Pho Hanoi is an iconic culinary symbol rooted in the heart of Hanoi. Renowned for its fragrant broth, tender meat, and delicate rice noodles, Pho Hanoi is a must-try dish. Whether you are embarking on a Hanoi travel adventure or seeking to immerse yourself in the local culture, indulging in a steaming bowl of Pho Hanoi promises to delight your taste buds and take you on a flavorful journey.
1. The evolution of Pho Hanoi
Pho has a rich history and cultural significance. It is believed to have originated from a stir-fried buffalo dish, but the transition to beef in the 20th century led to the birth of the iconic dish we know today.
Pho Hanoi emerged as a specialty in the 1930s and experienced a golden age from 1939 to 1942. The dish evolved over time, with variations emerging from the mid-1960s to the 1990s.
Pho Hanoi is characterized by its large size, soft noodles, and generous toppings. It has become a symbol of Vietnamese cuisine and gained popularity worldwide, with Pho restaurants opening in different countries.
Whether enjoyed in Hanoi Old Quarter or other locations, Pho continues to captivate both locals and foreign visitors with its aromatic broth and satisfying flavors.
2. Differences between Hanoi Pho, Nam Dinh Pho, and Saigon Pho
- Hanoi Pho: Pho Hanoi typically features a clear and aromatic beef broth, slow-cooked with a combination of beef bones, spices, and herbs. Pho Hanoi is known for its simplicity and the focus on the delicate balance of flavors in the broth.
- Nam Dinh Pho: Nam Dinh, a province in northern Vietnam, has its own distinct style of Pho. Pho Nam Dinh is characterized by a heartier and more flavorful broth, achieved by using additional ingredients such as fish sauce and marrow bones. Plus, the noodles are wider and flatter, providing a chewy texture.
- Saigon Pho: Saigon Pho is characterized by a lighter and sweeter broth, often enhanced with the addition of various spices and seasonings. Pho Saigon is known for its vibrant and bustling street food scene, with many vendors offering a wide range of accompaniments.
3. 15 best places to eat authentic Pho in Hanoi
3.1. Pho Ganh – Among the best Pho in Hanoi Old Quarter
- Address: 7 Cho Gao, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 3:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Price: 40,000 – 50,000 VND
Pho Ganh in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter is known for serving authentic and delicious Pho Hanoi. The flavors and ingredients used here are of high quality and reflect the traditional preparation methods. The restaurant also provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, giving visitors a taste of the local dining experience.
3.2. Pho bat da Maison
- Address: 36A Hoang Cau, Dong Da District
- Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Price: 80,000 – 150,000 VND
“Pho bat da” translates to “Pho in stone bowls” in English, referring to the unique way Pho is served. Instead of being served in a regular bowl, this restaurant serves its Pho Hanoi in a stone bowl, which helps retain the heat and keep the broth warm throughout the meal.
The broth at Maison Pho Hanoi is known for its natural sweetness and the use of fresh ingredients. With each spoonful of the flavorful broth, you can expect a burst of rich and satisfying flavors that complement the noodles and other toppings.
3.3. Pho Ly Quoc Su
- Address: 10 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM | 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
- Price: 50,000 – 80,000 VND
Pho Ly Quoc Su is another famous Pho restaurant in Hanoi. It is named after its location on Ly Quoc Su Street. The restaurant takes pride in serving high-quality Pho with rich, flavorful broth and tender meat. In addition to its signature Pho, Pho Ly Quoc Su Hanoi also offers other dishes like fried rice and fried noodles.
3.4. Pho Thin
- Address: 13 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung District
- Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Price: 65,000 – 70,000 VND
Pho Thin Lo Duc is a 40-year-old restaurant named after its owner, Mr. Thin and its location on Lo Duc Street. Serving hearty bowls of traditional Pho Hanoi, it has become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
The restaurant provides a casual and welcoming atmosphere, reflecting the traditional dining experience in Vietnam. It has a simple and modest interior, with tables and chairs arranged in a no-frills manner to accommodate a steady flow of customers.
3.5. Pho Bat Dan Hanoi – One of the best Pho restaurants in Hanoi
- Address: 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 AM | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
- Price: 40,000 – 50,000 VND
Pho Bat Dan is one of the most famous Pho restaurants on Bat Dan Street. It has been serving authentic Pho Hanoi since the 1960s. Every bowl is served with a plate of fresh bean sprouts, basil leaves, lime wedges, and chili peppers, so you can customize the flavors to your liking.
The restaurant itself provides a simple and casual ambiance, focusing on the quality of the food rather than elaborate decor. Its simple and straightforward setting adds to the authenticity and charm of the dining experience, making it feel like a true local Pho Hanoi spot.
3.6. Pho Bat Da 37 Hung Vuong
- Address: 37 Hung Vuong, Ba Dinh District
- Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Price: 220,000 – 950,000 VND
One of the highlights of 37 Hung Vuong Restaurant is its emphasis on creating a lavishing atmosphere for guests. The restaurant features elegant decor, comfortable seating, and attentive service, providing a sophisticated ambiance for diners to enjoy their meal.
When it comes to Pho, 37 Hung Vuong Restaurant aims to deliver a premium and memorable culinary experience. The broth is often carefully crafted and simmered to perfection, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic base. In addition, the restaurant offers premium cuts of beef and specialty meats like Kobe beef, Wagyu beef, etc.
3.7. Pho Ly Beo
- Address: 4 Hang Non, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM
- Price: 20,000 – 50,000 VND
Pho Ly Beo is a beloved sidewalk Pho Hanoi shop nestled in the vibrant streets of Hanoi. Despite its unassuming exterior, this gem is renowned among locals and visitors alike for its exceptional Pho.
As you approach the shop, the tantalizing aroma wafting through the air beckons. The simple layout of plastic chairs and tables invites you to join the bustling crowd of patrons eagerly slurping their bowls of steaming hot Pho Hanoi.
The star of the show is the broth, simmered for hours to extract every ounce of savory goodness. As you customize your Pho with fresh bean sprouts, aromatic basil leaves, zesty lime wedges, and fiery chili peppers, the symphony of textures and flavors will dance on your palate!
3.8. Pho Thanh Beo
- Address: 11 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 12:00 AM – 3:30 AM | 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
- Price: 50,000 – 110,000 VND
Pho Thanh Beo is a renowned eatery celebrated for its mouth-watering stir-fried Pho. This innovative twist on the traditional Pho Hanoi features pan-fried noodles combined with a delectable medley of vegetables and tender stir-fried beef.
The dish is enhanced further by a delightful sweet and sour papaya dipping sauce, adding a tangy element that perfectly complements the savory flavors. The combination of flavors and textures creates a truly addictive and satisfying culinary experience.
3.9. Pho Huan
- Address: 57 Ham Long, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Price: 40,000 – 45,000 VND
Pho Huan is a culinary gem in Hanoi, known for its standout dish, stir-fried beef/chicken Pho Hanoi with wine sauce. Accompanied by the traditional rich and savory broth infused with the essence of the meats, Pho Huan offers a remarkable dining experience that combines traditional Vietnamese cuisine with a touch of innovation. For those seeking an unforgettable and harmonious fusion of tastes, Pho Huan’s stir-fried beef/chicken Pho Hanoi is a must-try.
3.10. Pho Suong
- Address: 24B Trung Yen Alley, Dinh Liet Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 5:30 AM – 11:00 AM | 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM
- Price: 15,000 – 40,000 VND
Pho Suong is another beloved culinary destination known for its generous portions and diverse meat choices. When you step into this renowned eatery, you will be greeted with an ambiance filled with the tantalizing aroma of simmering broth and sizzling meats.
The menu offers an array of Pho Hanoi variations, so you have the luxury of choice. Whether you are a seasoned Pho lover or are exploring this iconic dish for the first time, a visit to Pho Suong promises a delightful and satisfying culinary journey.
3.11. Pho Cuong
- Address: 23 Hang Muoi, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 6:30 AM – 10:00 PM
- Price: 25,000 – 33,000 VND
This renowned eatery stands out for its extensive selection of beef variations, catering to the discerning palates of Pho enthusiasts. From tender slices of rare beef to succulent beef meatballs and hearty beef brisket, Pho Cuong ensures that there is a delightful beef option to suit every preference!
3.12. Vegan Pho 168 Lo Duc
- Address: 168 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung District
- Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Price: 15,000 – 20,000 VND
If you are in search of a vegan-friendly Pho Hanoi option, Lo Duc Street is home to a variety of restaurants that cater to plant-based diets. Vegan Pho 168 is a popular option, its Pho featuring a flavorful vegetable broth as the base, infused with aromatic herbs and spices. The rice noodles remain a staple, providing a satisfying texture to the dish. Instead of traditional meats, Vegan Pho 168 often incorporates a variety of plant-based protein alternatives.
3.13. Pho That
- Address: 48 Tran Nhat Duat, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 5:00 PM – 5:00 AM
- Price: 25,000 – 50,000 VND
Pho That is a popular destination for night-time Pho lovers in Hanoi. This late-night Pho spot offers a unique dining experience, where you can enjoy the beloved Vietnamese noodle soup late into the evening. As the sun sets, Pho That comes to life, with the inviting aroma of simmering broth filling the air and attracting hungry patrons. The restaurant creates a cozy and bustling atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a warm and comforting bowl of Pho Hanoi after a long day.
3.14. Pho Nho
- Address: 27A Huynh Thuc Khang, Dong Da District
- Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Price: 20,000 – 33,000 VND
Pho Nho is a popular Pho Hanoi restaurant known for its easy access and fast service. Situated in a convenient location, it offers a hassle-free dining experience for Pho lovers. The focus on accessibility and fast service at Pho Nho makes it a go-to option for those who desire a convenient and efficient Pho experience. Whether you are on a tight schedule or simply craving a speedy Pho fix, Pho Nho delivers.
3.15. Pho Phu Xuan
- Address: 36 Hang Da, Hoan Kiem District
- Opening hours: 5:30 AM – 12:30 PM
- Price: 20,000 – 55,000 VND
Pho Phu Xuan takes pride in providing an array of beef choices, catering to the preferences of meat enthusiasts. Each variation adds its own distinct flavors and textures to the bowl of Pho Hanoi.
Adding to the culinary experience, Pho Phu Xuan includes poached eggs as a delectable addition to their Pho offerings. The poached eggs, with their creamy and runny yolks, bring an extra layer of richness and indulgence to the dish.
In addition to culinary delights, Hanoi offers a wealth of cultural and historical attractions, such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ba Dinh Square, Temple of Literature, Long Bien Bridge, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, etc.
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Pho Hanoi stands as a shining example of Vietnamese culinary mastery and cultural heritage. Its rich history, complex flavors, and comforting nature have made it a beloved dish not only in Hanoi but around the world. From its humble beginnings as a street food staple to its international recognition, Pho Hanoi has proven to be a tasty culinary icon that transcends borders. If you are traveling to Hanoi, make sure not to miss out on savoring Pho Hanoi!