11 Best Pho Restaurants In Saigon (you don’t know the 4th)

local guide to find authentic pho noodle soup in ho chi minh

Pho is famous for its soup

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Together with Banh Mi, Pho is the local dishes that bring Vietnamese cuisine closer to global eaters. 

In this article, you and I will learn where Pho comes from and some of the best to eat the best Pho in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Best Pho in Ho Chi Minh City 2019

In this country, Pho is sold everywhere from the street corners to the luxury restaurants. Since not all restaurants are equally tasty, read my suggestions and choose the one that fits your references.

North Pho Story In Saigon

Let’s learn a bit about Pho!

Meat used in Pho is usually beef. In the simplest form, this dish consists of delicious broth pouring on fresh rice noodles. People sprinkle with it around the world. The popularity of the Beef Noodle Soup spread all around the country. It seems to have no replacement until when the government prevented people from killing cows by banning the sale of them on Mondays and Fridays in 1939. 

At that time, chicken noodle soup appeared. There are not many differences between noodle soup with chicken and beef, except for the main meat that comes along.

For Saigonese, the type of Pho with beef balls is the harmony of Hu Tieu (kuy teav) and noodle soup with Chinese-Vietnamese when Pho set foot in Saigon. If Hu Tieu only refers to the rice noodles, pork broth, spring onions, bean sprouts, and fried shallots, this “adjustment” makes Southern people satisfied and put it on the top must-eat food.

A table with the best Pho bowls in Saigon

“Pho Bac” Northern Pho is considered authentic

Pho is famous for its long cooking process

Boiling broth long is the most crucial step in the process of making Pho. While chicken noodle soup only needs to boil 3-4 hours, beef noodle needs double time.

You might think that it takes forever to cook but the wait is worthy. The longer we cook Pho, the better it tastes.

Bones used to simmer with water may include beef, beef ribs, and joints. According to some famous chefs in Vietnam, the cause stems from the French eating habits at the beginning of the 20th century.

In addition to the bone stew, the broth also needs a complex combination of spices including anise, cinnamon, roasted pepper, coriander root, onion, shallots, and ginger.

Pho’s Broth Should Be Followed Northern Style

Pho lovers quickly spread this favorite from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Here, the Southern people absorb and change the dish in a more modern style.

The Hanoi people like the clear broth, not fat. When eating, they sprinkle green onions, basil, and coriander. Some people add chili, garlic vinegar, and lemon.

But in Ho Chi Minh City, the broth is fatter. People eat Pho with bean sprouts, sweet basil, mint.

Today, more and more Northern people move to the South to live and settle. They also do not forget to bring along the famous Pho of the North. In particular, the chef adds quite a lot of sugar to the broth. 

Therefore, Saigonese has more opportunities to enjoy this authentic Pho served with sour sauce and chili sauce. Sounds yummy and interesting, right? 

Don’t let you wait for more, below are the best restaurants that sell the best Pho in Ho Chi Minh city. 

Great options in a Pho menu

Menu of authentic Pho noodle soup in Ho Chi Minh. Variety?

11 restaurants that serve the best Pho in Ho Chi Minh City

1. Pho Hai Trieu – opens 24/24h downtown Saigon

More than one year ago, a North family opened a Pho restaurant near the tallest building in the city on Hai Trieu street, District 1. The owner said the whole recipe was cooked traditionally in Hanoi.

According to the owner of Pho Hai Trieu, they carry out the cooking stages continuously to maintain the amount of food sold to customers by the restaurant opening 24/24h.

Usually, visitors go to the restaurant will call their favorite items such as encrusted, beef, chicken, chicken thighs. The place is crowded at lunchtime because people working in offices nearby come for lunch.

A drink menu in Pho restaurants

Eat Pho and explore local drink?

  • Address: 31 Hai Trieu Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 05:00 a.m – 23:00 p.m
  • Average price: 55,000 VND – 75,000 VND
  • What makes their name: Visit them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even at mid-night, you’re also served.
  • Know before you go: Although the food quality is good, this is a recently opened restaurant. If you come for the history and story behind the restaurants, jump to the next ones.

Learn about Vietnam local currency

2. Pho Thin – an ancient corner of Hanoi in the heart of Saigon

Everyone from North to South heard the name of Pho Thin. Speaking of Hanoi’s Pho, people will think of Pho Thin in Lo Duc Street immediately.

With the success in Hanoi, this restaurant expands to the South. Today in Saigon, people can taste Pho Thin easily. The place is next to the noisy and bustling Coop Mart supermarket. Go Google maps yourself!

The layout of the noodle restaurant is like a quiet corner of ancient Hanoi standing in the middle of bustling Saigon. And Pho Thin still acquires a reputation about Pho Tai Nam; this is its particular line.

Talking about Pho Tai Nam, the beef is prepared differently. The cook will fire a deep pan first in about 12-15 minutes, then add ginger, garlic, and beef in and stir it quickly. Finally, he pours this meat into the bowl and fills the broth.

Pho has a typical pan-fried taste, blending with delicious broth, which makes the noodle bowl more special than standard Pho.

With this noodle dish, Mr. Thin has made his name for over 30 years. Such an admirable Pho brand!!

  • Address: 170 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Opening hours: 07:00 a.m – 14:00 p.m | 16:00 p.m – 22:00 p.m
  • Average price: 40,000 VND – 66,000 VND
  • What makes their name: Unique “Pho Bac” Nothern slyle. People says that those who like Pho Dau will like it instantly; those who don’t like it, they will not like it even if they try 10 times.
  • Know before you go: Only opens in the morning before 11 a.m so come early. The price here is above average. Find the restaurant inside an old apartment complex.

3. Pho Dau – strange taste for Saigonese

Talking about the “authentic North” noodle shop in Saigon, gourmets will immediately think of Pho Dau near Nguyen Van Troi bridge.

Over 55 years, Pho Dau has still not made people who are into Northern Pho disappointed whenever they visit the alley 288 on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia street to eat. A juicy Pho bowl eaten with the thinly sliced onion can satisfy all foodies. 

Pho Dau has so far no vegetables, beansprouts, and black sauce served as pho restaurants in Saigon. There are also no beef balls which makes those who prefer Southern Pho are unable to feel the deliciousness of it when visiting the place for the first time. 

The ordinary eaters prefer to put into a bunch of all kinds of herbs, sprinkle soy sauce, squeeze a piece of lemon and mix well as a mixture, sit and eat well in the right way. So, when they encounter a noodle that says no to raw vegetables, they find it hard to eat.

  • Address: 288, Alley 288 M1 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ward 8, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 5.00 a.m – 11.00 a.m
  • Average price: 65,000 VND – 75,000 VND
  • What makes their name: Unique “Pho Bac” Nothern style. No veggies, no beef balls. The place is also known as the favorite Pho place of Nguyen Cao Ky. He’s the one who served as the chief of the Vietnam Air Force in Vietnam history during the war.
  • Know before you go: Only opens in the morning before 11 a.m so come early. The price here is above average. Find the restaurant inside an old apartment complex.

4. Pho Minh – hidden gem Pho

On the busy road “Pasteur”, there is a 60-year-old Pho restaurant that remains calm as if the vibrant life outside doesn’t touch it.

Pho Minh is a small restaurant is in a small alley (alley 63). If you don’t know, you will easily miss it.

Going along with the years, the restaurant space is also tinged with the ancient color. Tables and chairs are still of an old wooden table style, not so big. Luckily, the visitors are not noisy so you can enjoy a peaceful meal here.

Spent tens of years in Saigon, but the bowl of Pho Minh still retains the North taste: sweet broth from bone, not giving too much monosodium glutamate, no taste of sugar, fragrant ginger smell. A bowl of Pho is also very merely broth used in the authentic Northern style.

Many people away from Saigon for a long time, returning to find pho Minh was still delighted with the taste of pho in the past year. It is the North Pho bowl printed in the memory when not many delicious dishes like the present Sai Gon.

Hidden gem Pho is the best Pho

Tasty!

  • Address: 63/6 Pasteur, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 06:30 a.m – 10:00 a.m
  • Average price: 40,000 VND – 55,000 VND
  • What makes their name: hidden gem Pho restaurant in District 1.
  • Know before you go: Come for breakfast only because it’s closed after 10:00 am.

5. Pho Hoa Pasteur – the family dynasty one

When referring to the oldest Pho restaurant on this land, it is impossible not to mention Pho Hoa restaurant because the store has been operating for more than 50 years.

The owner of this restaurant has been handed over the occupation by the owner of Pho Hoa before 1975.

Another attraction of this Pho restaurant is that it is located right on the road to gather many delicious Pho cars in Saigon from over 50 years ago.

Therefore, on the reports, travel guides, social websites, and guidelines for eating Pho in Saigon, Pho Hoa Pasteur is always mentioned at first. The place also welcomes many travel bloggers to visit then write and make videos.

In front of Pho Hoa in Pasteur

In front of Pho Hoa in Pasteur

A bowl of Pho here is always full of lots of meat, Pho, vegetables, and served with “Quay” which is usually available on the table for guests to help themselves.

Although there are many reviews about the taste of Pho, Pho Hoa is still one of the most delicious Pho restaurants in Saigon, which attracts a lot of visitors.

  • Address: 260C Pasteur, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 7:00 a.m – 22:00 p.m
  • Average price: 65,000 VND – 85,000 VND
  • What makes their name: The founder started by selling his Pho on a tuk tuk. This place is the most popular amongst travelers (a lot travel Vloggers visited here). Old Vietnam during 60s inspired decor is a plus.
  • Know before you go: There’s a small charge for scooter parking around 5,000 VND. The price here is above average for its good location. Find the restaurant inside an old apartment complex. Remember to order a regular bowl since you can’t finish the big one. It’s huge.

6. Pho Cao Van – Mr. Phon Pho

Referring to Pho Cao Van restaurant, people will immediately think of the image of a 90-year-old man who collects money in a corner. That is the boss of this Pho store named Tran Van Phon.

Pho Cao Van has followed Mr. Phon everywhere, just from a small Pho car in Hanoi and transferred to a peddler in Saigon. After a long time selling on Tran Cao Van Street, he moved to Mac Dinh Chi Street.

Just like that, this Pho restaurant has gone on everywhere, making childhood memories of many eaters.

Over more than 60 years of operation, Pho Cao Van still welcomes so many guests who love the taste of the North Pho. It quietly marks every day among a lot of new Pho restaurants and the development of bustling life in Saigon.

tour guides of Saigon Kiss Tours is eating best Pho in Saigon with travelers

Eating Pho with Saigon Kiss Tours

Pho here has sweet clear broth, not fatty, but charming. Therefore, a person who loves Northern Pho will enjoy the taste.

Many years of experience along with its unique recipes have created a flavor of Pho Cao Van that appeals to customers from all over the world.

  • Address: 25 Mac Dinh Chi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city
  • Opening hours: 06:00 a.m – 22:30 p.m
  • Average price: 40,000 VND – 66,000 VND
  • What makes their name: Nothern style Pho with clear, less fatty broth and a lot of beef.
  • Know before you go: Average price and open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is quite small and hot, especially during lunchtime.

7. Pho Le – the crowd-pleaser

Besides the famous North Pho restaurants that are loved by so many people, this Southern-style restaurant also attracts many people from Sai Gon.

Pho Le has been around since 1970, and the first base is located in District 5, where there are a lot of delicious restaurants. For those who love the flavor of Southern Pho, this will be an extremely fantastic destination.

Compared to others, Pho Le is one of the few Pho restaurants that has received positive reviews about its elegance and cleanliness. Therefore, the restaurant always welcomes guests from morning to late at night.

For gourmets in Saigon, it is impossible not to know Pho Le Nguyen Trai – one of the most delicious and crowded Pho restaurants in Saigon with a very professional, attentive, and agile service style. 

Booths of cakes in front of a Pho restaurant

Some restaurants sells yummy local cakes

In addition to the typical sweetness of the broth here, people also add fat water to contribute to the flavor. Coming to Pho Le, you do not have to be afraid of missing anything because the food is vibrant from vegetables to meats. Besides, you can also call a cup of chicken soup to add fat.

Eating a lot of Pho here, you will only feel full instead of feeling bored. Pho Le Nguyen Trai deserves to be the most typical and delicious Pho restaurant of the Southern Pho, conquering and satisfying every customer, even the most fastidious guests.

  • Address:
    Branch 1: 413 – 415 Nguyen Trai, Ward 7, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
    Branch 2: 303 – 305 Vo Van Tan, Ward 5, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours:
    Branch 1: 06:00 a.m – 01:00 a.m
    Branch 2: 07:00 a.m – 22:00 p.m
  • Average price: 38,000 VND – 55,000 VND
  • What makes their name: Wall Street Journal called Pho Le “The crowd pleaser” for its cleanliness. The branch in District 5 (413 Nguyen Trai street) is the China town. The owner is from QuangZhou and his wife is related to Cambodia royal family.
  • Know before you go: check the opening hours of the two branches I wrote above. The time is different.

8. Pho Tau Bay – for breakfast

Pho Tau Bay is one of the best Pho in Ho Chi Minh City that makes a brand of the city cuisine, associated with a lot of beautiful memories of the locals.

Many people, when away from their homeland, still remember every flavor of Pho Tau Bay like something characteristic of this land.

Pho Tau Bay which appeared in Saigon in 1954, is a restaurant with the flavor of North Pho. 

Pho is eaten with chili, lemon and other sauces

Elegant way to eat Pho

There is not much difference with the usual North Pho stores, Pho Tau Bay at first did not have vegetables and black soy sauce. Therefore, many people who return Saigon feel quite surprised because Pho Tau Bay now has more plants.

  • Address: 433 – 435 Ly Thai To, Ward 9, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 06:00 a.m – 11:00 a.m
  • Average price: 40,000 VND – 61,000 VND
  • What makes their name: One of the best Pho restaurants during the 1950s. The place has a cool name “Tau Bay” (airplane) because the old owner was always wearing the pilot hats.
  • Know before you go: Breakfast only! It’s closed after 11:00 a.m. The regular bowl here will be equal to the big bowl. If you are a woman, order the small or medium size.

9. Pho Chua Lang Son – strange name

The name of this Pho says it all. “Chua” (sour) is an adjective that describes the sense of taste. 

If you are so familiar with Pho that is smoky and full of meat, then surely Pho Chua Lang Son will give you a new look and a unique experience when eating this kind of Pho.

Unlike many traditional Pho, if you look through it, you will be able to confuse Pho Chua Lang Son with grilled meat vermicelli. However, when you enjoy it, you will find its taste completely different.

A tour guide is taking care of guests when eating Pho in Ho Chi MInh City

A typical Saigon Kiss Food Tour

Lang Son Pho is eaten without broth but only vicious, you need to mix it all up to eat together. It has a sour taste but sweet, mix well to see them blend like glue!

Eating Pho Chua, you have to be very patient, eat slowly to enjoy the full flavor of it. Meanwhile, for the traditional types of Pho, you will often see the guests sitting, dining, and sweating, which looks very miserable.

Enjoying Pho Chua Lang Son, you will feel the time is drifting slowly, one by one. It is like experiencing all the flavor of the homeland, which is great.

  • Address: 242/101 Nguyen Thien Thuat, Ward 3, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 15:00 p.m – 7:30 p.m
  • Average price: 25,000 VND – 39,000 VND
  • What makes their name: The sauce here is unique, made from sugar, tomato and vinegar. Now you understand the name!
  • Know before you go: Don’t come after 7:30 p.m, it’s closed by that time.

10. Pho Bo Phu Gia – reserved owner

The whole space only seemed to have eight tables, but people still lined up only to enjoy the taste of the traditional Pho of Hanoi people.

For those who love the taste of Northern Pho, Pho Bo Phu Gia will be an ideal suggestion! Pho here has a vibrant taste of the broth, not much fat but sweet and fragrant. 

Unlike many other Pho types in Saigon, the scallions in Pho Phu Gia are not chopped but just split and put on a bowl of Pho.

In particular, the broth used in Pho Bo Phu Gia is always in a state of smoking, with bright color, an extra layer of fat on the top, and a slight amber color, making it look desirable.

Besides, Pho here is also special, not accompanied by vegetables and black soy sauce, even though there are still bean sprouts dipped through the boiling water.

What makes people remember Phu Gia Pho is not only its taste but also the owner. He’s very reserved.

My grandfather used to cook Pho for Phu Gia restaurant in the capital since the colonial French period. And our Pho was only sold to the French. – He shared about the old days.

A bowl of Pho is only served with lemon, chili sauce, vinegar-soaked garlic, a small cup of chopped onions, and an additional snack if you want to ask. To make it more flavorful, you should order a cup of green onion.

  • Address: 146E Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 06:00 a.m – 11:00 a.m | 17:00 p.m – 22:00 p.m
  • Average price: 35,000 VND – 55,000 VND
  • What makes their name: The way of selling Pho here is very “conservative”. No matter how many times customers request, he’s determined not to sell Pho with veggies and black soy sauce. He doesn’t care about the competition nor bother pleasing his customers. Only a few times he gave eaters boiled bean sprouts.
  • Know before you go: As being said, don’t expect to be served with veggies like the other Pho restaurants.

11. Pho De Nhat Vo Tuan – good choice near airport

Pho De Nhat restaurant is situated right on Pham Van Hai street, so it is not difficult to find this store. It is close to the market; therefore, it is noisy and crowded. However, Pho De Nhat still attracts a lot of visitors

Pho here is very delicious because it has sweet and fat broth. Besides, slices of beef are soft and fat, so it is considered very high quality.

They process this food very elaborately, and they cook according to the traditional recipe, so it has a unique flavor. 

Pho broth to make the best Pho in Saigon

Long process to make Pho broth. Cre: Blue Lotus

For a long time, Pho De Nhat has been famous far away because of the healthy processing methods with the amazing broth and fresh steaks every day.

Each bowl of Pho is customer satisfaction, so they take care of every detail. When it is served, you will hardly be able to resist the lovely fragrance and its beautiful layout.

A bowl of Pho De Nhat usually has thin coriander, onion, vinegar, basil, fresh chili, lemon, and bean sprouts, etc. The white of Pho, the reddish-brown color of meats, the green of vegetables, all create a magical attraction.

The space of the restaurant is designed in a casual style, looks extremely friendly but quite clean and beautiful. When you come to Pho De Nhat restaurant, you will surely feel entirely comfortable to enjoy delicious dishes.

A professional service style helps this restaurant to be enjoyed by many customers. A bonus point in this store is that they keep the customers’ car wholly free and dedicated.

  • Address: 93 Pham Van Hai, Ward 3, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 6:00 a.m to 23:30 p.m
  • Average price: 30,000 VND – 55,000 VND
  • What makes their name: Although Pho De Nhat Vo Tuan doesn’t have a story behind it, I rate their Pho 4 out of 5 stars for the cleanliness and good service.
  • Know before you go: The place is near the SGN airport. If your hotel is nearby, give it a try.

Ready for Pho time!

Above are 11 restaurants that sell the best Pho in Saigon. Ready for Pho time? Choose one of those places then enjoy the bowl. 

Besides, if you want to find the nearest Pho restaurant, open the internet and type “Pho near me“. The result will show some places that are near you. 

As a local tour guide, I’ve been eating Pho in different places more than avergae. Unfortunately, I can’t try all of them. For that reason, a small part of this article is from my research and online reivews. I did eat Pho at 6 restaurants out of 11. If you ate at any places and loved it, comment below to share with the other travelers.

Scooter food tour with Saigon Kiss Tours

Gastronomy tour with Saigon Kiss Girls

For a private or small group gastronomy experience in Vietnam, reserve the spots with scooter food tour of Saigon Kiss Tours.

Happy Pho time!

 

Natalie Vo
Natalie Vo
100% Vietnamese, my passion is traveling and running projects related to tourism. I'm here to share what I know about Vietnam for travelers.

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