Finding a favourite pho can be difficult as there are so many Vietnamese restaurants in the city and who has time to try them all. So we asked some of Calgary’s food writers, bloggers and chefs share their go-to places for quality pho to take the guesswork out of finding the best Vietnamese noodle soup.
I just had to sneak my own pick in here. This Vietnamese restaurant on the corner of 8th Street and 13th Avenue S.W. does a great job of many things on the menu. I’m a huge fan of the beef satay pho. There’s only one size, which is pretty massive, but it strikes a great balance of salty, sweet and spicy. –Dan Clapson, food writer/blogger, Dan’s Good Side
Dong Khanh is located in a strip mall in the Northeast and it serves a variety of Vietnamese dishes. The signature dish (my favourite) is aptly named Dong Khanh Special Dried Noodles with Soup on the Side. It’s for the ultimate pork lover.
Not only do you get al dente wonton noodles, it comes topped with slices of pork kidney, pork heart, pork liver, ground pork, pork shoulder meat and then it’s drizzled with perfectly seasoned melted pork fat and fried garlic oil. Of course the accompanied soup is a fitting pork broth. This dish isn’t for everyone, but it’s my favorite because of its intense flavours and well seasoned noodles. -Anna Zhu, food blogger, Anna’s Appetite
I love it because it’s close to home, always consistent and hits the spot every time (which is every time I don’t feel like cooking). I find it’s the most similar to the pho I had on my travels in Vietnam. I also love it because it’s a big component to the up-and-coming food culture growing in Montgomery. –Robyn Maclean, account executive, Brookline Public Relations
Pho Dau Bo
I either get the regular house beef noodle dish with rare beef, tripe, beef balls and brisket or the spicy sate noodle soup. –Diana Ng, up! magazine web editor
My pho of choice is the sate broth. Pho Hoai has the best sate soup in Calgary, hands down. You can also request that they add sate to any of their regular pho selections. –Stephanie Eddy, Globe and Mail columnist/food blogger, Clockwork Lemon
Pho Hoai is ridiculously inexpensive and makes the most consistent, delicious broth! Also, if you’re ever in Portland, check out Sen Yai. It’s Pok Pok’s new noodle house. Yum! –Jackie Cooke, owner, Avec Bistro
This place on Harvest Hills Blvd and Country Hills Rd serves up one of the best brisket, flank and beef ball pho. The brisket is nice and fatty, creating those beautiful globules of flavour on top of a broth with depth rarely seen outside of Southeast Asia. –Gabe Hall, Food Writer/Blogger, Le Voyage Gourmand
Saigon Golden Bell
I would have to say that my favourite place to get Pho these days would be Saigon Golden Bell across from Chinook Centre. When I eat Pho, it’s always gotta be Dac Biet (special) because I love tendon and tripe with the thinly sliced rare beef and meatballs. More importantly, they also have a solid, consistent broth that brings everything together nicely. – Jay del Corro, Food Video Blogger, The Aimless Cook
The Beef Satay [here] is my go-to because it’s made the authentic way with a thick and creamy soup base. Not just the typical pho with spicy chili oil thrown in, which is what you [usually] get at other Vietnamese places around town! – Bonnie Huang, Food Blogger, Scrumptiously Fit Food
Nothing comforts me as much as a steaming bowl of Bun Bo Hue from [here]. It’s loaded with round rice vermicelli, slices of beef, Vietnamese ham, sausage, pork hock, and cubes of blood pudding. But the best part of this bowl is the complex broth made from simmered bones, lemongrass, shrimp paste, and chili peppers. – Carmen Cheng, Food Blogger, Food Karma Blog