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Nov 2, 2007 09:14 PM

Where is the Best Pho in AZ?

I've read alot of recommendations on this site for various restaurants with rave reviews of Pho in Arizona. I've tried some of the recommendation like Yen Mi (now Pho 68), Dragonfly, Cyclo, Pho Express, Saigon Pho, and Anise. None of their broth comes close to Pho Hua in East San Diego. What are the opinions out there? Forget about the condiments and different types of meat, Pho starts with the broth. Would love to hear some recommendations.

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  1. In Tucson Miss Saigon is the best. Teh pho quality is excellent. They are building a bigger branch on the upper west side, by the way - though the project seems to be dragging on - not sure it's the best site selection for a Viet restaurant.

    Up north in the Phoenix megalopolis Saigon Pho is my personal favorite.

    But like you, my #1 favorite is in California - Pho 79 on Hazard Street in Westminster in Little Saigon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: werewolf

      I LOVE Miss Saigon. A little off topic, but their chicken curry over vermicelli is to die for, and I get it every time I'm in Tucson.

    2. personally i love davang's on 19th ave and campbell. i think it's the best vietnamese place in town.

      4 Replies
      1. re: winedubar

        I've heard good things about that restaurant, is it located right on the intersection of 19th ave and campbell?

        1. re: winedubar

          personally i love davang's on 19th ave and campbell. i think it's the best vietnamese place in town.


          19th STREET and Campbell? You are talking about Tucson?

          1. re: winedubar

            Ah so - a google search shows that Davang is in Phoenix, not Tucson:


            1. re: werewolf

              sorry about that werewolf - i forget to mention i mean phx in threads like this. my bad!!!

          2. It seems to me that broth preference may vary from one person to another. Can you describe what aspect of Pho Hua's broth delivers the knockout punch? I had some pho at Dragonfly (the new location in Downtown Tempe) today and thought the broth was among the best I've ever had, but I'm not sure it's what you're looking for. Since I don't know your tastes and haven't been to Pho Hua, I'm not really sure how to benchmark broth in response to your question.

            2 Replies
            1. re: silverbear

              Silverbear, thanks again for your recommendation at Asian Express Cafe. I noticed they also serve Pho on the menu, have you tried it?

              1. re: p_dubs

                I have not. The menu at Asian Cafe Express is so expansive that I've barely made a dent in it.

            2. Dragonfly is definitely my favorite pho in the East Valley.

              When I used to work near downtown Phoenix, I liked Da Vang and Pho Bang, though Pho Bang was never really consistent. Sometimes the broth was very watered down tasting, other times it was full-flavored and better than anything I've had in AZ.

              There was some magic quality to the pho I've had in various California establishments but I can't quite hit on it now that I haven't lived there for years. I'd like to say the broth was just more flavorful in the meaty respect, not just a conglomeration of spices put in to make up for a short stock-making time.

              Part of me also thinks it might just be that it doesn't get cold enough here to fully appreciate someone putting a steaming bowl of pho in front of me.

              3 Replies
              1. re: sistinas

                For me, describing Pho broth is like describing a positive emotion. You always look for the essentials, like piping hot clear broth with just enough oil on top. It's like the description the movie Tampopo made regarding Ramen in Japan. Someone please help me on this, how would you describe the taste and smell of Pho from California. It is substantially different. Pho Hua is a no nonesense restaurant that serves two items on their menu, Pho and iced coffee. One taste and you can never forget it and you yearn for it for the rest of your life.

                1. re: p_dubs

                  no offense, p_dubs, but i think you'd find a wild divergence in taste of 'pho from california'. most pho i've had in SOUTHERN california was dreck. northern california has the corner on the market for cali. and, i didn't even think that san francisco had the best pho. WRONG. that vote went to milpitas in silicon valley. it beats out san fran, etc etc etc. and pho in minneapolis? holy moly - i thought there was some good stuff in the bay area!!

                  i think its great that you have your favorite. if you could find a way to describe that favorite maybe someone would have a better time identifying a comparable place here for you.

                  altho you should be prepared - terroir. the water, the veg, everything, is going to be different here, which will make the resulting flavor different. viva la difference!!!!!

                  1. re: winedubar

                    I'd have to agree with Winedubar abt the pho in Minneapolis. We were there for a hockey tourney and believe it or not it was one of the best tasting broth I've had only second to Pho 99 in Toronto. One thing i've notice here in AZ is the pot size they use to cook the broth in. Up in Toronto Pho 99 has about 6 industrial size soup bin (they look the size of 5 kegs ea) cooking for atleast 10-12hrs before serving. I've seen the open kitchen at Saigon Pho, Yen Mi and Dragonfly and their pots are relatively smaller. Wonder if they do a batch every morning for only that day?

              2. The best pho in Tucson is at a little hole-in-the wall named Pho Thu. It is at Stone and Grant across from the Harley dealership. It is the only place that any of my Vietnamese friends will eat pho.