constantly up dating with beers you can't find anywhere else. The selection of beer and knowledgeable staff is second to none. #1 beer bar in the nation!

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Photo of McBraniel
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.25

Provides a unique combination of Vietnamese food and Belgian beer. The food is decent, but the beer selection is fantastic. It's a very large and popular restaurant/bar, and is usually always crowded on weekend nights. A go-to in Richmond. Highly recommended.

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Photo of CRV334
4.69/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I care nothing for the food, but the selection is great.

An is incredibly savvy and his staff knows their stuff. I never look at the menu and just tell the bartenders what I feel like and they will never miss the mark. There is a reason why this place is the best beer bar in America. People here love beer and love what they do.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place is a little hard for me to review as I'm trying not to hold this "best beer bar" award they have won against them, b/c quite frankly I wouldn't call it the best in the state, yet alone the East Coast (I'm not sure what award they won: "city", "state" "region" or "country"). That being said, there are some great finds here and without a doubt one of the cheapest beer bars I have ever been to and if I lived in Richmond I would be a regular here. I went on a Saturday afternoon to avoid any crowd and was succesful as very few people here and I didn't eat b/c I am not a fan of the food style but my wife and stepson ordered and I have three observations. The food is cheap, pricewise, the servings are big and they thoroughly enjoyed their meal so based on that I would say this place has great food. Also, I read about the "Andal" or something and some tasting parties they have so this place seems pretty serious. About the only knock I actually have on this place, and it's not really a knock, is if you're looking for the hard to find gems and a large selection of hard to find imports I wouldn't recommend this place but that's about the only "complaint" I really have.

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Photo of enmity1380
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

One of the best beer bars in va, perhaps even the east coast. An has put together an amazing selection of beer to pair with really good Vietnamese food--all priced significantly lower than most beer bars (I.e allagash confluence or interlude for a $5 pour or a vintage Bon chien for 5-6 vs. the $8-10 and up you would find in most city beer bars). Going to their anniversary nights as well as the special nights are even better (ie sour night with incredibly hard to get sours, gose, geuzes, etc from around the world 5 and under). The only negative thing lately has been their spike in popularity from winning the best craft beer bar in America on craftbeer.com has made it harder to get in--good for them, bad for the regulars

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Photo of Beerstorian
4.71/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

One of the best beer bars I've visited. It's in a nondescript strip mall in Richmond--a real hidden gem. Given that this place is a restaurant, the menu is fantastic. Actually, it's fantastic regardless. I spent a lovely evening there sampling the many Belgian beers. Incredible selection.

Get to know Anh (Ahn?), the owner. He knows his Belgian beer better than just about anyone. He travels to Belgian a couple times per year to select what he wants in his bar. He makes great recommendations, and the customer service is great.

Definitely a must-visit when you're in Richmond, or to make the trip down from in nearby DC.

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Photo of Hanzo
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Arriving at Mekong for lunch on a Saturday left me very skeptical, but I do not judge books by their covers. Headed in and was promptly seated at the tables near the bar. The place looks like your average Asian restaurant, but with beer signs thrown in to try to depict beer being their focus, place seemed slow and quiet for a Saturday afternoon. Finally ten minutes later someone came by to take our drink order. I order my beer and an appetizer, followed by entrees for my wife and I.

The food itself was very fresh, tasty and hot. I cannot complain about that or their massive beer selection between bottles and draft. Had a few beers and had planned to order one more but the waitress had already dropped the check off without asking if I wanted anything else, so I had to flag her down to order my final beer and have my check adjusted. Felt like I was being rushed off, which would be excusable to a degree if they were busy which they weren't.

I certainly would go here fairly often if I were closer than two hours away, but as it stands I won't be back until some Richmond BAs have an event there, they tell me that is when the place comes alive and is best experienced...but as far as just stopping in for a bite to eat and a few beers, I can think of many places that do it better.

Also, they need to go for their off-site license. There were several bottles I would have bought to take home if I could have.

EDIT: I have gone back since this review and had a much more enjoyable experience, when you go when they are busy it is a whole different atmosphere.

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Photo of triwolf
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

GO GO GO GO!!! OK, if nothing else, where else are you going to find a Belgian bar in the middle of a Vietnamese restaurant? The oddity alone is worth it. That aside, they have a good beer selection with a couple of local brews and I've never ordered anything they didn't have. Then there's the food - great stuff and large portions that make it well worth the price. The servers are great, know the beer list, and are quick! The tables & chairs are very basic & not super comfy, but that's a small price to pay for the experience. This place should be on your 'must go' list if you're ever in the Richmond area.

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Photo of EricP
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

This is a fantastic place. The food is very good and they have a solid beer selection. The number of taps is nowhere near Capital Alehouse, but all are solid.

We usually order the Pho and you can get a huge bowl.It's some of the best in town. The other Vietnamese food is also very tasty.

This is a place where my kids love the food, my wife loves the food and I can get great food and beer.

It's in a nondescript old strip mall and has plenty of seating (its much bigger than it appears from the front).

I've been several times. They only down side has been that sometimes service has been a bit slow. Sometimes it doesn't seem they have enough folks working for the size of the place.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of homebrewer88
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've been going to Mekong for a while now and have never had a bad experience l. An always has an amazing selection of beers on tap and in bottles, and the food is great, all of it. You will not find better beer prices anywhere. There is normally a pretty big crowd so if you want a spot at the bar you may want to get there around 5:00 or 6:00.
Even when they are packed I have never had to wait more than ten minutes for a table. All of the wait staff that I have experience with were very knowledgeable about the beers they offer.

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Photo of ChefHopMeister
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is a textbook example of the saying "don't judge a book by its cover". Located in what appears to be an older, somewhat rundown strip-mall, its not necessarily a place that would catch your eye when driving through the streets of Richmond looking for a place to eat, let alone to have a beer!

Once entering the restaurant, you are greeted by a whiteboard with a listing of the current beer selections offered on tap. There must have been over 20 beers on that menu which hinted I was not going to be disappointed.

I proceeded to the bar area which is located in the back of the house. Along the way, there are displays of various beer bottles, shelves of beer, coolers loaded with beer and ultimately the beer bar with many handles to choose from. The atmosphere in the bar area was very enjoyable and relaxed.

The menu offered a huge variety of beers as well as a wide selection of authentic Vietnamese food along with prices that were very reasonable. The food was fantastic with the crispy spring roll being the best I've ever eaten. The Pho that was ordered was also very good with flavorful broth accompanied by fresh proteins, vegetables and condiments.

This place is a must go-to experience for the beer enthusiast as well as those seeking great Vietnamese food. Mekong is now on my circuit of places to go when in Richmond. After living in the area for several years, I wish I had discovered it sooner. Better late than never!

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Photo of YumYumGumGum
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Appearrance - Great crowd, not difficult to get served, best bet is a table.

Quality - I went to the 16th Annual Mekong celebration last night for an Allagash takeover. 5$ tickets for about 10oz glass of Allagash's best stuff on-tap. Its very organized, very reasonable traditional Vietnamese food.

Service - Very average on crowded nights and better on quiet nights. Food service is lightening fast and saved their grade.

Selection - The bar in general does have a fantastic selection every night and the rotation on beers is phenomenal. Worth a visit by every hophead in RVA.

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Photo of phisherman11946
4.95/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Mekong is for beer lovers. Their beer selection is ANstoppable. They have about 18 taps and everytime I go back there are more and more taps to choose from. If you get there early enough and get a chance to sit at the bar in the back, do so. You just might find yourself with a surprise beer to try or finding yourself in a conversation with An, David, or Diablo. This is the haunt for local beer people.

The beer is alway fresh or vintage or rare. Every once in a while you will see beer flowing through a randall of hops or coffee to make your beer taste different. There are always events celebrating various things. The sol-stache parties raise money for pints for prostrates.

If you are on facebook, look for the Mekong page and hop on in.

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Photo of 3Cheers4Beers
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Mekong is exceptional, truly one-of-a-kind in so many respects---but like many of the finer things in life, you really need to soak in the Mekong experience and allow yourself reflect and really see what's going on there rather than just compare it to your expectations. This is a family-run, COMMUNITY restaurant and monument to the love of craft beer. It has many layers:

GREAT FOOD: Depending on what you've ordered, the fare is on par with the finest white table cloth Vietnamese restaurant in Saigon or Hanoi; or the warm and inviting comfort food you might find in a stall outside the fish market in Hoi An. There is NO PRETENSE there a'tall, not a shrine to brass and glitz but a simple environment where food is celebrated and cooked and served lovingly by the many family that fill kitchen, bar and service areas. Service is FAST, efficient and damn good.

GREAT BEER: I could go on for a novel here, but the true love of beer is celebrated in every way possible. A very wide and alternating number of craft beers, mostly Belgian, are on tap nightly. Hundreds more in the cooler. Sponsorship of the local homebrewing club; rotating "special events" where the beer flows freely and may be seasonal, rare, aged, sour, oaked, bourbon-barrelled, dry/double/triple hopped, many times from that special firkin that you'll never see again. The beer guy An (the BEER LOVER) has traveled the world tasting beer and meeting brewers and distributors near and far. It shows.

GREAT HANG: the bar scene at Mekong is truly unique. Its the place the local farmer offers tips on growing hops and local foodie joints; the place where the areas best musicians hang out; the place where local restauranteurs go when they want great food and a haven for discussion of the latest dishes; the place where the family might bring out some strange and exotic dish that's not on the menu and share it with a stranger; the place the young lookers and folks of all ages go to take in the scene or celebrate Halloween or Super Bowl. The place that sponsors or participates in any one of the dozens of events both at the bar/restaurant or in the community where Mekong is usually signed up for the cause celebre of Richmond, be it the Dragon Boat races, a charity golf event or that festival that rocks the town. If you are a regular the bar staff will know what you like, and also tease your palate with something new. The community aspect is what makes MK really unique---you can do great beer, you can do great food (and they do both), but to do it in a way that makes you feel totally comfortable, known and recognized as family, is truly rare.

If you've made a single visit, and didn'ty find exactly what you were looking for or comparing against, go again and put your expectations aside and try to see what's really going on there. It takes a few visits to really even start to appreciate the vibe. By then you'll be a part of the family of beer lovers that dream of that next visit and anticipate that next outrageous event. Cheers!

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Photo of Jimmys
3.43/5  rDev -22%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

almost dismal looking from the outside. located in a cheap strip mall, the Mekong sign looks like just a cheap-o vietnamese restaurant. after entering, the decor reenforces the cheap-o vibe. cheap tables, table topping sprawled throughout a fairly large space with Tons of brewery/beer posters on the wall. many addressed to Mekong. it's asian restaurant meets college dorm.

let me get the other negative point out of the way, the service. servers are typically cold and dont seem very interested in your dining experience. it helped that i went in with low service expectations, hopefully it will help you too.

once your able to look past these areas, it's on to the good stuff. i thought the food was very good. i enjoyed some sweet and sour soup and a delicious bowl of pho. the beer selection is very good, and is probably one of very few vietnamese restaurants that have the belgian beer selection that they do. not a great state-side selection, but it is definitely worth coming for the belgians. following the belgian theme, the drafts are also note-worthy and are often rotated. sometimes even offering a cask.

my favorite thing about this place (besides the beer and the food) are the prices! everything was VERY inexpensive (especially being used to DC prices!). i was able to eat for under $15 and even the 750mL belgian bottles i was getting were only marked up a few dollars from their bottle shop prices. if you are in the area, Mekong definitely should be on your list for at least a lunch visit!

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Photo of ncaudle
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

it sounds cliche but Mekong really is a must visit in Richmond.

the restaurant sits in a non-descript strip mall with some other Asian shops, stores. other than the occasional line of people at the door on a Fri/sat night you wouldnt really know anything good was there.

you walk in and immediately behind the hostess you are greeted by a display table of many of their bigger bottled beers along with a whiteboard listing the current tap lineup. there's usually 10-11 plus the occasional cask. you walk through 2 "quieter" dining rooms then you find yourself in the back where the bar is with another dining room.

the decor is a bit on the cheesy side; half is your stereotypical asian art while the rest is big banners from various breweries, many of them congratulating Mekong for various anniversaries.

the beer:
opening the menu and you quickly realize the last 1/3 of it is for the beer, with several pages on Belgian beer alone! everything from Chimay, Kasteel and Augustijn to St Bernardus, Dupont and Hanssens.
the tap lineup refreshes throughout the week and what is on tap today might not be on tap 2 days from now; less if popular/mentioned in An beer club. speaking of, the owner An has a beer club which usually meets once a month during the week for various tastings/release parties. always a good time to drink great beer, cheap!

the domestic bottle selection, at least printed in the menu, is a bit limited. this is my primary gripe with Mekong; they never update the beer bottle menu. you know they have other bottles there as you see them sitting out on other tables but you have to ask if something is available... which brings me to my second gripe at Mekong, the waitstaff. with exception to the owner An and his brother Kha, the rest are clueless when it comes to the beer. for a beer from the tap you often need to order by # from their handwritten list as they dont know which is which. for a bottle, just point to the line in the menu!

the food is excellent.
appetizers of pork crepes and various spring rolls are excellent finger/beer food in case you dont want a big meal but if you do, it's available as well. they also have excellent soups and their Pho is very good as well.
depending on your waiter, you can sometimes order off the menu as well, like pork chops on the bone and a spicy, steamed catfish. we love to tell Kha to just bring us some family style food which we'll put on the lazy susan in the middle of the table and everyone just goes to town (we do this with the beer too!).

pricing is good on food and sometimes excellent on the beer. drafts are usually $4-$7 depending on what it is and I've often bought bottles here $1-$2 cheaper than at retail stores!

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Mekong Restaurant in Richmond, VA
4.4 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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