This spin-off from a successful Philadelphia restaurant group goes way beyond quick Vietnamese staples like pho and banh mi. This is a cuisine born in humidity, and the specialties—rice noodle dishes, bold salads, seafood and meats cooked in clay pots—cut through the swampy muck of our summer weather. Ask servers for guidance toward items meant to be wrapped in lettuce leaves and dipped in sweet, pungent sauces. Bring a group for the Ba Vi, or Three Delights—meats and sugarcane-infused shrimp paste with vermicelli noodles, julienned vegetables, and a spray of herbs and greens, all of which are rolled into rice paper wrappers at the table. A second Nam Phuong opened on Buford Highway in the spring with a streamlined menu.
5495 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross, 770-409-8686; 4051 Buford Highway, 404-633-2400, namphuongatlanta.com