Vietnamese bistros in Slovakia. What are they all about?

Vietnamese cuisine has also gained popularity in Paris, Berlin and Prague.

A Vietnamese bistro in BratislavaA Vietnamese bistro in Bratislava (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

“For me as a child, the strongest moments were when we travelled to Vietnam,” said Nam Van Nguyen who – together with his girlfriend – founded a Vietnamese restaurant in Martin. “There, I woke up to tremendous heat, and ran out of the house where my aunt was selling breakfast. People stopped there on their way to work, bought soup from her. Her broth, herbs – mint, coriander, lemon – could be smelt all over the place.”

SkryťTurn off ads
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťTurn off ads
Article continues after video advertisement

He missed true Vietnamese meals, which were nowhere to be found in Slovakia, unless his father cooked. He decided to open a restaurant while still at college, as he did not see much potential in studying there.

SkryťTurn off ads

They named the restaurant NhaBe, after the borough his father comes from, and where part of his family still lives.

Vietnamese, Asian, Chinese... what is really the origin?

In NhaBe, one of the new Vietnamese restaurants on the rise, meals are cooked according to traditional Vietnamese recipes.

With their menu, they want to become different than dozens of other places with indefinite, nondescript meal selections which people in Slovakia were used to in the past: before you even enter, you can smell strong odours from the kitchen. Above the counter, there is usually a huge signboard with names and photos of the meals on offer. Besides various combinations of noodles, you can also find Kung-pao and many fried dishes there. It is not unusual, though, to find gyros or roasted chicken on the menu; i.e. meals that have nothing to do with Vietnam.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

A supporter of Russia during one of the so-called "True march for peace" events.

News digest: Some bad news stories from Slovakia

Hints of Russia winning information war in Slovakia, interview with new Foreign Affairs Minister, and an event for book lovers.

7 h
Jupiter (centre) and its Galilean moons: from left Ganymede, Io, Europa and Callisto. Juice with deployed antennas and arrays is in the bottom right.

From Košice to Ganymede: Slovak engineers are leaving their mark in space

Slovaks are active participants in two ongoing space missions.

20. may
Miroslav Wlachovský.

MFA Wlachovský: Slovaks would be surprised by what Russians say about us

The new head of Slovak diplomacy, Wlachovský, explains what he wants to accomplish.

12 h
Marian Kočner arrives in court in Pezinok, western Slovakia, on May 19, 2023.

Slovak court's verdict in Kuciak case leaves 'bitter taste'

Zsuzsová was found guilty of masterminding the murder of the journalist, but the judges could not find any direct evidence linking Marian Kočner, a subject of Kuciak's stories, to the murder.

15 h
SkryťClose ad