clock menu more-arrow no yes
A bowl of beef noodle soup with basil and sprouts on the side.
Pho from Two Wheels
Robert Sietsema/Eater

28 Flavor-Packed Bowls of Pho to Try in NYC

Eater critic Robert Sietsema’s top spots to get the Vietnamese dish

View as Map
Pho from Two Wheels
| Robert Sietsema/Eater

Pho may have started southeast of Hanoi but eventually it traveled all over Vietnam, and different versions became available in locales across the country. In New York, the Saigon type — heaped with herbs and sprouts and sweetened with sugar — has been the principal version, but that’s beginning to change as the city’s dining scene pumps up with new restaurants. Now, pho is more popular than ever — with versions not only deploying beef, but chicken, seafood, and vegetarian bowls as well. Here are some of our favorite spots to score a bowl.

Note: This represents an extensively revised version of a map first published March 6, 2017.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Com Tam Ninh Kieu

Copy Link
2641 Jerome Ave
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 365-2680

This brick-lined restaurant with ample tables lurks under the elevated 4 train tracks in Fordham Manor, in a small Cambodian neighborhood near Edgar Allen Poe’s country cottage. The pho is in the style of the Mekong Delta southwest of Saigon, with delicate rice noodles that don’t really seem to be the point of this mild soup, which has great beef balls, nice sliced steak, and an oniony savor. Chicken, vegan, and seafood versions are available. 

2. Saiguette

Copy Link
935 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 866-6888
Visit Website

Though this tiny Manhattan Valley spot has a seat or two for eating in, most customers prefer to carry out, which accounts for the odd way the pho is packaged: in deconstructed form, even when opting to decide to dine on the premises. The eye of round is brilliantly red and sits in the plastic tub with raw onions and noodles, until you uncork the rich brown broth and pour it in. A great version of pho, but only if assembled fast enough.

3. Two Wheels

Copy Link
426 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(646) 429-8661

The menu of chef Jonathan Vu’s Upper West Side newcomer is compact, the premises deep and comfortable despite its adherence to fast-casual principals. Two kinds of beef pho are offered with a choice of cuts, with variety cuts like tripe and tendon eliminated, and Italian-style meatballs substituted for beef balls. This is pho tailored for local tastes. The usual sprouts, basil, and fresh jalapeno accompany. Pick one meat for the lowest price, and be very satisfied with the soup, which uses a very nice beef broth of medium weight.

A bowl of brown brothed pho with the rice noodles floating on top and herbs and sprouts on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

4. Chi Dumpling & Noodles

Copy Link
1 W 58th St
New York, NY 10019

A food court dispenser of noodles and dumplings might be the last place you’d look for great pho, but here is an example that breaks the rule. On a menu of Chinese and Japanese soups, the pho stands out, with a rich and oily broth, some nice firm noodles, and sliced beef of exceptional quality. And the blue ceramic bowl it’s served in is an added plus — reminding you that, after all, you are dining in a luxury hotel. At $15, the price of the smallish bowl is above average.

5. Super HK Food Court, I Luv Pho

Copy Link
37-11 Main St
Queens, NY 11354
(718) 539-6868
Visit Website

Located in the laid-back downstairs Super HK supermarket food court, I Luv Pho presents a refreshingly simple and straightforward take on Vietnam’s national soup. The beef balls are particularly good and bouncy, and I’d recommend just getting the cut-price beef ball pho. Another advantage of this narrow stall is a generous hand with the beef, sprouts, and basil. Seating is profuse in the middle of the food court.

A soup filled with split beef balls, with a bowl of basil and leaves and sprouts on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

6. District Saigon

Copy Link
37-15 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 956-0007

The menu of this handsome, modernistic spot — something like a deep cave with an open kitchen — on Astoria’s rollicking Broadway plays fast and loose with conventional dishes as it reinvents them. District Saigon offers a version of pho with floating barbecue-style smoked brisket, to which one may add things like beef balls and tendon. The broth is pleasantly simple and transparent without a trace of sweetness, the noodles delicate and firm.

7. Just Pho

Copy Link
252 W 31st St
New York, NY 10001
(917) 261-7494
Visit Website

This parlor specializing in pho landed like a bombshell south of Penn Station in late 2019. Chef Trung Nguyen militantly serves the only soup in the Hanoi style, which means no basil or sprouts — a homemade chile and fish sauce vinegar is available for extra flavor — and a broth that has been labored over like a newborn baby. This is one of the city’s best bowls of pho, no doubt.

A pho with lots of green onions, and some very nice sliced beef cooking on the top of the broth. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

8. Sai Gon Dep

Copy Link
719 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 818-1188
Visit Website

Here is the rare place that specializes in chicken pho, known as pho ga. It comes with a dipping sauce of chicken fat and ginger, which has a pleasing orangish color, with a raw egg immersed in the broth, to be mixed in with your chopsticks. The Kips Bay premises has all sorts of blue accents and is handsomely turned out.

A chicken pho with an orange ginger dipping sauce for the morsels of poultry, and a raw egg floats just under the surface. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

9. Omai

Copy Link
158 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 633-0550
Visit Website

What if you don’t want a gigundo bowl of pho with a ponderously heavy and salty broth that you can’t finish? Chelsea’s Omai offers an elegant setting with white tablecloths, and a single light bowl of pho with broth like a French consommé. Floating only one type of beef, that bowl proves refreshing in its simplicity and at under $12, relatively inexpensive, too.

A bowl of pho front and center, with a spoonful of rice noodles raised up, and a plate of basil and cilantro in the background. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

10. Luu's Baguette

Copy Link
134 E 26th St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 679-8881
Visit Website

Luu’s is a sandwich shop specializing in banh mi that caters to students from nearby Baruch College. Though it offers pho only as a sideline, that pho is spectacular. The rice noodles are diaphanous, the brisket fatty and coarsely textured. The raw onions strewn on top have been selected for their sweetness.

11. Sao Mai

Copy Link
203 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 358-8880
Visit Website

The East Village is ripe for a revisionist view of pho, and several new places are willing to offer it. But Sao Mai is a doctrinaire Chinatown kind of place, which means the pho is dedicatedly Saigon-style, with the usual plate of sprouts and herbs and a half-dozen sauces and pickled peppers offered to doctor the soup. When I get nostalgic for the Chinatown pho I first tasted 20 years ago, this is where I go. Chicken, seafood, and vegetarian versions also offered.

12. Saigon Shack

Copy Link
114 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 228-0588
Visit Website

This wildly popular MacDougal Street institution offers what is probably the richest version of pho in town. The unabashedly aggressive broth is heavily laden with tallow, and an entire beef rib — sloughing a substantial quantity of beef — is thrust in the middle of the soup, eclipsing every other ingredient including the noodles. Ask for an extra lime wedge.

A giant beef rib sits in the middle of this bowl of pho. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

13. Madame Vo

Copy Link
212 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003
(917) 261-2115
Visit Website

The handsome setting, with a red cyclo (bicycle rickshaw) in the front window, is reason enough to visit this East Village spot. The pho from chef Jimmy Ly is good, in a Saigon sort of way. The “Madame Vo” version features flank steak, bone marrow, and — best of all, to my way of thinking — bouncy beef balls. A plate of fresh basil, sprouts, and jalapenos comes on the side, along with bottles of hoisin and sriracha. The broth is said to have been boiled for 24 hours, and the rice noodles are thicker than most and perhaps more al dente.

14. Hanoi Soup Shop

Copy Link
115 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
(646) 692-9130
Visit Website

Spawned as a casual, counter-service branch of Hanoi House just down the block, Hanoi Soup Shop turns out an unfussy pho propelled by onions. cilantro, and green onions. The broth is particularly strong, having been boiled for 30 hours and seemingly devoid of sweet spices. Don’t miss the pickled garlic vinegar and house hot sauce, for adding to the soup or dipping the meat in.

Pho turned bright green with scallions and cilantro. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

15. V-Nam Cafe

Copy Link
20 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009
(212) 780-6020
Visit Website

This pink shoebox of a place — situated where the cabs roar up First Avenue from Houston Street at the gateway to the East Village — offers a dark and rich pho broth based on oxtails with only one kind of (sliced) beef thrown in, refreshing in its simplicity. Rice noodles are flat and skinnier than most. Chicken and vegetable versions also available. A surprising range of other, rarer Vietnamese dishes graces the relatively short menu, including fish in red curry.

A bowl of soup with a very dark broth, raw beef and onions floating on top. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

16. Van Da

Copy Link
234 E 4th St
New York, NY 10009
(917) 994-4781
Visit Website

Of course, the word “pho” refers to the pale rice noodles that are the point of the soup, not the broth or the beef. That means it’s fair game to include a stir-fry of the plain noodles in this pho round-up. Chef Hannah Wong at the modern Van Da divides dishes into broad regions, and, as it’s done in the territory north of Hanoi, pho are offered as a stir fry, in this case also containing trumpet mushrooms and mustard greens, elegant and simple.

A bowl of pho noodles tossed with a julienne of trumpet mushrooms. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

17. Pho Grand

Copy Link
277 Grand St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 965-5366
Visit Website

For a time late in the last century, this was the city’s favorite pho spot — and not only because it was located on the Lower East Side. Indeed, the pho was fine, with a light broth that tasted slightly of five-spice powder, sturdy noodles, and a bewildering number of beef types dropped in the bowl. Most customers ordered xe lua, the most deluxe version, because why not? Later, we learned to love some beef choices more than others. Note: There’s a new branch downstairs at the Essex Market with a limited menu.

A bowl of pho with sliced raw steak floating on top. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

18. An Choi

Copy Link
85 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 226-3700
Visit Website

This delightful cafe whose decor channels a street market in Vietnam is the work of Vietnamese-American expats from Houston, who are also responsible for Greenpoint’s Di An Di. The beef pho shows stylizations found in the evolved Houston versions of the soup: love of beef balls, for example, and a rustic broth from marrow bones extensively boiled until they almost dissolve. The serpentine dining room is a great place to kick back with a cup of Vietnamese coffee and a bowl of soup on a spring day with the windows flung open.

A bowl of pho with a handle seen in the open window of the restaurant. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

19. Pho Vietnam

Copy Link
Read Review |
87 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 775-0999

When this place first appeared on Chrystie Street in 2014, it was a revelation. A giant locomotive on display made punning reference to the largest bowl of beef pho, known as xe lua (“train”). More than a dozen other permutations of beef pho are offered, plus chicken and shrimp versions, both of which deploy the same broth. Shrimp in beef broth? Oddly, it works. The beef balls are particularly good. You can have them on the side for dipping in sauces, as it’s done in Houston.

A bowl of pho with a smaller bowl of beef balls on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

20. Nha Trang Centre

Copy Link
148 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 941-9292

Named after a coastal city in southern Vietnam, Nha Trang Centre began as a handsomer offshoot of Nha Trang One, which was one of the earliest Baxter Street Vietnamese cafes, pioneering a menu that parsed beef pho into a dozen versions. Its offspring experiments with the broth, not confining itself to the most conventional. In fact, one of the best things on the menu is pho bo satee, which adds peanut paste to the beef broth, making it taste almost West African, and doubly so because it packs a bit of heat.

Pho with a brown peanut broth. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

21. Khe-Yo

Copy Link
157 Duane St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 587-1089
Visit Website

The dinner menu explores the cooking of Laos and Thailand at this Tribeca restaurant, while the lunch and brunch menu goes pop, principally with chicken wings, bowls, and banh mis. The biggest and most impressive feed, however, is an excellent bowl of pho in the style of Nong-Khai, a northeast Thai town on the Mekong River, attesting to the migration of the soup across national borders. Based on a highly caramelized oxtail broth, the soup is furnished with a whole slew of dips, herbs, and add-ins, and the brisket included therein is delightfully rich and gooey.

A stoneware bowl of pho with a dark broth and slices of beef floating on top. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

22. Pasteur Grill and Noodles

Copy Link
85 Baxter St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 608-3656
Visit Website

Founded decades ago under a different name, Pasteur Grill and Noodles was one of the restaurants to establish Baxter as the city’s earliest Vietnamese food strips. The pho is fine, with delicate translucent noodles and a plain broth not particularly fussed-over. The place is a favorite of the jury-duty crowd and was one of the first to also serve pho ga (chicken pho).

A bowl of chicken soup with greens and shredded chicken on top. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

23. Pho Bar

Copy Link
43 Mott St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 267-5400
Visit Website

Pho Bar is a jazzy spot with lots of murals, and some of the most diverse and interesting pho in town. One features spicy beef rib, while a vegetarian version highlights portabella mushrooms. My favorite drops big bulbous oxtails into the broth, and there’s another with snow crab. Both Saigon and Hanoi versions available, and a big yellow neon sign burns on the wall, “Crazy Rich Broth.” Note: The Greenwich Village branch has a much shorter menu.

A big old oxtail sits in the middle of a bowl of pho. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

24. Bunker

Copy Link
99 Scott Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 386-4282
Visit Website

Formerly located on a bleak stretch of Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood, this well-loved restaurant migrated to an even more obscure corner of Bushwick. While it previously served only pho ga (chicken soup), now it offers a Hanoi-style take on pho bo, with rare beefsteak and brisket, plus oxtail and beef ribs available as add ins. The dark broth comes sprinkled with fried shallots that impart a nice crunch. The rice noodles are almost as thick as udon, and a plate of sprouts, onions, and basil make this a sort of Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh hybrid. Pho ga still available, and slightly preferred. The newer branch at the Dekalb Market doesn’t enjoy the same reputation.

25. Thanh Da

Copy Link
6008 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 492-3253

The sliced eye of round thrown into the soup is so rare it’s still mooing, at this Sunset Park Vietnamese stalwart famous for its banh mi sandwiches. The dining room offers views of the street, and it couldn’t be cozier, as the neighborhood population darts in for a coffee or a pastry from the bakery case. The beef pho is way above average, and the accompanying herbs and sprouts sing with freshness in one of the city’s quintessential Saigon-style bowls.

26. Pho Tay Ho

Copy Link
2351 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 449-0199

This Bensonhurst gem turns out some of the sparest pho in town. The broth is honest and plain, the noodles flat and flavorful, and you won’t get a headache trying to identify all the kinds of beef inside. There’s plenty of seating, too.

27. Little Saigon Pearl

Copy Link
9 Bay 35th St
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 996-8808

The modest but charming Little Saigon Pearl sits in an obscure location, dwarfed by the other Bensonhurst and Bath Beach Vietnamese restaurants. Evoking a stall in Ho Chi Minh City’s Cho Ben Thanh market, the menu specializes in street food, including mummy-wrapped and deep-fried shrimp, mint-laced summer rolls, and a pho with a nearly opaque broth offering a choice of four beef add-ins.

28. Pho Rainbow

Copy Link
42 New Dorp Plz S
Staten Island, NY 10306
(718) 987-1084

This small unpretentious shoebox of a place poised over the light rail station at New Dorp really rocks the pho, and they’ll let you depart from the pre-set beef combinations, which is how I scored a bowl with just brisket and beef balls — my two favorite inclusions. The broth is pleasantly plain, and not overly laden with cinnamon or five-spice powder, and the noodles are soft and of medium circumference. The raw white onion and cilantro make the broth soar.

Loading comments...

1. Com Tam Ninh Kieu

2641 Jerome Ave, Bronx, NY 10468

This brick-lined restaurant with ample tables lurks under the elevated 4 train tracks in Fordham Manor, in a small Cambodian neighborhood near Edgar Allen Poe’s country cottage. The pho is in the style of the Mekong Delta southwest of Saigon, with delicate rice noodles that don’t really seem to be the point of this mild soup, which has great beef balls, nice sliced steak, and an oniony savor. Chicken, vegan, and seafood versions are available. 

2641 Jerome Ave
Bronx, NY 10468

2. Saiguette

935 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025

Though this tiny Manhattan Valley spot has a seat or two for eating in, most customers prefer to carry out, which accounts for the odd way the pho is packaged: in deconstructed form, even when opting to decide to dine on the premises. The eye of round is brilliantly red and sits in the plastic tub with raw onions and noodles, until you uncork the rich brown broth and pour it in. A great version of pho, but only if assembled fast enough.

935 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10025

3. Two Wheels

426 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
A bowl of brown brothed pho with the rice noodles floating on top and herbs and sprouts on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The menu of chef Jonathan Vu’s Upper West Side newcomer is compact, the premises deep and comfortable despite its adherence to fast-casual principals. Two kinds of beef pho are offered with a choice of cuts, with variety cuts like tripe and tendon eliminated, and Italian-style meatballs substituted for beef balls. This is pho tailored for local tastes. The usual sprouts, basil, and fresh jalapeno accompany. Pick one meat for the lowest price, and be very satisfied with the soup, which uses a very nice beef broth of medium weight.

426 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

4. Chi Dumpling & Noodles

1 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

A food court dispenser of noodles and dumplings might be the last place you’d look for great pho, but here is an example that breaks the rule. On a menu of Chinese and Japanese soups, the pho stands out, with a rich and oily broth, some nice firm noodles, and sliced beef of exceptional quality. And the blue ceramic bowl it’s served in is an added plus — reminding you that, after all, you are dining in a luxury hotel. At $15, the price of the smallish bowl is above average.

1 W 58th St
New York, NY 10019

5. Super HK Food Court, I Luv Pho

37-11 Main St, Queens, NY 11354
A soup filled with split beef balls, with a bowl of basil and leaves and sprouts on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Located in the laid-back downstairs Super HK supermarket food court, I Luv Pho presents a refreshingly simple and straightforward take on Vietnam’s national soup. The beef balls are particularly good and bouncy, and I’d recommend just getting the cut-price beef ball pho. Another advantage of this narrow stall is a generous hand with the beef, sprouts, and basil. Seating is profuse in the middle of the food court.

37-11 Main St
Queens, NY 11354

6. District Saigon

37-15 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11103

The menu of this handsome, modernistic spot — something like a deep cave with an open kitchen — on Astoria’s rollicking Broadway plays fast and loose with conventional dishes as it reinvents them. District Saigon offers a version of pho with floating barbecue-style smoked brisket, to which one may add things like beef balls and tendon. The broth is pleasantly simple and transparent without a trace of sweetness, the noodles delicate and firm.

37-15 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11103

7. Just Pho

252 W 31st St, New York, NY 10001
A pho with lots of green onions, and some very nice sliced beef cooking on the top of the broth. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This parlor specializing in pho landed like a bombshell south of Penn Station in late 2019. Chef Trung Nguyen militantly serves the only soup in the Hanoi style, which means no basil or sprouts — a homemade chile and fish sauce vinegar is available for extra flavor — and a broth that has been labored over like a newborn baby. This is one of the city’s best bowls of pho, no doubt.

252 W 31st St
New York, NY 10001

8. Sai Gon Dep

719 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10016
A chicken pho with an orange ginger dipping sauce for the morsels of poultry, and a raw egg floats just under the surface. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Here is the rare place that specializes in chicken pho, known as pho ga. It comes with a dipping sauce of chicken fat and ginger, which has a pleasing orangish color, with a raw egg immersed in the broth, to be mixed in with your chopsticks. The Kips Bay premises has all sorts of blue accents and is handsomely turned out.

719 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10016

9. Omai

158 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
A bowl of pho front and center, with a spoonful of rice noodles raised up, and a plate of basil and cilantro in the background. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

What if you don’t want a gigundo bowl of pho with a ponderously heavy and salty broth that you can’t finish? Chelsea’s Omai offers an elegant setting with white tablecloths, and a single light bowl of pho with broth like a French consommé. Floating only one type of beef, that bowl proves refreshing in its simplicity and at under $12, relatively inexpensive, too.

158 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011

10. Luu's Baguette

134 E 26th St, New York, NY 10010

Luu’s is a sandwich shop specializing in banh mi that caters to students from nearby Baruch College. Though it offers pho only as a sideline, that pho is spectacular. The rice noodles are diaphanous, the brisket fatty and coarsely textured. The raw onions strewn on top have been selected for their sweetness.

134 E 26th St
New York, NY 10010

11. Sao Mai

203 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

The East Village is ripe for a revisionist view of pho, and several new places are willing to offer it. But Sao Mai is a doctrinaire Chinatown kind of place, which means the pho is dedicatedly Saigon-style, with the usual plate of sprouts and herbs and a half-dozen sauces and pickled peppers offered to doctor the soup. When I get nostalgic for the Chinatown pho I first tasted 20 years ago, this is where I go. Chicken, seafood, and vegetarian versions also offered.

203 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003

12. Saigon Shack

114 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
A giant beef rib sits in the middle of this bowl of pho. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This wildly popular MacDougal Street institution offers what is probably the richest version of pho in town. The unabashedly aggressive broth is heavily laden with tallow, and an entire beef rib — sloughing a substantial quantity of beef — is thrust in the middle of the soup, eclipsing every other ingredient including the noodles. Ask for an extra lime wedge.

114 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

13. Madame Vo

212 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

The handsome setting, with a red cyclo (bicycle rickshaw) in the front window, is reason enough to visit this East Village spot. The pho from chef Jimmy Ly is good, in a Saigon sort of way. The “Madame Vo” version features flank steak, bone marrow, and — best of all, to my way of thinking — bouncy beef balls. A plate of fresh basil, sprouts, and jalapenos comes on the side, along with bottles of hoisin and sriracha. The broth is said to have been boiled for 24 hours, and the rice noodles are thicker than most and perhaps more al dente.

212 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003

14. Hanoi Soup Shop

115 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Pho turned bright green with scallions and cilantro. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Spawned as a casual, counter-service branch of Hanoi House just down the block, Hanoi Soup Shop turns out an unfussy pho propelled by onions. cilantro, and green onions. The broth is particularly strong, having been boiled for 30 hours and seemingly devoid of sweet spices. Don’t miss the pickled garlic vinegar and house hot sauce, for adding to the soup or dipping the meat in.

115 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009

15. V-Nam Cafe

20 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009
A bowl of soup with a very dark broth, raw beef and onions floating on top. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This pink shoebox of a place — situated where the cabs roar up First Avenue from Houston Street at the gateway to the East Village — offers a dark and rich pho broth based on oxtails with only one kind of (sliced) beef thrown in, refreshing in its simplicity. Rice noodles are flat and skinnier than most. Chicken and vegetable versions also available. A surprising range of other, rarer Vietnamese dishes graces the relatively short menu, including fish in red curry.

20 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009

Related Maps

16. Van Da

234 E 4th St, New York, NY 10009
A bowl of pho noodles tossed with a julienne of trumpet mushrooms. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Of course, the word “pho” refers to the pale rice noodles that are the point of the soup, not the broth or the beef. That means it’s fair game to include a stir-fry of the plain noodles in this pho round-up. Chef Hannah Wong at the modern Van Da divides dishes into broad regions, and, as it’s done in the territory north of Hanoi, pho are offered as a stir fry, in this case also containing trumpet mushrooms and mustard greens, elegant and simple.

234 E 4th St
New York, NY 10009

17. Pho Grand

277 Grand St, New York, NY 10002
A bowl of pho with sliced raw steak floating on top. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

For a time late in the last century, this was the city’s favorite pho spot — and not only because it was located on the Lower East Side. Indeed, the pho was fine, with a light broth that tasted slightly of five-spice powder, sturdy noodles, and a bewildering number of beef types dropped in the bowl. Most customers ordered xe lua, the most deluxe version, because why not? Later, we learned to love some beef choices more than others. Note: There’s a new branch downstairs at the Essex Market with a limited menu.

277 Grand St
New York, NY 10002

18. An Choi

85 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002