Phở Bò – One Of The Most Famous Vietnamese Dishes That Never Gets Boring

Vietnamese name: Phở Bò

Pho Bo Hanoi

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Vietnamese Phở is one of those dishes that everyone knows yet it remains a culinary experience worth trying first hand when visiting Vietnam.

If we go by a common definition, Phở Bò is a traditional Vietnamese soup that consists of uniquely flavoured broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, herbs, and meat — either beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà).

A celebrity among Vietnamese dishes – where to buy

Phở is kind of a celebrity among Vietnamese dishes. It’s a world-wide famous noodle soup. Everyone knows it or at least some westernized version of it but when you visit Vietnam I strongly recommend to try a local real authentic Pho. The best from a local street seller or form a small Vietnamese style restaurant that specialises in Pho only.

Phu 24 Vietnamese Noodle Soup in Saigon
One of the biggest franchises selling Vietnamese Pho is Phu 24. It’s a very safe place to try semi-authentic Vietnamese Pho.

The two most common versions of Phở are Phở Bò (with beef) and Phở Gà (with Chicken meat). Traditionally Vietnamese eat their Phở with herbs and sliced chilli rings if they want something spicier.

Price of Pho Bo – Vietnamese Noodle Soup

The usual price of one bowl of Pho is around 30-40k VND (1.5USD) when ordered in a traditional Vietnamese street restaurant. However, if you go to more upscale restaurant, expect to pay double and sometimes even more.

The beef in your Pho can come served in a few different ways. The most common ones are as follows:

  • Phở Tái – served with sliced under-cooked rare beef
  • Phở Nạm (Chín) – served with well-done sliced beef
  • Phở Bò Viên – served with meat balls
Pho Bo Beef Types
The beef in traditional Vietnamese Pho noodle soup can very significantly. This is a little guide to what you should ask for.

It’s worth noting that the Hanoi and Saigon styles of Pho differ by noodle width, the sweetness of broth, and choice of herbs. Therefore those two variations are quite different. Personally, I recommend Hanoi style Pho for its less sweet and more balanced taste. Just look for a sign that says Pho Hanoi. This northern version of Pho is fairly popular in Ho Chi Minh City as many Hanoi-ans live in the South these days.

Pho Bo Quay Fried Bread with Noodle Soup
Many Vietnamese like their Pho with quẩy (fried bread) which is Northern cuisine’s addition to this awesome noodle soup.

Vietnamese often consume Phở Bò as their breakfast meal. “It’s a filling food, a very comforting way to start a new day. The broth with noodles provides us with enough energy to get us going” says, Tung, a friend of mine who eats Pho almost every morning before he gets on with his family business.

Pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam and was popularized throughout the rest of the world by refugees after the Vietnam War.