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“delicious Vietnamese food at reasonable prices and attentive service”

Hai Yen Vietnamese Cuisine
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Ranked #1,279 of 10,080 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Vietnamese
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Broadway
Transit: One block east of the Argyle Redline train stop on the right hand side
Description: Hai Yen Restaurant welcomes you to experience the essence of Vietnam in Chicago. From our famous Bo La Lot (marinated ground beef wrapped in a Hawaiian leaf then grilled), to the very traditional beef noodle soup (Pho), or exotic salads such as the Lotus Root Salad, to our fresh fruit smoothies with tapioca, we have everything to please any one's palate. Vietnamese food consists of regional flavors with an infusion of French and Chinese cuisine. Our cuisine is incredibly healthy and is known as the cuisine of the dipping sauces. We use a lot of fresh vegetables and herbs, mainly for wrapping with different types of meat in a very thin, delicate rice paper with a dipping sauce on the side. At our restaurant, we allow you to join in on the fun of cooking Vietnamese food by letting you cook the food right at your own table with a fondue pot, soup pot or a grill. So stop by and create your own experience of Vietnam with us!
Reviewed March 1, 2012

Have eaten here and always been delighted in the past - came with BF and parents on a Saturday night this week. Not disappointed. They serve the same fantastic, nuanced dishes that I remember. Delicious ground shrimp ball on sugar cane stick - with lime and black pepper-salt dip. Yummy papaya salad with cilantro and peanuts - hard to stop eating. Love the soups. Love the spicy fried shrimp. LOVE LOVE LOVE the sea bass (only 16 dollars!) Everything is cooked fresh and to order. Cannot think of one thing I would change, except the neighborhood on Broadway. Even have a decent wine list.

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Thank bjeanp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 27 of 37 reviews

Reviewed February 3, 2012

I love this appertizer here, it feels like everytime i visit i order the same thing over and over again! Highly recomended

Thank Windycitylover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2012

Two of my favorite Vietnamese dishes are cha gio and bo la lot...Hai Yen does both really well.

Located in the heart of Chicago's bustling Argyle Street (known variously as Little Saigon, Chinatown North or Uptown), Hai Yen has much competition from the 25 or so Vietnamese and Chinese eateries in a 3-block stretch.

A pleasant storefront, Hai Yen has watercolors on the wall of Vietnam scenes and - when we were there recently - Vietnamese Tet Lunar New Year songs playing. Clean, bright, about 20 tables, plus an upstairs dining space. Easy-to-understand menu. The crowd when we were there was mixed: mostly Vietnamese of all age groups, two yuppies talking business, some college kids. Prices are OK, service can be indifferent.

Every Vietnamese restaurant offers cha gio, the deep-fried springroll so popular in Vietnam. I prefer a skinnier cha gio (almost like a Mexican flauta), which Hai Yen serves with relish (well, not really relish...more of a dipping sauce).

But the ba la lot keeps me coming back; in fact, it's touted on Hai Yen's menu as a house specialty. What a great melange of flavors, textures, temperatures, spices. It's basically marinated ground beef (and/or pork), mixed with shallots, nuts, fish sauce, curry & lemon grass. It's rolled into a little cigar-shape, wrapped in betel leaf, then grilled. It's served with cold cukes, carrots, green bananas, cilantro & basil. You then wrap it in either rice paper or (my preference) a lettuce leaf, then dip. It is a messy dish but so flavorfully complex. With consistently fresh vegetables, Hai Yen's ba la lot is a treat.

On a weekend, Argyle can be maddening and delightful. Expect gridlock on street and sidewalk, amazing restaurants & groceries, alluring aromas. Parking is brutal (there's a lot just north of Argyle: $2 for 2 hours). After dining at Hai Yen, take a walk...check out the Asian-themed L station. Unlike some older ethnic communities (i.e. Chicago's Greektown), many Vietnamese still live in the neighborhood, the original port-of-entry for many of the refugees after the Fall of Saigon and boat people crisis.

There are many terrific restaurants along Argyle, but when it comes to bo la lot, Hai Yen is my pick.

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Thank cdub333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2011

And Argyle Street, Chicago's Vietnamese neighborhood, is a GREAT place for food. I have been to many places along Argyle and Broadway, and enjoyed this the most. Efficient, enthusiastic service and great food. I had superb hot and sour soup and a dish I'd never had before called Lemongrass Chicken. Amazing. Very good quality chicken, tender, marinated and infused with lemongrass. Fragrant, exotic, delicious. A great find.

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Thank notpracticing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2011

We went there last week having not been in a year. The restaurant has since streamlined its menu (not necessarily a bad thing in itself because the old menu was so difficult to read, especially if you're not used to Thai dish names), decreased the portions, and jacked up the prices. The service was miserable. They took 30 minutes to bring out pan-fried seafood noodles and the place wasn't even busy at the time. They also took that long to bring out a glass of coconut milk which the waitress admitted came out of a can, as opposed to fresh per the menu. Even if they had to run to the store to get it (and there's a grocery store right across the street), it shouldn't have taken that long to serve the drink. After this subpar experience, we're never going back to any branches of Hai Yen.

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Thank JHSL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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