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A Handy Guide to the Twin Cities' Best Pho

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In honor of Cocktail Week 2013 and today's Hangover Power Hour, we're spotlighting that most Twin Cities of hangover cures: a big, steaming bowl of pho. This Vietnamese noodle soup is known in some circles as a miracle hangover cure for its delivery of that powerful combo of broth and protein. Whether it serves as relief from the chill in the air or the piercing headache from a boozy night before, slurping up a warm hearty bowl of pho provides a blissful happiness unlike any other.

The Twin Cities is rife with pho eateries big and small, and everyone has their favorite joint, favorite broth, favorite cuts of meat, and their favorite noodles. Instead of pursuing a love-hate relationship with the pho eateries around town, just try them all with this handy guide to the best pho in the Twin Cities.

Did we miss your favorite bowl of pho? Let us know in the comments.


Theresa Swaney

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cadao Express

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6637 Penn Ave S
Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 861-9901
When you are stranded on the outskirts of Edina and Bloomington and need of some pho to realign your senses, this tiny eatery near the intersection of 66th Street and Penn Avenue will definitely help you out. They have all the staples, from beef, to meatballs, to chicken, tripe, and tendon. You can’t go wrong with an order of beef pho to go.

2. Pho Tau Bay

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2837 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 874-6030
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On the southern end of Eat Street, Pho Tau Bay serves up amble-sized pho with a strong beefy-broth in a subbed former diner atmosphere. From traditional beef, to tripe, and fishballs, Pho Tau Bay can whip out 20 different varieties of pho on a moments notice. When push comes to shove, Pho Tau Bay’s name in English says it all, Flying Pho Boat.

3. Quang Restaurant

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2719 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 870-4739
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Almost always bustling with people, Quang’s has been around since 1989. The cult followers will tell you this pho is the best in town. Its got generous portions of meat, vegetables, and noodles with just the right amount of seasoning in the broth. First timers to this legendary establishment should stick to the classic pho tai or beef pho to be wowed.

4. Jasmine 26

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8 E 26th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 870-3800
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Vegetarians are often out of luck when it comes to the beef heavy broth of traditional pho recipes. This is where Jasmine 26 comes in. This upscale, mainly vegetarian restaurant offers a pho with clear a herbal broth, tofu, mock duck, cilantro, and onions. The better news is that you can get this pho for only $4.95 every day between 11:30 am and 5 pm, as well as 9:30 pm until close.

5. Pho 79

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2529 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 871-4602
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A favorite of Minneapolis native and Travel Channel star Andrew Zimmern, Pho 79 may have a strange name, but it also has a dedicated following. The rich, sweet broth of Pho 79’s signature dish doesn’t skimp on the greens or the meat either. Order their Special Pho 79 that comes with rare lean beef, well done flank, fat brisket, soft tendon, tripe, and meatballs. You won’t be disappointed.

6. Lotus

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113 W Grant St
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 870-1218
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If you are looking for something a little unconventional, look no further than Lotus. Yeah, they have traditional beef and meatball pho, but they also have “stew pho.” Stew Pho combines potatoes, carrots, and your choice of meat with traditional pho noodles, and broth. This unconventional, and even heartier pho is definitely worth the visit to this small Loring Park eatery.

7. Saigon

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704 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55104
(651) 225-8751
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Ipho by Saigon simmers beef brisket, beef flank, oxtails, shinbones, ginger, rock sugar, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom for three hours to produce its hugely popular pho broth. With fifteen different options, including seafood and vegetarian options, as well as three different sizes, regular, x-large, and jumbo, Ipho by Saigon doesn’t mess around when it comes to pho.

8. Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

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799 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55104
(651) 222-3301
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This upscale fusion bistro in Saint Paul, whose name in Vietnamese means delicious, strives to use local and sustainable products whenever possible. Despite their fusion nature, Ngon doesn’t shy away from serving classic Vietnamese fare, including pho. You might as well splurge and go for their $11 ribeye variation, with broth that derived from grass-fed oxtails.

9. Trieu Chau

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500 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103
(651) 222-6148
Located upon a small hill along University Avenue in Saint Paul, Trieu Chau is a mecca for lovers of Vietnamese food, including pho. Their broth is clear and slightly sweet with hints of anise, but it is cozy atmosphere and friendly staff that make eating pho at Trieu Chau a unique and satisfying experience. This restaurant may not be very fancy, but then again, slurping up pho this good isn’t fancy.

10. Pho Ca Dao

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439 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55103-1934
(651) 222-4615
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Pho Ca Dao isn’t much to look at, but luckily with your hangover in full effect and your sense dulled, you won’t notice the lack of decor as you lap up a big bowl of superb pho. The broth at Pho Ca Dao is as clear as them come and instead of cilantro on the side, Pho Ca Dao offers cilantro, an aromatically stronger cousin of cilantro. Heads up though, Pho Ca Dao only serves pho and eggrolls and is cash only.

11. Hmongtown Marketplace Farmers Market

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217 Como Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55103
(651) 487-3700
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Enjoying a big bowl of pho is as much about the taste, as it is the experience. If you want to skip the flight to Vietnam, head over to the Hmong Marketplace in Saint Paul to enjoy an absurdly large bowl of pho from the Mr. Papaya’s Kitchen stall. Sitting elbow to elbow with a plethora of language spinning around you, you will hardly notice the stray drops of broth flying toward your shirt as your slurp up your pho.

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1. Cadao Express

6637 Penn Ave S, Richfield, MN 55423
When you are stranded on the outskirts of Edina and Bloomington and need of some pho to realign your senses, this tiny eatery near the intersection of 66th Street and Penn Avenue will definitely help you out. They have all the staples, from beef, to meatballs, to chicken, tripe, and tendon. You can’t go wrong with an order of beef pho to go.
6637 Penn Ave S
Richfield, MN 55423

2. Pho Tau Bay

2837 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
On the southern end of Eat Street, Pho Tau Bay serves up amble-sized pho with a strong beefy-broth in a subbed former diner atmosphere. From traditional beef, to tripe, and fishballs, Pho Tau Bay can whip out 20 different varieties of pho on a moments notice. When push comes to shove, Pho Tau Bay’s name in English says it all, Flying Pho Boat.
2837 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408

3. Quang Restaurant

2719 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Almost always bustling with people, Quang’s has been around since 1989. The cult followers will tell you this pho is the best in town. Its got generous portions of meat, vegetables, and noodles with just the right amount of seasoning in the broth. First timers to this legendary establishment should stick to the classic pho tai or beef pho to be wowed.
2719 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408

4. Jasmine 26

8 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Vegetarians are often out of luck when it comes to the beef heavy broth of traditional pho recipes. This is where Jasmine 26 comes in. This upscale, mainly vegetarian restaurant offers a pho with clear a herbal broth, tofu, mock duck, cilantro, and onions. The better news is that you can get this pho for only $4.95 every day between 11:30 am and 5 pm, as well as 9:30 pm until close.
8 E 26th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404

5. Pho 79

2529 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
A favorite of Minneapolis native and Travel Channel star Andrew Zimmern, Pho 79 may have a strange name, but it also has a dedicated following. The rich, sweet broth of Pho 79’s signature dish doesn’t skimp on the greens or the meat either. Order their Special Pho 79 that comes with rare lean beef, well done flank, fat brisket, soft tendon, tripe, and meatballs. You won’t be disappointed.
2529 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404

6. Lotus

113 W Grant St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
If you are looking for something a little unconventional, look no further than Lotus. Yeah, they have traditional beef and meatball pho, but they also have “stew pho.” Stew Pho combines potatoes, carrots, and your choice of meat with traditional pho noodles, and broth. This unconventional, and even heartier pho is definitely worth the visit to this small Loring Park eatery.
113 W Grant St
Minneapolis, MN 55403

7. Saigon

704 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Ipho by Saigon simmers beef brisket, beef flank, oxtails, shinbones, ginger, rock sugar, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom for three hours to produce its hugely popular pho broth. With fifteen different options, including seafood and vegetarian options, as well as three different sizes, regular, x-large, and jumbo, Ipho by Saigon doesn’t mess around when it comes to pho.
704 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55104

8. Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

799 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
This upscale fusion bistro in Saint Paul, whose name in Vietnamese means delicious, strives to use local and sustainable products whenever possible. Despite their fusion nature, Ngon doesn’t shy away from serving classic Vietnamese fare, including pho. You might as well splurge and go for their $11 ribeye variation, with broth that derived from grass-fed oxtails.
799 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55104

9. Trieu Chau

500 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
Located upon a small hill along University Avenue in Saint Paul, Trieu Chau is a mecca for lovers of Vietnamese food, including pho. Their broth is clear and slightly sweet with hints of anise, but it is cozy atmosphere and friendly staff that make eating pho at Trieu Chau a unique and satisfying experience. This restaurant may not be very fancy, but then again, slurping up pho this good isn’t fancy.
500 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103

10. Pho Ca Dao

439 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103-1934
Pho Ca Dao isn’t much to look at, but luckily with your hangover in full effect and your sense dulled, you won’t notice the lack of decor as you lap up a big bowl of superb pho. The broth at Pho Ca Dao is as clear as them come and instead of cilantro on the side, Pho Ca Dao offers cilantro, an aromatically stronger cousin of cilantro. Heads up though, Pho Ca Dao only serves pho and eggrolls and is cash only.
439 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55103-1934

11. Hmongtown Marketplace Farmers Market

217 Como Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Enjoying a big bowl of pho is as much about the taste, as it is the experience. If you want to skip the flight to Vietnam, head over to the Hmong Marketplace in Saint Paul to enjoy an absurdly large bowl of pho from the Mr. Papaya’s Kitchen stall. Sitting elbow to elbow with a plethora of language spinning around you, you will hardly notice the stray drops of broth flying toward your shirt as your slurp up your pho.
217 Como Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55103

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