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Hy Vong

In 1975, Vietnamese-born Tung Nguyen was young, pregnant, and ready to start a culinary revolution. Five years later, she and refugee sponsor Kathy Manning opened Hy Vong. Today the spot is one of Little Havana's best-kept secrets, serving up authentic Vietnamese standards with international twists. Take a seat in the unassuming dining room on any given night and you're liable to spend up to an hour waiting for your first course. But a plateful of cha gio, Hy Vong's fried-to-crisp-perfection spring rolls, is worth it. Meant to be dipped in the cloudy dipping sauce, they're also delicious straight up. Regulars and culinary adventurers alike get to Hy Vong early for first dibs on the dish of the day, which often includes grilled fish topped with sliced mango. For something more traditional, order a bowl of pho - a huge bowl of broth filled with beef, rice noodles, and julienned veggies. If waiting isn't your style, you can call ahead and have a prepared meal all packed up and microwave-ready for you to enjoy at home.