The Pho Spot rocks a mean bowl for just $8 in downtown.
The Pho Spot rocks a mean bowl for just $8 in downtown.
Photo by Mai Pham

It's Perfect Pho Weather: Where to Grab a Bowl in Houston

A cold snap — okay, okay, a cool snap — is here. It's the weekend, and on top of that, some of you will likely be dealing with a hangover from all those World Series drink and beer specials around town. Know what's great for tackling all the above? A steaming hot bowl of pho: long-simmered beef, chicken or vegetarian broth and noodles. It's a Vietnamese specialty, but we're sure you knew that already.

Here's a round-up of our best pho coverage over the past year. Get to slurpin', y'all.

Pho Saigon is a Houston favorite.
Pho Saigon is a Houston favorite.
Photo by Phaedra Cook


Ten Best Bowls of Pho in Houston

On any given day, heads are bowed and hovering over steaming bowls of fragrant beef broth and noodles. They're eating pho, which many consider to be the national dish of Vietnam. Here in Houston, pho can be found in every part of town and is as everyday as a juicy burger or a street taco. There are five points to note when finding a satisfying bowl of pho:

1. Clarity and depth of broth
2. Texture and done-ness of noodles
3. Quality and quantity of proteins presented in the soup
4. Freshness and variety of accompanying herbs/sprouts/extras
5. Value

Bone marrow for your pho at The Pho Spot.
Bone marrow for your pho at The Pho Spot.
Photo by Mai Pham


First Look at The Pho Spot

“I’m headed to The Pho Spot. It’s brand-new — still in soft opening in Conservatory. They use a family recipe and it’s really good. I’ve been there three days in a row already, wanna come try?” my friend Jimmy said.

That was last Friday evening. I had just finished a late lunch of my favorite truffled egg salad sandwich at Local Foods Downtown. Jimmy had seen me through the window and wouldn't take no for an answer. I wasn’t hungry in the least, but I am always down for a good bowl of pho. Especially one about which a person like Jimmy, a self-professed foodie who travels the world, made strong proclamations like: “I think you will like it. It’s probably Top 3 in the city.”

Danh Le simmers his broth for 14 hours to make his delicious pho at The Pho Shack in Sugar Land.
Danh Le simmers his broth for 14 hours to make his delicious pho at The Pho Shack in Sugar Land.
Photo by Mai Pham


The Best Pho in Sugar Land? Head to The Pho Shack

The suburbs are usually a wasteland when it comes to finding good food. There are plenty of fast-food to-go options, ranging from KFC to McDonald’s and Whataburger, and plenty of fast-casual chains too, like Panera and Pei Wei. But it’s not very often that you stumble upon a really good restaurant on the outskirts of a suburb like Sugar Land, which is why The Pho Shack is such a pleasant surprise.

The pho at Pho Binh on Bellaire is Chef Chris Shepherd's pick for best pho.
The pho at Pho Binh on Bellaire is Chef Chris Shepherd's pick for best pho.
Photo by John Lam


Houston Chef's Favorite Vietnamese Restaurants

Cultural diversity shines in Houston, especially in the food scene. One genre that is very well represented is Vietnamese cuisine. Readers ask all the time which restaurant serves the best Vietnamese food, but it's a question that can't easily be justified with one answer. Restaurants can be known for great service and atmosphere, a fantastic beverage program and selection of craft beers, but we've found that no one place executes every dish better than any other place in the city. More often, restaurants become known for that specific off-the-chain item and that's what we wanted to know from our local chefs. What is your favorite Vietnamese joint and what do you recommend for diners?

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