Anyone who’s been to Asia will know there’s nothing quite like a steaming hot, fragrant bowl of noodle soup. Most countries in that part of the world have their own version, but arguably the most famous of them all is pho. Healthy, hearty and if needs be also a pretty solid hangover cure, the national dish of Vietnam is as addictive as it is delicious. Luckily, with Vietnamese restaurants experiencing a bit of a boom in Manchester over the last few years, you don’t need to travel half way round the world to get your hands on some either. Here’s a round of of some of the best places to try a bowl:
I AM PHO
Slap bang in the middle of China town, I am Pho is the only Vietnamese restaurant in the area, and offers something a bit different to some of the more glamourous local eateries. The decor might not be the most polished in Manchester, it’s more a canteen than a restaurant, but for anyone who’s found themselves looking for some comfort on a drizzly Manchester afternoon its like a little oasis of calm, and hot, meaty broth. Of course the main event is pho, but the BBQ pork skewers are also excellent.
44 George St, Manchester, M1 4HF
0161 236 1230
Just on the edge of Ancoats, a section of Oldham road has started to resemble a bit of a Vietnamese quarter. There’s cafes, restuarants and a supermarket all offering a taste of the country. Head to Vnam and you can expect a friendly welcome, the place has a real family feel, plus the food is fantastic too. Why not give their seafood soup a try or, if you’re up for trying something a little bit different, the soft shell crab is delicious. This one is a BYOB joint so don’t forget to pick up a bottle on your way if you fancy a drink.
140 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 6BG
0161 205 2700
The newest establishment on this list, Pho Bowl opened just last week in Chorlton. Housed in what used to be the local off license, they’ve done a great job of turning it in to a space with a really homely feel. We popped in to try some soup and small plates and were well impressed, the summer rolls with spicy peanut dip are a great place to start. Be sure to book ahead as the restaurant was packed on our visit, I could see this place being a real hit in the South Manchester suburb.
520 Wilbraham Rd, M21 9AW
0161 881 6110
Mi & Pho
This place has spent most of 2016 hovering around top spot on Trip Advisor and it’s not hard to see why. The cosy little cafe in Northernden, with its bamboo clad fit out, is a lovely place to relax and the food has been receiving rave reviews since they opened last summer. It might be a little bit out of town but Mi & Pho is well worth a look, and if you’re on a budget it’s BYOB too, so you’ll make back that taxi fare home. For something a little lighter try the bun ha noi, delicious noodle salad originating from the northern city of Hanoi.
384 Palatine Rd, Manchester M22 4FZ
0161 312 3290
Ca Phe Viet
For those who like a brew you could stand a spoon up in, Vietnamese coffee is definitely the way to go. Prepared using a special filter called a phin and the slightly bitter robusta species of bean it’s often sweetened with condensed milk to create a tasty beverage which can be served hot or cold. If you’re a coffee lover it’s definitely a must try, especially over ice on a hot day, and Ca Phe Viet is the best place to give it a go. If you fancy a bite to eat you can grab a bahn mi, the famous Vietnamese sandwich of cold cuts and crunchy salad in a warm baguette. They’ve also recently started doing pho, so you may as well enjoy a bowl while you’re there too.
80-86 Oldham Road, Manchester, M4 5EB
0161 228 2387
Where do you like to get your pho fix? Let us know below.