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Best Vietnamese/Pho Place(s) in Calgary?

t
Takamine Jan 13, 2010 10:49 PM

Hi all,
Just wondering what everyone's recommendation for best Vietnamese restaurants in Calgary were.

Most of the time I use Sunshine Vietnamese near Canyon Meadows for take-out, and Mina's Vietnamese near Anderson if I'm staying. Mina's always has great service and food.

  1. raidar Jan 13, 2010 11:08 PM

    From Edmonton, so I don't have a wide range of experience in the Calgary pho scene. In saying that, I've had, just maybe, the best pho sate of my life at Pho Dau Bo. My visits were from a few years back, but the memories are fresh as ever. I still think about these bowls.

    1. f
      foodkarma Jan 14, 2010 06:35 AM

      For me, it really depends on the dish...

      For plain pho with different cuts of beef in comforting broth I like Pho Pasteur across from Harry Hays.

      For Bun Bo Hue and vietnamese crepes I like TNK (770-2220 68 Street Northeast). They give you lots of fresh herbs and lettuce for the crepes. Ingredients are fresh. I heard they are owned by the same people who had Y2K.

      For vietnamese pho beef stew with tomatoes I like Sunny's in Chinatown. I always switch to their glass noodles because I like the chewy texture and find Sunny's is one of the very few places in Calgary that offers it. The only downfall - Sunny's is open VERY limited hours.

      For sate pho I like Noodle King in the NE.

      There's also a previous thread that is quite comprehensive.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/325435

      2 Replies
      1. re: foodkarma
        m
        Merry113 Jan 15, 2010 07:32 AM

        The Sate Pho is my new "go to" dish at Noodle King in NE. It is sooooo good!

        1. re: Merry113
          f
          foodkarma Jan 16, 2010 01:24 AM

          It's so creamy... dangerous. I work across the street There have been many a home-made lunch that's left uneaten because of a sudden craving for Sate Pho around 1130am.

      2. b
        Beachy1 Jan 14, 2010 10:39 AM

        My favourite place is Trong Khanh (1115 Centre St North) for a bun bowl. I don't know exactly what it is about it but it just tastes amazing to me!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Beachy1
          m
          miss.foodie Jan 16, 2010 09:36 AM

          The sate beef pho is pretty good at Trong Khanh as well. I sometimes like their cambodian noodle soup with the clear noodles (you can ask for it with out the offal/organs). What I really like there is the minced garlic chili oil to put in my food. The garlic chili oil is house made and very addictive.

          1. re: miss.foodie
            f
            foodkarma Jan 20, 2010 07:16 PM

            Inspired by this thread, I decided to try Trong Khanh tonight as it's on my way home. I ordered the Sate Beef Pho with clear noodles instead of pho.

            I think my biggest mistake was getting this take out. When I got home after a 15 min drive, the noodles were clumped together. I thought it was just sticky due to starch and as with most takeouts, will be ok after I add the soup. Adding the soup made it worse, the noodles were so overcooked and mushy that it didn't resemble noodles at all and lacked the chewy texture I like in clear noodles.

            I will say the beef sate soup had good flavour... I still prefer the richness of the Noodle King sate.

            I'd try this again, maybe eating in and I would like to try their regular pho special.

            1. re: foodkarma
              b
              Beachy1 Jan 21, 2010 12:46 PM

              Too bad that your noodles got messed up. I've tried take out from them and I found that it wasn't as good as eating there.

              1. re: Beachy1
                f
                foodkarma Jan 21, 2010 05:53 PM

                no worries - I'll try it again and make sure I eat at the restaurant.

        2. 2
          23skidoo Jan 14, 2010 11:22 AM

          I like Pho Hoai (in a mall in 3rd Ave SE, in Chinatown), and I get the #1 with rare beef. The broth is so beefy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 23skidoo
            s
            seemac70 Jan 14, 2010 04:12 PM

            Second that one! For a straight up beef soup Pho experience, Pho Hoai is absolutely amazing. Any French chef would be impressed by their broth. Clear as can be and deeply flavoured like none other of I've had.

            Mind you, for other types of Pho, I frequent other places too.

            Also, of course tastes vary and are subjective, but from a strict, objective culinary view, Pho Hoai is just good 'ol great execution of a basic recipe.

            It has been said that the simple recipes are the toughest to do well.

          2. v
            Vicker Jan 14, 2010 11:47 PM

            I like the Vietnamese restaurant just off 16th and Deerfoot behind the Radisson. I don't remember the name though :)

            1. ybnormal Jan 15, 2010 08:27 PM

              Pho Anh Huyen Noodle House on Centre Street N on 14th Ave.

              I take everyone here for the chicken or chicken/beef curry noodle soup (30c)

              It is honestly one of the best dishes in Calgary, and one of the few I actually crave when I haven't had it in a while.

              And their regular Pho is excellent as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ybnormal
                s
                Strider Jan 18, 2010 10:55 AM

                I like to go there for the curry soup too, but I always find it hard to get over the bleachy smell in there and the strange residue that coats everything (chopsticks, bowls, spoons, teacups)

              2. vanderb Jan 15, 2010 08:44 PM

                Two of my favs are already here, Pho Pasteur Saigon across from Harry Hays and Pho Anh Huyen. The Pho at Pasteur is always very generous in beef and their broth is excellent. Pho Anh Huyen is my choice for shrip/pork salad rolls and their coconut curry soups... pretty good stuff (even if the owners are Laoatian and not Vietnamese - pointed out by my Viet friends).

                1 Reply
                1. re: vanderb
                  m
                  miss.foodie Jan 16, 2010 09:45 AM

                  Have you/anyone been to Pho Pasteur recently? I'm curious if it is as good as before. Pho Pasteur has been my go-to place for pho tai for the last 10 years. When I'm in the mood for plain pho, I really like Pho Pasteur as their broth is very flavourful. The taste has been very consistent over the years. However, a co-worker of mine went just before Xmas and said that the soup was watery and tasteless and the beef slices were very chewy. He's a regular there too and so knows what to expect. I'm wondering if they were just having an off-day or whether there has been changes in kitchen staff.

                  In the summer time, I like the bun at Pho Pasteur as well. I like how they char-grill the pork and their spring rolls are quite tasty too.

                2. i
                  ilikebigmactoo Jan 16, 2010 09:38 AM

                  My personal favorite is Sunrise in Forest Lawn (4710 17 Ave SW). It is beside the Giant Tiger. I find they have the best favour.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ilikebigmactoo
                    f
                    Fid Jan 16, 2010 12:29 PM

                    I highly second this recommendation for Sunrise (aka Pho Bin Minh). They are consistently good, offer culantro along with the regular basil, and have an extra type of chili paste that is pretty tasty. Another good place is Pho Rang Dong at 45th St and 8th Ave in the strip mall with Lucky Supermarket.

                  2. i
                    ilovealbertabeets Jan 16, 2010 02:26 PM

                    I'm a fan of Bagolac Saigon. 6130 1A Street SW, although the service can be spotty. But it's worth the risk for the sweet and sour thai soup.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ilovealbertabeets
                      c
                      cn1822 Jan 16, 2010 04:54 PM

                      Bagolac isn't bad, but for the price, it's not worth it. Over priced in my opinion for Vietnamese food.

                    2. c
                      cn1822 Jan 16, 2010 04:50 PM

                      I have a couple of places I go to depending on the dish you want.
                      For Pho I like 'Pho Xuan' (920 36 St NE), Pho Dau Bo (as mentioned above), Pho Thanh (6630 4 St NE), and Nha Trang (8408 Elbow Dr SW) isn't that bad if you want to stay in the south.

                      OO and Basil (10, 2770 32nd Ave. NE) same owner as Pho Dau Bo (or previous owner?) and my friend swears by the Bo Kho here (beef stew).

                      For Bun Bo Hue (spicy beef noodle soup) <-- [this is even better that Pho Sate, imho] and Bun Hen (baby clams) go to Soug Huong (4-1704 61 Street SE) I hear the Hu Tieu Kho (another noodle dish that you either eat with egg noodles or clear snappy noodles with or without soup in the bowl. Kho here means dry, where they serve the soup on the side and have a special sauce they put on the noodles). I recommend the Bahn Bot Loc (it's a sticky rice appitizer with bits of pork and shrimp inside, it's a Hue (middle region of vietnam) specialty, here as well if you've never had it before; I prefer the one without the leaf wrapping.

                      Noodle World (right beside Pho Dau Bo) isn't bad for a number of other vietnamese dishes, though I would advise against the Pho here.
                      Bun Thit Nuong (vermicelli with grilled pork) can be had almost anywhere and it's basically the same, as well as Goi Cuon (Salad Rolls you wrap yourself) although I enjoy the ones at the Y2K Saigon on Macleod Trail.

                      1. s
                        Shazam Jan 18, 2010 09:18 AM

                        Calgary has a great selection of Vietnamese restaurants. It makes me very happy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Shazam
                          s
                          seemac70 Jan 22, 2010 11:59 AM

                          Here's to Pho!

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