Pho (pronounced as ‘fer’) is a popular Vietnamese beef and noodles soup, cooked with basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers. Pho as we know it today, have evolved into the various types and styles, each representing a certain culture or period in time. You can enjoy Pho both at a normal street corner or in a gorgeous restaurant. It has become so synonymous with Vietnam that if you do not try the Pho here, you have not been to Vietnam.
Pho in Saigon has been commercialized in so many ways, yet staying close to its origins. It is a simple joy to be able to try them all. Below are some recommended places that you can choose for this local delight.
TA Pho Restaurant
12-14 Le Quy Don str., Dist. 3, HCMC (DT: +848 3930 9104)
Specializing in Pho, this is fabulous restaurant epitomizes what the local Pho is all about. Its delicious rich soup is patiently boiled over a few hours with stewed bones, which gives it a really sweet and tasteful sensation. And for those on a diet, this concoction is almost completely fat free. For the true local goodness of Pho, coupled with a romantic environment, this is the place you will not want to miss. The prices of a main dish here fluctuates between VND49,000 to VND65,000, making it a good deal for a great meal.
01-03 Phan Chu Trinh, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1, HCMC
(DT: +848 3822 2788)
Probably Saigon’s biggest chain of Pho restaurants, the brand rose to prominence after the visit of President Bill Clinton in 2000. It is conveniently located near Ben Thanh Market (Cho Ben Thanh), the heart of shopping in Saigon. The broth is cooked with only the best ingredients to bring real natural flavoring to its noodle soup. The Pho served here is as close as it gets to the original, making it a must visit to end off a long day of shopping.
21A Bui Thi Xuan str., Dist. 1, HCMC
+848 3651 4257
This is a good place to try the “dry pho” which originally comes from Gia Lai, Bao Loc or Nha Trang, the mid areas of Vietnam. The noodles are used with a small soup bowl which is sweet-smelling coming from the anise flowers which is used as an ingredient in this unique variation of Pho. It also comes with its specially prepared Pho rolls with an option of pork, beef or shrimp. It is also very affordably priced at VND30,000 per bowl on average.
99 Nguyen Hue str., Dist.1, HCMC
+84 3952 4157
Snake-head fish slices cooked with fresh turmeric, herbs, and bean sprouts, this would be a delicious healthy choice for anyone who is on diet but would still want to try this local delicacy. You can taste the difference between and a bowl of frugal pure fish Pho and a regular bowl of strong tasting beef Pho, both of which represents an authentic Vietnamese taste nevertheless. And at only VND23,000, this restaurant is a magnet for tourists and locals alike, who yearn for a soothing bowl of fish Pho.