What consistently puts Vietnam on the worldwide culinary map is its phenomenal noodle soups like the famous “Pho Bo”. Here is our comprehensive list of our favorite types of Vietnamese Noodle Soups and some of our recommended locations.
1. Mi Quang
Hailing from Danang, this Vietnamese Noodle Soup is comprised of yellow rice noodles, a chicken/pork broth. Local eateries serve it with an assortment of veggies and a rice crackers for textural purposes. Specifically, the turmeric based meat broth usually is only used to barely cover the noodles and meat. The most common Mi Quang dish is made with Pork broth, served with Pork ribs, quail eggs and a prawn. If you truly want a spectacular bowl of Mi Quang, go to Danang, if you cant, go to our recommendations ⬇️:
We like: Me Vui, D3
Located on the border of D3 & D1 Me Vui has so far been the only Mi Quang restaurant to satisfy our extremely demanding taste buds. Their broth has a nice strong Turmeric flavor, the fish Mi Quang (Mi Quang Ca Loc) is outstanding! And the service is extremely friendly! Price range 40-60K.
Hours 7:00 – 19:30 | Address 41 Kỳ Đồng, Phường 9, Quận 3 🔗
2. Bun Bo Hue
This is probably Hue’s most recognized dish found across the country and is probably the second most popular soup dish after Pho Bo. Its main ingredient is Beef, however the predominant flavors which sets it apart from its other robust counterparts include the elevated spiciness and the lemongrass. Accompanying the chunks of beef are the large cylindrical vermicelli noodles and a very rich beef broth.
We like: Bun Bo Hue Nhan Tri 2, D5
This epic Vietnamese noodle soup spot is located in the heart of bustling District 5. The richness of the beef broth is incomparable, the large pieces of meat are delectable and their special “Dac Biet” version is most likely the largest bowl of soup you can have in Vietnam, packed with all manner of Pork and Beef chunks. This is an all-round home-run when it comes to one of Vietnam’s most ubiquitous broths. Price range 50k-120k.
Hours 9:00 – 21:00 | Address 758 Trần Hưng Đạo, Phường 7, Quận 5 🔗
We also like: Bun Bo Hue 31, D1
A bit more accessible than our previous recommendation, Bun Bo Hue 31 is consistent and above average compared to most counterparts in Saigon. Located off of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, not far from the center of town, this gem is easily accessed and the service is super amicable.
Hours 6:00 – 14:00 | Address 31 Mạc Đĩnh Chi, Đa Kao, Quận 1 🔗
3. Pho Bo
Probably the most ubiquitous and recognized Vietnamese dish found worldwide, thanks to thousands of refugees who settled around the globe following the Vietnam war. This mighty dish is said to have originated in the North of the country where people say it is more salty, in contrast to its sweeter southern counterpart. Made of Beef Bone broth, said to be boiled for over 8 hours, producing a rich sweet taste, accompanied by various types of beef cuts, and thin rice noodles.
We like: Pho Tanh Binh, D1
Consistency and quality reigns supreme at this small family run Pho spot. The broth is always rich and perfectly hot, the chunks of meat are tender and the accompanying herbs are always fresh. Another plus for our readers is the location, at the edge of D1 but still quite accessible.
Hours (irregular) 11:00 – 14:00, 17:00 – late | 18B Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Đa Kao, Quận 1 🔗
We also like: No Named Street Stall, D1
This little convenience shop which transforms into a Pho Restuarant at night is the very essence of what makes Saigon one of the world’s greatest street food destinations. Furthermore the family run join churns out of the the best yet basic bowls of Pho Bo. Sit on little plastic chairs and watch the world go by as you chow down on Vietnam’s favorite broth.
Hours (irregular) 18:00 – until they run out | Trần Khánh Dư, Tân Định, Quận 1 🔗
4. Banh Canh Cua
Banh Canh is literally translated into Cake Soup, because of the thick gelatinous noodles which makes up more than 50 % of the dish. The thick noodles are made of tapioca flour, contrasting quite sharply with the usual rice noodles found in most dishes in Vietnam. Accompanying these fantastic noodles, they make the broth from pork or/and crab meat, and of course the dish comes loaded with delicious chunks of crab meat. Usually a bowl of Banh Canh also comes and long pieces of buttery bread sticks to dip in the broth.
We like: Banh Canh Cua 14, D5
Banh Canh Cua 14 is a simple no-frills spot with their own unique Cilanto/Lime dipping sauce for the crab chunks. What makes this spot stand out from the crowd is the outstandingly rich broth, fresh crab chunks and the previously mentioned dipping sauce. We recommend sticking to the basics here and ordering the plain crab soup. Price range 45k-55K.
Hours 7:00 – 23:00 | Address 215 Trần Bình Trọng, Phường 3, Quận 5 🔗
We also like: Banh Canh Cua 87, D1
This is one of the better known crab brotheries, and its well deserved. Within 20 minutes of opening, you will struggle to find a seat. But its well-worth the wait, this is one of the most crab soups you can find. Apart from the strips of crab, it comes loaded with crab cakes, spring onions, mushrooms. Price range 45-55K.
Hours 14:00 – 21:00 | Address 87 Trần Khắc Chân, Tân Định, Quận 1 🔗
5. Bun Rieu
This unique soup is served with a tomato and crab based broth and topped with freshwater crab paste, Rice noodles, home made pork sausage and topped with an assortment of greens. The broth is somewhat sour and usually preferred by locals in the summer.
We like: Quan Bun Rieu, Thao Dien
Situated in the heart of “ex-pat central” this tiny unassuming street stall is the definition of street food eating. Contrasting with the neighboring hipster cafes and Breweries, this family run joint serves a rich broth choc-full of goodness. Price range 30K-50K.
Hours (irregular) 11:00 – 14:00 | Address 1 Lê Văn Miến, Thảo Điền, Quận 2 🔗
6. Bo Kho
This is a Vietnamese interpretation of beef stew, BO means Beef and Kho means stew. The beef should be cooked long enough to make it nice and tender, accompanied by Onions and carrots. The broth is a think beef broth with a hint of lemongrass and cinnamon. The dish is usually served with either Bread, to soak up the rich beefy broth, or Hu Tieu noodles. Best eaten during a heavy downpour in monsoon season.
We like: Hem 5 Bo kho, D3
Street food at its finest. Another outstanding family-run joint off the Vo Van Tan street in a bustling neighborhood of D3. The start of this hem show is undoubtedly the broth. Rich and meaty, the proportion of noodles, meat, broth and carrot chunks is perfect. Although the meat chunks might not be think and tender, the quality of the broth makes up for it. Price range 40K-60K.
Hours 15:00 – 19:00 | Address 194 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 5, Quận 3 🔗
NOTE FROM STREATERY: This list of Vietnamese Broths is a work in progress, we will be adding to the list as there is a plethora of Broths that the average traveler has never heard of like “Banh Canh Ca Loc”, “Hu Tieu”, “Bun Oc”, etc.