Pho is Vietnam’s unofficial national dish introduced during the French colonial period in the late 1800s.
Pho is had from morning to sundown. Neighborhood food stalls, pushcarts, restaurants, and fancy bistros serve up steaming bowls to workers, professionals, schoolchildren and just about every one.
The key ingredients are simple. Flat rice noodles in a rich beef or chicken stock. But there is nothing simple about creating the complex flavors of the perfect broth.
The broth must be clear for both pho bo (with beef) and pho ga (with chicken).
Here are some of my favourite places for Pho.
#49 Bat dan Street: Recommended by locals as the best beef pho in Hanoi, expect a long queue of impatient patrons all day long.
Pho #10: Located at 10 Ly Quoc Suin in the Old Town, Pho #10 is crowded with families, couples, and singles, and is consistently cited as the place to find cheap, fresh pho. Inside the garish orange façade are bubbling vats of aromatic stock and cold beers to welcome foodies.
Spices Garden: This gracious restaurant in the historic Metropole Hotel serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine, including phenomenal pho.