photo credit: Nate Watters

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine review image

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine


12752 Aurora Ave N, Seattle
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

Lotus Pond’s menu is longer than a Star Wars prologue sequence. Before you flip through the pages, curious about where to start, know that the Vietnamese lineup has so many hits that you’re in good hands no matter what you order. That makes this North Seattle spot on Aurora Avenue the perfect place for an excellent, casual meal to liven up a random Tuesday.

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There’s something to satisfy any craving on the 15-section menu, which makes Lotus Pond akin to a diner full of Vietnamese classics instead of pancakes and grilled cheese. The spam bánh mì is a comforting sandwich while orange-tinted lemongrass grilled chicken over jasmine rice has the power to improve a garbage fire of a day. Want wontons in hot broth, tapioca dumplings, escargot-studded sausage, or cured pork belly shoved in a split bao with pickled vegetables? They’re all going to be delicious. And much like a diner, you could also just pile in a booth to snack on fries with gravy alongside a round of Cokes. Only here, the gravy is phở-spiced, and is so rich and tasty that we would gladly slurp it like soup. 

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine review image

While it sounds like these dishes would be best enjoyed while you curl up on the sofa, takeout from Lotus Pond has been hit or miss for us—all the more reason to stay a while and eat here. The space is pretty bare bones, with a few tables and booths, but the place is generally calm without feeling like a total ghost town. Even though there’s a ton of good stuff on the menu to sift through, the servers are super helpful with narrowing things down, should you be torn between salt and pepper tofu or lemongrass tofu. (Go with the latter.)

If you're feeling indecisive on any given weeknight, you have plenty of restaurants you could turn to. But for one with parking, that’s usually easy to get into, and full of comforting Vietnamese classics, Lotus Pond is waiting for you.

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Food Rundown

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Khoai Tây Chiên / Phở Fries

There aren’t many things better than piping hot seasoned fries dunked in gravy. Except for gravy flavored with phở spices. Order a basket for the table the moment you sit down, and use the leftover gravy to enhance anything else you order.

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Chả Nem Rán / Fried Imperial Rolls

Stuffed with pork, shrimp, taro, glass noodles, and mushrooms, this appetizer is another great fried snack that leaves your fingers greasy and your body happy. Grab a platter if you’re in a group, but know that the rice plates and vermicelli bowls all include an imperial roll.

Bánh Bao Kệp Ba Rọi / Pork Belly Bao Buns

This steamy split bao comes stuffed with rounds of pork belly that are crackly in all the right places. To brighten it up, you’ve got cucumbers and pickled carrots in for the assist. We could eat these buns on repeat for weeks.

Đậu Hủ Rang Muối Tiêu / Crispy Salt & Pepper Tofu

These nuggets of coagulated soybean have an impeccably crisp and brittle exterior. Our only gripe is that the tofu cubes have no detectable salt or pepper. To make matters worse, the accompanying sweet chili sauce doesn’t do much to help. Skip this in favor of anything involving the tastier lemongrass tofu.

Bánh Bột Lọc / Vietnamese Clear Shrimp & Pork Dumpling

These sticky tapioca dumplings stuffed with shrimp and spears of pork are delicious, especially when doused in fish sauce. They’re a great, light snack if you’d like something that didn’t come from a deep-fryer.

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Bò Nướng Sả / Grilled Lemongrass Beef Skewers

Do you like grilled meat? Do you enjoy the citrusy herbaceous stylings of lemongrass? If your answer to both of those questions is yes, these skewers of marinated ground meat are a perfect starter.

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Bánh Mì Spam & Trứng Chiên / Spam & Fried Egg Bánh Mì

Lotus Pond has a stacked lineup of bánh mì with fillings that range from pork belly to grilled chicken, but the spam and fried egg is the standout. Featuring crepe-like layers of egg folded with chunks of spam, each bite has a kick of salt and meatiness. Chunky cucumber, crinkle-cut carrot sticks, and a tangy mayo tie it all together.

Cơm Gà Nướng Sả / Lemongrass Chicken Rice Plate

Any rice plate at Lotus Pond is a fantastic call, but the best one is the lemongrass chicken. It has a flavorful marinade that tints the meat orange and accentuates all of the charred edges. Pair that with fluffy jasmine rice, a perfect over-medium egg, fish sauce, and an imperial roll, and you have an extremely satisfying dinner.

Lotus Pond Vietnamese Cuisine review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Mì Hoàng Thánh Xá Xíu / Wonton & BBQ Pork Egg Noodle Soup

The shrimp and pork dumplings in Lotus Pond's BBQ pork soup are some of the best in town. The filling is generously seasoned, and when the wrapper edges get plump with schmaltzy broth, it's a beautiful thing. Wontons aside, this thing is still an exemplary (and massive) bowl of broth, chewy egg noodles, and tender hunks of delicious meat.

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