Different types of Pho and where to have it in Ho Chi Minh City

VIETNAM promises you the best-tasting Pho ever accompanying the diverse styles of this dish you can hardly find elsewhere in the world.

Different types of Pho and where to have it in Ho Chi Minh City
Northern Beef Pho. Photo by Markus Winkler/Unsplash

Our country promises you the best-tasting Pho ever accompanying the diverse styles of this dish you can hardly find elsewhere in the world. Coming to this country with ease because we’re about to provide you with A detailed guide to Pho dishes and which restaurants in Saigon serve the best Pho. 

Beef Pho – Pho Bo

If you refer to Pho, locals will likely relate to Beef pho. This type of Pho is the most well-known and favorite one in the country.

There are some variants of Beef Pho because of the different origins of the dishes. Those are Northern-styled beef Pho and beef Pho in southern Vietnam. The good news is that you can find all variants of this dish in Ho Chi Minh city.

Northern-styled beef Pho.

This dish can be served in a rare or a well-done version of beef slides once the boiling broth is added to the bowl. Usually, locals use beef stock and bones for the broth. They then add ginger, onion, fish sauce, anise, cloves, and sugar for seasoning. The course will be served with flat rice noodles and thin slices of raw beef once the boiling broth is added to the bowl.

Southern Beef Pho. Photo by Marek Minor/Unsplash

Southern beef Pho

It is a more complex version of beef-based Pho using different assorted cuts and parts of beef with more. Usually, people use beef bones, shank, tails, and neck to cook the broth, while thin slides brisket (aka Gau in Vietnamese), flank, eye-round stake, tripe, tendon, raw thin-slide beef are for the topping. 


02 – Chicken Pho – Pho ga

Chicken Pho. Photo by Huynh Anh Duong/Unsplash

The dish is popular among the northern provinces of Vietnam. Chicken Pho is locals’ favorite due to the broth’s lighter and sweet lingering flavors, carefully prepared by hours of cooking pork bones, chicken stock, onions, purple onion, ginger, anise, and cinnamon. Locals then use chicken dark & white meat, skin, rice noodles, shallot, green onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, and Thai basil to fulfill the tasting experience of the bowl.


03- Stir-fried Pho – Pho Xao

Stir-fried Pho. Photo by mykitchies.com

If you crave the texture of flat rice noodles and the savory flavor of Pho but don’t want something soupy, you should consider this version. Conventionally, locals use similar ingredients to beef pho and chicken pho for the dish. However, instead of serving with broth, they stir fry the ingredients. The dishes are seasoned with black pepper, chilly oil,  oyster sauce, soy sauce, or fish sauce depend on each restaurant. Then it will be served with a plate of fresh herbs such as basil, mint, and iceberg lettuce. 


04 – Mixed Pho – Pho Tron

Mixed Pho. Photo by @linhchimm

Pho Tron is another dry version of Pho; however, instead of stir fry all ingredients, people only stir fry the marinated meats.

As the hero of the dish, chicken or beef meats (depending on your choice of proteins) are marinated with pepper, salts, ginger, garlic, lime juice, and five spices powders. Once the meats are stir-fried, people mix them with other ingredients such as fresh vegetables and herbs, beans sprouts, dry shallots, roasted peanut, rice noodles, and sweet-sour dressing.


05 – Sour Pho – Pho Chua

Sour Pho. Photo by damanfood

This plate is a unique tasting type of Pho that originates from Lang Son, a northern province of Vietnam.

Although this dish is not as popular as beef and chicken pho, the flavor of sour Pho is delightful and unique.

The authentic version of Sour Pho is a combination of pink rice noodles, roasted peanuts, soy sauce, sour pickle soup, and Northen sauce. Another version is served in two separated parts comprising a dry bowl and a separate broth on the side. Pink rice noodles, fried potato, pig’s liver, and roasted duck meats are dry ingredients, while the broth is prepared by using water, garlic, vinegar, and sugar. 


06 – Vegan Pho – Pho Chay

Vegan Pho. Photo by delightfulplate.com

In a Buddhism-influence country like Vietnam, vegan Pho is famous and easy to find in any vegan/ vegetarian restaurants or eateries in Ho Chi Minh city.

Locals stew the broth for hours using mushrooms, carrot, radish, ginger, onions, and spices (cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, and black cardamon) to create the natural sweetness for the soup. Once the broth is ready, it will be added to the bean sprouts, mushrooms, tofu, and flat rice noodle bowl. The dish’s flavor can also be enriched using other vegetables such as Pak Choi, leek, chili, and herbs.


07 – Pho Roll – Pho Cuon

Pho Rolls. Photo by Feedyvn

Known as an appetizer,  Pho rolls are a light and refreshing tasting experience to start your meal.

In this version, people keep the broadsheet of rice noodles for wrapping the fillings instead of cutting it into thin, long strips like in the other versions of Pho. The stuffing of the Pho roll is stir-fried beef, pepper, onions, green lettuce, and herbs such as mint, cilantro, and perilla. The dish will be served with two dipping options, the hoisin sauce or traditional mix of fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili, and vinegar. 


Best restaurants served Pho in Ho Chi Minh City:

Pho Le

Pho Hoa Pasteur

Pho Hung

  • Dishes: Beef Pho, Chicken Pho, Pho Rolls
  • Address:
  • 241 Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, HCMC
  • 288 Nguyen Tri Phuong, Ward 4, District 10, HCMC
  • 23 D1 street, Him Lam Residence, Tân Hưng ward, District 7, HCMC
  • Price range: 342,000 – 100,000 VND
  • Opening hours: 6 a.m – 3 a.m
  • Phone:  0283 829 7943

Pho Quynh

Pho Chua Thanh

Vegan Pho Nhu

Nhu Quynh Tran for http://www.EVNExpress.net

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