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Best Pho in Boston/Cambridge/Brookline

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I'm on a quest to find the best bowl of pho. Any suggestions!?

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  1. I don't think the answer has changed much in 5 months...

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/402341

    1. Since I didn't chime in on the earlier thread, I'll put in a vote for Xinh Xinh in Chinatown, where I recently had an excellent beef pho with ribeye, tripe, and tendon. Very nice, and not too huge (I feel bad when I can't finish everything).

      1 Reply
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I had an excellent bowl there recently, as well. Tasty! Fresh! Plus a clean and pleasant spot with friendly service.

      2. Pho 2000 in Dorchester on Adams St., right off Dot Ave/Fields Corner is awesome

        1. I can't say theirs is the best because I haven't tried enough of the Boston-area pho places, but I like Pho Pasteur. The seafood version of their pho -- it has shrimp, squid, & fishcakes -- is very tasty.

          Oh -- I was amazed to find a pho restaurant (its name escapes me) in Randolph, MA. a few years ago. The noodle soup, appetizers, and Vietnamese coffee were all surprisingly (considering the depressed location) good.

          1. How much does pho usually run in Boston? I've only ever gotten it in Seattle where it was $3-$5 depending on the size of the bowl.

            1 Reply
            1. re: thunderbug84

              I'd say $4-6 is probably more common at local Vietnamese restaurants, with extra large bowls sometimes going for $7-8. I've seen a child-size bowl of pho here and there for $3.

              At Pho Republique, a hipster hangout in the South End with a menu of gussied-up, overpriced pan-Asian food, you can pay as much as $24 for a bowl of duck pho. But I think even their cheaper versions of pho ($16-17) are bad, bastardized versions of a dish that shouldn't be messed with. I generally avoid eating here if I can; it's a cool place for a drink, though.

              Myers+Chang is another South End place that does upmarket versions of dishes from various Asian cuisines. Their pho is $10, if I recall, but I haven't tried it. With limited exposure to their menu (the place is brand-new), I'd say its food is vastly superior to Pho Republique's. I'm going to give that pho a shot sometime soon.

            2. i'll throw in my $0.02: Pho Yuen Dong in Quincy (in the Kam Man stripmall). it's the first actually good (i.e., better than just decent) bowl of pho i've had around here. it's a real pho cafeteria type of place - big space, lots of cheap-looking tables, no atmosphere, quick service. the broth is flavorful yet light, the meat is tasty, and they have the right greens. not exceptional but hits the spot. (and i know it's a bit far, but somebody already suggested a dorchester place.)

              caveat: i haven't tried any of the chinatown places, so i don't know how it stacks up.

              other thoughts: pho pasteur (now lee's, i guess) in allston is just too damn oily, with no depth of flavor. pho & i (mentioned in the older post) has decent pho, imho, but not quite good - fine if you're in the area, but not enough to travel.

              4 Replies
              1. re: mikhail

                Another nice thing about Pho 2000: they will bring your meat on a separate plate (if you order the Pho Tai) which means that they cut the meat the right way from a bigger frozen piece. Have not been to a place in this area that does that (learned this style on the west coast)

                1. re: lennyb

                  If you ask at the original PP in Chinatown, they'll do it there. I think the pho there is as good or better than anywhere else around.

                  I like the atmosphere at Pho Yuen Dong a lot but I've had some uneven experiences with bun bo hue there (sometimes flavorful, sometimes needs a pile of sriracha).

                  1. re: Luther

                    i didn't mean the "no atmosphere" comment to sound negative - to me that's actually a sign of quality. my favorite place in northern CA is just like that. it just means they're serious about their pho.

                    thanks for the bun info - i haven't tried it there yet. and i guess i really need to head to chinatown. i just kind of gave up on all pasteurs after my allston experience.

                    1. re: mikhail

                      oh, i didn't even realize it looked like my atmosphere comment was a reply to yours. it wasn't. i was just saying that was a reason i liked PYD.

                      and i mean bun bo hue, not bun. i don't think i've had the bun at PYD. my favorite among the places i've had it would be Xinh Xinh, because they make excellent meats and the noodles are always nice and fresh and hot.

              2. I have had a fabulous bowl of soup at Pho Pasteur in Chinatown. Sometimes the broth is just light and lacks depth, so I guess they have consistency issues day to day. Pho Thien Thien is great. I've tried a few along Dot Ave, but these are the ones that stand out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: vinovino

                  I had forgotten about Pho Thien Thien after having a couple of very nice meals there right after they opened, including some very good beef pho. I should remember to spread my business around a bit more: I tend to gravitate toward Xinh Xinh when I'm near there.