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:
A must-try restaurant and bar right ini the heart of Ancoats in Cutting Room Square, NAM never put a foot wrong in offering up traditional, authentic Vietnamese dishes, typically prepared to owner Nam’s family recipes. You’ll find all of your favourite dishes on the menu here, all done to perfection – alongside some more contemporary offerings – such as their very own Vietnamese Roast Dinner, which is available on Sundays and comes with a 6-hour Pho Gravy. It’s phenomenal – trust us.
NAM, Unit 2, 33 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
0161 637 2720
Mi & Pho
Now a firm favourite at Escape to Freight Island, Mi & Pho are also still operating out of their Northenden restaurant, making the suburb a kind of ‘Mini Nam’ with the inclusion of the excellent Viet Guy down the road. Award-winning Vietnamese dishes, available alongside the wealth of events, gigs and parties at Freight Island – and a big bowl of Pho this Christmas – warming the cockles – it’s hard to find much that will beat that.
Mi & Pho, 384 Palatine Road, Northenden, Manchester, M22 4FZ
Mi & Pho, Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ
An Instagram sensation that opened up in the heart of Chinatown in the middle of the global pandemic, Pho Cue isn’t just a cheeky name and great pictures – this food is seriously special. Run by owner Cue and his family, they’ve taken traditional Vietnamese dishes and added a modern twist – with such unique offerings as their Vietnamese Tacos, alongside huge Pho bowls, Bun and tonnes of Rice and Noodle dishes. Their Bahn Mi are outstanding, as are their Salt & Pepper Sharing Boxes.
Pho Cue, 52a Faulkner Street, China Town, Manchester, M1 4FH
0161 237 5664
I am Pho
Slap bang in the middle of Chinatown, I am Pho offers something a bit different to some of the more glamourous local eateries. The décor 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
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 also do a fantastic pho, so you may as well enjoy a bowl while you’re there too.
Ca Phe Viet, 80-86 Oldham Road, Manchester, M4 5EB
0161 228 2387
A regular lunch staple in the Arndale Market, Viet Shack have been serving up outstanding street food for a few years now, and they even expanded into a more permanent location in Ancoats back in 2018. Their Food Shack in the Arndale offers up some amazing Summer Rolls, Bahn Mi and my favourite – their infamous Quack Fries. It’s a much more formal affair at the restaurant in Ancoats, well – you can sit down, with an exciting menu of Small Plates, hearty Pho, Rice, Noodles and traditional Vietnamese Salads.
Viet Shack, 65-67 Great Ancoats St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5AB
A very popular plant-based Vietnamese offering down at Altrincham Market – Banh Mi have also recently been slinging Pho in the city centre – part of a six-week residency in the Bungalow at KAMPUS. Their Bahn Mi are exceptional, as are their spicy Pho – all completely 100% vegan. Never before has tofu tasted so good.
Just on the edge of Ancoats, a section of Oldham road has started to resemble a bit of a Vietnamese quarter. There’s cafes, restaurants 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
They might have driven their double decker bus out of Hatch, but Hanoi75 are still a presence in and around Manchester – attending various markets and events across the region. They’ll be heading to Stretford Food Hall from the 6th December, with more appearances to be announced soon. You’re in safe, experienced hands here when it comes to the food – with some truly outstanding Bun and Pho Xao Noodles, plus – Disco Fries – Vietnamese loaded fries which are out of this world.
Located up on Oldham Road, opposite the Royal Mail Sorting Office, Pho No.1 is another key addition to a rather ‘Nam busy stretch of road. Just a couple of doors down is the excellent Vnam – so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to traditional Pho, Bun and Banh Mi. They promise “the best pho in town” and it’s certainly up there – as are their excellent Small Dishes – including Summer Rolls, Salt & Pepper Tofu, Traditional Vietnamese Pancakes and my personal favourite – Betel Leaf Wraps stuffed with beef and onions.
Banh Mi Co Ba
A relatively new addition to Oxford Street’s ‘Burrito Alley’ – Banh Mi Co Ba has been a very welcome addition to many people’s lunchtime options. You’ll find Summer Rolls, Banh Mi (obviously), Bao Buns and some truly excellent main dishes and specials. They also do a great selection of breakfast butties – which aren’t exactly Vietnamese – but perfect for beating a hangover on the way into work.
Banh Mi Co Ba, 87 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6EG
0161 236 9725