Cheap and pretty good, but I've only had delivery so I have no idea what the place really looks like inside.
Mazhi (Formerly A-Mix)
120 E.34th St.
Also very good, small restaurant with nice atmosphere and good service
246 East 44th Street
between 2nd and 3rd Ave
re: Katherine H
I like the baxter better, but then, I ate there a few weeks ago with some friends and they totally put down nha trang so now I might have to switch up my standby. they were complaining that the pho broth and the pho gai broth were the same, and at their other favorite (I can't remember where) they have separate broths for the beef and the chicken, and, its all more luscious, bounteous and just better. I think they mentioned the place at the very corner part of mott st. in the basement (never ate there).
Anyone know of a place in the Upper West Side (or close) that serves authentic pho? I'm talking about pho with all the trimmings (flank steak, tripe and rare steak)
2 places stand out:
(For the record, I'm from Hong Kong and grew up among Vietnamese people. Pho is kind of an obsession of mine, so I don't make recommendations lightly!)
First is Pho Bang, on Mott between Broome and Grand. Really cheap (maybe $4.50 a bowl). Drives me crazy that they give you lemon instead of lime (keeping the overhead down, I guess) but it's still good and they have awesome spring rolls. They could probably put less star anise in their broth but overall it's great and you're not going to get better value.
Second one is "Pho 32 and Shabu" in Koreatown (32nd St between Broadway and 5th Ave). Less cheap ($8), but the style is different: lighter, more acidic broth; non-traditional protein options (chicken, mixed seafood). This place is always packed and also does a pretty good Shabu Shabu.
I have yet to try a bowl of Pho in NYC that has really knocked my socks off; I liken it to the ramen situation. Have tried it in about 10 different places in Manhattan and Queens, and the place that comes the closest, in my book, is Pho Cong Ly on Hester.
That said, I still long for the real thing. Vietnam awaits....