Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant
In a neighborhood chockablock with great Asian restaurants, this tiny Vietnamese eatery inspires particularly fierce loyalty among locals. The pale-green-walled, softly lit space is perpetually filled with diners happily hunched over bowls of pho piled with fresh herbs, or plates of banh xeo—crispy, crêpelike rice-flour pancakes stuffed with shrimp, shredded pork, and crunchy bean sprouts. If you’d rather not fight the crowds, come late—the kitchen serves until 10 p.m.
Tip: Be adventurous. Even items you might not usually choose—escargot, tendon, tripe—are mouthwatering when served in one of Green Leaf’s savory herbal broths.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.