It has been a long time that “PHO” is one of the traditional quisines of Vietnam besides “Banh My”. It is no exaggeration to say that visitors coming to Vietnam usually marvel and get impressed since the first taste of “PHO”. Let Idealtravelasia suggest you some good restaurants so that you will not have to spend much time searching. Here we go!
1. The Family Establishment: Pho Thin
This eatery, located alongside peaceful Lake Hoan Kiem, where innumerable Hanoians do their morning calisthenics, defines “hole in the wall” with its dark dining room, stainless-steel tabletops and wooden benches. But the broth is redolent of smoky ginger and the noodles absorb its flavor without becoming mushy. Opened in 1949, the shop is now run by the founder’s eldest son, who closely guards the family recipe. 61 Dinh Tien Hoang
2. The Early Riser: Pho Gia Truyen
The big draw at this multi-generational establishment is the deep-colored broth, cooked in a fire pit in the alley adjacent to the kitchen. If the meter maids come by, half the restaurant clears out to move their illegally parked scooters. Inside, a cook with a cleaver makes quick work of the brisket and the pho is very northern-style—no plate of sprouts and leaves, just a tiny bucket of hot sauce and another of garlic-laced vinegar to emphasize the soup’s clean flavors. Come early—they usually sell out by 10 a.m. 49 Bat Dan, 84-9-2429-2236
3. The Meat-Lover’s Soup: Pho Vui
If it weren’t for the tables full of people and the kitchen that starts inside and spills out onto the sidewalk, this Old Quarter spot, with white walls, stainless-steel surfaces and excellent beef, could be confused with a butcher shop. The broth is simple, elegant and clear, and the marbled brisket has a near-sweet flavor. 25 Hang Giay, 84-9-8401-7741
Ho Chi Minh
4. Pho 2000 – The Famous One
Despite sounding like an android from outer space, Pho 2000 will forever be remembered as the place where President Bill Clinton tried his first bowl of pho in Vietnam during his state visit in…the year 2000.
He was so taken with the delicious beef marrow broth and glutinous noodles that he ordered a second bowl – or so the story goes. The fresh spring rolls are also excellent at Pho 2000 and together with your pho noodles can turn a tasty snack into a full meal.
Pho 2000 is very close to Ben Thanh Market so it makes sense to use this famed pho restaurant as a place to take a break from shopping and cool off. English is widely spoken here too, making ordering a hassle free experience. Location: 1-3D Phan Chu Trinh, District 1
5. Pho Bo Vien Thap Cam – The Street One (only for the adventurous)
If famous guests and English menus sound too mainstream for you then this ageing shophouse surrounded by parked motorbikes is where you need to go. Pho Bo Vien Thap Cam (which is also the name of the dish) offers a limited number of options to an almost exclusively Vietnamese customer base. They serve pho with both beef and chicken, which are hanging in a steel display cabinet at the entrance to the restaurant.
Location: Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1
6. Pho Hoa – The Family Dynasty One
A restaurant with a long legacy, Pho Hoa consistently ranks as one of the best places to sample Vietnam’s most popular noodle soup. Pho Hoa Restaurant has been run by successive generations of the same family which adds a little history to your meal. The broth recipe here is a family secret which helps create a little mystique around the flavours.
Served with your bowl of pho is a plate of deep fried bread called qouy. This bread is actually of Chinese origin but it is finding favour as a daytime side dish. Our favourite option here is the pho with beef tendon, which is chewy and succulent. Pho Hoa is on Pasteur Street in District 1, with two floors and air-conditioning upstairs.
Location: 260C Pasteur Street, District 1
7. Pho 24 – The Franchised One
There are many branches of Pho 24 all over Ho Chi Minh, usually within sight of famous tourist sites such as Notre Dame Cathedral and Ben Thanh Market. There are also Pho 24 franchises in America, Australia, The Philippines and several other countries meaning you can enjoy the flavours of Vietnam once you return home.
Location: Nguyen Du Street, District 1 (in front of Notre Dame Cathedral)
8. Pho Thin Ha Noi – The North Vietnamese One
Pho Thin Ha Noi is just one block away from Turtle Lake roundabout in District 3 and gives visitors to Ho Chi Minh the chance to sample the original, northern style of pho. This pho is served with fewer condiments and lets the flavours of the broth carry the dish with only scallions sprinkled on top as a garnish.
This pho restaurant is a particular favorite with office workers looking for a quick, nutritious – and most of all, delicious – lunch. With that in mind, it can get very busy in here around midday, but sometimes that is a bonus for visitors who love to see how locals act in their day to day life. If you are looking for a restaurant serving the northern style of Pho in Ho Chi Minh we definitely recommend Pho Thin Ha Noi.
Location: 170 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, District 3
9. The Crowd Pleaser: Pho Lê
An oldie and a goodie in a formerly Chinese section of District 5. The street and sidewalk here are flooded with pedestrians, merchants and scooters long into the night. The hand-molded beef balls are a highlight in what is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s best bowls of pho. 413-415 Nguyen Trai, 84-8-3923-4008
10. The Pop-Up Spot: No Name
At lunch, the pho at this nameless spot in a university neighborhood is adorned with slices of raw meat that cook in the bowl. You can get beef balls after 5 p.m., but don’t come much later—the space is rented to another business when this shop calls it quits for the day. The noodles here are finer than at other spots. You can also get a fresh-pressed sugarcane juice with kumquat from the neighboring stall. 7 Nguyen Thai Binh