Top 10 best pho Hanoi Old Quarter

Have you ever tasted the delicious flavors of Vietnam? If not, then you’re in for a treat! One dish that you absolutely cannot miss is Pho Hanoi – a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the world. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the origins, ingredients, and cultural significance of Pho Hanoi. Get ready for a mouthwatering journey!

Pho Hanoi
Pho Hanoi

The Origins of Pho Hanoi

Tracing back to the Capital City

Pho Hanoi is deeply rooted in the city from which it takes its name – Hanoi. Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is known for its vibrant street food culture and culinary heritage. Pho Hanoi has been enjoyed by locals for many generations and has gained immense popularity both within Vietnam and internationally. View more: Bun Cha Hanoi

A Blend of Influences

Pho Hanoi is not only a symbol of Vietnamese cuisine but also encapsulates the influences from different cultures. It is believed that the dish was originally inspired by French pot-au-feu, a type of beef stew. The Chinese also played a role in introducing noodles to Vietnam, which eventually led to the creation of Pho Hanoi as we know it today.

The Components of Pho Hanoi

Pot of pho broth
Pot of pho broth

The Heart and Soul: A Flavorful Broth

The foundation of any good bowl of Pho Hanoi lies in its broth. The broth is made by simmering beef bones, spices, and herbs for several hours. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and creates a fragrant and savory broth that is the essence of Pho Hanoi. A combination of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom infuses the broth with a unique and aromatic taste.

Rice Noodles: The Perfect Texture

Pho Hanoi uses flat and smooth rice noodles, which give the dish its characteristic texture. The noodles are cooked separately and then added to the bowl along with the broth. They soak up the flavors of the broth and provide a delicate yet satisfying chewiness to each mouthful of Pho Hanoi.

Toppings to Delight Your Senses

Pho Hanoi comes alive with an array of toppings that add freshness, crunch, and bursts of flavors. Common toppings include thinly sliced beef or chicken, bean sprouts, fresh herbs like cilantro and Thai basil, lime wedges, and chili peppers. These toppings not only contribute to the visual appeal of the dish but also enhance its taste and aroma.

The Flavors and Condiments

Seasoning for pho Hanoi
Seasoning for pho Hanoi

Customizing Your Pho

To make each bowl of Pho Hanoi truly unique, diners have the pleasure of customizing their dish according to their preferences. Condiments such as hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce are common accompaniments to Pho Hanoi. These sauces allow diners to add an extra layer of sweetness, spiciness, or tanginess to their bowl of noodle soup.

Garnishes for an Extra Oomph

In addition to condiments, extra garnishes like fried shallots and scallions are often sprinkled on top of Pho Hanoi. These garnishes add an extra dimension of flavor and texture to the dish, making each spoonful a delightful experience.

The Cultural Significance of Pho Hanoi

Cultural Significance of Pho Hanoi
Cultural Significance of Pho Hanoi

A Beloved Breakfast Tradition

In Hanoi, Pho Hanoi is traditionally enjoyed as a breakfast dish. Locals often gather at street stalls or small eateries to savor a piping hot bowl of Pho Hanoi before starting their day. This communal experience not only satisfies hunger but also fosters a sense of community and cultural pride.

A Culinary Heritage

Pho Hanoi is more than just a delicious meal; it is a cultural symbol that represents the culinary heritage of Vietnam. It showcases the skill and craftsmanship of Vietnamese cooks in perfecting a dish that has stood the test of time.

The Best Pho Restaurants in Hanoi Old Quarter

If you are a food enthusiast or an adventurous traveler, exploring Hanoi Old Quarter is a must-do activity. Here, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant street life, historical landmarks, and of course, the incredible culinary scene. And when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, there is one dish that stands out among all others – Pho Hanoi.

Pho Hanoi, or simply Pho, is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that has gained global popularity for its flavorful broth, tender rice noodles, and a variety of toppings. In this article, we will take you on a gastronomic journey through the charming streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, as we uncover the top 10 Pho restaurants that deliver an unforgettable culinary experience.

Pho Gia Truyen – 49 Bat Dan

  • Address: 49 Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Open hours: 6 am – 10 am and 6 pm – 8:30 pm daily
  • Price: from 50,000VND /bowl
Pho Gia Truyen
Pho Gia Truyen

Located on Bát Đàn Street, Phở Gia Truyền has been serving delicious Pho for more than 80 years. Their secret recipe has been passed down through generations, resulting in a unique and authentic taste. The rich beef broth, tender slices of beef, and fresh herbs make Phở Gia Truyền a top choice for locals and tourists alike.

Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su

  • Address: 10 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Opening hours: about 6:30 am – 2 pm daily
  • Price: 60,000 – 85,000 VND/person.
Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su

Nestled on Lý Quốc Sư Street, Phở 10 is a hidden gem loved by Hanoi locals. Their specialty lies in the aromatic beef bone broth simmered for hours, resulting in a deep, rich flavor that perfectly complements the tender beef slices and smooth rice noodles. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff add to the overall dining experience.

Pho Thin Bo Ho – 61 Dinh Tien Hoang

  • Address61 P. Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Opening hours: about 5:30 pm daily
  • Price: 50,000 – 80,000 VND/person.
Pho Thin Bo Ho
Pho Thin Bo Ho

Situated near the famous Hoan Kiem Lake, Phở Thìn Bờ Hồ is renowned for its exceptional Pho. The secret lies in their expertise in cooking thin slices of tender beef that are cooked to perfection in the scorching-hot broth. The combination of the fragrant broth, chewy noodles, and succulent beef creates a harmonious symphony of flavors.

Pho Vui – 25 Hang Giay

Pho Vui
Pho Vui

Phở Vui is a vibrant and bustling Pho restaurant located on Hàng Giầy Street. They offer a wide variety of Pho options, from the classic beef Pho to unique variations with chicken or seafood. The colorful assortment of toppings, including fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime, allows you to customize your bowl according to your taste preferences.

Pho Suong – 24B Trung Yen

  • Address: 24B Trung Yen, Dinh Liet, Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Opening hours: 5:30 am – 11 am & 4:30 pm – 9:30 pm daily
  • Price: 40,000 – 50,000 VND/bowl
Pho Suong
Pho Suong

Phở Sướng is a beloved Pho spot tucked away on Trung Yên Street. What sets them apart is their commitment to using high-quality ingredients and cooking techniques that stay true to tradition. The result is a bowl of Pho that is packed with intense flavors and provides a truly satisfying dining experience.

Pho Ga Huyen Huong – 20 Bao Khanh

Pho Ga Huyen Huong
Pho Ga Huyen Huong

Pho Ga Bao Khanh has been around for a long time and is known and enjoyed by many local and foreign tourists. The sweet flavor of Pho from Bone broth, Fragrant and Soft from Chicken, Freshness from Onions along with the traditional cooking method create a bowl of pho that can’t be found anywhere else.

Pho Ga Lam – 7 Nam Ngu

Pho Ga Lam
Pho Ga Lam

For those seeking a twist on the traditional beef Pho, Phở Gà Lâm on Nam Ngư Street offers a delightful alternative – chicken Pho. The clear and flavorful chicken broth, tender chicken pieces, and aromatic herbs create a lighter yet equally satisfying variant of Pho that will leave you craving for more.

Pho Hanh – 65A Lan Ong

Pho Hanh
Pho Hanh

Phở Hạnh is a popular Pho spot nestled on Lãn Ông Street. Their unique selling point is the use of fish sauce in their broth, which adds a depth of flavor and sets them apart from other Pho restaurants. The generous amount of beef slices and the fragrant herbs provide a burst of flavors, making Phở Hạnh a must-visit destination for Pho lovers.

Pho Bo 48 Hang Dong

Pho Bo 48 Hang Dong
Pho Bo 48 Hang Dong

Phở Bò 48 distinguishes itself by using tenderloin beef as the main protein in their Pho. Located on Hàng Đồng Street, this Pho restaurant serves a hearty bowl of Pho with generous portions of beef, creating a satisfying meal that will leave you feeling content and nourished.

Pho Ganh – Nga Tu Hang Chieu

Pho Ganh
Pho Ganh

Last but not least, Phở Gánh is a street cart Pho vendor located at the intersection of Hàng Chiếu Street. This humble food stall has gained a cult following for its simple yet delicious Pho. The convenience of grabbing a quick bowl of Pho on-the-go and the affordability make Phở Gánh a favorite among locals and budget-conscious travelers.

How to Make Pho Hanoi

Ingredients for cooking pho
Ingredients for cooking pho

If you’re intrigued by the flavors of Pho Hanoi and want to recreate this delectable dish at home, here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own Pho:

Gather the ingredients:

  • Beef bones or chicken bones
  • Onion, ginger, and garlic
  • Cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves
  • Fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper
  • Rice noodles and bean sprouts
  • Beef or chicken slices
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, mint) and lime wedges

Prepare the broth:

  • Roast the bones in the oven to develop flavor.
  • Add the roasted bones, onion, ginger, and garlic to a pot of boiling water.
  • Add the spices and simmer for several hours.
  • Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  • Season the broth with fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.

Cook the noodles:

  • Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions.
  • Rinse them under cold water to prevent sticking.

Assemble the Pho:

  • Place a portion of cooked rice noodles in a bowl.
  • Top it with your choice of beef or chicken slices.
  • Pour the hot broth over the noodles and meat.
  • Garnish with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and lime wedges.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions about Pho Hanoi

What is the origin of Pho?

Pho originated in Northern Vietnam in the early 20th century and quickly became a staple dish in Vietnamese cuisine. It was initially popularized by Hanoi locals and eventually spread throughout the country.

Can I customize my Pho toppings?

Absolutely! One of the joys of eating Pho is the ability to customize your bowl according to your taste preferences. You can add bean sprouts, herbs, lime, chili sauce, and hoisin sauce to enhance the flavors.

Is Pho a healthy dish?

Pho is generally considered a healthy dish due to its nutritious ingredients, such as lean meat, fresh herbs, and rice noodles. However, the sodium content in the broth can vary, so it’s important to choose a restaurant that uses less salt or opt for low-sodium versions.

Are there vegetarian or vegan options for Pho?

Yes, vegetarian and vegan versions of Pho are available. Instead of using meat-based broth, vegetable broth or mushroom broth can be used, and tofu or plant-based proteins can be added as substitutes.

Can I find Pho outside of Vietnam?

Pho has gained global popularity, and you can find Pho restaurants in many countries around the world. However, for an authentic Pho experience, visiting Vietnam and trying Pho Hanoi is highly recommended.

What makes Pho Hanoi unique?

Pho Hanoi is known for its clear and fragrant broth, which is simmered for hours to extract all the flavors from the bones and spices. The delicate rice noodles and the balance of herbs and toppings create a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.


If you find yourself wandering the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a steaming bowl of Pho Hanoi. With its rich history, distinctive flavors, and the wide selection of Pho restaurants in the area, it’s an experience that will leave a lasting impression.

From the legendary Phở Gia Truyền to the humble street cart Phở Gánh, each Pho restaurant in Hanoi Old Quarter offers a unique interpretation of this beloved Vietnamese dish. Whether you’re a seasoned Pho enthusiast or a first-timer, there’s a Pho restaurant waiting to delight your taste buds and showcase the culinary excellence of Hanoi. So, grab your chopsticks, slurp your noodles, and savor the flavors of Pho Hanoi – a true masterpiece of Vietnamese cuisine.