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A large pot of broth with a package of spices floating on top of it as it simmers.
Pho broth simmering at Quang.
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities

Where to Find a Steaming Bowl of Pho in the Twin Cities

The finest beefy broths, laced with anise and cloves

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Pho broth simmering at Quang.
| Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities

There’s no better medicine for a long, hard winter than a fragrant bowl of pho, layered with rice noodles, meats cooked gently from the heat of the broth, and bright bunches of herbs. Minneapolis and St. Paul have an abundance of excellent Vietnamese restaurants — among those are well-loved spots on University Avenue in Frogtown, on Eat Street, and elsewhere across the Cities serving rich, aromatic pho. (For a look at pho spots across the broader metro area, check out this map.) From broths distilled to beefy ambrosia to vegan varieties, here’s a trail of restaurants serving flavorful bowls of pho in the Twin Cities.

Note that these restaurants are listed geographically.

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Saigon Pho Tempo

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Saigon Pho Tempo’s broth balances its sweet notes out with powerfully savory beef flavor, dishing up pho that’s well-balanced, satisfying, and never watery. Expect generous sheets of rare beef cresting through the surface of the broth, and pungent culantro served on the side.

Pho Tau Bay

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The southernmost stop on Eat Street’s remarkable pho trail, Pho Tau Bay’s steaming bowls have a strong, beefy both that’s balanced by bunches of fresh basil. The Lai family’s menu leans heavily into beef, from tripe and tendon to meatballs and lean sliced beef — though the seafood pho is especially hearty, combining shrimp with crab meat and fried fish balls.

My Huong Kitchen

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Eat Street is a hot spot for Vietnamese food in a city that’s, well, a hot spot for Vietnamese food. Just across the street from Quang is Tracy Wong’s My Huong Kitchen, a snug, stellar Vietnamese restaurant. The pho here is ample and lightly sweet — try the pho dac biet, a hearty combination of rare lean beef, well-done flank, and sliced meatball with all the requisite bright herbs. (My Huong’s curry soup is equally as good, too.)

Quang Restaurant

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One of the cornerstone restaurants of Nicollet Avenue’s Eat Street corridor, Quang was founded by matriarch chef Lung Tran 30 years ago Three decades later, the current restaurant is run by her children, and it’s now a go-to for enormous bowls of pho, their broth aromatic and balanced, beef sliced into delicate sheets. Quang’s flavorful pho needs little help from hoisin and hot sauce.

Pho 79’s broth leans a tad less sweet, letting its aromatic spices and rich, meaty notes shine through. The signature dish doesn’t skimp on the meat: Try the Special Pho 79, which comes with rare lean beef, well-done flank, fat brisket, soft tendon, tripe, and meatballs. Find a second location in St. Anthony Park, on Energy Park Drive.

Lotus Restaurant

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Trung and Van Nguyen’s 40-year legacy endures at Lotus Restaurant, which has a second Hennepin Avenue Location. Lotus Restaurant’s somewhat unconventional “stew pho” has a hearty mix of potatoes and carrots added to the usual meat, rice noodles, and broth. It serves traditional bowls as well — the house pho combines beef, meatballs, seafood, and chicken and clocks in at just $11 for a large.

Vietnam House Restaurant

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Vietnam House, just north of Minneapolis in Brooklyn Park, has a vast menu of Vietnamese soups, from hu tieu to bun bo hue, a meaty soup made with vermicelli noodles. But don’t overlook the pho, which is densely flavorful. The menu leans into beef more than seafood, and there are both chicken and vegetable varieties available.

Pho Mai Dinkytown

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Pho Mai’s hearty seafood pho combines shrimp, squid, crab, and fish balls — or keep things simple with the satisfying pho tai, made with tender sheets of lean beef. This light, balanced broth ties it all together. Owners Mai and Michael Bui recently opened a second location at Eden Prairie’s Asia Mall.

Pho 400

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Chef Hong Phan slow-simmers her acclaimed pho for more than 24 hours, gently coaxing the gelatin into the broth, where it melds with star anise and cloves. Few things are better worth the northward trek to New Brighton.

Pho Pasteur

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Tiny, golden orbs of fat float on the surface of this broth, one of St. Paul’s most recent additions to the Vietnamese food scene. Tuck into the pho dac biet, which leaves meat lovers wanting for nothing: It combines steak, both lean and fatty flank, tendon, tripe, and meatballs.

Hoa Bien

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Hoa Bien’s delicately sweet pho shimmers with gelatin, and comes served with an ample plate of fresh herbs and bean sprouts. It’s best paired with (at least) one of the restaurant’s popular egg rolls.

iPho-Saigon

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iPho by Saigon is famous for its 10-pound jumbo pho. (Huge soup bowl or tiny bathtub? TBD.) This popular Frogtown spot offers every kind of meat combo imaginable, from a seafood medley to brisket and flank steak. This broth runs a little on the sweet side and is laced with anise and cloves.

Trieu Chau

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Located on University Avenue — ground zero for pho spots in St. Paul — Minh Ngyuen’s restaurant Trieu Chau serves a pho broth that’s clear and slightly sweet, with strong notes of star anise. Rich, beefy, and layered, it may take the cake for the city’s finest bowl of pho.

Pho Ca Dao

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Pho Ca Dao’s pho is packed with flavor, so clear you can almost see to the bottom of the bowl. This spot’s succinct menu features only pho and egg rolls and is cash-only.

Ai Hue's Bakery & Deli

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Ai Hue’s hearty pho is best paired with an order of the deli’s banh tieu — Vietnamese doughnuts that are hollow, subtly sweet, and coated with a fine layer of sesame seeds.

Saigon Pho Tempo

Saigon Pho Tempo’s broth balances its sweet notes out with powerfully savory beef flavor, dishing up pho that’s well-balanced, satisfying, and never watery. Expect generous sheets of rare beef cresting through the surface of the broth, and pungent culantro served on the side.

Pho Tau Bay

The southernmost stop on Eat Street’s remarkable pho trail, Pho Tau Bay’s steaming bowls have a strong, beefy both that’s balanced by bunches of fresh basil. The Lai family’s menu leans heavily into beef, from tripe and tendon to meatballs and lean sliced beef — though the seafood pho is especially hearty, combining shrimp with crab meat and fried fish balls.

My Huong Kitchen

Eat Street is a hot spot for Vietnamese food in a city that’s, well, a hot spot for Vietnamese food. Just across the street from Quang is Tracy Wong’s My Huong Kitchen, a snug, stellar Vietnamese restaurant. The pho here is ample and lightly sweet — try the pho dac biet, a hearty combination of rare lean beef, well-done flank, and sliced meatball with all the requisite bright herbs. (My Huong’s curry soup is equally as good, too.)

Quang Restaurant

One of the cornerstone restaurants of Nicollet Avenue’s Eat Street corridor, Quang was founded by matriarch chef Lung Tran 30 years ago Three decades later, the current restaurant is run by her children, and it’s now a go-to for enormous bowls of pho, their broth aromatic and balanced, beef sliced into delicate sheets. Quang’s flavorful pho needs little help from hoisin and hot sauce.

Pho 79

Pho 79’s broth leans a tad less sweet, letting its aromatic spices and rich, meaty notes shine through. The signature dish doesn’t skimp on the meat: Try the Special Pho 79, which comes with rare lean beef, well-done flank, fat brisket, soft tendon, tripe, and meatballs. Find a second location in St. Anthony Park, on Energy Park Drive.

Lotus Restaurant

Trung and Van Nguyen’s 40-year legacy endures at Lotus Restaurant, which has a second Hennepin Avenue Location. Lotus Restaurant’s somewhat unconventional “stew pho” has a hearty mix of potatoes and carrots added to the usual meat, rice noodles, and broth. It serves traditional bowls as well — the house pho combines beef, meatballs, seafood, and chicken and clocks in at just $11 for a large.

Vietnam House Restaurant

Vietnam House, just north of Minneapolis in Brooklyn Park, has a vast menu of Vietnamese soups, from hu tieu to bun bo hue, a meaty soup made with vermicelli noodles. But don’t overlook the pho, which is densely flavorful. The menu leans into beef more than seafood, and there are both chicken and vegetable varieties available.

Pho Mai Dinkytown

Pho Mai’s hearty seafood pho combines shrimp, squid, crab, and fish balls — or keep things simple with the satisfying pho tai, made with tender sheets of lean beef. This light, balanced broth ties it all together. Owners Mai and Michael Bui recently opened a second location at Eden Prairie’s Asia Mall.

Pho 400

Chef Hong Phan slow-simmers her acclaimed pho for more than 24 hours, gently coaxing the gelatin into the broth, where it melds with star anise and cloves. Few things are better worth the northward trek to New Brighton.

Pho Pasteur

Tiny, golden orbs of fat float on the surface of this broth, one of St. Paul’s most recent additions to the Vietnamese food scene. Tuck into the pho dac biet, which leaves meat lovers wanting for nothing: It combines steak, both lean and fatty flank, tendon, tripe, and meatballs.

Hoa Bien

Hoa Bien’s delicately sweet pho shimmers with gelatin, and comes served with an ample plate of fresh herbs and bean sprouts. It’s best paired with (at least) one of the restaurant’s popular egg rolls.

iPho-Saigon

iPho by Saigon is famous for its 10-pound jumbo pho. (Huge soup bowl or tiny bathtub? TBD.) This popular Frogtown spot offers every kind of meat combo imaginable, from a seafood medley to brisket and flank steak. This broth runs a little on the sweet side and is laced with anise and cloves.

Trieu Chau

Located on University Avenue — ground zero for pho spots in St. Paul — Minh Ngyuen’s restaurant Trieu Chau serves a pho broth that’s clear and slightly sweet, with strong notes of star anise. Rich, beefy, and layered, it may take the cake for the city’s finest bowl of pho.

Pho Ca Dao

Pho Ca Dao’s pho is packed with flavor, so clear you can almost see to the bottom of the bowl. This spot’s succinct menu features only pho and egg rolls and is cash-only.

Ai Hue's Bakery & Deli

Ai Hue’s hearty pho is best paired with an order of the deli’s banh tieu — Vietnamese doughnuts that are hollow, subtly sweet, and coated with a fine layer of sesame seeds.

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