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Saigon Pho Noodle Soup - Facts, Tips & Hacks!

Fun facts, tips, and hacks so you can make the most of your

Pho experiences while you are in Vietnam.

Old Growth Trees tower of a street in Saigon, Vietnam

Massive Trees Line the Streets of Ho Chi Minh City


  • Pho is actually the second most popular soup in Saigon, Hu Tieu (pork bone soup) is a local specialty and the #1 selling soup in the Saigon area. 

  • Southern style 'Saigon' Pho has a different (sweeter) flavor taste profile and garnishes than its northern counterpart.

  • Southern Pho is served with more types of meat options than northern Pho, including meatballs, tendon, brisket, etc..

  • Pho is traditionally a breakfast food in Vietnam, though you can now find it sold all day long, throughout the country.

  • Beware, some of the most popular Pho shops in Saigon close when they run out of beef stock, or beef. This can be anytime late morning, or into the afternoon. Don't be too late if it's a hot spot!

  • Pho Bo is 'beef' pho'. Pho Ga is 'chicken pho' Pho Ga is not very well known in the west, but is very popular in Vietnam. 

  • Pho Ga can usually, also be ordered 'dry', or without broth in most restaurants that serve it. We highly suggest you experience both versions to get the full Pho Ga experience in Saigon.

  • Rice noodles are square or round in southern style Saigon Pho.


  • Traditionally, southern style Pho is served with a side plate of fresh vegetable garnishes (bean sprouts, Thai basil, coriander, lime, etc..).

  • We suggest adding a poached egg to your soup for around .20 cents anywhere you eat Pho Bo & Ga.

  • Side soup condiments typically include: Fresh garlic pickled in vinegar / Hoisin Sauce / Chili Sauce / Fish Sauce / Fresh Chili's / Lime Slices / Black Pepper.

  • Sriracha sauce is not a thing in Vietnam. Chili Sauce takes its place and is usually different form shop to shop. A lot of places make their own, and it's delectable.

  • We suggest you chase your Pho with Jasmin iced tea, which is a local favorite drink.

  • Most of the top restaurants in Hanoi serve ONE food item and serve it well. DO NOT expect to find a good Pho at a western style restaurant that serves everything. The best spots serve only Pho Bo or Pho Ga.

Enjoying the Best Pho Bo Beef Noodle Soup in Ho Chi Minh City 2022

Great Pho Bo (beef noodle soup) Near Western Street in Saigon

Enjoying one of the best Pho restaurants in Vietnam 2022, With My Vietnamese Wife

Perfect Breakfast Pho Set up in Vietnam


  • ALWAYS ask for 'takeout' bamboo chopsticks when you eat anywhere in Vietnam. Typically,  restaurant chopsticks are hand-washed and reused. Also, some shops use large clunky plastic chopsticks, which I've always found difficult to use when trying to shovel slippery noodles into my pho-hole as quickly as possible. 

  • Bring Wet Wipes to clean off your face, hands, then table, soup spoon, etc... After applying your condiments and squeezing your lime into your soup, you will want to give them a good wipe.


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