The round-up: where to find Brisbane’s best pho
When we rank our favourite noodle soups, number one would have to be pho, fo’ sho. We’re not promising that this round-up won’t be littered with soupy puns, but when your brain craves noods it’s hard to resist. Brisbane is flush with fantastic Vietnamese restaurants, all vying for the title of Brisbane’s best pho. Everyone’s got their own pick for the best pho in town, making this one of the most contentious lists in recent memory. We’re not confident we can name the best, but we’re damn certain we have a world-class selection – here are our picks.
Pho An, Inala: Inala is a hotbed of vibrant Vietnamese cuisine, and one of the most acclaimed eateries in the suburb is Pho An on Skylark Street. As the name suggests, pho is the primary dish served – but variety is still key. Slurp up serves of pho with rare beef, brisket, beef balls, fatty beef, drumstick, chicken wings, tendon or tripe and try to keep that satisfied smile off your face.
The Vietnamese, Fortitude Valley: When you ask fans of The Vietnamese what is the best thing about the pho at The Vietnamese, they’ll inevitably respond with reliability, price, and taste factor. If it scores high in all three categories, you know you’re in for a good time.
Quanh Thanh, West End: This eatery has a near-overwhelming choice of grub, but it’s the pho selection you should seek out before anything else. Spicy beef and pork, stewed beef brisket or sliced rare beef – there’s no wrong choice here.
Pho Hien Vuong Pasteur, Sunnybank: Could this spot boast the best pho in town? It’s at least worth a discussion. The combination noodle soup is a great starting point, but the special beef or chicken noodle soup are sublime in their own right.
Than Nuong Restaurant and Bar, Woolloongabba: The team at this fast-rising Vietnamese eatery is quietly confident that it serves some of the best pho in town. It’s a big call, but when you get a whiff of the aromatic soup you might start saying the same. Than Nuong’s variety comes with your choice of hoi an, rare beef or wagyu.
Cafe O Maí, Annerley: Pho for breakfast? Don’t threaten us with a good time. Cafe O Maí has been dishing out fabulous pho for ages, perfecting its soupy recipe of spices that have been brewed for 48 hours. Cafe O Maí also specialises in a hearty vegan pho, featuring soy protein. The minds behind this cafe also operate dedicated Vietnamese soup kitchen Pho Queue and chargrill powerhouse Red Lotus, so it’s fair to say they know what they’re doing.
Pho Hung Vietnamese, Sunnybank: Another Sunnybank staple, Pho Hung is a pho-bulous haunt that sloshes out bowl after bowl of clear beef broth. If you’re a beef lover or prefer a bit of chicken, Pho Hung has got you sorted. Slurp away, friends!
Vietnam House, Fortitude Valley: If you have a craving for a steaming serve of soup any day of the week, there’s a spot in The Valley that can supply the solution. Vietnam House supplies small, medium and large bowls of pho, with an abundance of flavour packed into each serve.
Tan Thanh Vietnamese, Inala: The Inala Civic Centre is where you’ll find Tan Thanh, a heralded hideaway for pho-nomenal noodle soup. If you can score a table (it’s usually busy – a good sign), you can order from a selection of seductive choices, paired with a host of traditional Vietnamese bites.
Van Vietnamese Restaurant, Darra: Darra also has a sterling reputation as one of Brisbane’s best hubs for Vietnamese cuisine. Van Vietnamese has everything from rice-paper rolls and vermicelli salads to stir-fried noodle dishes, but we only have eyes pho the soup. Bring on the brisket and beef balls!
Phuong Trinh Vietnamese and Chinese, Inala: This eatery has an entire page of its menu dedicated to pho, with 11 varieties to choose from. Slurp-worthy rice noodles are paired with rich broth and all manner of fillings, from rare beef to brisket and tripe.
Trang, West End: Acclaimed Vietnamese and Chinese eatery Trang concocts its popular pho by simmering beef bones, flank steak and spices into a heady brew. Choose from egg, clear, rice, glass or thick noodles and then select your preferred protein. We’re partial to a bit of spicy rare beef and pork in the winter months.
Chac’s Grill Vietnamese, Inala: Diners are often lured into this Inala restaurant by the smells of succulent char-grilled meats, but they tend to stay for the pho. Eight kinds of bowls are on offer, each as delicious as each other. You’ll be tempted to order a second bowl after you finish your first, and look, we don’t blame you.
District 1, Fortitude Valley: At the Ann Street end of Fortitude Valley’s Chinatown Mall, District 1 is a reliable spot to snack on Vietnamese street food. The pho here is top-notch, with slow-cooked broth paired with Vietnamese herbs, rice noodles and the likes of beef brisket, free-range chicken, Vietnamese ham and pork hock, and crunchy fried chicken.
Kim Son Vietnamese, Inala: Kim Son Vietnamese on Biota Street has been feeding locals since the 90s, and its pho is as good as ever. In addition to its popular seafood soups and egg noodle dishes, the heavenly pho offers all the favourites.
Banoi, Bowen Hills: Originally from Melbourne, Banoi brought its brand of home-style Vietnamese cuisine to King Street in 2017. Settle in and sip on sizeable bowls of pho, with beef, chicken and mushroom options available. If you’re looking for a refreshing beverage to match, the kumquat lemonade is to die for.
Pho Inn, Camp Hill: We’re huge fans of a suburban gem, and Camp Hill’s Pho Inn well and truly delivers on the flavour front. This authentic Vietnamese joint specialises in the good noods – we’re talking beef meatball, chicken, vegetable and spicy vermicelli all swimming in a flavoursome broth.
Mamma Do, Spring Hill: If it’s mamma’s recipe you’re going off, you know it can be trusted. Mamma Do’s hearty and filling beef pho recipe spans generations – and you can taste the history in every slurp. Hot tip – you can also add egg, tripe, tendon, beef balls or extra beef if you’re feeling particularly peckish.
Ngon, Paddington: For a modern twist on this all-time traditional classic, a visit to Ngon is a must. The family-owned eatery’s ‘Fur Beef Noodle Soup’ will leave your tastebuds tingling with its combination of rich broth, chef’s selection of beef cuts, thick rice noodles and hot herbs.
Got a red-hot pho spot that you think we’ve missed? Drop us a line with your recommendation to [email protected].
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.