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A bowl of beef noodle soup with basil and sprouts on the side.
Pho from Two Wheels.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

17 Flavor-Packed Bowls of Pho to Try in NYC

A range of styles to choose from

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Pho from Two Wheels.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater

Pho may have originated southeast of Hanoi but eventually it traveled all over Vietnam, with different versions developing in locales across the country. In New York, the Saigon style — heaped with herbs and sprouts, plied with multiple sauces and vinegars, and slightly sweet — was once the principal version, but that has been changing as the city’s dining scene evolves. Now, pho is more popular than ever — with versions not only deploying beef, but chicken, seafood, duck, and vegetables without meat as well. Here are some of our favorite spots to score a bowl, especially welcome as the weather cools and the rain comes down.

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Com Tam Ninh Kieu

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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, which has great beef balls, nice sliced steak, and an oniony savor. Chicken, vegan, and seafood versions are available. 

The appearance of Bánh in 2020 redefined the Vietnamese dining landscape, Suddenly we had new and novel banh mi, and unusual main ingredients like snails. There are currently four choices of pho, including pho ga and a vegetarian pho presented in the dry style.

A bowl of thick brown soup with another bowl of pale rice noodles on the side.
Pho bo with noodles on the side at Banh.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Two Wheels

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The menu of this West Side Vietnamese micro-cafe is comfortable despite its adherence to fast-casual principals. Two kinds of beef pho are offered with a choice of cuts, and Italian-style meatballs substituted for beef balls. 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 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

District Saigon

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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 barbecue-style smoked brisket, to which one may add things like beef balls and tendon. The broth is pleasantly simple and transparent, the noodles delicate and firm. Chicken pho is great, too.

Pho Hoang

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This Teochew restaurant offers a full range of southern Chinese and Southeast Asian specialties — including the selection of barbecue shown in the window — but devotes the most attention to Vietnamese food. The pho section of the menu presents nine varieties, including those focusing on duck, and a beef and pig foot combo that is wonderfully gluey.

A storefront with a green awning and ducks hanging in the window.
Pho Hoang is a Teochew restaurant specializing in Vietnamese fare.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Brasserie VietNam

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This new upscale Vietnamese in Greenwich Village right on Bleecker Street is great for people watching and the pho is substantial. It’s loaded with sliced raw ribeye and fatty oxtail, making the broth one of the richest in town. The garlic vinegar on the side is a welcome innovation.

A bowl with white noodles being pulled out and some fatty oxtail visible.
The pho at this self-proclaimed brasserie is loaded with oxtail and ribeye.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sao Mai

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The East Village offers several revisionist views of pho, but Sao Mai cooks up the doctrinaire kind, which means the pho is 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-style pho, this is where I go. Chicken, seafood, and vegetarian versions also offered.

Saigon Shack

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This wildly popular MacDougal Street mainstay 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

Madame Vo

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The handsome setting, with a 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 jalapeno comes on the side, along with bottles of hoisin and sriracha. The rice noodles are thicker than most.

Hanoi House

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Hanoi House turns out an unfussy pho propelled by 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

Cloud Vietnamese Restaurant

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Cloud Vietnamese is a new Lower East Side place with a few novelties on the menu, like flavored coffees. It also offers an exemplary bowl of pho bo, furnished with sliced steak, brisket, and beef balls, The fat-rimmed brisket is particularly good, and the broth on the mild side and heavily oniony. A small saucer is provided for the accompanying sauces — for dipping the meat, not dumping in the soup.

A bowl with condiments arrayed around it, and white noodles visible.
The pho at Cloud Vietnamese.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pho Grand

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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. Most customers ordered xe lua, the most deluxe version, because why not? 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

Kitchen Cô Út

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This offshoot of a banh mi shop on Elizabeth Street operated by Cô Út Trang has an ambitious Vietnamese menu, and one of its best dishes is pho ga in the northern style, a plainish but delicious chicken version of pho that’s becoming more popular partly due to the high cost of beef. Special attention has been paid to the noodles, and a beef version is available, too.

A bowl with white noodles being pulled upward with chopsticks.
Pho ga features shredded chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The menu explores the cooking of Laos and Thailand. 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. Based on a highly caramelized oxtail broth, the soup is furnished with a whole slew of dips, herbs, and add-ins, and the brisket 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

Pasteur Grill and Noodles

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Founded in 1987, 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

Thanh Da

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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.

Pho Rainbow

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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.

Com Tam Ninh Kieu

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, which has great beef balls, nice sliced steak, and an oniony savor. Chicken, vegan, and seafood versions are available. 

Bánh

The appearance of Bánh in 2020 redefined the Vietnamese dining landscape, Suddenly we had new and novel banh mi, and unusual main ingredients like snails. There are currently four choices of pho, including pho ga and a vegetarian pho presented in the dry style.

A bowl of thick brown soup with another bowl of pale rice noodles on the side.
Pho bo with noodles on the side at Banh.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Two Wheels

The menu of this West Side Vietnamese micro-cafe is comfortable despite its adherence to fast-casual principals. Two kinds of beef pho are offered with a choice of cuts, and Italian-style meatballs substituted for beef balls. 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 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

District Saigon

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 barbecue-style smoked brisket, to which one may add things like beef balls and tendon. The broth is pleasantly simple and transparent, the noodles delicate and firm. Chicken pho is great, too.

Pho Hoang

This Teochew restaurant offers a full range of southern Chinese and Southeast Asian specialties — including the selection of barbecue shown in the window — but devotes the most attention to Vietnamese food. The pho section of the menu presents nine varieties, including those focusing on duck, and a beef and pig foot combo that is wonderfully gluey.

A storefront with a green awning and ducks hanging in the window.
Pho Hoang is a Teochew restaurant specializing in Vietnamese fare.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Brasserie VietNam

This new upscale Vietnamese in Greenwich Village right on Bleecker Street is great for people watching and the pho is substantial. It’s loaded with sliced raw ribeye and fatty oxtail, making the broth one of the richest in town. The garlic vinegar on the side is a welcome innovation.

A bowl with white noodles being pulled out and some fatty oxtail visible.
The pho at this self-proclaimed brasserie is loaded with oxtail and ribeye.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sao Mai

The East Village offers several revisionist views of pho, but Sao Mai cooks up the doctrinaire kind, which means the pho is 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-style pho, this is where I go. Chicken, seafood, and vegetarian versions also offered.

Saigon Shack

This wildly popular MacDougal Street mainstay 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

Madame Vo

The handsome setting, with a 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 jalapeno comes on the side, along with bottles of hoisin and sriracha. The rice noodles are thicker than most.

Hanoi House

Hanoi House turns out an unfussy pho propelled by 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

Cloud Vietnamese Restaurant

Cloud Vietnamese is a new Lower East Side place with a few novelties on the menu, like flavored coffees. It also offers an exemplary bowl of pho bo, furnished with sliced steak, brisket, and beef balls, The fat-rimmed brisket is particularly good, and the broth on the mild side and heavily oniony. A small saucer is provided for the accompanying sauces — for dipping the meat, not dumping in the soup.

A bowl with condiments arrayed around it, and white noodles visible.
The pho at Cloud Vietnamese.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pho Grand

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. Most customers ordered xe lua, the most deluxe version, because why not? 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

Kitchen Cô Út

This offshoot of a banh mi shop on Elizabeth Street operated by Cô Út Trang has an ambitious Vietnamese menu, and one of its best dishes is pho ga in the northern style, a plainish but delicious chicken version of pho that’s becoming more popular partly due to the high cost of beef. Special attention has been paid to the noodles, and a beef version is available, too.

A bowl with white noodles being pulled upward with chopsticks.
Pho ga features shredded chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Khe-Yo

The menu explores the cooking of Laos and Thailand. 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. Based on a highly caramelized oxtail broth, the soup is furnished with a whole slew of dips, herbs, and add-ins, and the brisket 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

Pasteur Grill and Noodles

Founded in 1987, 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

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Thanh Da

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.

Pho Rainbow

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.

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