Wilmette, Community

Vietnamese cuisine ready to order in downtown Wilmette

Downtown Wilmette’s newest dining option is open for business — as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Ni’s Kitchen, 708 12th St., will serve up traditional Vietnamese cuisine such as pho, banh mi, spring rolls and more, according to owner Lisa Wuynh, of Des Plaines, who cannot wait to see the restaurant’s first customers.

“I’m vey happy — ecstatic actually,” she told The Record. “Opening a restaurant is a lot of work. My family asked why I would want to do so much work, but I wanted to bring traditional Vietnamese food to Wilmette.”

While Wuynh’s family has experience in the restaurant industry, she does not. A physical therapist, Wuynh decided to open Ni’s Kitchen when she head about the vacant Wilmette space from her brother, who works at nearby Torino Ramen.

The corner space on 12th Avenue adjacent to Ouilmette Way was occupied by The Noodle, an Italian restaurant, from 1990 to 2022.

Ni’s Kitchen opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, and will serve from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. six days a week.

Wuynh was born in Vietnam and fondly recalls her mother preparing and selling food to her neighbors using a ganh — two baskets connected to a pole carried on the shoulders.

“That’s what they did to raise us,” Wuynh said, speaking of her mother and mother in law.

The memories led to a lifetime passion for cooking and the opening of Ni’s Kitchen.

Since the restaurant’s awning went up in the spring, Wuynh said she has enjoyed all the conversations with community members who have stopped by to learn more about Ni’s Kitchen.

“Every time someone walks by and is excited it makes me feel very good inside,” she said. “It makes you want to do even more and want to do your best.”

Ni’s menu features several variations of pho, a traditional noodle soup that includes scallions, onions, basil, cilantro, beansprout and more. The restaurant will also serve banh mi, a popular sandwich usually served with meat and special fixings, such as pate, pickled carrots, jalapenos and cucumbers, inside a crunchy baguette. Vegetarian options are available.

Other dishes include fried rice, spring and summer rolls, tofu, bao and noodles. Wuynh said the menu will soon be online at the restaurant’s website, which was not yet active by press time.

Ni’s Kitchen will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesday-Sunday.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

Related Stories