Mekong Restaurant

BA SCORE
97
world-class

53 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:
97
Reviews:
53
Ratings:
141
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
5.43%
 
 
Taps:
50
Bottles/Cans:
55
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 141
Photo of Jimmys
3.43/5  rDev -22.4%
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 SportsandJorts
3.5/5  rDev -20.8%

Atmosphere: Located in a odd little strip mall, its not quite the spot I'd expect to see one of the highest rated multi-taps on the site. Inside there is a bar area and a sprawled out seating area. Decorations are all over and beer related.

Selection and Quality: For all the good things I have heard of people having there, I must have hit on an off night. A large selection of taps but nothing I saw was worth going out of my way for. Good local selection and enough taps to cover all the styles.

Food: large menu. great spring rolls. The entrees weren't overly special in my opinion, but they were definitely unique to a beer bar.

Overall: I was disappointed with the taplist when I was there, but thats definitely not to say I won't be going back. Maybe next time Ill have to plan on going for a tap event or something were they have a better selection

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Photo of jfmorey
3.5/5  rDev -20.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Being from Northern VA, I only get down to Richmond occasionally; and had missed visiting Mekong Restaurant until now. The reason is it is located on a commercial strip in the far outskirts while I am visiting the downtown area. In other words, at has to be a destination on its own, and it is not really worth the side trip.

It is very busy on this Friday evening, but large so there was no problem sitting at the bar. Nothing to say about the restaurant itself, above average but not great.

The beer selection is very good, but they do not own any pint glasses. Everything is in servings of 12 oz or less, so the $5-7 prices are high for the city which has many alternatives. There are many local Virginia beers, which makes the high prices more questionable considering what I can get at home in a pricier suburb of DC.

I only had a bowl of egg noodles with seafood, very basic and also good but not great. Perhaps I am spoiled by the many fine Vietnamese restaurants within a few miles of my home. In Richmond this may be exceptional.

The service was very hurried, almost rude. They assumed I did not know anything about either craft beer or Vietnamese food, which I do on both counts.

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Photo of marcngin
3.99/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

The beer kilamanjaro of Richmond, soon to be expanded by it's beer sensi, An Mekong. If you have any questions about the beer, ask for An, as entertaining as he is knowledgeable, he'll tell you all he knows, and then some. And oh by the way, the food is pretty darn good as well! Try the appetizer sampler, the Pho and the Grilled Specialties. And make sure you pair it with something daring from among their 50 or so taps.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -9.5%
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 Hanzo
4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
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 pentathlete
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Based on my lunch visits, Mekong is in a simple store front location on W. Broad (like most establishments in Richmond). This is, as the name implies, a Vietnamese restaurant. The food is very good and reasonably priced. I enjoy the seafood based dishes most, but they all taste great.

Service is rapid and attentive, no frills, but that is not the expectation here. The atmosphere is average because of the routine decor, open table seating which raises the noise level considerably, and the general datedness of the furniture and carpeting.

Ah, but you don't just come to Mekong for the great food, there are plenty of Thai and Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants in the area. You come to Mekong because you can enjoy the cuisine with a great brew. The menu featured most every Belgian style available in Virginia and most reasonably priced at anywhere from $11 to $16 per bottle (mostly cheaper than Capital Ale House). Other beers include local selections and fine craft beers from around the country.

The proprietor apparently made a beer pilgrimage to Europe and came back with a true appreciation of finely crafted brew. He shares that passion via a write-up in the menu and it is reflected in the sheer variety and quality of the beers offered.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Mekond is simple to find just South of I-64 and Glenside on Broad. It is the kind of place you would pass and not go into from the looks. The windows are blackened and reflective. Once inside it is a huge place. Lots of tables and rooms and most of them with people and with people waiting. Unbelievable.

I was seated after a few moments and after the fellow in front of me placed his takeout order. I was given a tome of a menu and went directly to the beer section. The standards were there, and boring, but that list was mighty short, only a few selections. Then came a very short US section of micros, flip the page and three pages of Belgians are there. Unfortunately they only come in 750's or 1.5L, and most fetch in the $13-15 range, but they are there, and they look mighty inviting. I had been under the weather so I decided to skip a beer and sample the wares.

Spring rolls were good, fried spring rolls are to die for. The Pho was very good, just a smidge below some of the best I have had and made just a little differently.

Ooops, forgot about the service. Once seated, my water glass was filled immediately, perhaps even before both cheeks of my butt had hit the chair. Then everyone kind of left. Only after I set my menu down did someone come over. He took my order and from there it was a whirlwind of activity. I got my spring rolls in mere minutes and my Pho shortly after I finished the rolls. After the Pho was a memory the check was out in a flash. So once you get service, hold onto your hat.

I'd be back, not for a pint, but for some great Vietnamese food, and perhaps a bottle of Belgian beer.

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Photo of YumYumGumGum
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
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 Stevo1968
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Mekong seems like an average Asian restaurant on first impression. However, when you walk back to the bar you will see why it's rate so highly. The selection of craft beers is outstanding. I was there on the first night of firestone walker tap takeover. what an amazing experience. The atmosphere was a social as you can believe. I was in town on business and the regulars made me feel like I was just there yesterday. The food was amazing. The staff was very knowledgeable about the beer selections. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I would recommend and even make it a point to go again if even driving through the area.

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

I can't say enough good things about this place. it is way ahead of the curve. very good selection of beer (saison dupont, girardin black label, hanssens strawberry lambic from 2000, orval and much more) and fantastic vietnamese food... need i say more? the food is amazing and the beer is top notch, and i know of no other restaurant like this anywhere. easy stop if you're driving up or down 95, it's just a few miles out of the way and WAY worth it. 2000 vintage hanssens oudbitje (for the same price at this restaurant as the current vintage at the store near me by the way) and REAL vietnamese food. Awesome.

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Photo of Cody101
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
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 qchic
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Good, affordable food (Hot and Sour Soup was amazing), and impressive beer. Unassuming location, so I'm pretty much wild about this place--I'm turned off by places and service that's full of themselves. None of that here, just the real deal. Tons of 5's on here, which might be overdoing it a bit, but it's good.

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Photo of McBraniel
4.33/5  rDev -2%
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 l1fted
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
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 VABeerDude
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Mekong is one of those places that someone could easily drive right on by. A non-descript sign just off Broad St. with reflective windows in the front might turn those who "don't know" off. However, once inside, a beer lovers' paradise awaits (just beyond the dining seating area!)

Mekong's well known for their great selection of Belgians but often offers a couple of surprises too. An is exceptionally generous with his samples and is an excellent instructor on helping to determine a patron's favorites. I've learned quite a bit about my own tastes and likes in the fairly short time I've been going to Mekong.

If you're into pho, Mekong's the place to go for great cuisine as well. I'd highly recommend an Allagash White with a large bowl of chicken pho.

Y'all enjoy! :)

 779 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

We would've missed this spot on a recent vacation to the area - had it not been for Beer Advocate. After seeing the buzz, we had to check it out - and I'm very happy we did. The exterior is unassuming and then some, you'd never know the interior of this strip center joint's got an amazing selection of beers. I looked over the menu for a good thirty minutes prior to ordering a full pour. The owner, An, is super cool - and our bartender was as well. They don't mind pouring small samples of a couple brews - so I did get a chance to try a few things other than the two full beers I had. Apparently they do a lot of big beer dinners, too. Also - the food is fantastic. We ate the lunch special and it was awesome - those around us said that everything on the menu was good. This is a world class beer bar - with great food. What's not to love?

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Photo of uvachief
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 triwolf
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
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 ChefHopMeister
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Kubishark
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of Zraly
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
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 NeroFiddled
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I'm not sure what the origin of the Mekong location is, but it looks like it might have been a brewpub in a former incarnation; at the very least, the bar would indicate that. Otherwise it looks like an Asian restaurant, or at the very least, a strip-mall restaurant. I found the decor and atmosphere pleasant but not special.

The service is exceptional considering that we're not talking about fine dining. The staff seems eager to please, and happy in their work.

The draft list is extensive and well-balanced, although they do lean towards what's popular at the moment (currently IPAs). They care about the beer and use specialized glassware for each style.

The food is varied as well, really quite good, and surprisingly affordable. Not unlike another reviewer on BA, I'd have to rank their Phở as possibly the best I've ever had, and if not, at least second best. ($6.95 for a large bowl of Phở Do Bien - you'd better try it!). I'd go just for the food, but the fact that they have great beer makes it an even stronger destination.

One thing I should point out is that you don't need to eat. You can just stop in at the bar and just hang. There's usually a crowd, and they don't seem to care that they're surrounded by the dining room of an Asian restaurant. In that way it's quite unique, and even a bit surreal.

Mekong is certainly worth a visit whether you like Asian food or not. And I should also point out, it's not that far from Strangeways Brewing either.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

This gem of great Vietnamese food would be easy to miss as it sits in an unassuming strip mall and the interior decor is basically what I expected for an Asian restaurant with the exception of the number of beer signs around on the walls. There were all sorts of folks here eating/drinking from families to groups of folks in their 20s/30s to retirees and folks came from all different ethnic backgrounds.

The beers were well poured, served at the proper temperature, with the proper amount of head, and in proper glassware.

The service was quite good - attentive, quick, and friendly. The servers were knowledgeable about both the food and the beer and I heard them offer suggestions for both to other patrons around us as well as explaining some of the dishes to first time diners (of Vietnamese food).

I have never seen a beer list like this in a Vietnamese restaurant (I've been lucky in most previous Vietnamese restaurants to have a choice between 5-6 different American Adjunct/Euro Pale Lagers) and it rivaled many of the really good beer places I have visited in other cities. 50 taps of craft with a focus on local Richmond breweries (including some rarer offerings) and Belgian style beers. I wish that I had a driver with me so that I could have tried more of the options available.

Possibly the best Pho broth that I have ever tasted. Food was excellent, I would stop by on any trip taking me through (or by) Richmond even if it did not have the incredible beer selection. Only minutes from I-95 for folks passing through.

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Mekong Restaurant in Richmond, VA
4.42 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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