“Pho Thin Hanoi” is the name of two well-known pho establishments in Hanoi. They have become synonymous with authenticity and excellence, crafting bowls of pho that are unrivaled in taste and tradition. In this guide, we will take you on a mouth-watering Vietnam travel expedition through the heritage-steeped streets of Hanoi, exploring the distinct nuances of pho served at these locations.
1. Pho Thin Bo Ho Hanoi
- Address: 61 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
The history of Pho Thin Bo Ho began around 70 years ago, when Mr. Bui Chi Thin, a man from Ha Tay, started selling pho with a mobile cart, traversing the alleys of Hanoi, Vietnam capital. In 1955, Pho Thin Bo Ho found a location and became a small eatery.
At that time, it was just one of the few in the area, catering to the city’s burgeoning crowd of trendy and gourmet diners. Despite Hanoi’s rapid development and modernization over the years, Pho Thin Hanoi Bo Ho has remained steadfast in preserving its original charm and simplicity.
1.1. Eatery setting
Pho Thin Bo Ho has a charming and nostalgic setting that reflects its long history and traditional roots. Situated at the entrance of a small alley, the eatery’s exterior features a simple and unassuming façade with a weathered sign that reads “Pho Thin”.
Inside, the eatery maintains its old-world charm with a rustic and cozy ambiance. There are well-worn tables and chairs, reminiscent of the restaurant’s decades-long service.
The heart of Pho Thin Hanoi is the kitchen, where the magic happens. The aromatic scent of simmering broth, enriched with the flavors of cinnamon, anise, cloves, and other spices, wafts through the air, teasing hungry patrons and drawing them in.
Despite its simplicity, the eatery is always filled with the chatter of diners, both locals and curious tourists, who have come from far and wide to experience the legendary taste of Pho Thin Hanoi Bo Ho.
1.2. Cooking style and flavor
The key to Pho Thin Bo Ho’s success lies in its carefully crafted broth, which is simmered for hours to extract all the flavors of the meats and aromatic spices. The broth is then meticulously skimmed to remove any impurities, resulting in a clear, amber-colored liquid. The eatery prides itself on the clarity and purity of its broth, showcasing the skills and attention to detail of the cooks.
The broth at Pho Thin Bo Ho also boasts a harmonious blend of savory, umami, and fragrant notes. The combination of beef and pork bones lends a depth of flavor, while the addition of spices contributes a subtle yet distinct aromatic quality. The result is a broth that is both comforting and complex.
1.3. Pho variety and prices
Pho Thin Hanoi Bo Ho, being a traditional eatery with a focus on simplicity and authenticity, offers a limited but well-curated variety of options. Diners can choose from three cuts of beef: thinly sliced rare beef, well-done beef brisket, and fatty brisket.
A bowl of pho here ranges between 40,000 VND and 60,000 VND, depending on the size and choice of beef. The affordable pricing and delicious offerings have made Pho Thin Bo Ho a favorite destination for both locals and tourists.
2. Pho Thin Lo Duc Hanoi
- Address: 13 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
Pho Thin Lo Duc has a rich history, dating back to its opening in 1979 at 13 Lo Duc. The restaurant was founded by Nguyen Trong Thin, who took a bold and innovative approach to the traditional pho. He introduced his signature style called “pho tai lan”, which involves stir-frying the beef with ginger, garlic, and green onions before adding it to the broth. Over the past 40 years, Pho Thin Lo Duc has maintained its original location on Lo Duc Street, attracting pho lovers throughout the day.
2.1. Eatery setting
Located at the corner of Lo Duc Street, the eatery’s exterior exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere. As customers step inside, they are greeted by the familiar aroma of simmering beef broth and fragrant herbs. The interior is adorned with simple yet tasteful decor, featuring wooden tables and chairs. The eatery is complemented by Vietnamese artwork and photographs on the walls, showcasing its history.
2.2. Cooking style and flavor
The cooking style and flavor of Pho Thin Hanoi Lo Duc are what set it apart and make it a distinctive culinary destination. The eatery’s signature bowl, pho tai lan, showcases a cooking technique that deviates from the traditional Hanoi-style pho.
Instead of boiling the beef in the broth, Pho Thin Lo Duc employs stir-frying the beef before adding it to the soup. The beef is rolled in a hot pan with ginger, garlic, and green onions, infusing it with intense flavors and creating a deliciously aromatic experience.
The broth used at Pho Thin Hanoi Lo Duc is made from simmering beef bones for hours. It has a rich texture thanks to the layer of fat floating on top. Pho tai lan is also generously topped with chopped green onions, providing a refreshing contrast to the richness of the beef and broth.
2.3. Pho variety and prices
In addition to pho tai lan, Pho Thin Lo Duc offers a delightful variety of options to cater to different tastes and preferences: pho nam, pho chin, pho gau, and pho dac biet. Notably, pho dac biet is a special combination that includes a variety of beef cuts, providing a diverse and satisfying experience.
The prices at Pho Thin Hanoi Lo Duc vary from 60,000 VND to 100,000 VND, depending on the choice of pho and additional toppings or accompaniments. It is slightly expensive, but the eatery’s reputation for offering high-quality and flavorful pho continues to provide the money’s worth over the years.
3. Which is the best Pho Thin Hanoi Vietnamese restaurant?
Both Pho Thin Bo Ho and Pho Thin Lo Duc have their unique flavors and are definitely worth trying. It really depends on your personal preferences and tastes. If you have the chance, consider trying both places to experience the distinct flavors of pho on your Hanoi itinerary.
If you are in the mood for a more traditional taste, Pho Thin Bo Ho is the place to go. Its clear broth, along with the fresh and tender beef cuts, is a standout feature. On the other hand, if you are looking for something new and exciting, Pho Thin Lo Duc is a fantastic choice.
Besides the two Pho Thin Hanoi establishments above, there are many other pho eateries and restaurants in Hanoi. They are usually around popular Hanoi attractions, such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, Temple of Literature, Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi Museum, Ngoc Son Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Van Phuc Silk Village, etc.
After satiating your taste buds with hearty bowls of Pho Thin Hanoi, head over to VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium and VinWonders Hanoi for some unforgettable entertainment experiences. The thrilling activities on offer at these destinations will guarantee joyful moments!
>>> Book tickets of VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium to enjoy entertaining and educational activities!
To extend your fun in Vietnam, be sure to also visit Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Da Nang. These destinations offer diverse experiences, from relaxing beach bliss to rich cultural heritage and bustling city life. They also have VinWonders, so if you are looking for even more excitement and entertainment, don’t forget to include a visit to these destinations!
Pho Thin Hanoi stands as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Vietnam, captivating taste buds and hearts with its delightful flavors. Indulging in a bowl of Pho Thin Hanoi is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Hanoi. As you savor each spoonful of this iconic noodle soup, you are not only experiencing a delicious dish but also immersing yourself in the very essence of Vietnam’s vibrant food scene.