Pho is the newest phenomenon in the Chicago soup world, it’s temporarily taking the spotlight from ramen. This Vietnamese noodle soup combines exquisite broths with the unique, mouthwatering salty pho recipes and delicious vegetables. Whether you’re curing the common cold or a nasty hangover, or just looking for a tasty noodle dish, you should try pho. Here are some of the best places in Chicago to do just that.
FUH is fast and casual. There are various broth options (chicken, beef, and vegetable) . The owner, Quan, will give the entire rundown and history of pho, he really ensures a great meal experience and alters each bowl depending on what you like (and any dietary restrictions). The best part is the portion sizes and the fact that they offer To Go containers to take leftovers home with you.
In Lakeview, Pho’s Spicier Thai Cuisine is noted as the place to go for pho takeout. It also has a sit down area and BYOB is an option. If you forgot the booze, then there is a bar conveniently located next door. This unassuming spot will catch you by surprise with their level of spice. The sweet broth in the pho balances out the spicy heat, but we highly recommend starting with level 1 of spice if you’re not a hot food lover. Overall, Pho’s Spicier Thai deserves more than ‘pho’ stars.
In the West Loop, Saigon Sisters is known to have some of the best pho, and the most fabulous pho presentation. This location has a modern, swanky vibe with contemporary art and is popular with a young crowd. While the pho is obviously worth noting, the chicken curry (especially the sauce) and the papaya salad are some of the favorites. It’s good to know there are multiple meal options ranging from gluten free to vegetarian. Needless to say, it’s a pho-nomenal experience.
Le Colonial is French-Vietnamese fare in the upscale, trendy Gold Coast neighborhood. Even better, this spot has a romantic ambiance and includes outdoor seating. Hands down one of the nicest pho restaurants in the city. The portions are not large but it is very filling. If you’re looking for something in addition to the pho, the Shrimp Beignets will win you over. You will not regret venturing to this restaurant, especially since the ingredients are so good pho you.
Located in Uptown by the Argyle L stop, Hai Yen has pho that will blow your mind, but we also recommend the ‘Bo La Lot,’ a marinated beef wrapped in lolot leaf and grilled over charcoal. Although the spices and sauces are not on the tables, the pho comes with a plate of herbs and a small bowl of sauce. It’s a casual spot and all you have to do is ask them for more. You may be thinking about this pho for a while, or maybe even pho-ever.
In Lincoln Park, Simply It is known to be great value. We recommend ordering the XL size because it is enough pho for a few people, or to last a few days. The Chicken Noodle Soup Pho Ga and the Beef Noodle Soup Pho Bo are the standouts on the menu, mainly because of the extremely fresh ingredients. However, there are also a few other dishes that are worth trying, like the pineapple calamari and the spring rolls. This place is definitely not pho-gettable.