Ok, all you Pho soup fangirls and fanboys, this one’s for you. We’ve rounded up the spots in the city where to get the best of Vietnam’s proud national dish, the Pho soup, in Vienna.
For those of you not familiar with the fad of Pho, this beef/chicken noodle soup, infused with basil, cloves and ginger, accompanied by extra bean sprouts, a spicy sauce, Hoisin (sweet and salty sauce), coriander and a wedge of lemon, makes for a terrifically satisfying welter of flavours.
Here are 9 of our favourite places for Pho in Vienna.
The look of the place may make you go ‘Meh,’ but the Pho will make you let out a long, drawn-out, ‘Mmmmmmm.’ This tiny takeaway place fills up daily around lunch as those in the know in the neighbourhood cram in to its poky seating area for its tasty Vietnamese menu. The service is all about getting the job done and getting the dish to you as quickly as possible. The Pho soup comes in a big bowl, and beautifully presented, with the standard sides (including fresh chili) that typically accompany the soup, while a spring roll starter is recommended.
Price guide Pho bo (beef) = 7.90€ Spring rolls = 2.90€
Opening times SUN–MON: closed TUE–SAT: 5pm–10:30pm
Only open in the evening (and full almost every single one of them) it’s safe to say the word is out about the tasty Vietnamese cuisine being served up at Vietthao. And the owner will proudly tell you that they’ve won the competition happening amongst the Vietnamese places in the city (that all seem to know each other) for THE best Pho in town. Every bowl of the famed Vietnamese soup that goes out is prepared by his wife, who’s secret ingredient is ‘alot of love and passion,’ they tell us. And while we don’t like to play favourites, the Pho here is one flavoursome bombshell, full of all the complex characteristics a good Pho soup should involve – a clean beef broth taste, good quality, thinly-cut beef strips, fresh leafy sides, and the bánh phở rice noodles, which just so happen to be homemade. Be sure to reserve here.
Opening times WED-SUN + MON: 11am–10pm TUE: closed
Pho fangirls and fanboys have descended on this place like a bunch of really hungry, slurping ninjas (because ninjas are cool). Without any advertising since this eatery opened in 2013, its furniture that looks like it could be used in a real life Tetris game is full and the open kitchen is churning out fresh, light dishes at lunch and dinner. And according to Anna Nguyen and her husband Nghi, it all comes down to the heart they put into it … not literally, but you know what we mean.
“We cook the dishes we love from home and we cook them with plenty of heart.” “Nghi is here at 7am every morning to prepare the Pho as he just loves cooking.”
Check out our full review of Nguyen’s Pho House, here.
Price guide Pho Bo (beef) = 7.90€ Goi Cuon (pork and prawns) summer rolls = 3.90€
Opening times MON–FRI: 11am–3pm & 5pm–11pm SAT–SUN: 11am–11pm
This is the place that has been serving up Pho soup even before it was cool. This is a family business where the son also plays the role of the nice waiter. The decor is (Hmmmm, how to describe it?) very green and looks like it’s an old Beisl that has been morphed into a Vietnamese restaurant, complete with Buddha at the door. The Pho soup served up looks very creative and different to the others we’ve sampled in the city, with the classic thin beef strips accompanied by meatballs end slices of hard boiled egg. The creativity is also in the setting, decorated in full kitsch, with fake lotus flowers overlooking a giant green Buddha statue on the bar. The artistic inclinations of the place can also be spotted on the plates that serve appetisers and mains with flowers carved out of various colourful vegetables. The spectacle is also confirmed by the mix of flavours in the soup, strong tasting and hard to forget.
Price guide Pho Bo, Ga or Lam bo (beef, chicken or lamb) = 9.90€ Summer rolls = 3.90€
This hole in the wall is easy to miss, and we have to admit we almost left it out, hadn’t it been recommended by the daughter of the owner of another famous Pho place in the 7th district. Happy Vietnam is a small Vietnamese fast food eatery on Neubaugasse, where most customers get their meals to go, however, there’s also a few seats to stay and slurp. The Pho lives up to the fast food nature of the place and comes “ready-made,” with the sprouts, leaves and chilies already added to the broth, rather than on the side. The frying pots and pans of the kitchen, that are in sight from each of the 8 seats inside, make up the background noise here. And as for the soup, it definitely gets the job done: it’s freshly made, intensely flavoured and delicious, yet completely unpretentious, just like the prices and the look of the place.
We love going to this place, mainly because of the pleasure of our own pun-intended nickname – Pho-Eighty-Pho. Get it?? Anyway, excuse us for our love for palindromes. Moving on – did you know that the lady who owns this place also owns a hairdresser further up the street? She’s not the cook though, yet only the smiling presence coming in between haircuts to check on soup slurpers and the atmosphere. The cook comes from Hanoi and offers in the selection of dishes a cross country Vietnamese journey. And they make a damn good Pho soup! The aromas, fresh herbs and spicy broth were the actual elements that keep us coming back to this relatively new place, again and again. In its short life, Pho84 has proven its worthiness as a contender for the city’s best Pho.
Price guide Pho Bo (beef): 7.90€ Spring Roll: 3.90€
Opinions tend to be divided on Ivy’s Pho House – the service can be hit and miss, their flagship location on Mariahilf is a little cramped (expect in summer when an al fresco garden on the bustling shopping street offers more seating opportunities), however, they definitely deserve their place on this list, as they know how to make a mighty fine pho. From the same people behind the concept sushi restaurants, dots, Ivy’s is a good looking character of a pho bar. Chinese lanterns hang from the ceiling while the pink neon sign lights up the room. The Pho comes in beef and chicken variants, plus a vegetarian option. The broth is typically got that depth of flavour it should and if you’re looking for more flavour after you take a sip of the broth, there are a simple bunch of garnishes delivered on the side with your noodle soup – bean sprouts, chili sauce, lime wedges etc.
Opening times MON: closed TUE–FRI: 11:00am–3pm; 6–10pm SAT & SUN: 11am-10pm
The rice noodle soup comes in 3 varieties at the 6th district eatery, Xin Chao. The noodle soup is flavoursome, and plentiful. The decor is also pleasing to the eyes, and will have you feeling like you’re on holiday while making God awful sounds with your mouth as you down your pho.
Opening times MON–FRI: 11:00am–3pm; 5–9:30pm SAT: closed SUN: 11am-9:30pm
In the far reaches of the 19th district (ok, we’re exaggerating, we know) is a family-run Vietnamese restaurant housed in, what looks like, was some kind of old Beisl. The interior isn’t hip, or pretty, but it’s got a charm of its own. And once you have a big bowl of their Pho in front of you, you’ll be busy slurping away, anyway.
Like most family-run restaurants, there’s a special kind of personal service at Minh Khiem. The Pho Bo is a hit, while the vegetarian, Pho Chay, is one of the tastier ones on this list. If you’re really looking to treat yourself (and you’re a meat-eater, you can go the Pho Deluxe, which is packed with meatballs and beef strips. This is a solid option for Pho for those who live on this side of town.