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Best Pho in Tampa Bay

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Searching for the best pho in Tampa Bay and would love some suggestions. My current favorite is Pho Quyen in Pinellas Park. I have not tried the one in Tampa. Are they the same owners? Went to Bamboozle Cafe yesterday and thought it bland and expensive. My next stop is Pho an Hoa.

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Pho Quyen Restaurant
4505 Park Blvd Ste 10, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

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  1. I think the Pho at Pho an Hoa is very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rhnault

      I agree on Pho An Hoa. Bamboozle does have some good dishes, but the Pho didn't blow me away there, either. Saigon Deli's is adequate but not great.

    2. Taste of Saigon on Park Blvd (just east of 66th Street on the north side). I have eaten at Pho Quyen for many years (and still do for some dishes), but the Pho at Taste of Saigon blows theirs away. Have tried pho at many places, and so far this is my favorite by far.

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      Pho Quyen Restaurant
      4505 Park Blvd Ste 10, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

      Taste of Saigon
      6527 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

      1. The different Pho Quyen restaurants around the Bay Area are all owned by the same family and their extended relatives, but each one has it's own specialties. I personally like the Bun and Pho better at Pinellas Park and the stirfried items more at the one on Hillsborough.

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        Pho Quyen Restaurant
        4505 Park Blvd Ste 10, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

        1. Yeah, I love love love the rolls at Bamboozle, but their Pho is pretty boring. I remember the Pho at Saigon Deli being pretty yummy, but it's so hard for me to not get a banh mi when I go there. Kind of like it's really hard for me to not get the make your own rolls at pho quyen

          1. Had Pho, last night at Lee House in Brandon. Very good will definitely be back.

            1. I think the best one I've had is the Pho at Alesia Restaurant in St. Pete. New place just opened about a month ago www.alesiarestaurant.com. Second one I like probably Taste of Saigon in Pinellas Park.

              2 Replies
              1. re: NictheQuick

                Tried it today at lunch - you are right Nic, the pho broth was very tasty and the steak was a perfect med-rare at service. Curious though that no sprouts, thai basil or chilies were offered - just the hoisin and sambal. I asked both the waiter and the owner with no luck. Very good summer roll as well!

                1. re: NictheQuick

                  Just tried Alesia and loved it while visiting St. Pete--pho, bun, summer rolls, asian beef stew, and short rib sandwich for our table, so good. I always order bun at Vietnamese restos & this may be the best yet. Also great beer list.

                2. I like Saigon Bay and Trang's Viet Cuisine, both in the USF area. The meatballs in the pho at Saigon Bay are killer.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: holladay

                    Had Pho at Pho an Hoa a week or so ago and thought it was very good. I'm no expert though thought it was a bit better than Saigon Deli. Also been to Song Hoang on West Waters (I think). Didn't have the Pho but liked whatever it was I had (over a year ago so I can't remember).

                    1. re: ladlelady

                      Sorry, I should have differentiated: Saigon Bay and Saigon Deli are not the same place. Sadly, I still have not been to Saigon Deli! :(

                      1. re: holladay

                        Pretty cool place, albeit small. The staff are wonderful, even found a table. Very busy and very good. Worth a trip back. The Bahn Mi kicks, although the rolls are Publix, toasted.

                        1. re: DoubleBurger

                          I totally agree. Definitely like the Bahn Mi even with the Publix roll and the Pho tastes pretty dang good to this novice! If you haven't been to Saigon Deli you've got to give it a try!

                          1. re: ladlelady

                            On one of my last trips in to Saigon Deli I got there a few minutes after closing and the guy still insisted his staff make my two Banh Mi sammies even tho I made no protest... One grilled pork and one 'pork skin'... Ooooo---- it was kinda weird, but good...

                            While I waited I got to watch their routine at closing time... They began preparing the next days' Pho with tens of pounds of fresh-looking, chopped, red, meat-stripped, bones and aromatic herbs and vegetables dumped into giant cauldrons set to simmer all night while we all slept...

                            He took the opportunity to explain with pride how they go above and beyond to make their Pho, doing thing a lot of other places don't do...
                            I only had Pho there once, and I loved it... I tasted the richness...

                            How special their technique is I don't know, but they sure make the effort, and I was glad I showed up when I did... They couldn't have been nicer...

                             
                             
                            1. re: Mild Bill

                              their chicken pho is nice too.

                              1. re: Mild Bill

                                My sister also loves their banh mi. I haven't had their pho, but last time I was in town, my dad got some Banh Canh as a take out item for me. That was very tasty and one I would definitely order again. Interesting that they they directly simmer the bones overnight. To get a very clean and clear broth, a lot of pho shops will paraboil the bones first to get rid of the scum and impurities. Then they'll transfer to the cauldrons for the overnight simmering. That's how my mom (who actually makes the best pho around :) makes pho. She also uses short ribs and oxtail to put it over the top :) There isn't any loss of beefy flavor and you don't have a "dirty" soup to deal with :)

                                1. re: larkemon

                                  I may have been witnessing 'the parboil', I dunno...

                                  1. re: larkemon

                                    When I had the Pho at Saigon Deli it was the "dirty" that you speak of.

                                    1. re: rhnault

                                      That's too bad. I am pretty sure the Pho I had there recently was "clean" - I wonder if it depends on who is working? I'll have to get back down there and check it out. Been wanting to try my had at making it and need some ingredients anyway!

                                      1. re: ladlelady

                                        When in Sarasota "Pho Cali" on Main St. is my fav. The Pho is great, Bun for a cool summer treat is excellent. Also, Summer rolls, Pan fried dumplings, Duck, Grilled Quail and Roasted Cornish Hen served on Viet Fried Rice is on my repeat list.
                                        http://www.phocalisarasota.com/

                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                          That's great news Osprey - it's been a year or so since I've eaten at PC (said I'd never go back, bad service) but I do eat at MissSaigon on 301 at least once a week - it's really good. Great pho ga, too. A new place (Pho Amy) opened almost across the street from them, and after two tries I give it a 'thumbs up' also. The owner said almost apologetically they make their rolls to order - best I've had in the bay area. Not much in the way of decor, but the hospitality makes up for it!

                                          1. re: cflynn

                                            Pho Amy is very good, they have Banh Mi made with fresh baked bread; and it is a bit slow as every dish is made to order, Kind of like eating in a friend's grandmother's kitchen!! Pho Cali does not have the tasty little sandwiches!!

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                                            Pho Cali
                                            1578 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236

                      2. Continuing the search I tried Jade Bistro on Park Blvd. Very good Pho with the traditional sides including culantro. The broth was very flavorful and rich. It has a nicer atmosphere than some of the other Vietnamese cafes in the area, not fancy but clean. Service was friendly and attentive, perhaps because I was the only guest? I have to say I preferred this to Taste of Saigon. Will return to try other dishes as I would expect them to be equally good.

                        Alesia on Central did not do it for me. After reading the positive reviews I really expected more. The atmosphere is very pleasant bistro style, but the service was slow and yet I felt rushed to finish. The Pho was bland and did not come with all the yummy condiments. Again all I tried was Pho so perhaps the French dishes are better.

                         
                        1. Nobody has mentionned the Budhist temple in Brandon...They have a huge Thai buffet every Sunday from about 10am until 3 or 4 and the food is fabulous..Its like a street fair and you pay for each item that you want ranging from fried banana/sweet potato/entrees like pad thai,curried pumpkin,spicy green beans with beef,chicken curry,grilled meats and sausages, and more things than i can mention here....it is mostly Thai but they have their version of Pho too and I have come to love it...It comes with beef or pork and they have meatballs as well..The soup comes in regular and LARGE...I get the large but I cant really eat anything else after that so if you want to sample more stuff,get the regular...Once in a while there is even a seafood Pho offered...The temple grounds are along Palm River and under gorgeous palms with lots of picnic tables around for seating...Get there early...it gets crowded and some of the items,especially the Pho can have long lines...Be patient,its worth it...Google Budhist temple Brandon or Wat Mongalontrannan(sp) and get directions and view the pics...This place is very special and worth the effort to find it...

                          1. Saigon Deli had the best pho I've had in the area. It's the closest I've come to finding the pho that I enjoyed in Texas, California, Washington DC, NYC, and SE Asia (I say closest with heavy emphasis as I still think it comes up short). However, I would put Saigon Deli above Trang, Saigon Bay, Pho Quyen (USF and Pinellas Park), Taste of Saigon, and Jade Bistro. The banh mi while good... I just can't bring myself to pay $3 for banh mi. The pho at Saigon Deli is a good price starting at $6.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: softlyfades

                              I am not a fan of their pho at Saigon Deli.

                            2. Saigon Deli was one of the first places I tried based on reviews and thought the pho was just awful. The broth lacked all of the richness that makes it such a wonderful dish. Other posts mention that it may depend on who in charge of preparation but of course consistency makes a restaurant great. Has anyone tried the new La V on Central in downtown St Pete?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: floridaeater

                                >>Has anyone tried the new La V on Central in downtown St Pete?

                                Yes, they have a very tasty broth and high quality meats. Like the oxtail in the soup. On my top 5 list for Vietnamese restaurants in Pinellas cty.

                              2. I gotta say my favorite spot for pho is Mekong on 34th St. It;'s always tasty and has the usual accompaniments. I will try some of the other spots mentioned on this board. Always room for pho!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: foodiecub

                                  Recently visited Mekong and I have to agree this is very good Pho. The waitress was friendly and offered helpful recommendations to my friend who was new to the cuisine which led us to try a bowl of Mi Ga Quay with BBQ cornish hen that was quite good. I have been next door to Ha Long Bay for dim sum which I enjoyed. Will try the Pho next visit.

                                2. There is a new Noodle bar at the Seminole hard Rock Casino in Tampa...They have Pho and Im waiting to get some feedback on that place...If you google the casino you can see the Noodle bar site and read the menu...It better be good...Says a bowl of Pho is 12.00!!! Please post something if you have tried this place...

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: flamale863

                                    Not an expert on Asian cuisine, but I have had the roast duck twice at the new noodle bar and prefer the noodles and duck at the yummy house.

                                    1. re: flamale863

                                      the pho is not very good, it's a very simple broth that seems to come from some type of quick base. reminded me of the pho at brandon mall food court. nothing at the noodle bar is outstanding compared to offerings outside of the casino, overpriced and the portions are small (beef chow fun 1/2 size of what you'd get at yummy house). The only good thing about the hard rock noodle bar is that they serve food til 2AM every night, nowhere else in tampa you can find oriental food at such an hour.

                                      i've tried to like this place multiple times but unfortunately it leaves much to be desired.

                                    2. I feel like a bit of a Phó connoisseur, as it's my go-to dish at any new Vietnamese place (of which I've eaten at most in Tampa Bay) and I have to say, the #22 at Ben Thanh is hands down the best. Simple dish. Complex broth. All the proper accoutrements. Price is right. And the service is super friendly. Never been disappointed there.

                                      62nd Ave in Pinellas Park.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: spokefish

                                        +1 on Ben Thanh. The hottest, tastiest broth in the area and noodles are perfectly cooked.

                                      2. Would also suggest Pho Kien Giang on 49th St in Pinellas Park (right near 87th Ave N on the west side in little strip center). Is the original owners of Taste of Saigon....very good Pho and good chicken wings.