Lemongrass Kitchen Is Where You Find Authentic Vietnamese Flavors in Spartanburg

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Have you been to Lemongrass Kitchen in Spartanburg, SC yet? Growing up with a love of flavors and spices, I am in constant search not so much for fusion restaurants but more authentic dining experiences, places that are about celebrating their heritage and remain true to the characteristics of each dish.

Lemongrass Kitchen Spartanburg SC

There’s nothing like discovering a family-run restaurant who boldly share their home-grown recipes to share with the public. The Lemongrass Kitchen is such a place. It’s run by husband and wife team Tony Nguyen and his wife Thang Bui. Transplants from California, Tony used to run a kitchen in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Now they are adding to the growing list of fun dining options in downtown Spartanburg.

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About The Lemongrass Kitchen

Just a block off Main Street, The Lemongrass Kitchen mostly serves Southern Vietnamese dishes. Just as if you were in Saigon, the restaurant specializes in Pho, a good-sized noodle dish, sometimes served in chicken or beef broth and paired with fragrant condiments of basil, mint leaves and bean sprouts, a definite Southern Vietnam touch.

Some visitors might be surprised with the limited menu, but if you were to visit Vietnam, this is actually typical. Restaurants specialize in specific dishes and have about multiple variations of the same dish. So goes with The Lemongrass Kitchen. On our visit, hubby had the “dry” noodle dish, Bun Thit, a combination of vermicelli rice noodles, fresh vegetables, spring rolls, and sliced pork. I was feeling cold and ordered the beef Pho, Pho Tai cooked with a deep sweetish broth and served with thick flat noodles. If you noticed, both dishes had noodles, veggies, and meat.

But the variations come in broth options, type of noodles, and protein of choice (they also have tofu on request). I also ordered a pearl milk tea, just because they had it and I was glad I did. It was a nice addition to the savory dish I had.

The Lemongrass Kitchen Spartanburg SC

One thing we love about Vietnamese food is its freshness. We found the same experience at The Lemongrass Kitchen which sources their produce from the local farmers’ markets. The broth was crystal clear, probably from simmered bone marrow cooked for hours and strained with love. Compared to Japanese Ramen, it is much lighter and the noodles are made of rice, not wheat (though we do love our fair share of Ramen).

Before you add any Sriracha (the now ubiquitous Vietnamese chili sauce)  to your dish, make sure to taste the broth first and savor it. Every kitchen has its signature Pho flavor. Then proceed and make it your own, with a squeeze of lemon, a bite of basil, a handful of bean sprouts for crunch, and maybe a splash of more fish sauce.

Another thing we ordered was the Cha Gio or the Vietnamese egg roll. It was a delicious appetizer and quite reasonable. Altogether, our bill was roughly $25, though if you didn’t order all the other things I did, a meal here would cost $10 per dish. A bowl of Pho can easily be shared with your littles. If you’re not up to having soup or a baguette sandwich (Banh Mi), I would suggest trying a couple of the appetizers for a meal.

The restaurant is casual dining, decorated with a bamboo theme. They mostly cater to the office lunch crowd but open for dinner till 8 pm.

Vietnamese food at Lemongrass Spartanburg

Plan a visit for yourself

The Lemongrass Kitchen
121 Dunbar Street (a block from Main Street)
Monday-Thursday 11 am to 8 pm
Friday and Saturday 10 am to 9 pm
Closed on Sundays

Do you love a great Vietnamese restaurant?

About the Author
A Greenville transplant, Anna, is a former fundraiser for art museums and charities in NY and NJ. Before heading south, her husband's job brought them to Pune, Shanghai and her hometown, Manila. She and her family are happy to settle in Greenville and enjoy hiking the beautiful parks of the Upstate, visiting museums and historic places, and last but not least, hunting for the best BBQ in town.

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