Top 5 ½ Pho restaurants in Baltimore

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Pho, properly spelled is really phở but since most of us won’t write it or search for it with the Vietnamese accents it shall be written pho. Properly pronounced one would say “fuh.” Pho is a Vietnamese broth highlighted with cinnamon, clove and star anise, served with rice noodles, thin cuts of meat, herbs, bean sprouts, lime and optional hot sauces and hoisin sauce.

Which are the top pho restaurants in Baltimore? These are my top five choices listed in alphabetical order. Know that I have eaten beef pho at each and every one of these restaurants, so the listing is based on my preferences with a look to Yelp and Urbanspoon for the public’s rankings. At the bottom of my listing is my honorable mention – the ½ star in my ranking of the top 5 ½ bowls of pho in Baltimore.

The accompaniment plate of bean sprouts, cilantro, jalapeno, fresh Thai basil and lime just vary, even at the same restaurant. Some have the cilantro already in the soup, some serve it separately. I’ve gotten lemon instead of lime, no basil, no cilantro, no culantro even though the menu calls for it. Some condiment plates are brimming and others have less considering only one was dining.

Baltimore’s Top 5 ½ Pho Restaurants

Pho Pasteur located in the 40 West Shopping Center has an excellent rating through Yelp and Urbanspoon sending it to the top five Pho in Baltimore. If I remember my pho genealogy, the owner of Pho Pasteur originally opened Pho #1 located at Westview Mall which was bought by the people who now also now own Pho Towson and Bar. The chopsticks and soup spoons were delivered with the soup, a personal preference of mine rather than them sitting out in group at the tables.

Pho Pasteur
Pho Pasteur

Pho Pasteur

40 West Shopping Center
710 N. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21228
410-744.7220
Open Daily -10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Small Bowls – $6.50 Large Bowls – $7.50
Extra meat – $2

Pho Saigon is located in a small strip mall behind the Double T Diner on Rolling Road. New owners took over this year and changed the name to Pho Real but there seemed to be another restaurant in Maryland with the same name so they changed it back to Pho Saigon. The kept the original chef and spruced up restaurant. What I found unique in my pho was the brisket had a nice depth of flavor, well roasted. Condiments, chopsticks and spoons are on a tray at each table. The next time back I’m curious to try the salad goi ngo sen – shrimp and lotus root. Pho Saigon has garnished 4 ½ start from Yelp.

Pho Saigon
Pho Saigon

Pho Saigon

1116 N. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21228
410-744.2740
Open Daily – 9 am. to 9 pm
Small Bowls – $6.75 Large Bowls – $7.75
Extra meat – $2

Pho Thanh Cong is probably the newest of the Vietnamese restaurants to open. Tucked away in the Mars Supermarket Shopping Center it is a true winner in my opinion. It has more of a restaurant feel, staff seems friendlier and it is definitely a family affair. Tables are plastic covered lace, coconut peanuts are a nice little amuse bouche and I indulged in the lemonade with the dried plums. No numbers on the tables and flatware, chopsticks and soup spoons were delivered to the table. Café du Monde cans line the wall behind the register spoke volumes about their Iced/Hot French coffees with condensed milk. They hold the highest ranking of the pho restaurants on Urbanspoon for Baltimore. Thanh Cong translates “to prosper.”

Pho Than
Pho Thanh Cong menu

Pho Thanh Cong

9613 K Harford Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21234
410-665.2007
Open Daily : Mon – Thurs 11 am to 9 pm, Fri & Sat 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Small Bowls – $6.99 Large Bowls – $8.50
Extra meat – $1.50

Pho Towson & Bar is located off the Baltimore Beltway on Cromwell Bridge Road in the Best Western. These are the same folks who own Pho #1 in Westview Mall. A bit fancier than the standard pho restaurants, this is the main restaurant for the Best Western. The floors are carpeted and there is actually a full bar just inside the lobby that Pho Towson runs. There are numbers and condiment jars on the table but chopsticks and spoons are delivered with the soup. Portions are generous and they have gained a strong following in a short period time. Yelp and Urbanspoon both offer up high rankings.

Pho Bar and Towson
Pho Towson & Bar

Pho Towson & Bar

Best Western
1100 Cromwell Bridge Road
Towson, MD 21286
410-832.2788
Open Daily: Sun-Thur 11 am to 10 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am to 11 pm
Small Bowls – $8 Large Bowls $9
Extra meat – $3

 

Pho Van is tucked away in a semi deserted strip mall. It has gone under another name of Pho Nam. Without doubt I loved the richness of the pho broth. There is nothing fancy at Pho Van, numbers at the table, condiment bottles and jars sit out. I aim to go back and try the marinated quail and lemongrass chicken and the salty lemonade. Remember as I noted below they are CASH ONLY. I highly recommend their pho.

Pho Van
Pho Van

Pho Van

Pike Park Plaza South Shopping Center
6477 Baltimore National Pike
Baltimore, MD 21228
410-455.6000
CASH ONLY
Open Daily: 9 am to 8 pm
Small Bowls – $6.75 Large Bowls $7.50
Extra meat – $1.50

Honorable Mention ½ Star

Saigon Remembered has recently reopened in Cockeysville. They had originally been down by the Senator Theatre on York Road for a number of years. It is more a Vietnamese restaurant than a pho restaurant. Selections on the pho are limited. I’ve been twice for the pho and rank the richness of the broth high. Condiments, sauces, chopsticks and spoon are brought to the linen covered tables. The also offer Bahn Mi sandwiches at lunchtime which has me ordering both and taking leftovers home.

Saigon Remembered.
Saigon Remembered

Saigon Remembered

Cranbrook Shopping Center
584 Cranbrook Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030
410-667.4100
Open Tues – Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Closed Mondays
Lunch Bowl: $7.95 Dinner Bowl $9.95

 

 

3 thoughts on “Top 5 ½ Pho restaurants in Baltimore

  • November 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM
    Permalink

    So we have to travel out to the county for Pho….nothing within the city limits? Nice…..

    Reply
  • May 9, 2013 at 2:18 PM
    Permalink

    I am SO happy you wrote this post. Mainly because I moved to Baltimore from Arlington, VA which is filled with pho. I NEEDED this list. I am desperate to feed my pho addiction in Baltimore, but couldn’t really find the restaurants. Now I know!

    Reply
    • May 15, 2013 at 6:14 PM
      Permalink

      It makes all the pho consumption worthwhile. Let me know which ones are your favorites.

      Reply

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