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Last modified on December 23rd, 2016 at 9:24 am
Pho is not your “foe.” It’s pronounced “fuh?” and that questioning inflection is necessary if you want to pronounce it accurately.
It’s your best friend after a heavy night of drinking. It’s like a Vietnamese menudo in soul. The gelatin-rich beef stock comforts your body, while the rice noodles are soft and easy to slurp.
Slurping isn’t encouraged per se, but the act of slurping uses air to help cool down the noodles and broth as you devour it.
Pho is greater than the sum of its parts. The broth consists of a wide variety of aromatics, such as charred ginger, onion, clove, cinnamon, star anise, and more depending on the region.
Bean sprouts, onion, cilantro, Thai basil, and other garnishes are brought to the table so diners can season their own bowls according to personal preference. If you add hoisin sauce or Sriracha to your bowl, make sure to at least taste the broth on its own first. A final squeeze of lime helps brighten the flavors, keeping the soup from weighing you down.
For the simplest experience, order pho tai, which has thin slices of beef. For the works, order pho dac biet, which usually includes steak, fatty flank, tendon, tripe, and meatballs. Chicken and vegetarian options are also available at some restaurants.
Vietnam is warm and humid all year, but that doesn’t stop its citizens from enjoying this hot soup. Don’t let the heat stop you from ordering pho in Tucson from one of these locations.
This food truck offers American classics like burgers and wings, but ventures into Asian territory with fried rice and pho. The broth an old family recipe made from scratch.
Keep up with American Flying Buffalo on Facebook.
With many people having trouble pronouncing “pho” already, it’s usually easier to refer to this place as “the Vietnamese restaurant attached to the Lee Lee Oriental Supermarket.” If you’re adventurous, the deep menu also features authentic specialties such as banh canh gio heo, which is a pork knuckle soup with thick noodles made from rice and tapioca.
For more information, visit Com Tam Thuan Kieu on Yelp.
Go for the pho dac biet, which is a large bowl of pho with rare steak (cooked with the broth), well done steak, flank, tendon, and tripe. The east location is conveniently close to St. Joseph’s Hospital, making it a favorite for patients and doctors who want flavor instead of cafeteria food.
For more information, visit daostaipans.com.
The lunch combo features a bowl of pho tai, a soda, and your choice of a California Roll or Las Vegas Roll. For another unconventional choice, order the seafood pho featuring shrimp, scallops, mussels, and salmon.
For more information, visit freshsushipho.com.
This restaurant shaped like the Great Wall of China offers a variety of noodle soups from China, Vietnam, and Korea, most for under $10.
For more information, visit greatwallchinatucson.com.
The northeast proximity makes Ha Long Bay an interesting choice after a weekend hike at Sabino Canyon or Mount Lemmon. The service is also exceptionally friendly, making it a favorite joint in the neighborhood. For a hybrid of two Vietnamese classics, order the hue spicy beef soup, which features pho noodles in a spicy bo hue broth perfumed with lemongrass.
For more information, visit halongbaymenu.com.
Tucked inside what looks like another Chinese restaurant, King’s actually offers outstanding pho and other Vietnamese noodle soups. The hu tieu dac biet is also worth a trip with clear noodles, shrimp, calamari, and pork.
For more information, visit kingstucson.com.
The most prominent family of Vietnamese restaurants in Tucson, Miss Saigon has no signs of slowing down with its fifth location opening in Marana earlier this year. Their spring rolls and boba are local favorites.
For more information, visit misssaigon-tucson.com.
Hidden outside of view on Stone, Pho #1 offers a wide range of Vietnamese dishes from $8 to $9. The pho is a step up from the recipe used when the space was Pho Thu, so they’re worth a return visit if you haven’t been there in a few years. For a gem that’s hard to find in Tucson, try the com ga chien, which is Vietnamese marinated fried chicken served with rice.
For more information, visit Pho #1 on Yelp.
The owner is usually there eager to help newbies enjoy pho the proper way, so don’t be shy. You might also catch Chef Maria Mazon here recharging with a bowl of pho.
Keep up with Pho 88 on Facebook.
Located at Main Gate Square, Saigon Pho is the convenient choice for students. The bowl is presented a lid, so you get a lovely waft of pho aromatics once you lift it. The assorted and affordable banh mi are a convenient on-the-go lunch.
For more information, visit saigonphotucsonaz.com.
Recently opened from the folks that brought you Cali Grill, Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant now features a Vietnamese-focused menu. While the pho standards are available, they also a wide variety of hu tieu, mi, and banh canh.
For more information, visit pho520.com.
Though Snow Peas’ Chef Erik is moved to New Zealand, his recipe remains available at Solid Grindz, which officially opens on September 24.
Keep up with Solid Grindz on Facebook.
Where’s your favorite pho? Let us know in the comments.
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