Finding the Best Taste of Pho Saigon in 2023

best taste of pho saigon

If you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, then you’ve probably heard of pho. And if you’re looking for the best taste of pho Saigon has to offer, you’ve come to the right place!

Everything you need to know about Pho Saigon, from what it is, to where to find it, and how to make it yourself.

What is Pho Saigon?

Pho Saigon is a popular type of pho that originates from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. It’s characterized by its clear broth, thin rice noodles, and flavorful beef or chicken toppings.

Pho Saigon is often accompanied by fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime wedges, which are added to the bowl before serving.

This dish is known for its light yet savory flavor profile, making it a favorite among foodies around the world.

Who invented Pho Saigon?

The origins of pho are unclear, but it’s believed to have originated in Northern Vietnam during the late 19th century.

Pho Saigon, on the other hand, is a more recent variation that gained popularity in the south during the mid-20th century.

It’s said to have been created by street vendors who added their own unique twists to the traditional pho recipe.

When should you eat Pho Saigon?

Pho Saigon is traditionally eaten as a breakfast or lunch dish. However, it’s become increasingly popular as a dinner option, particularly in western countries where Vietnamese cuisine has gained a following.

Many restaurants that serve Pho Saigon are open throughout the day, so you can enjoy it whenever you crave something warm and nourishing.

How to make Pho Saigon at home?

Making Pho Saigon at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own delicious bowl of Pho Saigon:

  1. Start by preparing the broth. You’ll need beef bones, onions, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and fish sauce. Roast the bones in the oven until they’re browned, then add them to a large pot with the aromatics and enough water to cover everything. Simmer for at least three hours, skimming any impurities that rise to the surface.
  2. While the broth is simmering, prepare your toppings. Thinly slice some beef or chicken and set it aside. Soak some rice noodles in hot water until they soften, then drain them and set aside.
  3. When the broth is ready, strain it into a clean pot and bring it to a boil. Add the beef or chicken and cook until it’s no longer pink.
  4. To serve, add the rice noodles to a bowl and ladle the hot broth and meat on top. Top with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and lime wedges, and enjoy!

Pros and Cons of Pho Saigon

Like any dish, Pho Saigon has its pros and cons. Here are a few to consider:


  • Light yet flavorful broth that’s full of nutrients
  • Versatile toppings that can be customized to your liking
  • Can be enjoyed as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner dish
  • Gluten-free and dairy-free options available


  • High in sodium, especially if you eat it frequently
  • Can be time-consuming to make from scratch
  • Some people may not enjoy the texture of the rice noodles

Alternatives to Pho Saigon

If you’re looking for something similar to Pho Saigon, here are a few alternatives to try:

  • Bun bo hue: another Vietnamese soup with a spicy broth and rice noodles, but with thicker noodles and different toppings
  • Ramen: a Japanese noodle soup that’s typically made with a pork-based broth and wheat noodles
  • Laksa: a Malaysian soup with coconut milk, noodles, and seafood or chicken

Tips for Finding the Best Pho Saigon

If you’re on the hunt for the best Pho Saigon in town, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Look for restaurants that use high-quality ingredients, such as grass-fed beef or organic chicken.
  • Check online reviews before visiting a new restaurant to see what others have to say about their Pho Saigon.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the server for recommendations on which Pho Saigon to try. They may have insider knowledge on the best dishes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Eating Pho Saigon like a Pro

Eating Pho Saigon can be a bit intimidating if you’re not familiar with the process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to eating Pho Saigon like a pro:

  1. Add your bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and lime wedges to thebowl of Pho Saigon. You can also add in some hoisin sauce and sriracha for extra flavor.
  2. Use your chopsticks to mix everything together, ensuring that the toppings are evenly distributed throughout the bowl.
  3. Use your chopsticks and spoon to eat the noodles and meat, taking care not to slurp too loudly (although it’s considered acceptable in many cultures).
  4. Drink the broth directly from the bowl, using your spoon to scoop up any remaining bits of meat or noodles.
  5. Enjoy!

Comparison of Pho Saigon to Other Pho Varieties

There are several different types of pho, each with its own unique flavor profile. Here’s a comparison of Pho Saigon to other popular pho varieties:

  • Pho Tai: a type of pho made with rare beef slices, which are cooked in the broth as it’s served.
  • Pho Ga: a type of pho made with chicken instead of beef. The broth is lighter in color and flavor than traditional beef pho.
  • Pho Bac: a type of pho that originated in Northern Vietnam. It’s characterized by its clear, slightly sweet broth and thicker noodles.
  • Pho Chay: a vegetarian version of pho that uses mushrooms, tofu, and vegetable broth instead of meat.

Tips for Making the Best Pho Saigon at Home

Making Pho Saigon at home can be a challenge, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a delicious bowl of soup:

  • Roast the bones before making the broth to give it a richer flavor.
  • Use high-quality ingredients, such as grass-fed beef or organic chicken.
  • Don’t skimp on the herbs and spices – they’re what give Pho Saigon its unique flavor profile.
  • Be patient when simmering the broth. The longer it cooks, the more flavorful it will be.


  1. Is Pho Saigon gluten-free? Yes, as long as you use gluten-free rice noodles and tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.
  2. Can I make Pho Saigon with pork instead of beef or chicken? Absolutely! Pork can be a delicious alternative to beef or chicken in Pho Saigon.
  3. How do I know if the Pho Saigon is authentic? Look for restaurants that use traditional ingredients and cooking methods. Authentic Pho Saigon should have a clear broth, thin noodles, and flavorful toppings.
  4. Is there a vegetarian version of Pho Saigon? Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of Pho Saigon by using vegetable broth and tofu or mushrooms instead of meat.
  5. Can I freeze leftover Pho Saigon? Yes, you can freeze leftover Pho Saigon for up to three months. Just be sure to freeze the broth and toppings separately.


Pho Saigon is a delicious and nutritious Vietnamese dish that’s perfect for any time of day.

Whether you’re looking to try it for the first time or you’re a seasoned pro, this guide has everything you need to know about finding the best taste of Pho Saigon in 2023. So grab your chopsticks and get ready to slurp up some savory goodness!

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