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Best Dishes from Pho and Where to Try Them in Vietnam


Although Pho has traveled beyond the border of Vietnam, most people in the world only recognize the dish as a type of rice noodle soup. Little do they know, the noodle itself is also called “Pho”, and this dish has around 40 different variants. Let's take a look at the best dishes from Pho and where you can try them all!

The Original And Most Popular Version of Pho

Although there have been several arguments about the origin of Pho, all the theories share one common thing about the very first version of this dish: a noodle soup. Among the best dishes from Pho, this is the one that easily springs to everyone's mind first when mentioning Pho. But even for the noodle soup, there are a plethora of versions based on the area they come from or their main ingredient, which is usually the type of meat: beef, chicken, seafood, or even vegetarian Pho.

best dishes from pho original pho ga

Chicken Pho is not as popular as Beef Pho, but the taste is totally not less attractive

best dishes from pho original pho chay

Pho Chay - Vegan Pho for the vegetarian

best dishes from pho original pho

Beef Pho, the version that most people are similar with

Mainly, there are two types of Pho noodle soup that are put into comparison: Northern Pho (represented by Hanoi Pho) and Southern Pho (represented by Saigon Pho). They might look similar at first glance, but in fact, they bear major differences from the crucial ingredients such as the noodles, the broth, to the details like herbs, and spices or side dishes.

Check out Best Places to Try An Authentic Pho in Ho Chi Minh City and Places to Try Authentic Hanoi Cuisine in Saigon to see the differences between Northern-style and Southern-style Pho. You can also take a look at the addresses below:

Ho Chi Minh City

Pho Chay Nhu - Vegan Pho

Address: 54 Truong Quyen, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 AM - 10:30 PM
Price: VND 30,000

Pho Trinh

Address: 44 Nguyen Dang Giai, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 AM - 11 AM, 4 PM - 9 PM
Price: from VND 40,000


Pho Bat Dan

Address: 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6 AM - 10 AM, 6 PM - 10:30 PM
Price: VND 40,000-50,000

Pho Suong

Address: 1/26 Nguyen Hong, Dong Da District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Price: VND 45,000-80,000

More places to try Pho in Hanoi

Where to Find The Best Dishes from Pho

Pho Kho - Dried Pho

Pho Kho, or Dried Pho, is a specialty of a mountainous Vietnamese province called Gia Lai. It is also known as Two-Bowl Pho since a complete serving includes two separate bowls: one with the noodles with minced pork and spices, the other with the broth and different types of meat.

best dishes from pho pho kho

Pho Kho is always served in (at least) two bowls

The noodles in Pho Kho are round and thin, similar to the Hu Tieu noodles. What makes it more special is the side sauce made from soybean, which enhances the flavors of Pho Kho.

See more Types of Vietnamese Noodles

There are not many restaurants that serve Pho Kho in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, but they all provide a good taste of this dish.

Ho Chi Minh City

Pho Hoa Po Lang

Address: 207 Tan Son Nhi, Tan Son Nhi Ward, Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 AM - 2 PM, 5:30 PM - 10 PM
Price: VND 35,000 - 62,000


Pleiku Quan

Address: 17 Alley 40 Ta Quang Buu Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6 AM - 9 PM
Price: VND 40,000

Pho Xao/Chien - Fried Pho

There are three popular versions you can try: Pho Xao (Stir-fried Pho), Pho Xao Gion (Crispily Pan-fried Pho), and Pho Chien Phong (Deep-fried Pho). They are all served without any soup. Beef and various vegetables such as bok choy, carrots, onions,... are commonly fried along with the noodles.

Among these three best dishes from Pho, Pho Xao is the one that can keep the soft, chewy texture of the Pho noodles like ones of the original soup version.

best dishes from pho pho xao

Pho Xao

The two other dishes both have a crispy texture. With Pho Xao Gion, or Pho Ap Chao, before the noodles are pan-fried, they are mixed with rice flour and tapioca flour, so the final product looks like a flat, yellow cake. Noodles in Pho Chien Phong, on the other hand, are the thin pieces of Pho that have not been sliced into strings yet. They are then cut into bite-sized squares and deep-fried.

best dishes from pho pho xao gion

Pho Xao Gion

best dishes from pho pho chien phong

Pho Chien Phong

Places to try this trio of Pho dishes:

Ho Chi Minh City

Mama Pho

Address: 111 Ho Tung Mau, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 8 AM - 11 PM
Price: VND 72,000-86,000/serving of Pho Xao, Pho Xao Gion, Pho Chien Phong

Pho Thanh

Address: 140E Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 7:30 AM - 10 PM
Price: VND 55,000/serving of Pho Xao or Pho Xao Gion


Pho Xao - 32 Bat Dan

Address: 32 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 11 AM - 3 PM, 5 PM - 10 PM
Price: VND 65,000/serving of Pho Xao

Restaurants on Ngu Xa Street

Address: Ngu Xa, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6 AM - 11 PM (varied for each place)
Price: VND 20,000-55,000

Pho Tron - Mixed Pho

Pho Tron is a child of Hanoi cuisine, which is so widely adored that many people are willing to line up to enjoy it.

best dishes from pho pho tron

Pho Tron is one of the unofficial specialties of Hanoi

The ingredients of Pho Tron are far from exotic: normal Pho noodles, stir-fried beef, lettuce, and minced roasted peanuts. The unique taste of it comes from the sweet and sour sauce of which every chef would have their secret recipe.

So far, this dish is still hard to find in Ho Chi Minh City, but it has been able to maintain its popularity in Hanoi for years.

Ho Chi Minh City

Diep Beo - Pho Tron Hanoi

Address: 481/7A Truong Chinh, Ward 14, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 AM - 1:30 PM, 6 PM - 12 AM (midnight)
Price: VND 40,000


Pho Huan

Address: 62 Tho Nhuom, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 5 PM - 10:30 PM
Price: VND 40,000

Co Nguyen

Address: 182 Phuc Tan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 7 AM - 2 PM
Price: VND 40,000

Pho Cuon - Pho Rolls

Like Pho Tron, Pho Cuon is also a dish that is closely associated with the cuisine of the capital of Vietnam.

best dishes from pho pho cuon 1

Pho Cuon - the colorful version

It requires thin, flat, unsliced noodles like ones of Pho Chien Phong to wrap other ingredients including meat and vegetables. Pho Rolls is not only delicious but also healthy and balanced in nutrition.

best dishes from pho pho cuon 2

A small roll that has all the nutrients you need

Some restaurants which offer Pho Cuon in their menu:

Ho Chi Minh City

Pho Hai Thien

Address: 14 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1
Opening hours: 6:30 AM - 11:45 PM
Price: VND 49,000-55,000


Pho Cuon Huong Mai

Address: 32-34 Ngu Xa, Truc Bach Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 9 AM - 10 PM
Price: VND 60,000

Pho Chua - Sour Pho

Pho Chua comes from a province in Northern Vietnam named Lang Son. It may look simple but the cooking process includes lots of delicate steps and the recipe need a multitude of ingredients. The unique sour taste is imparted from the sauce from tamarind or the mixture of vinegar and sugar, which makes you just want to eat more and more.

best dishes from pho original pho chua

It is not easy to name all the ingredients in a serving of Pho Chua

Compared to other best dishes from Pho, Pho Chua is not so widely sold in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi since not many people know about its secret recipe. Here are some places that have managed to introduce this dish to more people:

Ho Chi Minh City

Pho Chua Lang Son

Address: 242/101 Nguyen Thien Thuat, Ward 3, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 3 PM - 8:30 PM
Price: VND 50,000


Pho Hung Ben

Address: 26 Nguyen Khac Hieu, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 9 AM - 11 PM
Price: VND 65,000

Summary of Best Dishes from Pho and Where to Try Them

The family of Pho is more crowded than you can imagine, and each member has its charisma that will unceasingly amaze you. If you're feeling hungry, book our food tour in Ho Chi Minh led by local tour guides to experience the full wonder of Vietnamese cuisine.


© Written by Mai Bui for

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Monday, 25 September 2023

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