The Best Pho In Hanoi - A Full Guide To Pho Hanoi
Pho is a popular traditional food in Vietnam, a steaming bowl of pho noodle soup is never hard to find. The dish consists of flat rice noodles in a light soup, chicken, or beef with typical spices, usually accompanied by lime, lime leaves, and chili. Most people just feel good no matter where or which vendor or restaurant they enjoy Pho, thanks to the sophistication of this food.
Of course, although there are hundreds of places selling Pho in Hanoi, there is always some vendors and restaurants with unique and perfect Pho recipe that are the most popular places with local taste, and below is our list of where you can try the best Pho in Hanoi!
Pho Bo Hanoi - Hanoi Beef Pho
Through the history and stories, it is believed that the origin of Pho was from Northern Vietnam, and it became well-known when people brought it to Hanoi in the last century, making it to be a snack then became breakfast and now the food which Vietnamese can eat whenever they want, either it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper or snack.
There are 2 most popular types of Pho in Hanoi:
- Pho Bo (Beef Noodles): The dish is served with medium rare beef and then added umami broth, usually accompanied by a poached egg. There are several beef meat options for gourmets: flank steak, fatty brisket, and tendons.
- Pho Ga (Chicken Noodles): Split chicken breast is added to the broth made from bones with some spices such as spring onion, chili, and coriander
Pho Bo And Pho Ga - 2 Main Kinds Of Pho In Hanoi
However, it seems like most Hanoians still prefer Pho Bo not only because of its taste but also the traditional essence of the dish, as many people believe that Pho Bo is the original Pho Hanoi.
1. Pho Man Hanoi
- Address: No.1 Gam Cau Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 06:00 - 13:00
- Price: From VND 80,000/ USD $3.5
Many locals said that this small business is where you can get the best of Pho Hanoi. Just like many other popular Pho restaurants in Hanoi, Pho Man is a family business, the only difference is that, until now, when the second generation of the family takes over the restaurant, Pho Man has become a symbol of a unique local taste of Hanoian.
The word “Man” means “salty”, which describes fully and directly the taste of Pho here – it is salty! Why make salty Pho? The old owner of this brand said that it would give people a strong impression of the taste of Pho here and remember how unique it is.
Most people think that it is so hard to eat anything salty, especially people who love the light taste. However, the truth is that there are many people, who obviously do not like the salty taste but still keep returning to Pho Man to have breakfast even though to finish a bowl of Pho here, they have to order 2 more glasses of iced tea, drink continuously while eating to ease the salty taste of the soup.
Pho Man Hanoi In Gam Cau Street
Why do locals love Pho Man? The first reason is just like the owner said: because it is salty, which makes it unique, long-lived remembered, and people become addicted to it easily after giving it a try for the second or third time. Another reason is because of the beef here and, to be more detailed: the beef heel muscle (the best part of beef shanks) or, in Vietnamese: “loi rua”. Many people said that they come back to Pho Man because the beef heel muscle here is the best in the city as it is totally fresh, moist, and juicy, especially when cooked at the rare or medium-rare level.
Besides the salty taste, which is not suitable for everyone, the other minus point of Pho Man is that the price is quite high, which is considered the highest price among the most popular Pho restaurant in Hanoi (a bowl of beef heel muscle Pho and an ice-tea cost about almost VND 100,000/ USD $4 ). However, as you do not eat Pho every day, paying a bit more for an amazing bowl of Pho is worthy, right?
2. Pho Khoi Hoi
- Address: No.50 Hang Vai Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 06:00 - 21:30
- Price: From VND 60,000/ USD $2.5
Hang Vai Street is just about 500m long; however, on this small street, there are two most popular Pho restaurants in Hanoi, and Pho Khoi Hoi is the first choice on this street which is very famous with both locals and foreigners.
Pho Khoi Hoi opens all day long, from early in the morning until sold out at night. The most special thing about Pho Khoi Hoi is that you have multiple choices for beef Pho here, which you hardly can find at other famous Pho restaurants in Hanoi, such as eye round steak, brisket, flank, shank, beef heel muscle, and even bone marrow or tendon. The signature here is Pho with brisket/flank/bone marrow, or you can mix them up.
Pho Khoi Hoi In Hang Vai Street
There is a tip to have the best Pho here: you should eat Pho at Khoi Hoi restaurant before 10:00 A.M, as people believe that the soup flavor is perfect in the morning. However, if you cannot wake up early in the morning, you can still come to Pho Khoi Hoi in the afternoon or evening for dinner, as the difference between morning Pho and afternoon Pho here is not that clear.
In fact, you may have to eat Pho here every day to feel the small difference in Pho broth flavor as in the morning, it is cooked by the husband, and in the evening, the wife cooks it, the same recipe, but different chef creates distinct flavors.
3. Pho Lam Hanoi
- Address: No.48 Hang Vai Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 07:00 - 22:00
- Price: From VND 60,000/ USD $2.5
Pho Lam is an absolutely Hanoi local Pho restaurant with old-style noodles (thick and small) and hot broth with light flavor (no fat at all). Most of the customers here are locals living in Hanoi who are attracted by the typical Hanoi Pho flavor of Pho Lam.
Just like Pho Khoi Hoi, there is also a tip for eating the perfect Pho at Lam restaurant: you should eat Pho here before 9 a.m. The reason for this tip is due to the quality of beef and broth here. As Pho Lam is so crowded from its opening time until sold out, the signature beef brisket point, beef heel muscle, and the tendon may run out quite soon, so if you come so late, the choice of beef is limited.
Pho Lam Hanoi In Hang Vai Street
Besides, if that day is crazily busy, the restaurant may be out of the original broth, which had been cooked since midnight, which forces them to replace it with the new broth, which cannot be cooked enough time. Therefore, the quality of the soup may not be kept perfectly.
Although you have to wake up so early, a bowl of hot and savory Pho at Lam restaurant, which shows you the perfect view of the traditional Pho Hanoi taste, is definitely worth it.
4. Pho Ly Quoc Su
This brand name confuses not only the tourists but also the locals. As the brand “Pho Ly Quoc Su” now can be seen everywhere in the city, it is hard to identify which restaurant is the original with the best Pho in Hanoi. Well, there are only two Pho Ly Quoc Su restaurants where you should eat Pho.
- Pho Ly Quoc Su original
- Address: No.27 Phung Hung Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 06:00 - 19:00
- Price: From VND 50,000/USD $2.2
Many people think that when it is called Pho Ly Quoc Su, it must be at Ly Quoc Su Street (not only tourists but also a lot of Hanoi locals believe it). However, the truth is the original Pho Ly Quoc Su restaurant no longer stayed at Ly Quoc Su Street, they had moved to 27 Phung Hung Street for years but still kept the brand Pho Ly Quoc Su as it is so familiar to people who are their fans.
You have to note that there is no franchise Pho restaurant of Pho Ly Quoc Su original anywhere in Hanoi, their family has been cooking and selling Pho for many generations, and they do not sell their brand name or franchise it. Therefore, if you want to try the local taste and the original Pho Ly Quoc Su, just come and try it at 27 Phung Hung Street.
Pho Ly Quoc Su In Phung Hung Street
- Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
- Address: No.10 Ly Quoc Su Street
- Opening hours: 06:00 - 14:00 and 17:00 - 22:00
- Price: From VND 65,000/ USD $2.8
So there is really a Pho restaurant on Ly Quoc Su Street which was opened in 2005 compared with other famous Pho restaurants in Hanoi, which have been selling Pho for generations, Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su is still quite a new brand.
As its name, Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su is located at No.10 Ly Quoc Su Street, one of the busiest streets in the Hanoi Old Quarter area. As Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su is famous for foreign tourists, the restaurant is always crowded with people covering all tables fully, and there are still so many people queuing outside, waiting to have a seat inside the restaurant.
Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su In Ly Quoc Su Street
Despite its young age, Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su is now a brand that has the most copycat in Hanoi. While the restaurant has only 2 more franchised restaurants in Hanoi, you can see the panel with the same design as Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su (a simple orange panel with white words) everywhere in the city, but the name of the restaurant changed a little bit into “Pho Ly Quoc Su” and of course, the quality of food is not the same with the authentic Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su.
5. Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan
- Address: No.49 Bat Dan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 06:00 - 10:00 and 18:00 - 20:30
- Price: From VND 50,000/ USD $2.5
Pho Bat Dan or Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan is also a popular name with foreign tourists as it was mentioned in many online newspapers, blogs, vlogs, and even TV shows, channels, etc., as a typical suggestion for the best Pho Hanoi. Most of the tourists were happy with Pho Bat Dan which caused the long line queuing outside the restaurant almost every day.
However, when it comes to the local taste, Pho Bat Dan is a familiar topic of argument: some Hanoians say it is good, and some claim that its flavor is extremely normal, not impressive! Despite the controversy about the taste of Pho Bat Dan among locals, the long line with both foreigners and native residents outside the restaurant has not disappeared, and there is no signal that it will be shortened.
Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan In Bat Dan Street
The signature of Pho Bat Dan is Pho with medium-rare eye round steak (Pho Tai) in which the raw beef is tenderized, put on the top of the bowl of Pho then cooked by pouring the super-hot broth on it, which helps the beef soft, juicy and never be over-cooked.
5. Pho Thin Hanoi
- Address: No.13 Lo Duc Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 06:00 - 20:30
- Price: From VND 65,000/ USD $2.8
This is also a very popular Pho Hanoi restaurant among tourists but differentiates from Pho Gia Truyen Bat Dan, which has only one address on Bat Dan Street and has never been franchised. Pho Thin has franchised restaurants not only in Vietnam but also in some other countries like Tokyo (Japan) and Melbourne (Australia).
The Beef Pho at Pho Thin is not made traditionally. While the traditional Pho normally is a combination of savory broth with almost no fat and beef cooked perfectly, which create the most elegant and lightest flavor for the dish, Pho Thin makes Pho in a different way that impresses you with the green spring onion covered all the surface of the bowl, the beef was stir-fried instead of simmered, and the broth was so fatty because of the stir-fried beef.
Pho Thin In Lo Duc Street
Some people who are so familiar with the traditional elegant Pho may find it quite hard to understand how that weird cooking style of Pho Thin can attract so many people and help it become one of the most favorite Pho restaurants in Hanoi. In fact, due to the review of diners here, they stick with Pho Thin because of the huge amount of spring onion in the bowl and the special fatty soup, which was described as so savory and greasy, this dish makes them feel like eating a meaty and fat bomb but will never be gross because the spring onion is there to balance their taste.
To have a bowl of Pho Thin, the price is also not low, but according to some diners, the price is fair enough compared with the quality of Pho here and the amount of beef inside.
6. Pho Thin Bo Ho
- Address: No.61 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 05:00 - 13:00 and 06:00 - 20:30
- Price: From VND 50,000/ USD $2
Pho Thin Bo Ho or Pho Thin Dinh Tien Hoang is also called Pho Thin, like the restaurant above. However, it belongs to a different owner who only cooks traditional Pho. With more than 70 years of cooking and serving Pho experience, this small vendor is a reliable address with many loyal customers.
In 2019, Pho Thin Bo Ho was honored to have the chance to serve Pho for experts and journalists DPRK – USA Hanoi Summit, which was the very first time a small vendor was chosen to represent Pho Hanoi in an international political event.
Pho Thin Bo Ho In Dinh Tien Hoang Street
Before that event, even Hanoi locals could not distinguish Pho Thin Bo Ho and Pho Thin Lo Duc. Thanks to the chance to serve Pho Hanoi at the DPRK – USA Hanoi Summit, the small vendor Pho Thin Bo Ho once again can claim its position on the Pho Hanoi map as a traditional Pho vendor with almost a century of experience.
If one day you come to Hanoi, you should wake up soon, eat breakfast at Pho Thin Bo Ho, have a bowl of rare beef Pho here with some crunchy Quay (Yau Ja Kwai), a poached egg, a glass of iced tea, and enjoy the fresh air of Hanoi morning while admiring the peaceful beauty of Ho Hoan Kiem (Ho Guom or Sword Lake) which is right at the opposite side with Pho Thin Bo Ho vendor.
Pho Ga Hanoi - Hanoi Chicken Pho
As mentioned above, Pho Ga is not as popular as Pho Bo in Hanoi; however, Chicken Pho is claiming its position as the best Pho in Hanoi world gradually, after so many years, Beef Pho dominates the city.
1. Pho Ga Nguyet
- Address: No.5B Phu Doan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 06:00 - 10:00 and 17:00 - 06:00
- Price: from VND 65,000/ USD $2.8
This can be considered the most popular Pho Ga restaurant in Hanoi, where you can get the best Chicken Pho Hanoi and is not so far from Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su, so if you come to Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su and feel so tired of the long line queuing outside the restaurant, you absolutely should head to Pho Ga Nguyet on Phu Doan Street.
On the other hand, you cannot try Pho Ga Nguyet at any time you wish due to the special opening hours of this restaurant. In fact, Pho Ga Nguyet is a night vendor, it only opens from the late afternoon till the next morning and then is closed all day long until the next sunset.
Pho Ga Nguyet In Phu Doan Street
If you expect to have a big bowl full of chicken, green onions, noodles, and hot broth, Pho Ga Nguyet definitely can satisfy you. However, you have a better choice when coming to Pho Ga Nguyet instead of the traditional Pho in hot soup: a bowl of Dry Chicken Pho (Pho Ga Tron), and this is the signature dish of Pho Ga Nguyet.
- Dry Chicken Pho is a combination of warm white thin noodles mixed with savory sauce, topped with chicken (you can choose to have mixed chicken or chicken wing/leg/breast/back/feet/offal – the price will be varied due to the different chicken meat you choose), fried onions, peanuts, and some traditional herbs.
- No broth is put into the bowl of Pho Ga Tron; however, a small soup bowl will be served along with the dish.
2. Pho Hanh Hanoi
- Address: No.65 Lan Ong Street, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi
- Opening hours: 18:00 - 23:00
- Price: From VND 60,000/ USD $2.6
Only 15 minutes walking from Pho Ga Nguyet is its biggest rival - Pho Hanh. Opening at the same hours every day, selling the same menu at the same prices, these two Pho Ga vendors become one of the most popular controversial topics in the Hanoi culinary world.
So what is the difference between Pho Hanh comparing with Pho Ga Nguyet? The distinction is not so clear. However, some Pho Hanh fans said that the chicken used in Pho Hanh is better, the meat is fatter, and the amount of meat in each bowl is bigger.
Pho Hanh In Lan Ong Street
In addition, besides the popular Dry Chicken Pho (Pho Ga Tron), Pho Hanh also has a signature dish which is the top favorite of locals – Chicken salad with chicken feet. If you are not willing to try the feet, you can order the chicken salad only (vegetable & chicken meat), it still tastes amazing with sweet and sour Vietnamese traditional salad sauce, crunchy fresh vegetables, and soft juicy chicken meat.
3. Pho Ga Cham
- Address: No.64 - 68 Yen Ninh Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 07:00 - 17:30
- Price: From VND 70,000/ USD $3.0
Like Pho Man, Pho Ga Cham is a special existence in the “Pho Ga” map in Hanoi, the difference is that the broth at Pho Ga Cham is not salty like Pho Man, but the price is much higher which according to diners here: it’s insanely expensive!
From the inside out, Pho Ga Cham looks like many other Pho restaurants in Hanoi, casual style, it looks like a small vendor with small plastic tables and chairs, only a few waiters and waitresses, and no kitchen – the owner is also the chef who directly makes Pho for diners, and she cooks right at the front door of her restaurant. Although Pho Ga Cham opens at 2 houses No. 64 and No. 68 Yen Ninh Street, at the peak hour in the morning, it is so difficult to find a seat in Pho Ga Cham.
More than the taste, Pho Ga Cham has been known for its impressively high price and the cheapest bowl has the rates of the most expensive bowl in other Chicken Pho restaurants. Some people said that the taste of Pho Ga at Cham restaurant is so normal, and not worth its high price. However, with most of the diners who have eaten at Pho Ga Cham, especially its patrons and many gourmets, Chicken Pho at Cham is reasonably expensive.
Pho Ga Cham In Yen Ninh Street
Many Cham restaurant customers said that sometimes they have to pay VND 150,000/ USD $6.5 or more for a bowl of Chicken Pho at Cham, but they are all still happy with it. Like all Pho Ga restaurants in Hanoi, the price of Pho at Cham restaurant is different due to the types of chicken meat that diners choose, however, many restaurants have a menu with clear prices on it so diners can see what dishes they can afford, there is nothing like a menu at Cham and if you come here for the first time, you may be shocked of the bill after your meal, sometimes new customers do not eat Pho Ga at Cham restaurant again because of this.
So what makes Pho Ga Cham worth its super high price and becoming one of the best chicken pho restaurants in Hanoi? According to gourmets and many patrons of this restaurant, it is because of the perfect quality of chicken here and the huge amount of meat inside each bowl of Pho. It may be crazily expensive when it comes to the bill, however, when you think about the cost of that unique bowl of Pho, it sounds not so expensive anymore. On the other hand, it is highly recommended that if you want to try Pho Ga Cham, please bring along a lot of cash, and prepare a strong mind for taking the bill and making payment.
Many people say that traveling to Hanoi without trying the authentic Pho Hanoi means you did not come here, and it is exactly in a certain way because cuisine is an important cultural characteristic of any country, and Pho represents Vietnamese cuisine.
If you are planning to visit Hanoi, do not forget to note down one of the top things to do here: try a bowl of Pho Hanoi, either it is Pho Bo or Pho Ga when you have a chance to stay in our capital, you will never regret. However, there are many delicious street foods in Hanoi waiting for you to taste. Pack your suitcase and let's go with us!
Image sources: Internet
Questions & Answers (14)
any other local cuisine in Hanoi that is not to miss besides Pho? thanks in advance
Hanoi is a paradise for streetfood, there are many things you can try besides Pho, such as Banh Mi, Bun Rieu, Banh Cuon, Pho Cuon, Che (traditional sweet soup), etc.
Is 'quay' (deep fried dough) a side dish in every pho restaurant in Hanoi? Do I have to pay extra for this?
Yes, "Quay" is a side dish in every Pho restaurant in Hanoi and you have to pay a small extra for it, usually it's around 5,000 - 10,000 VND/portion ($0.2 - $0.5) and when you order, they will serve the number of portions same with the number of people in your group.
Hi, do you know what the chicken salad in pho hanh is called? What should I order if I go there?
You can just call it "chicken salad", they can understand some simple words in English. On the other hand, in Hanoi, "chicken salad" is called "Nom Ga", you can tell them that to order.
I know most Pho restaurants are street vendors, does it mean they always have bad quality service? Most street vendors I went to have terrible staff and they always ignored me.
Actually, you can't expect the street vendors provide services as good as professional restaurants. Especially, famous street vendors are extremely crowded at the high time of their service and they don't have enough staff to take care all the guest. Also, no one trains street vendors staff, they only learn from others and of course, no one is profesional.
Some suggestions for Pho restaurants with quite good service: Pho Khoi Hoi (50 Hang Vai St.,) and Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su (10 Ly Quoc Su St.,)
I heard that beef meatballs would make Pho dish much more delicious. But I can't find any restos that have those meatballs. Can you recommend me one?
Hi! The beef meatballs isn't a traditional ingredients of Pho. Therefore, it's hard to find a famous traditional Pho restaurants in Hanoi selling Pho with beef meatballs. If you want to try, you may get to Pho Bay at No.16, Tran Te Xuong St., and try the fresh homemade beef meatballs there (it taste totally different than the beef meatballs can easily found in the supermarkets and many Southern Vietnam Pho restaurants in Vietnam and around the world). Or else, you should travel to Ho Chi Minh city, there are many Pho restaurants with beef meatballs there.