July 3, 2022

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Cooking is a hobby

Where to find the best pho in Greater Boston, according to readers

Readers Say

“The broth is flavorful, without being overpowering, and has the perfect amount of noodle to chicken ratio!”

Readers told us about their favorite places to order phở, a simmering soup. Globe Staff/Barry Chin

If you’ve set foot in Dorchester’s Little Saigon, you know that it’s not hard to find a restaurant serving delicious phở. The soup should be savory, filled with noodles and your choice of meat, garnished with cilantro, scallions, and a wedge of lime. But you can actually enjoy it at restaurants across the Greater Boston area, and what we discovered is that Boston.com readers are no strangers to the Vietnamese dish.

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A bit about phở—although many have argued over its origins, historians seem to think that it was created in Northern Vietnam in the late 19th and early 20th centuries during French colonialism. Others have said it came from Chinese communities settled in the North. However it was invented, phở is a cherished part of Vietnamese culture and made its way across the world after the Vietnam War. Beef and chicken are typical flavors of the broth, which usually contains spices like ginger and star anise.

One thing we know is certain: Boston.com readers know their phở. When we asked for your favorite spots, over 150 readers shared their recommendations across Greater Boston. Ahead, discover a guide to your top five places serving the best phở in Greater Boston, then check out our map and full reader-recommended list of local spots known for their fresh flavors and authentic cooking.

1. Phở Pasteur

This crowd pleaser, with locations in Chinatown and Quincy, was the clear top pick of Boston.com readers. Guests of both restaurants raved about the tasty broth, large selection of soups, and generous portions, with one Quincy resident declaring they serve “the best vegetarian phở around!” Tammy from Salem said that it is one of the “oldest phở restaurant with great portions, family-like service, absolutely mouthwatering food.” She added, “It’s a city staple with lines wrapped around the corner during busy hours/days.”

682 Washington St., Boston; 617-482-7467; 1462 Hancock St., Quincy; 617-770-3300

2. Phở Viet’s

You may be craving a banh mi or fresh spring rolls, but Phở Viet’s, with locations in Brookline and Newton Centre (Pho Viet’s II), makes a simple yet exceptional bowl of phở gà, chicken and rice noodle soup. Jing M. said, “Whether you work next door at Landry’s or you drive across town for it, Phở Viet’s is the best and friendliest phở in the city. They are always happy to accommodate any dietary needs as well.” Imogene E. from Brookline wrote, “The broth is flavorful, without being overpowering, and has the perfect amount of noodle to chicken ratio!”

1022 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline, 617-562-8828; 58 Langley Rd., Newton Centre, 617-527-8810

3. Phở So 1

When you enter Phở So 1, you’ll find vermicelli bowls, rice platters served with meat, and a variety of phở options. Among their varieties are vegetarian, beef meatball, and seafood phở, and one reader called their soup some of the best he had, in over 45 years of eating Vietnamese food. John B. from Dorchester said, “Whenever I’m within a few miles, if the time of day is right, I make a beeline for the best phở I have ever tasted! And they are very, very generous with the mix-ins. I always have extra basil to take home for my own soups and stir fry. Shrimp is my favorite, but the chicken is also excellent!”

51 Memorial Parkway, Randolph; 781-961-6500

4. Phở 88

This spot in Lowell was opened by husband and wife team Hoang “Bill” and Ha Nguyen. On the menu, you’ll find Vietnamese salads and vegetarian egg rolls, but we know that you’re really here for the phở. Readers raved about the fresh ingredients and great flavor, mentioning that the chicken soups are a highlight. Tom D. from Bedford said, “My favorite is đặc biệt, or beef noodle phở. The broth is super flavorful. The steak is perfectly prepared and cooked. And the price is reasonable!”

1270 Westford St., Lowell; 978-452-7300

5. Phở Hòa

If you frequent Vietnamese eateries in Dorchester, you’ve probably heard of Phở Hoa. The popular restaurant recently decided to join forces with Anh Hong, which suddenly closed early this year, to open a new combined restaurant. Phở Hoa’s meat options are particularly noteworthy, and many enjoy the phở filet, a filet mignon noodle soup. Jennifer N. from Saugus said the food “has been the best since I was a little kid. Everything is delicious and the staff are so kind. I went back after years the other day to get a meal I used to order, and when I couldn’t find it on the menu, they helped me figure it out.”

1370 Dorchester Ave., Boston; 617-287-9746

Full list of the best phở in Boston, according to readers