District 1 is a popular restaurant in Medellín with very good and authentic Vietnamese food. The owner is an expat from the U.S. with Vietnamese parents.
After you’ve been in Colombia for a while and had your fill of rice, frijoles, patacones and chicharrón and looking for Asian food for a change of pace, District 1 is a good option. District 1 opened less than two years ago and is located in El Poblado.
The dishes and flavors at this restaurant are authentic Vietnamese and quite different than any typical Colombian dishes. I have eaten at this Vietnamese restaurant several times and there are several good dishes on the menu.
Note: the above photos are courtesy of District 1.
More About District 1
District 1 was opened in January 2018 by Alex Nhan. Alex was born in the U.S. but his parents are from Vietnam and immigrated to Los Angeles after the Vietnam war.
After working as a business analyst, Alex traveled and worked as a cook when money was needed. In addition, Alex studied at The Sushi Academy in California. But sushi wasn’t really the right fit for him.
Alex discovered Medellín about four years ago and fell in love with the city. But he noticed that Asian options were lacking in Medellín. So, he saw the opportunity to bring authentic Vietnamese food to Medellín, which he did with District 1.
District 1, the name of the restaurant, is the busiest and most prosperous district in Ho Chi Minh City, which is still referred to as Saigon by locals in Vietnam.
The Food Menu
The menu at District 1 has several typical Vietnamese dishes. The highlight of the menu is probably the soups:
- Pho Dac Biet – special beef soup served with rice vermicelli noodles, onions and cilantro with bean sprouts and lime wedges on the side or 27,000 pesos for 17,500 pesos for a medium size.
- Pho Tai – rare beef soup served with rice vermicelli noodles, onions and cilantro with bean sprouts and lime wedges on the side or 27,000 pesos for 17,500 pesos for a medium size.
- Pho Ga – chicken soup served with rice vermicelli noodles, onions and cilantro with bean sprouts and lime wedges on the side for 27,000 pesos or 17,500 pesos for a medium size.
- Wonton soup – cooked gyozas (Japanese dumplings) and a rich chicken broth, with Chinese cabbage, oriental style for 24,000 pesos.
There are also seven other Vietnamese dishes on the menu with prices under 30,000 pesos each.
Popular is the Bun Thit Heo for 25,500 pesos. This is a pork dish with noodles with a great taste once you mix all the ingredients together with mint, sprouts, and other vegetables and a fish sauce vinaigrette.
Furthermore, there are four additions on the menu for 2,000 to 4,000 pesos including extra meat, extra chicken, extra shrimp or extra vegetables.
Finally, there are three appetizers on the menu priced from 10,500 to 17,000 pesos. The Goi Cuon (Spring Rolls) appetizer costs 17,000 pesos for three rolls. The spring rolls have pork belly, shrimp, herbs and rice vermicelli noodles and are wrapped in rice paper and served with a peanut dipping sauce. Unfortunately there are no desserts on the menu.
The Drink Menu
District 1 has a very small drink menu. There are two beers available for 6,000 pesos each. Also, they have white wine for 12,000 pesos per cup.
In addition, there are sodas lemonade, teas and water on the menu for 4,000 to 6,500 pesos. And there is Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk available for 6,000 pesos.
How to Get to District 1
District 1 is located in El Poblado in Medellín in the Provenza neighborhood.
The nearest Medellín Metro station is the Poblado station on the A Line. And this restaurant is about a 25-minute walk uphill from the Poblado metro station.
Taxis are another option to get to this restaurant. Just provide the address below:
Address: Carrera 33 # 7-135, Provenza, El Poblado, Medellín
Phone: +57 4 589 8632
Hours: Monday to Thursday: Noon to 9 pm; Friday: Noon to 10 pm; Saturday: 5 pm to 10 pm; Sunday: Closed.
Payment accepted: Credit and debit cards and cash.
The Best Asian Restaurants in Medellín
On the Medellin Guru website, we have looked at eight of the best Asian restaurants and we plan to look at one or two more.
- Halong Vietnamita – a popular Vietnamese restaurant in El Poblado with very good Vietnamese food.
- Cuon – a popular Asian restaurant in El Pobaldo with a fusion of dishes from different countries in Asia.
- Lemoncillo – a hidden gem Vietnamese restaurant in Envigado with very good Vietnamese food.
- Korea House – a popular Korean restaurant in Laureles with authentic Korean food.
- Eden Bistro – a popular Korean restaurant in El Poblado with authentic Korean food.
- BaoBar – a restaurant in El Retiro with very good and authentic Singaporean food.
- District 1 – a restaurant in El Poblado with authentic Vietnamese food.
- Oppa Asado Coreano and Oppa Rolo Coreano – two small Korean restaurants in Laureles and El Poblado with authentic Korean food.
I like Asian food having lived in Asia for five years when I was younger. And I am aware of at least one other good Asian restaurant we plan to cover.
However, so far in over eight years living in Medellín I haven’t found a really good Chinese restaurant, even though there are many Chinese restaurants in the Medellín area.
Also, I really like Thai food. And there are some Thai restaurants in Medellín. But I haven’t yet found a Thai restaurant in Medellín that I consider good. So, we don’t plan to cover any of the Chinese or Thai restaurants in Medellín unless we discover one that is good.
The Bottom Line: District 1 – Authentic Vietnamese Food in Medellín
District 1 has some good Vietnamese food and it has been discovered by many foreigners who like Asian food due to being located in El Poblado.
If you like Vietnamese food or are looking for something new to try, I recommend this restaurant. In addition, the prices are reasonable for El Poblado and they have lunch specials.
Readers, what is your favorite Asian restaurant in Medellín?
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.