The 13 Absolute Best Pho In The US

Pho isn't just a satisfying dish to be enjoyed, it's a full-fledged, full stomach experience that activates all five of your senses. You know it when you first enter the door to your favorite Vietnamese restaurant. You know it when the spice flutters past your nose like a gentle hello. It's a perfume you wish you could capture in a bottle, yet instead, it's captured in a bowl. Pho is more than just a warm hug; it's an inviting, ritualistic meal with a history just as rich as its broth.

Andrea Nguyen, Vietnamese cookbook author, and food writer told KQED, "Pho has always been unpretentious" as it's a noodle soup that "invite[s] everyone to experience and appreciate it". After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese immigrants sought refuge in the United States. Along with their courage, the Vietnamese brought their culture, their values, and yes — their pho. 

There are now countless restaurants across the states that faithfully make a pho-nominal bowl of pho — and we're here to share the best of the best. Whether it naps below a highway, sits unassumingly in a bustling strip mall, or waits proudly as a tourist destination — these pho digs are waiting to be enjoyed and experienced to the fullest. Veterans to pho, or curious newbies alike — get your stomachs, your chopsticks (or forks!), and your hoisin sauce ready. Let's dig in!

Superior Pho - Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio may not be the first place that comes to mind as being home to award-winning pho, but the pho here really lives up to its restaurant name. According to Taste AtlasSuperior Pho is home to the best pho in the United States. The mastermind behind these superior bowls of pho is Manh Nguyen. After moving to Cleveland after the fall of Saigon, Nguyen craved pho that reminded him of his hometown. When asked about his motivation to start Superior Pho, Nguyen reminisced about how he "used to have to drive about six hours" just to taste "a good bowl of pho" (via Ever since their opening in 2002, they've become quite the hub.

The recipe behind their award-winning pho is a family tradition inspired by Nguyen's mother's cooking. The ingredients they use like cinnamon and ginger add a bit of surprising spice and nutty sweetness to Superior Pho's Saigon-style broth. Nguyen stays on top of his recipe for consistency's sake and has at least one bowl of his own pho a day for "quality control reasons.". The quality control is definitely working because Superior Pho's customers keep leaving with happy stomachs and full smiles — just take a peek at their reviews on Yelp and Google.

Viet Nomz - Winter Park, Florida

A city with the name Winter Park in a place as sweltering as Florida may seem like an oxymoron just like the phrase "modern pho" may seem like two clashing ideals — but at Viet Nomz they make it work. Inspired by Asian fusion, the owners Chris Chen and Philip Nguyen came together to design Viet Nomz after not finding anything like it in the area. They longed for a modern experience that would bring hungry customers back to Saigon, Vietnam's bustling, humble street stalls. Viet Nomz strives to offer bowls that bond with their customers from the first bite to the last, and Chen and Nguyen knew just what crowd to cater to considering they're UCF fraternity bros (per Orlando Business Journal).

Some of their most frequent customers happen to be college students which makes sense considering their signature dish is called The Hangover Cure. It's a light vegetarian pho broth decorated with juicy eye round, meaty beef balls, brisket, thinly sliced carrots, enoki mushrooms, bok choy plus your selection of additional veggies at their personal herb bar. 

College isn't just a time of partying and drinking though, it can also be a time of great independence and freedom and Viet Nomz capitalizes on that by giving customers their own pho designing powers. So, if you're wondering, that definitely means you can make the pho bowl of your dreams here and no one will bat an eye.

Tan My - Austin

It's not uncommon to find hidden gems in Austin, Texas and Tan My is no exception to that rule for phonatics. It's a little off the beaten path on Ohlen Road but once you enter hungrily, take a seat, and get a bowl of pho placed in front of you here — you and your rumbling stomach will be glad you took the detour. 

According to the swarm of reviewers on Yelp, Tan My is known for several things: "authenticity," "a myriad of options," and "inexpensive food with expensive taste." The broth they deliver with each bowl is ridden with flavor, the portions here are generous, and the sauces and condiments they bring can truly be used as an afterthought instead of a necessary condiment.

If you're a self-proclaimed indecisive eater, don't fret. Tan My's biggest noodle soup (and biggest mouthful) the Pho Tai Nam Nau Gau Gau Sach is the most recommended bowl at the restaurant for its ample portion size and many types of meat simmered in one, flavorful bowl. But be warned, you'll have to get there early if you're wanting a dine-in experience as they close their doors after 3:00 pm every day to serve only takeout. While with Austin traffic that may seem like a difficult feat, the early bird truly gets the worm (or the rice noodle) here at Tan My, and for the many 1,100 reviewers on Google, their bowls of pho are worth the drive.

Pho Saigon - Houston

It shouldn't be a surprise that Houston, Texas is on the list. According to Food Republic, Houston is considered the modern-day "Vietnamese-food mecca" and for good reason. They're home to Pho Saigon, one of the tastiest, and most affordable places to dine in for excellent, slurpable pho, according to the Houston Press

Pho Saigon had its humble beginnings. What once started off as a "mom and pop" shop, has since successfully grown into now seven locations in the Houston, Austin, and Lafayette region — with the best spot being its original location in Midtown Houston. Their celebrated bowls of pho have been such a success that Pho Saigon's owner, Phoung B. Tran was recognized at the 22nd Annual Awards Gala in 2012 (per Houston Business Journal).

They market their pho as "a delicious and healthy alternative to a busy lifestyle," and it shows. During lunch hour, don't be surprised to see a mix of office workers as well as college kids on their lunch break, all chowing down and slurping up (via 365 Things To Do in Houston). A common favorite served at Pho Saigon is the Pho Bo. 

It's a simple beef pho that's side-kicked with a plate piled high with fresh bean sprouts, lemon, spicy green peppers, cilantro, and basil leaves. Timothy Malcom from Houstonia Magazine writes, at Pho Saigon the "room for imagination is vast" so keep some free real estate in your stomach before arriving.

Pho 79 - Garden Grove, California

They say everything's big in Texas, but have you seen Pho 79's portions in Orange County, California? This old-school pho joint is known across the West for giving out generous (and we mean generous) portions (via Orange County Register). Pho 79 has been in the pho crafting business for a long time. It's one of the very first Vietnamese chain restaurants in the U.S. The signature bright yellow walls of Pho 79 seem to compliment the many ear-to-ear grins after downing a bowl of beefy pho here. The chef behind the magic and smiles at Pho 79, Liễu Trần, "helped pave the way" for Pho 79 to become a "dynamic hub" in Southern California's "Little Saigon" area (via NextShark).

Pho 79's success isn't just limited to the Orange County area. They're recognized on the Michelin Guide for California as being "widely considered to ladle some of the best" pho around; and, in 2019, they were awarded the prestigious James Beard Award from the James Beard Foundation (per Instagram). The James Beard Award isn't just any award either. It's only given to establishments that have "exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts" and Pho 79 doesn't disappoint in that department. They have over 2,500 reviews and counting and a solid 4.5-star rating on Yelp that hasn't faltered one bit.

Hanoi House - New York City

Bon Appetit calls the Hanoi House in New York City a place where "Vietnamese expats go for a taste of home" and they couldn't be closer to the truth. As clued in by the name, the Hanoi House has the Hanoi-style pho down to a science. Here, they let the broth sing and be heard above the noise of the typical garnishing of hoisin sauce, Sriracha, and bean sprouts. At the Hanoi House, they let simplicity shine. However, don't let the quiet elegance of the Ha Noi House make you think little of its surprisingly overpowering flavor. Their pho still has a feisty kick.

The New York Times calls Hanoi's signature pho broth a "living thing" and an "animal" that's "deceptively crystalline" and "belying [with] lushness." Their house special, the Pho Dac Biet has a bit of everything: juicy rare filet mignon, brisket that falls apart at the touch, oxtail, and custardy roasted bone marrow along with a crunchy breadstick to soften the delights the bowl offers. It's dark, simmering rich, and earthy in flavor. The perfect grounding experience for a city synonymous with the cackle of car horns, shoulder to shoulder pedestrians, and claustrophobia incarnate. But the Hanoi House, on the other hand, is lovingly seen as a cozy, safe haven away from all that New York loudly has to offer.

Pho 95 - Denver

If you think nothing can come close to Superior Pho, then think again. Pho 95 in Denver, Colorado is right below it in being the second best pho joint in the United States — and they come prepared (per Taste Atlas). If a restaurant has a personal FAQ page, you know they're serious. Pho 95's FAQ gives guests an inside slurp on what to expect, including busy wait times, key menu items (like their pho bo), and how to order pho like a veteran (did you know you can order crunchy flank here?).

While the thoughtfulness they offer for their customers goes a long way, the number behind the stand-alone restaurant is just as central to their success. 95 isn't just any number to Pho 95, it's a number with big significance. It refers to 1995, is the year the owner's family migrated to the U.S. from Vietnam. The year they found success, hope, and a place to put down roots and create award-winning pho. 

Ever since Pho 95 opened shop, they pour their love and craft of pho into every bubbling bowl they brew and it shows. Pho 95 has a 4.5 Yelp rating with over 1,300 rave reviews and is considered by Westword to be the most "quality pho" you can find in Denver.

Ba Bar - Seattle

Love makes everything better, right? Well, the owners, Sophie and Eric Banh, of Ba Bar in Seattle make sure to put a bit of love into every bowl of pho they make. In fact, the restaurant itself is a "love song to [the] street food they had back home", according to the Seattle Met. Just the sheer amount of patience and time they put into preparing their broth (more than 20 hours) is a love letter in and of itself. While they are a little pricey for pho, Ba Bar explains that the price allows for truly "quality ingredients" and dishes that "are made with care" (per Saigon Siblings). 

Ba Bar's faithful customers however don't seem to turn the other cheek at the price. One Yelp reviewer who used to "hate pho and never wanted to try it again" changed her mind after finishing the bowl clean. Another reviewer who's a self-proclaimed "tough pho critic" and has been to more than "100 spots" called Ba Bar a restaurant worth "six stars" (per Yelp). One of their signature phos, Pho Tai Nam, is a customer favorite. It's a rich, dark broth with thinly cut noodles, melt-in-your-mouth rare steak, and a garnish of fresh purple onions to top it off. Quite the treat for a chilly afternoon in Seattle.

Pho Thanh - Phoenix

The people who frequent Pho Thanh aren't just pho-lovers, they're "pho fanatics" and they let their love show for this place public on Facebook. Photo after photo shared on the restaurant's page are bound to make any hungry stomach grumble. The rich, brown broth and little drops of oil in their famous bowl, the Pho Tai, look like pockets of flavor waiting to be slurped up. Phoenix Magazine calls their pho one of the "coziest meal[s] in the valley," and people couldn't agree more.

Pho Thanh started with very humble beginnings (aka, just one dining room). But soon enough, one dining room turned into two dining rooms, and then three – and during rush hour it's still filled with people, packed like sardines, huddled over bowls of pho. Pho Thanh's dining room isn't the only thing bursting at the seams though, their menu with over 160 items to choose from, even gives the pickiest of eaters an item to love. Yelp reviewers frequently describe Pho Thanh as "aromatic" and "scrumptious", and Basis Bugle raved about their pho being a "godly elixir of life". While their pho isn't certain to give you nine extra lives, it's definitely worth slurping loudly about.

Mopho - New Orleans

Who would have ever thought Creole, Southern comfort and Vietnamese food would be a match made in heaven? Chef Michael Gulotta thought so after being tired of having to drive "all the way ... To the Mississippi River" just to get a healing bowl of pho. So, Mopho was born out of an old bookstore. The lovechild of "drunk waiters" and chefs with a passion for spice and everything nice. They're certainly "authentically non-traditional" but in a good way because Louisiana is guzzling it up. Mopho has over 1,100 reviews and 4.4 stars on Google whereas TripAdvisor boasts a 4.5 stars with people calling it "innovative", "refreshing", and a taste of "Vietnamese fusion".

They only offer four different kinds of pho: beef, chicken, vegetable, and hangover (aka, all the meats and a poached egg), and they perfect it all down to the broth with a Creole-inspired twang. While it has the vibes of a "college bar", Mopho's menu is a creative culinary experience to be enjoyed (per Conde Naste Traveler). Chef Gulotta definitely knows what he's doing by marrying the flavors, kicks, and lickable tastes of Vietnam with Louisiana. So don't be afraid to ask for more pho here.

Pho 777 - Conover, North Carolina

If hole-in-the-wall joints can be a living testament to not judge a book by its cover then Pho 777 is the scripture that rings that sentiment true. In fact, it should probably be an unspoken rule that the smelliest pho joints are probably the tastiest. Because according to Visit Hickory Metro, Pho 777 in North Carolina has an aroma that smacks you in the face, but its pho sets "Hickory apart." Pho 777 is probably one of the most unknown joints out of all the restaurants listed here, it only has around 600 reviews on Google and Yelp combined, but it's worth mentioning for several reasons. It's cheap, authentic, and tastes like pho that's "reserved for city life".

Even Redditors on r/foodporn, a quite finicky crowd, upvoted a picture of pho made by Pho 777 over 1,600 times. Whether they were just hungry or craving an herbal bowl remains to be discovered, but this family-owned business is surely doing something right. Even though this unassuming little spot in central North Carolina seems like there's not much to be desired, its regularly packed dining area says otherwise.

Pho 75 - Philadelphia

Would you ever travel an hour and thirty minutes to see a lover? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't – but one thing is for sure, some New Yorkers travel that time and more to get pho from Pho 75 in Philadelphia. This place was considered a hangover cure by Anthony Bourdain himself and one Yelp foodie called it the "best place to lose [her] pho-ginity". Even the small, bustling subreddit r/pho dedicated to everything pho left rave praise about the place. One Redditor said they could "taste [it] in [their] soul" just by looking at the photo. 

Reservations are definitely needed on weekends if you plan on waltzing over to Pho 75, but don't worry about getting lost. According to Pho 75's website, that's a hard feat to accomplish with their "huge yellow banner" that has "Pho 75 written in red block letters at least six times" (per Pho 75).

While the restaurant and its praise may be loud and proud, its bowls of pho are actually extremely easy on the wallet. A large bowl of pho will only cost you $6.75 here and it goes a long way. They have everything you'd expect plus an accompanying plate of piled high fresh Thai basil, bean sprouts, and more to garnish. A fan favorite here seems to be either the chicken pho which has three different options of dark, white, or combination meat or the eye-round steak pho with a hearty mixture of well-done flank, brisket, tendon, and beef tripe.

Hai Hai - Minneapolis

At Hai Hai in Minneapolis,  Vietnamese food equals fun, the food here isn't your traditional fare, and people are loving it (their Instagram has over 20k followers). Its backstory is unique. Before being the Southeast Asian dreamscape it currently is, the original location used to be a dive bar and strip club (via Hai Hai's website). 

After a successful rise to culinary stardom upon the sister restaurant, Hola Arepa, Hai Hai was born out of inspiration. An inspiration to bring Vietnam to the Midwest. The self-taught chef and co-owner, Christina Nguyen designed dishes that reminded her of the food she'd eat "in Vietnamese Sunday school basements". With the help of her partner and Hai Hai owner, Birk Grudem, Hai Hai reinvented the wheel on Vietnamese street food and the praise came pouring out. "Great atmosphere", "fun hospitality", and "fresher than you can believe" are some of the raves behind Hai Hai's 4.5-star reviews on Google.

Food & Wine described Hai Hai as the "bright and brilliant restaurant" Minnesota desperately needed. The mustard yellow exterior isn't hard to spot. Upon entering Hai Hai, you're met with cascading plants and a turquoise wonderland. The artful presentation keeps going from drink to meal, with ornate bowls and intricate plates. And while their pho isn't traditional by any means (aka, it's pho benedict), this place was worth putting on the list because we couldn't resist sharing their love of taking Vietnamese food to new heights.