Mekong Restaurant

BA SCORE
97
world-class

147 Ratings
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:
97
Ratings:
147
Reviews:
55
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
5.45%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of mkirkland80
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Awesome selection with great food. They're doing it right

58 characters

Photo of brother_kenneth
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Hrodebert
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Very good food, and awesome beer selection.
Also very friendly staff.
Had a great time here.

92 characters

Photo of joegard
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of JFear
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of raverjames
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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.

 534 characters

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 rolltide
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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

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!

 346 characters

Photo of Tringrose11
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of julielynndubee
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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

Photo of HellAwaits
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Dicers
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Aprice34
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Rkaba804
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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

Photo of Soto
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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!

 3,021 characters

Photo of Precog640
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Hopbully
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Ihadbeer
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of hokiechef
5/5  rDev +13.6%

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Mekong Restaurant in Richmond, VA
4.4 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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