ATLGuide

Where To Eat Pho In Atlanta

We can never forget about the hot bowl of broth, no matter what season it is.
Where To Eat Pho In Atlanta image

photo credit: Sarah Newman

Sometimes we need pho to comfort us when a polar vortex has descended upon the city. But since we also need its reviving powers whenever we’re feeling emotionally frigid too, we'll scoop up a hot bowl of broth no matter what season it is. Here are some of our favorite places to warm up our bodies and our cold, cold hearts with the tasty Vietnamese noodle soup.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Sarah Newman

Vietnamese

Buford Highway

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This Buford Highway staple has been serving up some of the best Vietnamese food in the city since 2006. Ordering one of their legendary bánh mì sandwiches is a must. And when paired with their amazing pho, it's the soup and sandwich equivalent of nabbing the Park Place and Boardwalk properties (big boss moves). The giant bowl full of salty beef broth has bits of tender steak and brisket, onions, cilantro, and scallions floating near the top. The casual dining room lined with floor-to-ceiling windows is usually busy but somehow always relaxed. So a nice sun-drench seat by the window and a bowl of pho will leave you feeling cozier than a fireplace on a winter's day.

photo credit: Juli Horsford

A glittery chandelier hangs above the large, otherwise generic beige-tiled dining area—a sharp contrast to the generally casual interior of Pho Dai Loi 2 on Buford Highway. We love the variety here and have yet to try a bowl we don't like—this is easily one of the best pho places in ATL. Goldilocks would be at home with the bowls in three sizes (the large IS large) and the most pho selections of any place in town. It’s hard to recommend just one, but try a bowl with rare beef because it’s so tender it falls apart as it makes the trip to your mouth and melts once it hits your tongue.

Slide into a booth at Nam Phuong on Buford Highway and settle in because it’ll take a long time to look through their menu, which feels like the size of War and Peace (and makes for better reading). Or just order the pho, because it’s the best thing on the long-ass menu (the pork intestines are a very close second). These bowls of pho are massive and could easily be shared by two people, but that would be weird, and we’re selfish. But we’ll generously share this guidance: don’t ruin your broth with extra condiments. It’s a little saltier than most places and honestly is perfect as is. The meat here can be a little tough, but that’s easily forgiven since you’ll really want to slurp the liquid gold broth down with a straw.

From the bright, loud yellow walls in the one-room dining area to the steady roar of conversation from diners and a constant stream of people picking up carryout orders, it’s safe to say Anh’s Kitchen will assault your senses. But the invasion of flavors is why we keep going back to this casual Vietnamese eatery in the heart of Midtown. Their expansive menu features everything from banh mi to clay pot dishes, but the pho is a crowd favorite. Get the filet mignon pho with medium-rare slices of beef or try one of their rotating specials with fun options like a lobster pho. The bowls are enormous and filled to the brim with thin, traditional rice noodles, but the meat (we’re still salivating over the tender beef) is the star of the show.

For pho purists, Glenwood Park’s Pho Cue might come off as some type of unforgivable sin with its mixture of barbecue and pho. But it’s a tasty union we never knew we needed. There’s only one pho bowl on the menu, and it’s served with a choice of pulled pork, brisket, chicken, or mushrooms. The broth is brisket-based and has a distinct smoky barbecue flavor. We recommend the brisket, which fuses perfectly with the broth and is so tender it falls apart immediately with one poke of a chopstick. The rest of the menu is just as unique, with barbecue banh mi and banh fris (saucier than the banh mi and served over fries) and smoked brisket egg rolls that prove we love anything fried in a pastry wrapper.

photo credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

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Their trendy half-oval bar with neon blue and purple lights, minimalist interior, and plenty of tables for two make Le Fat a date night destination in West Midtown. With a variety of Vietnamese and Chinese fusion dishes that are our usual go-to’s (like the tasty chicken clay pot or drunken noodles, and always get the spicy green beans because, damn), we’re rarely here just for soup, but there is a brisket and meatball pho on the menu. It’s perfect for broth minimalists, as the bowl is packed down with so many noodles and a generous amount of meat that there isn’t quite as much broth—a plus since it weighs in on the bland side, so you’ll be grateful for the hearty portion of meat and the tableside hoisin sauce.

We Suki Suki was our usual pho spot in EAV but since they closed, we come to So Ba when we need a fix. The small, unassuming green exterior is matched by their laid-back interior that squeezes in roughly 10 tables, which are always filled. Whether you’re having a casual date night, eating with your new baby in tow, or grabbing a cơm or bun dish with friends before hitting the bars, anything goes here. But the pho is the highlight with three sizes and eight different options (they’re all tasty). Order one with brisket and get extra for $3 because it melts in your mouth, and we always leave wanting more.

Dua on Broad Street in Downtown Atlanta serves up a variety of Vietnamese dishes. But as soon as you spy the restaurant’s logo, which includes a steaming bowl of pho, you’ll know what to order. The small interior is usually bursting with hungry GSU students waiting on carryout orders. Dua isn’t doing anything particularly novel with their pho (they offer all the usual meats along with shrimp and veggie options), but the broth is flavorful and the bowls are packed with a decent amount of noodles and cilantro. When we’re downtown and craving a bowl of hot broth, Dua’s always provides a quick, casual, and reliably good option.

The sleek white bar of Pho Nam is usually packed with people enthusiastically slurping up noodles or stuffing banh mi into their mouth. The pho combo has rare beef, meatballs, and fatty (phat-ty?) brisket and broth that only needs a little doctoring with your favorite condiments. Krog Street Market’s lunch and dinner rush mayhem is partially blocked out by the upside down parasols hanging from the ceiling and bar seating that faces the wall. Pho Nam’s pho won’t win any awards, but it’s a dependable option, especially if your crew can’t decide on a food genre and want to explore multiple options in the food hall.

With three locations (and a fourth on the way), Vietvana seems intent on bringing pho to every corner of Atlanta. Their Midtown location is typically packed with hordes of Georgia Tech students and jacked professionals from the nearby L.A. Fitness. We like Vietvana because it’s one of the few spots where you can build your own pho—there are five broth and 12 meat options. For meat lovers, get the Special Combination Beef pho, featuring meatballs, tripe, brisket, and flank steak (bring on the meat sweats). Their noodles are a little thicker than most pho spots in the city, but as Beyoncé told us (kinda) a little extra never hurt anybody. After, head to their dessert cases, which are stuffed with macarons, tiramisu, and cheesecake, all pretty solid when we need a sugar fix.

O Mi Ga is a stall inside the Municipal Market (a.k.a. Sweet Auburn Curb Market) serving pho and a variety of other salad and noodle dishes. We like to hit up O Mi Ga when we can’t be bothered to wait in a line of any size. Plus, the pho is packaged in carryout containers with the broth separate from the meat and veggies, so the textures stay fresh longer and you can dump it in whenever you’re ready to eat. The broth needs some help from sriracha and hoisin sauces, but when that pho craving hits and you need a fix, O Mi Ga will suffice.

Pho King is reliable and quick, so we’ll still hit it from time to time, but Pho King in Midtown should really be downgraded to Pho Duke because their pho feels more like a “Spare” (sorry, Harry). There are 10 pho options to choose from (steak is our pick), but they all need a bit of doctoring to take the broth to the next level. Though forgettable, their soup is adequate enough if you're in the area and need warm broth. The decor is likewise unremarkable except for a large wagon wheel with a rope on the back wall (don’t ask).

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