Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers.
Pho is deeply personal: Do you focus more on the proteins or the broth? The noodles or the vegetables? We can all agree on this, when the calendar turns to winter, there’s nothing more appealing than pho.
Pho Ca Dao: Don’t bring your debit card, this St. Paul hole-in-the-wall takes cash only. It’s quick, easy, and cheap. A large bowl of traditional pho—steak, flank and tripe—is just $7.50, with a deep and satisfying broth. (University Ave., St. Paul)
Pho 79: Eat Street has a number of pho options and my favorite among them is Pho 79. The full noodle house menu has 20 different pho options! I like the number 5 (lean beef and fatty brisket) and the 18 (shrimp, crab, scallop). Prices top out at $9. (Nicollet Ave., Mpls.)
Photo by Todd Buchanan
Vietnam’s favorite street food—long-simmered stock seasoned with star anise, ladled over rice noodles, and topped with your preferred amount of lime juice, jalapeños, and hot sauce—is comfort food perfection.
Ngon Bistro: Everything used to make this beguiling broth is locally sourced and sustainably raised. The beef pho is everything I want when I’m feeling sniffly and chilled to the bone. (University Ave., St. Paul)
Quang: This bustling family-run eatery on Eat Street is a gem for affordable eating, and the pho is the stuff of legends. Enormous bowls of the brothy good stuff are mostly priced under $10 and slurpy satisfying. (Nicollet Ave., Mpls.)