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The Best Pho

munchies Jul 11, 2006 05:50 PM

As a child I recall visiting this small hole-in-the-wall restaurant
called Pho Hoa in Seattle. I don't recall what road it is
on; just that it was a few blocks away from the main
Vietnamese center and that we had to wait 20-30 minutes
to get a seat (this was back in the mid 80s). I wonder if a) this place still exists; b)if this place is still any good (I know that it is now a chain) and c) if not Pho Hoa; what is a really good place for pho?


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  1. Pamela RE: munchies Jul 11, 2006 05:53 PM

    It's been a few years since I had pho in Seattle, but I ate at Miss Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant very close to the Seattle Art Museum. We feared that since it was near a tourist trap, the food would be awful. However, if I recall correctly, the pho was excellent. The pho was HUGE, filling, and delicious. Plus cheap.

    1. barleywino RE: munchies Jul 11, 2006 06:01 PM

      Not a pho connoisseur, but...Pho Hoa is still there (6th and Weller) and still popular (also has salty plum drink!) Closer to downtown, try Cafe Pho (3rd and Marion, in the food court) which also serves decent beef short rib. Weekends you can get pho with Kobe beef for brunch at Monsoon.

      1. terrier RE: munchies Jul 11, 2006 07:08 PM

        Pho Hoa is a chain based out of the Bay Area, IIRC.

        My favorite pho shop (and I eat there at least twice a week) is Pho Bac, either the original location at Jackson & Rainier or Pho Bac II on 7th near Jackson

        1 Reply
        1. re: terrier
          munchies RE: terrier Jul 12, 2006 06:31 PM

          I've eaten at Pho Hoa in the Bay Area (since I do reside here) and left quite disappointed many times. If you eat at Pho Bac twice a week, then I may take your word for it and try it out. Was there not a Pho Bac in downtown Tacoma? I remember it being pretty good, but again; I haven't been back since I was 14.

        2. pigeonmom RE: munchies Jul 11, 2006 07:31 PM

          Bahn Mi 88 Deli on Delridge in White Center
          is the best I've tried. The broth isn't
          as sweet as most in town and I like that.
          I find Than Bros. broth too sweet.
          Their Panang Curry is amazing too.

          1. s
            Seattle Rose RE: munchies Jul 11, 2006 08:21 PM

            Than Bros. Pho is excellent, quick and cheap. I go to the one in Ballard, but there is one on Aurora near Greenlake, and some other locations, I think.

            1. d
              dimsumfan RE: munchies Jul 11, 2006 08:38 PM

              I'm also a fan of Than Brothers, but I was disappointed with the broth at the Ballard location. Try the one on Aurora, which is consistently good, or the one in the U. District, which is generally good. Also locations on Cap Hill and in Redmond.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dimsumfan
                fooddawg RE: dimsumfan Dec 3, 2006 03:24 AM

                I agree with your view on the Ballard location. Went there the other day and it didn't do anything for me. The UW location is also quite good.

              2. c
                CriticalEater RE: munchies Jul 12, 2006 05:33 AM

                Than Brothers is consistently good and you get the cream puff. My new favorite is Pho Cyclo on Broadway. I love the broth. Flavors of cinnamon and nice thicker cuts of beef than typical pho. Yum!

                1 Reply
                1. re: CriticalEater
                  sheitoon RE: CriticalEater Sep 15, 2007 09:07 PM

                  Just moved to Capitol Hill (from Boston), and I have to say that I am already in love with Pho Cyclo. I love their sandwiches! esp. the pork ones. I can't believe it's only $2.75 if you get it to go... we just order and go pick up for a quick, cheap and yummy meal. Highly recommended! The beef is also good... wasn't as huge a fan of the chicken or tofu, although I preferred the tofu to the chicken. I think there is also a pate one of some sort, but we haven't tried that yet. Careful! They can be spicy as they do have sliced jalopenos in them.

                2. c
                  christy319 RE: munchies Jul 12, 2006 04:11 PM

                  I like Than Bros. too. I've eaten at the Greenlake and Ballard locations dozens of times and never noticed a difference in broth. The Greenlake location is pretty dirty (the tablecloths and carpet-ugh!) and so I prefer the Ballard one.

                  1. s
                    spudsocks RE: munchies Jul 12, 2006 10:53 PM

                    Try the pho at Green Leaf, a new restaurant in the ID. Unlike anything I've ever tried before--and quite delicious and light!

                    1. m
                      munchies RE: munchies Jul 13, 2006 02:54 PM

                      Thank you all for your suggestions for good pho- I hope
                      I will be able to return the favor some time.

                      1. r
                        rockdoggydog RE: munchies Jul 14, 2006 07:05 AM

                        Second Green Leaf, it's great, try everything else there too. Thanh Vi on the Ave is good too.


                        1. b
                          BorntoEat RE: munchies Jul 18, 2006 04:26 PM

                          I would agree with the pho recommendation for Pho Cyclo - but I prefer the one on 1st Ave S (across from Home Depot/Starbucks) to the Broadway one. Plus easier parking. I don't typically eat the beef/assorted parts kind, but love the chicken or vegetarian pho there. You can ask that cooked vegies (broccoli, carrot etc) be added for a slight charge. Their noodle bowls are also quite good, esp the lemongrass ones.


                          1. n
                            NYCSEA RE: munchies Jul 19, 2006 10:09 PM

                            I've always gotten great Pho at I Love Pho on Mercer Island and in Factoria. I usually get the springrolls as well and the Taro bubble tea.

                            1. Charles RE: munchies Jul 19, 2006 11:27 PM

                              I just went to “What the Pho” in Bellevue. Although they do get mad points for the name, unfortunately the Pho average at best. The place was packed making me wonder if this is the best Pho Bellevue has to offer.

                              The broth was a little too sweet for my taste. The beef tendon was cut in huge chunks making it rather difficult to eat, not at all melt in your mouthy. And it was all I could do to even find a piece of tripe... and the rare beef was well not rare.

                              I also didn’t like that they had the Vietnamese Coffee pre-dripped robbing me of the pleasure of watching sweet sweet caffeine slowly mix with condensed milk.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Charles
                                ACleverGuy RE: Charles Sep 18, 2007 02:15 PM

                                I've often chuckled at the name as well. Are there any Eastside pho places that are better than average?

                                1. re: ACleverGuy
                                  clearskies0810 RE: ACleverGuy Sep 18, 2007 03:31 PM

                                  Pho Thai. The quality of their meats is much better than most other places I've been to in Seattle. I used to be a Than Brother's and Pho Hoa fan, but Pho Thai surpases them both.

                              2. a
                                abslin RE: munchies Nov 15, 2006 07:16 PM

                                I can't eat at the Pho Than brother's in Redmond. It was tolerable... until I'd go back to a real Pho place. I like to call it dishwater pho, although the cream puffs are delicious.

                                Pho Viet is awesome on Jackson street, in Little Saigon. The broth itself is fantastic.

                                1. landguy RE: munchies Nov 16, 2006 04:28 AM

                                  Just curious how people would compare Pho Cyclo to Than Bros.?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: landguy
                                    terrier RE: landguy Nov 16, 2006 03:04 PM

                                    Pho Cyclo has good pho and great bun thit nuong (grilled pork over rice noodles). Than Brothers has great cream puffs and lousy pho by comparison.

                                    Still think Pho Bac on 7th near Jackson in the ID is the best.

                                  2. s
                                    SusanC RE: munchies Nov 16, 2006 03:30 PM

                                    Our usual pho spots are Than (Aurora,Everett)Asia Noodle House
                                    (across the street from Everett Than,excellent)Pho Vietnam on 15th NW and lately Pho Bac on 7th in the ID. All are good, but Pho Bac definitely stands out in the quality of the beef, especially the brisket and rare steak. Also love the fact that they open early (we usually go before 9 AM, I think they open at 8AM)and the ladies who run the place are great. Best breakfast in town (the #4 noodles with wontons around the corner at Phnom Penh are a close second.) SusanC

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: SusanC
                                      equinoise RE: SusanC Sep 18, 2007 02:31 PM

                                      Pho Bac for breakfast, like they do in the old country. True 'hound style. That's great.

                                      1. re: equinoise
                                        terrier RE: equinoise Sep 18, 2007 02:42 PM

                                        There are several items on Pho Bac's menu that are usually unavailable by lunchtime, including bun bo hue (which I've tried - and it's good...) and some form of bahn mi (which I've never successfully ordered - a creature of habit, I'm usually craving pho when I go for breakfast and keep forgetting to try it. It's always out by lunch.)

                                    2. b
                                      bgojdics RE: munchies Nov 17, 2006 01:18 PM

                                      Hands down Pho Bac on 7th and jackson in the ID

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bgojdics
                                        passionfoodie RE: bgojdics Sep 17, 2007 06:57 PM

                                        I second the Pho Bac on 7th and Jackson. Best broth and generally the noodles are not overcooked either.

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