Your trip in Vietnam cannot be complete without trying at least one bowl of hot pho in Hanoi even in the burning hot days in Summer. There are hundreds and thousands of different restaurants and street vendors that sell this notorious menu and the success rate of finding a good one is pretty high. I can eat delicious pho in almost any corner of Hanoi, which is just as good as famous pho restaurants.
But I know from my experience trying pho in many different places that the following list of pho restaurants is like a proven formula for travellers like you to save some time on choosing which place you should have your pho experience – especially if you’ve only got a short period of time here.
Pho Gia Truyen
Pho Gia Truyen is a very famous beef noodle soup restaurant for both travellers and locals. This place almost always has people queuing to try the delicious pho here. You need to queue to order and pay for your bowl of pho at the counter (where the pho is prepared) first and then take a seat and wait. It is housed in a typical Vietnamese house giving the homey feeling.
49 Bát Đàn, Cửa Đông, Hoàn Kiếm
Monday 6:00 – 20:30
Tuesday – Sunday 06:30 – 20:30
Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
This pho restaurant is my personal favourite from the list and also another very well-known pho restaurants in the city. There’s also a queue most of the time waiting to be seated. Here, you can order your food once seated and pay at the cashier desk when you leave.
If you go around Hanoi city, you might notice that there are many of these restaurants with the same orange sign. However, most of them are not the real Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su as stated on the notice board above. There are only three real ones and the addresses are below.
10 Lý Quốc Sư, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm
Open Everyday 06:00 – 22:00
N2A Hoàng Minh Giám, Trung Hòa Nhân Chính, Thanh Xuân
Open Everyday 06:00 – 22:00
26 lô 06, Tố Hữu, Vạn Phúc, Hà Đông
Open Everyday 24 hours
This restaurant is very small and located very close to the beer street in the Old Quarter. It is not as well-known compared to three other pho restaurants in this list, but it is one of the best pho restaurants in Hanoi to locals. You probably won’t have to queue to eat here, but you might like it just as much, if not more than other places.
25 Hàng Giầy, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm
Opening Hours: Everyday 07:00 – 10:00 & 18:00 – 00:00
This beef noodle soup had the most intense and deepest beef flavour in the broth from the very first mouthful. Very generous serving of green vegetables in the soup complimented the meaty and complex taste of soup. I personally found the soup quite heavy half-way through eating, but I can see myself going here for hangover cure.
Just like Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su and Pho Gia Truyen, this restaurant is always full of people – both locals and foreigners. Although the queue is long, it never takes too long because it’s a bowl of pho and turnover is pretty quick.
13 Lò Đúc, Ngô Thì Nhậm, Hai Bà Trưng
Open Everyday 05:30 – 21:30
One Last Note!
If you’ve got time, I suggest trying once in one of these restaurants and once more in a random pho restaurant to see which one you like more and do some comparison. These four restaurants all sell pho at a higher price (above 50,000VND) than average price (around 30,000VND). You might find that price is not necessarily a factor for a yummy pho.
When you’re seeking for a pho else where, avoid restaurants and hotels that sell a vast menu, but try looking for street vendor or restaurant that only sells pho.
If you want to know what other delectable specialties Hanoi has to offer, check out this post about 8 Must-Try Foods in Hanoi.