If you are unfamiliar with the term “pho” and look at your dinner date with a look confusion when it’s suggested, you have been missing out on one the most popular Vietnamese dishes there is. Pho, pronounced “fuh”, is a Vietnamese breakfast time staple. In the US, pho has become a regular meal for all times of the day.
The term pho refers to the noodles, not the soup. The noodles are made with white rice flour that sits in a bowl of broth. But it’s the broth that everyone judges the dish by. A good pho broth will be crystal clear with an earthiness flavor brought on by simmering bones, oxtail, flank and sometimes chicken. The second component of the broth are the spices - cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom. When ordering, you have different meat options. For example, steak, tendon or fish balls. The fun part is garnishing your dish with fresh vegetables like basil, bean sprouts and a condiment of choice.
Here are some of the best spots in Wichita to enjoy a bowl of pho:
1825 S Broadway
Thao’s Bistro is one of the favorites in town. You’ll be lucky to find a seat most days. Their menu offers a variety of Vietnamese dishes that aren’t commonly found in other restaurants around town. Their large bowl of pho was plenty enough to make you full because they give you a heaping amount of noodles and protein. Their fast, friendly service and copious amounts of fresh veggies will have you coming back for a second visit.
Lemongrass - Taste of Vietnam
300 N Mead
Located in the heart of Old Town near the Warren Theatre is this upscale Vietnamese restaurant. It has a quiet atmosphere with well a decorated interior, a full bar and a patio for easy live music listening. Roughly between the months of March and June, they are known for having fresh crawfish. Why not try crawfish in your pho? It could be a nice change of protein!
750 N. Broadway St
This location is the perfect easy going Sunday afternoon pho spot. Walk in with a greeting from grandma, find a seat near the big windows and warm up with a bowl of pho that's good enough to polish off. Don’t forget to order a Vietnamese iced coffee, it pairs nicely with the sweet/sour broth. The best part of this restaurant is their fast and friendly service. Cash Only.
1015 N Broadway
Little Saigon is an easy work day lunch spot and just a few minutes North of downtown. They offer large portions so come hungry. Their pho broth had a surprisingly good flavor so you can resist the urge to overly sauce your pho.
3123 E Pawnee St
This popular south side restaurant is a full house on a Friday night. Their bowls of pho have a decent flavor but they do run small so order a large! Add a fruit smoothie to the mix and you’ll be good to go.
2233 N Ridge Rd
If your pho craving hits you a little later in the day, Pho Chopstix is open until 9 pm! There aren’t many pho restaurants open that late. Their pho comes in large portions and is loaded with fresh vegetables. The broth flavor will have you slurping away. Service is fast and the place is packed on a Sunday afternoon.
My Tho Restaurant
500 E Central Ave
This straightforward Vietnamese restaurant offers soups, banh mi and other familiar dishes in a low-key environment. Don’t let their limiting menu fool you though, it just means all their time is put into making their bowl of pho the best it can be. Just add a buttered side bun and your meal is complete! Cash Only.
2409 E. Pawnee St
Known for its friendly staff and fresh ingredients, this pho is well worth a trip. Bowls may run small so order a large if you’re hungry. Top your meal off with an avocado smoothie.
6605 E 37th St N #100
If you live on the NE side of Wichita, this location is for you! Prices may be a bit higher but the bowl of pho is quality. Pair with their fresh spring rolls for a well-rounded meal.
Saigon Oriental Restaurant
1103 N. Broadway St.
It may be hard to find a Wichitan that hasn’t been to this Vietnamese restaurant. This place is packed at all times during a lunch rush because their service is fast, attentive and your glass will never be empty! Their bowls of pho run small so order a side of egg rolls and carrot sauce.