Living in Northern Liberties, I have my fair share of Vietnamese street food restaurants. Walk one way down 2nd Street and you get Same Same. Walk the other, you get Street Side. To be completely honest, there really isn’t much of a difference between the two now that Same Same has expanded their menu- other than the prices. I enjoy them both equally, and my choice truly depends on which way I decide to walk. I do, however, feel that Street Side is a little bit cozier, and has more of that “date night” feel to it.
I first noticed Street Side while walking down Girard Avenue. I was immediately drawn to the white paint on the building, the big red door, and a big sign declaring this shop to be BYO. Since I had been going to Same Same since moving to the neighborhood, I was a little hesitant to try someplace serving up the same fare (why ruin what I knew to be good), but I’m happy I did, because Street Side is delicious (and has become my go-to restaurant at least once every week).
The restaurant is teeny tiny. There literally are 4 tables (two 2-seaters, and two 4-seaters), and then two stools at the window bar. It’s important to note that the seats are all stools, which I don’t mind, but for someone like my mom who prefers to lean on a seat back, you won’t find it here.
I am a big fan of their Pho. I’ve tried it with both the brisket and the steak, and I personally prefer the brisket, although both are delicious. It comes with your traditional pho accouterments of bean sprouts, lime, jalapeños, and fresh herbs. Add a little siracha and you’re golden. The portion size is perfect too- sometimes at other places I order a bowl of Pho and there is absolutely no way I can finish it. That’s not a problem here. And the absolute best part?! This entire bowl will cost you only $7. Compare that to other places where they charge you at least $14 for a bowl. It also makes for perfect take out.
I am also a big fan of their Vermicelli Noodle Bowls. These cold noodles come with cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon radish, cilantro, peanuts, fish sauce, chili, and 2 pieces of a crispy spring roll. You can add your choice of protein (beef, pork belly, coconut shrimp, tofu, or lemon grass chicken). This meal is so filling without making you feel bloated or uncomfortable, and is always one of my favorites for when I’m hungry. Make sure to pour the sauce over and stir well, so that each bit gets some of the flavor. And like the Pho, guess how much this entire bowl costs? Chicken or Tofu cost $5! FIVE DOLLARS for all this?! YESSSSS. Beef is $6, pork belly is $7, and coconut shrimp breaks the bank at a whopping $7.5!
They also have bahn mi, dumplings, rice paper rolls, and various desserts. As for the dumplings, I highly recommend the pork and chive dumplings. Five come to an order, and they’re served in a special soy garlic vinaigrette that really hits the spot. As for the rice paper rolls, try the traditional- with shrimp and pork belly. Three come to an order with a side of peanut dipping sauce that makes me want to dip my fingers in and lick them off every single time. (Okay okay, if I’m being honest… I do dip my fingers in it… because I’m classy… and a lady…)
Images via Yelp
You really get the feel that you’re eating at a street side cart in Vietnam, and the food is sure to transport your taste buds just the same. We go here every week, and have never had to wait for a table. The server/hostess is extremely nice, and the food comes out quick. Definitely check this joint out if you’re in the neighborhood- or even if you’re not in the neighborhood. It’s only a couple blocks on Girard from the train.
Keep In Mind: They are closed Tuesdays. Womp Womp.