As college students, we sometimes crave the feeling of home cooking, and for me, that means Vietnamese food. The modern, Insta-worthy storefronts of today's restaurant industry don't always provide that needed comfort. Cue Oriental Restaurant, which keeps it simple with flavorful, authentic Vietnamese and Chinese dishes – it's the closest to family meals we can get.

Although Oriental is a short walk from Downtown Berkeley, you won't regret the trip. From noodles and rice to dessert and drinks, its menu will satisfy any Asian food craving you might have. Here are a few of my favorite choices:

Rare Steak Pho

beef, broth, ramen, pork, noodle, soup, pho
Tiffany Tran

The first sign that this bowl of pho would be delicious is the well-seasoned and flavorful broth. The steak is tender after cooking in the piping hot broth, and the noodles are soft. For the more adventurous, Oriental also offers BBQ pork and vegetarian pho.

Crispy Fried Noodles with Seafood

pasta, rice, sauce, vegetable
Tiffany Tran

These noodles remain crisp and add texture while also absorbing the flavor of the rich, savory sauce. The shrimp, calamari, and crab taste fresh, as do the veggies that top the dish. You could also try this dish with combination meat, with pork, beef, and chicken.

Thai Iced Tea

iced tea, tea, cocktail, coffee, ice
Tiffany Tran

I grew up loving Thai iced tea, so I couldn't pass up Oriental's colorful, refreshing version. It has a strong, natural tea flavor that balances the sweetness well. Also try their Vietnamese drip iced coffee with condensed milk for a stronger pick-me-up.

meat, chicken, broth, vegetable, noodle, soup, pho
Tiffany Tran

Oriental Restaurant might not be the most buzzing Vietnamese restaurant in town, but it offers the best variety and quality for the best price. For under $10, you'll enjoy friendly service and a large meal with fresh flavors and plenty of veggies.

Whether you're looking for comfort food or a celebratory meal, whether you're well-versed in Vietnamese cuisine or are looking to try new flavors, Oriental will leave you feeling like you just took a trip home.

#SpoonTip: Bring cash, as this restaurant is cash-only!