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Chicken pho at Stock, which has locations in Fishtown and Rittenhouse in Philadelphia
Alexei Mansour

Where to Eat Vietnamese Food in Philly

12 essential restaurants for pho, banh mi, bun bo hue, and more

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Chicken pho at Stock, which has locations in Fishtown and Rittenhouse in Philadelphia
| Alexei Mansour

Philadelphia ranks in the top 10 on the list of U.S. cities with the largest Vietnamese-American populations. But that’s old news to any Philadelphian who has enjoyed a pâté and headcheese-filled banh mi (known around these parts as a Vietnamese hoagie) or a hangover-slaying bowl of pho. This Southeast Asian cuisine has been a longtime favorite in Philly, from the strip malls on Washington Avenue to the mom and pop storefronts of Kensington and Olney, and over the bridge in South Jersey.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cafe Mi Quang

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3324 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 459-5062

This cheap and cheerful Kensington restaurant plays all of the hits with a menu of classics, all coming in at $10 and under. In addition to banh mi, pho, and rice plates, the house special here (and name of the cafe) is a noodle dish hailing from the central part of the country made with a turmeric-infused broth and fresh herbs and finished with ground peanuts and toasted sesame rice crackers.

2. Thang Long

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2534-36 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 425-0078
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You won’t go wrong with the beef or chicken pho at the casual Thang Long in Kensington, which also offers a selection of vermicelli and rice dishes. Vegans have options here too, including tofu and meat-free meatball or chicken pho.

3. Cafe Pho Ga Thanh Thanh

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2539 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 427-0483

Phở gà (chicken pho) is the go-to at this barebones soup spot under the El, across from Thang Long. It’s accompanied by the usual suspects (lime wedges, bean sprouts, and basil) as well as a small ramekin of a fiery dip made of salt, black pepper, and sliced habanero.

4. Stock (multiple locations)

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308 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 425-5307
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With a moniker that speaks to the base of all good pho, the stock (and all of the ingredients) at this Fishtown BYOB starts with sustainable proteins and well-sourced veggies. Chose from two varieties: chicken with onion and fried shallot or a vegan mushroom version with coconut oil and tofu. The banh mi here veer untraditional too, with basil chicken, tamarind pork, or tofu topped off with pickled red cabbage. There’s a second, fast-casual location in Rittenhouse with a similar mix of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian dishes.

Mark Corpus

5. Vietnam Restaurant

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221 N 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 592-1163
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With its dark wood, dim lights, and upstairs bar, this 35-year-old Chinatown staple is a step up in ambiance from many of the eateries on this list. The sprawling menu covers crispy spring rolls, filling vermicelli and broken rice dishes, steaming pho, several clay pot options, and more, plus a bonus: strong, fruity tiki drinks. There’s also sister spot in West Philly, Vietnam Cafe.

Vietnam Restaurant [official photo]

6. Banh Mi and Bottles

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712-14 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 800-1533
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There are a few Saigon-inspired restaurants in the city with full bars and kitschy tiki cocktails, but nothing that compares to the bar program at this modern Vietnamese kitchen and bottle shop. Here fun bar bites like tamarind wings and scallion corn are paired with Hanoi Pimm’s Cups and refillable coconuts of Wild Turkey 101, amaro, and lime.

Banh Mi and Bottles [official photo]

7. Nam Son Bakery

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1600 Carpenter St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-3888
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Housed in Philadelphia’s oldest (and not long for this world) Vietnamese shopping center, this bakery and sandwich shop executes its banh mi perfectly with freshly baked bread, generous fillings like grilled meatballs and barbecue pork, and crisp, crunchy, and spicy carrots, daikon, jalapeños, and cilantro stems.

8. Pho 75

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1122 Washington Ave F
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 271-5866
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It’s all pho, all the time at this no-frills eatery with communal tables in the Wing Phat Plaza on Washington Avenue. Choose your meats, order a lemon soda, count to 10, and the steaming pho will already be on the table. It’s cash-only, but a bowl will set you back less than $6.

Pho 75 [official photo]

9. Nam Phuong

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1100 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 468-0410
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A massive menu of diverse dishes make this perennially packed dining room a staple of Washington Avenue’s Vietnamese dining scene. Broken rice plates and vermicelli with pork chops and quiche make for a great quick lunch, while larger groups can linger over family-style meals of lotus root salad, fish stewed in a clay pot, and country-style beef cubes.

10. Cafe Diem

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1031 S 8th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 923-8347

Known for its spicy and satisfying bún bò huế, pho’s totally slept on soup sister, Cafe Diem’s house special doesn’t disappoint. This version is laden with thick noodles, braised beef, tendon, pig’s feet, and slices of ham, all bubbling about in a chile-flecked lemongrass broth.

11. Pho Ha

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600 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 599-0264

The staff at Pho Ha doesn’t dillydally when it comes to getting steaming hot bowls of broth and noodles on tables. Order phở tái (rare steak pho) or phở chin nac (brisket pho) and there’s a good chance that the main event arrives well before beverages like salty plum sodas and avocado smoothies.

12. Hên Vietnamese Restaurant

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2087 Marlton Pike East
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
(856) 888-1578
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The Philly area’s most stylish Vietnamese restaurant is located over the Ben Franklin Bridge in a strip mall in South Jersey. This relative newcomer plates photo-ready versions of bánh xèo — rice crepes with minced pork belly and shrimp — and canh chua cá, a soup of slow-cooked fish, pineapples, and tomatoes in a tangy tamarind broth.

Hên [Facebook]

1. Cafe Mi Quang

3324 Kensington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134

This cheap and cheerful Kensington restaurant plays all of the hits with a menu of classics, all coming in at $10 and under. In addition to banh mi, pho, and rice plates, the house special here (and name of the cafe) is a noodle dish hailing from the central part of the country made with a turmeric-infused broth and fresh herbs and finished with ground peanuts and toasted sesame rice crackers.

3324 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19134

2. Thang Long

2534-36 Kensington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

You won’t go wrong with the beef or chicken pho at the casual Thang Long in Kensington, which also offers a selection of vermicelli and rice dishes. Vegans have options here too, including tofu and meat-free meatball or chicken pho.

2534-36 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

3. Cafe Pho Ga Thanh Thanh

2539 Kensington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Phở gà (chicken pho) is the go-to at this barebones soup spot under the El, across from Thang Long. It’s accompanied by the usual suspects (lime wedges, bean sprouts, and basil) as well as a small ramekin of a fiery dip made of salt, black pepper, and sliced habanero.

2539 Kensington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

4. Stock (multiple locations)

308 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Mark Corpus

With a moniker that speaks to the base of all good pho, the stock (and all of the ingredients) at this Fishtown BYOB starts with sustainable proteins and well-sourced veggies. Chose from two varieties: chicken with onion and fried shallot or a vegan mushroom version with coconut oil and tofu. The banh mi here veer untraditional too, with basil chicken, tamarind pork, or tofu topped off with pickled red cabbage. There’s a second, fast-casual location in Rittenhouse with a similar mix of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian dishes.

308 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

5. Vietnam Restaurant

221 N 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Vietnam Restaurant [official photo]

With its dark wood, dim lights, and upstairs bar, this 35-year-old Chinatown staple is a step up in ambiance from many of the eateries on this list. The sprawling menu covers crispy spring rolls, filling vermicelli and broken rice dishes, steaming pho, several clay pot options, and more, plus a bonus: strong, fruity tiki drinks. There’s also sister spot in West Philly, Vietnam Cafe.

221 N 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

6. Banh Mi and Bottles

712-14 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Banh Mi and Bottles [official photo]

There are a few Saigon-inspired restaurants in the city with full bars and kitschy tiki cocktails, but nothing that compares to the bar program at this modern Vietnamese kitchen and bottle shop. Here fun bar bites like tamarind wings and scallion corn are paired with Hanoi Pimm’s Cups and refillable coconuts of Wild Turkey 101, amaro, and lime.

712-14 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

7. Nam Son Bakery

1600 Carpenter St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

Housed in Philadelphia’s oldest (and not long for this world) Vietnamese shopping center, this bakery and sandwich shop executes its banh mi perfectly with freshly baked bread, generous fillings like grilled meatballs and barbecue pork, and crisp, crunchy, and spicy carrots, daikon, jalapeños, and cilantro stems.

1600 Carpenter St
Philadelphia, PA 19146

8. Pho 75

1122 Washington Ave F, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Pho 75 [official photo]

It’s all pho, all the time at this no-frills eatery with communal tables in the Wing Phat Plaza on Washington Avenue. Choose your meats, order a lemon soda, count to 10, and the steaming pho will already be on the table. It’s cash-only, but a bowl will set you back less than $6.

1122 Washington Ave F
Philadelphia, PA 19147

9. Nam Phuong

1100 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

A massive menu of diverse dishes make this perennially packed dining room a staple of Washington Avenue’s Vietnamese dining scene. Broken rice plates and vermicelli with pork chops and quiche make for a great quick lunch, while larger groups can linger over family-style meals of lotus root salad, fish stewed in a clay pot, and country-style beef cubes.

1100 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

10. Cafe Diem

1031 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Known for its spicy and satisfying bún bò huế, pho’s totally slept on soup sister, Cafe Diem’s house special doesn’t disappoint. This version is laden with thick noodles, braised beef, tendon, pig’s feet, and slices of ham, all bubbling about in a chile-flecked lemongrass broth.

1031 S 8th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

11. Pho Ha

600 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The staff at Pho Ha doesn’t dillydally when it comes to getting steaming hot bowls of broth and noodles on tables. Order phở tái (rare steak pho) or phở chin nac (brisket pho) and there’s a good chance that the main event arrives well before beverages like salty plum sodas and avocado smoothies.

600 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

12. Hên Vietnamese Restaurant

2087 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Hên [Facebook]

The Philly area’s most stylish Vietnamese restaurant is located over the Ben Franklin Bridge in a strip mall in South Jersey. This relative newcomer plates photo-ready versions of bánh xèo — rice crepes with minced pork belly and shrimp — and canh chua cá, a soup of slow-cooked fish, pineapples, and tomatoes in a tangy tamarind broth.

2087 Marlton Pike East
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

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