Best Pho in Hoi An

Food of every place has one key element or recipe that makes it popular and unique all around the world. The dish is recognized especially by that country’s name. The Vietnamese food has a lot of famous cuisines and recipes but Pho is the first thing that appears in mind with the name of food of Vietnam. There is a phrase of northern Vietnam that says “chan com Them Pho” that means “tired of rice, craving Pho”. It was once a very special Vietnamese dish that was occasionally made to skip eating rice for a while. It is now available in many parts of the world in typical style as well as with some variations according to the local flavors of that place.

best pho vietnam

(Best Pho in Hoi An)

Intensive labor and attention is required to make Pho due to that it was not made often. The competition of best typical pho keeps on going between different eateries in Vietnam. The original recipe was originated from northern Vietnam Nam Dinh and then spread in the entire country. The recipes of every region are slightly different from each other. Typical Pho is the simple hot bowl of rich and light soup with beef or chicken and rice noodles. The north pho is salty and south one is sweet. However, in central areas such as hoi an, the pho has a mix of sweet and salty flavor. It is the mist unique pho as compared to other regions because of its flavor and the pickles are served with it.

The history of Pho

Before recommending to try it out we should share a brief history of pho. Chinese remained the ruler of Vietnam for a thousand years that can be seen in their lifestyle and even the writings that has Chinese characters in it. After the French rule, modern Vietnamese writing came completely under the influence of Roman alphabet. Anyway, due to the Chinese rule, it is said that this recipe belongs to them. However, it basically came from the Northern Vietnam from the city Nam Dinh. Some people say that the name of “Pho” originated from French word “feu” that means fire.

best pho in hoi an

(Best Pho in Hoi An)

During the French rule there was not abundant food available so the Vietnamese used to have the left overs of beef, unwanted parts and bones from the meals of French people. They used them to make the soup by mixing with the available spices. After the war some Vietnamese refugees opened small restaurants of pho made with a little variation because of the availability of meat and spices options. Some pho recipes came from the Vietnamese recipes from the southern part they called it pho nam (south).

history pho vietnam

(Best Pho in Hoi An)

Later it was spread around the world due to tourism. In the recent years, pho became extremely popular in the world because of the chefs Andrew Zimmerman and Anthony Bourdain visited Vietnams a few times. Some other chefs also learned the typical pho techniques from Vietnam and started making that in their own restaurants. Different countries combined their local ingredients and created new flavors of pho.

Regional varieties of pho

If you visit Vietnam, you will find a different flavor in every region.

Northern Pho

The main flavor is a bit saltier than others. The northern dishes have more salt like Chinese and they focus on seasoning more. The pho is served with a piece of lime, green onions and basil or sometimes thin sliced green chilies for more spice. The broth is clear and sometimes it is served with quay (Chinese donut).


(Best Pho in Hoi An)

Central Vietnam pho

It is a mix of sweet, salty and sour with satay peanut mix. The pho has noodles which are known as pho kho. They are dried and cooked in hot broth that adds more texture and flavor. Central pho is served with different pickles like green papaya, onions and bean sprouts to keep it sour. You will find the best pho in Hoi an.

Central Vietnam

Southern pho

The pho is said to be sweet and it has stronger flavor that makes it feel sweeter. Sweet chili sauce or hoisin sauce is added to the pho that increases the sweetness. It is served with different herbs and beans sprouts. Southern pho is more famous in most parts of the world than other types.


Ingredients in pho

Time is the main thing that makes pho delicious whereas the ingredients are very simple.

Ingredients in pho


Rice noodles are mostly used in the making of pho. In other countries, they use rice or egg noodles. Main parts of Vietnam use rice noodles but the typical local places use dried pho noodles.


Salt, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds and black pepper.


The quantity of vegetables varies according to the choice of people but the typical ones are onions, shallots and ginger.


Normally lime and green onions are used to garnish whereas cilantro and peanuts are used only in Hoi an to garnish Pho.


Different types of meat are used according to the type of pho like different cuts of beef, chicken, oxtail or beef bones. The typical pho has the thin sliced beef known as Pho bo tai in Vietnam.

Ingredients in pho hoian

Best pho restaurants in Hoi an

From all the types and ingredients some best restaurants are chosen where you can have the best pho in Hoi an. Vietnamese people have pho mostly in breakfast because it is light and they eat heavier foods in lunch and dinner. This is reason that pho is not available in most of the restaurants after 10:00am.

Pho Tung Restaurant

Usually locals recommend this place for the pho because it is considered as one of the oldest and most authentic places. It is located in the old town that remains open from 7:00am to 12:00pm. You can recognize it from the blue sign having its name and the yellow walls. Environment becomes more interesting with the small gate, metal tables and matching stools. The Hoi an typical flavors are added to the pho but the broth is like the typical north style. The garnishing contains bean sprouts, satay peanuts and pickled papaya. This place is run by an old couple and they teach people the right way to eat the pho. They also make the mint herb salad with chili. This is the best recommendation for a delicious pho in authentic and local environment.

pho tung - best pho in hoi an

(Best Pho in Hoi An)

Pho Lien restaurant

Pho lien restaurant was located in the heart of old town but it is moved to an islet of Hoi an that is easily recognized by its huge sign. This is a typical Vietnamese place where you will find a lot of local women working. It remains open from 6:30 am to 6:00pm. The complete interior of the restaurant is very typical like gritty metal tables, metal stools and the napkins are of recycled paper. The prices are affordable but different according to the ingredients of pho you select. They are different from others because their pho is sweeter and the noodles are harder and chewy. They also serve a fried bread with thin spread on it to dip in the pho.

Vy’s market restaurant

It is not actually a market but a restaurant that not only serves delicious food but also has a cooking school. It is open from 8:00am to 8:00pm. It is a typical Vietnamese place that you can see in architecture, interior and food. The décor is traditional and beautiful along with the lines of lanterns in different sizes. This is designed like a market where you feel the restaurant has hawkers and you have to visit different stalls. You can look at the food on each stall and choose from them. There is an English menu with the images of each dish on the tablet. Their pho is the mix of southern, northern and central pho with the mild broth and banh pho. They garnish the pho with peanut satay. This tourist friendly place is perfect for the people who are trying pho for the first time.

vy restaurant - best pho in hoi an

(Best Pho in Hoi An)

Sen Viet restaurant

You can try the authentic northern pho like the one served in Hanoi at Sen Viet restaurant. It remains open from 6:45 am to 8:15 pm. Price of the pho is 30,000 VND and you can get a quay in extra 5000 VND. Broth is exactly like north, completely clear. You can enjoy the amazing flavor of north in this spacious restaurant. The environment is very interesting, the yellow walls with hand painted art and the red brick restaurant lining. The indoor of the restaurant is very spacious but they also have outdoor seating so you can sit and enjoy the activities of people while having pho. There are many shops, cafes and restaurants near Sen Viet restaurant so you can try something like coffee or smoothie after the meal.

Pho Xua restaurant

You will find the restaurant extremely busy and sometimes there is a queue of people outside the restaurant in the evening. Pho Xua is very famous among the Korean tourists and they admire the food along with the prices. They serve the pho in medium and large sizes. Their pho tastes earthy as compared to other places of Hoi an because of the spices and herbs like cloves, cinnamon and star anise. The space is limited due to that their service is super quick. This is more like an eat and go type place serving delicious and authentic Vietnamese food. Pho Xua restaurant will give you the best pho in hoi an in very reasonable prices.

pho xua - best pho in hoi an

(Best Pho in Hoi An)

General information about Pho in Hoi an

The places mentioned above are picked according to their uniqueness and wonderful taste.

Tip for trying pho for the first time:

If you are trying pho for the first time then decide according to your taste like, if you are not a fond of sweet then do not go to the place that serves sweet pho like the southern one. If you like both sweet and salty but confused about it then try the central Vietnam pho served at most places in Hoi an. It has a mix of both but served with many other herbs and spice that you can add to make it taste according to you.

You can go to pho tung because it is highly recommended by the locals and tourists. Almost all of the places are tourist friendly and serve best food. If you enjoy hustle and bustle, then you can go to Vy’s market where you can see the pho and select the garnishing along with many other food options. To decide which place serves the best pho in Hoi An is a very difficult thing because every place in Hoi an has a different taste and specialty. Never forget that most of the places listed above do not serve pho after breakfast so you have to reach early and have it as breakfast.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments