"Eating my way round Saigon to find the best bowl for you."
The 5 BEST PHO IN SAIGON
I've personally been to Saigon over 10 times, and each time I find myself going back to places I crave, and throwing in a few new one's to keep it exciting. The best pho in Saigon isn't something you just waltz right into, it requires dedication and a lot of research.
In my experience Phô is divided "loosely" into 2 groups: One where the broth is excellent but the meat is tough/chewy, or the broth is average but the beef is amazingly tender. It's very difficult to get the best of both worlds. There are neighborhood stalls that serve up broth to die for, but the toppings and noodles are mediocre or the meat is stringy and tough. Likewise, some posher places that charge a premium for their high-grade meat, seem to have forgotten to spend time making the broth full of flavour. It proved to be a difficult challenge when trying to narrow down which Pho was the best overall.
Of the 15 places I visited, here are one's that made it onto the list for: "The Best Pho in Saigon".
If you are flying onwards to Hanoi and wondering where to get the best damn bowl, then look no further than here: Bittermans Hanoi Pho Guide
STREET STYLE CLASSIC PHO
Bringing back memories of street corners in Hanoi, this neighbourhood joint open in the afternoons is home to a delicious bowl of Pho. The old couple who run the shop are exceedingly friendly and the price is right. My only gripe is that the broth itself is a tad muddy, but the overall experience of this place colours your palate.
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER
Not everyone eats beef, so I felt obliged to throw in a super authentic and always packed spot to get Chicken Pho! The location is unbeatable, just 2 blocks from the Cafe Apartments, so why not grab a bowl of piping hot Pho here before exploring the apartments!
YOUR RELIABLE GO-TO
After multiple visits to Ho Chi Minh, the eternal search for the cities best Pho was almost complete.
Until recently that crown was placed firmly on this places head. Hung has a fantastic broth, great noodles, decent meat, amazing condiments and the price is bang on right. For visitors to Saigon who have been to "Hung" and not liked it, beware, there are many imposters who stole the logo and sign and serve under-par Pho. This place is the real deal. You can find better Pho at a couple other places in HCMC, but this is top shelf Phô and you will not be disappointed.
THE LATE NIGHT HERO
I thought I had finally found the best Phô ever in Saigon!.... Ironically at the end of a crappy backpacker street, but don't let that dissuade you. Packed to the brim with locals and tourists, this 3 story behemoth stands on a corner with a few tables outside for you to enjoy your soup with the added aroma of exhaust.
Huge bowls of perfectly simmered broth, deep and satisfying, good noodles and tender Brisket makes this place a sure-fire hit.
(it's open 24 hours so sometimes the broth is a bit inconsistent) Therefore, it remains my Nr 2 at present....
THE BEST BOWL OF PHO IN SAIGON
Phô Phu Vuong
I was dropped off at the corner, immediately the smell of broth hit me. It smelled amazing. I headed in, ordered the Phô Tai (rare beef) and waited. Putting the first spoon to my lips I had a moment just like on strictly dumplings youtube video when he had been to Quynh, had a religious experience, only to find it surpassed when he tasted the one at Vuong. This is talk of micro-measurements of goodness. The Phô at both Hung + Quynh are some of the best bowls you will probably find on earth, the difference is just the broth at Vuong has that tiny added oomph. One of the best things about it also is the chilli sauce.
So here we have it, the best bowl of Pho in Saigon, according to me at least.
p.s. There are two branches of Phu Vuong, but having tried both of them more than once, this location is BY FAR superior. It is worth taking a cab the extra couple miles to eat here.
For the best Pho in Hanoi, click here
Watch Mike Chen of Strictly Dumpling eat at both Pho Quynh and Vuong !
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"
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