There are few topics that'll get a Melbournian riled up quicker than where to get Melbourne's best pho. Some people will swear it's Springvale or nothing. Others reckon you can't beat Victoria St on a Friday night. The best pho in Melbourne is like a metaphor for happiness: we're all searching for it, there's a lot of theories on how to get it, and the secret is pretty simple. The best pho in Melbourne is the pho that's in front of you right now.
So whether you’re a pho-king newbie who never strays beyond tender sliced beef or a hardcore purist on the hunt for tripe and tendons, here are the best places to get pho in Melbourne.
Tia Con is the brainchild of food truck legend, Linda Huynh, and she's bringing all the zest of Vietnamese street food to the diners of Brunswick. Honouring family recipes while bringing Vietnamese food firmly into the 21st century, Tia Con makes a mean pho with 12-hour slow cooked Angus brisket no less, but there’s also a vegan alternative if you’re so inclined.
The first lady of Vietnamese barbecue, Jerry Mai, holds the reins to this Vietnamese beer hall and eatery. While pho may not be the big ticket item on the Bia Hoi menu, they still do a bloody good broth. Every serve is made with aromatic thai basil, lemon, chilli and bean shoots, and then you can add your choice of protein. Choose from rare beef, chicken or veg, and then add in as many extras as you like. Beef brisket is a safe bet for a bowl oozing in flavour.
A local institution, Viet Star has been serving up generous plates of Vietnamese food to Hawthorners since the turn of the century. They’ve got heaps of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as plenty of variations on the classic beef or chicken pho. Perfect for a cheap feed either in-house or takeaway.
Using skills and recipes which he learned back in Vietnam, Ennis Le has created one of the best spots for pho in bayside Melbourne. Hanoi Mee’s pho is indulgent, with Sher Wagyu beef topping the bill. They also do prawn dumpling pho and free-range chicken pho. If you’re feeling hungry but don’t know what to order, then you can go for the Chef’s Menu option or the Best Bits menu for a Vietnamese foodie journey from north to south.
South Yarra and South Melbourne
If it’s healthy food you’re after, then Misschu is the way to go. They pride themselves on using fresh, local ingredients and putting nutritional value into every meal. They also have an eco-conscious approach with nothing going to waste. But all of that is meaningless if the food’s no good—fortunately there’s no dramas there. They’ve got five phos to choose from, including grass-fed beef, chicken, veggie dumplings, ginger prawn dumplings, and grilled mushroom and tofu. This is definitely the place to go for the healthiest, let alone best pho in Melbourne.
With twelve different pho options on the menu, Pho Victoria offer not only some of the best pho Melbourne has, but they also offer one of the most diverse menus. Regardless of your protein preference, you’ll find it here. From beef and chicken, to seafood options and some of the best vegan pho with tofu. They’re also super easy on the hip pocket at $12 a bowl.
Bringing a little slice of Vietnam to the heart of Ascot Vale, Saigon Soul is the place to go for traditional flavours with a modern twist. We know you’re here for the best pho in Melbourne, but you have to try their soft-shell crab served with sriracha mayo, tomato and honey. It’ll blow your mind. As for the pho, they do classic broth bowls with dumpling options available too. Customise your soup the way you like it and then slurp the night away on some of the best pho Melbourne suburbs has to offer.
For three generations, the family behind Madame Saigon have been in the restaurant business, serving up pho since the beginning. They opened Melbourne’s first pho restaurant back in 1988, and they’ve been serving up traditional Vietnamese coffee, rice paper rolls, and pho—obviously—ever since. For the vegans out there, say goodbye to simply removing meat and adding some tofu, this vegan pho is packed full of veggie goodness, so you won’t be feeling snacky later.
This bustling eatery in Collingwood has a simple menu but it’s done damn well. Their pho is vegan but you can add your choice of beef or chicken to meat it up a bit, or you can stick to the plant-based life and go for mushrooms and tofu. Alternatively, get the best of both worlds with the signature Tonkin grilled vegan duck. For just $14, it’s some of the best vegan pho Melbourne has to warm the cockles of any animal lover’s heart.
Pho Hung Vuong
Not to be confused with the Richmond store of a similar name, Pho Hung Vuong only does pho. It's probably the most popular pho joint in Springvale—which is like being the most popular BBQ joint in Texas. There are two main varieties of pho on offer but that doesn’t stop lines from snaking onto Balmoral Avenue come lunchtime. Choose your favourite form of beef (or grab The Lot if you’re pho-sure keen) and grab a classic Vietnamese drink. You know it's legit from the double mirrors on either wall—a staple in pho bar interior design for some reason.
Pho Hung Vuong Saigon
Dishing up modern Vietnamese soups filled with combinations like sliced beef and sausages swimming in rich broth, Pho Hung Vuong Saigon is the best place for pho in Footscray. For adventurous pho-ers, order a serve of the spicy beef and pork noodle soup with extra pig trotters. Generous in size and even more generous in flavour, there's a reason this place packs out.
Sen Storm Noodle Bar & Grill
If you’re in the market for truly authentic Hanoi pho, look no further than Sen Storm Noodle Bar & Grill in Fitzroy. Unlike typical Southern-style pho, Chef Ryan Pham’s pho has no sugar and features expensive (read: delicious) cuts of meat. The stock of authentic Hanoi pho is also super clear and glassy, which gives it a very distinct look and flavour. If you're meat-free, there’s also a great vegan pho made in that same authentic Hanoi style. Besides the pho, Sen Storm also has an impressive beer selection and a nice, plant-laden bistro aesthetic that'll definitely have you coming back for more.
Close your eyes if you’re a purist because vegan-friendly dishes dominate the menu at the newly opened GOODdays in Brunswick. Expect fragrant four mushroom pho, paired with house-made vegan mushroom and tofu spring rolls. It might not be traditional, but Sydney Road is warmly welcoming the promise of many more good days ahead. And don't fret carnivores, you can get a mean Victorian Black Angus round and brisket pho too, in a rich broth of marrow, chuck and knuckle bone and served with herbs and pickled onion. Not bad.
Pho Hung Vuong 2
There’s no shortage of pho options on Victoria Street, but the experts know to make a beeline for Pho Hung Vuong 2. This humble restaurant serves up steaming bowls of classic pho (including tendon and brisket varieties), vermicelli bowls and crispy spring rolls.
Traditional three-colour and four-colour drinks make a perfect pre-pho starter. The service is fast and the bowls are the size of a small bathtub.
Hanoi Hannah Express Lane
Windsor & Elsternwick
In a Melbourne context, Hanoi Hannah Express Lane is a veteran of the city’s food and drink scene. The menu features a sharp, poached chicken pho, lemongrass beef pho and the signature XO pho—the Peking duck rice paper rolls are also worth a run. Rock up just before or after lunch to avoid the queues.
Pho Chu The
Footscray and Richmond
Another westside classic, Pho Chu The has been dishing up A-Grade pho on Hopkins Street for ages (there's also one on Victoria Street). Don't expect flashy design or amazing service—the idea is to get in, eat your pho, then get out. But damn the soup here is good. There's often a crowd at lunch, and most people head straight for the rare sliced beef. A snip at $12. Pro tip: don't forget the Vietnamese iced coffee.
I Love Pho 264
If you’re easing a newbie into the world of “f-UR”, I Love Pho 264 on Victoria Street is made the best pho spot to start. The menu is very friendly to newcomers, with classic sliced beef and super-safe shredded chicken. If you want to be more adventurous, you can enjoy your chicken giblets, heart and liver too. Heads up: these guys also have a store in the Emporium for all you inner-city dwellers. Top floor in the big food court.
A proper local pho gem, head into Balaclava's Mopho Canteen for some truly excellent Vietnamese cuisine. From rich beef pho to creamy coconut ice cream, they're the best way to enjoy an authentic hawker-style experience in Melbourne's south. Plus, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will love the mushroom and tofu pho offering—pretty as a picture, and super tasty. They've also just opened a new Canteen on Toorak Rd in South Yarra.
Pho Kim Long
This pho joint is nothing fancy to look at, but it's consistently serving up some of the best Vietnamese pho in Melbourne. Pho real. From the sliced beef to chicken and egg yolk, at Pho Kim Long you just can't go wrong. With each bowl will only set you back a max of 12 bucks, it would almost be offensive not to grab that second serve.
We were all a little devastated (see: very devastated) when this family-run local joint burned down in 2018, taking its soft drink-lined walls and complimentary cut oranges and Coles cakes with it. But dry those tears because Proud Peacock has re-opened in a brand-spanking new store in Mount Waverley. And they're back serving up some seriously delicious pho. Simply add chilli and lemon to your liking (the more the better, if you ask us), and let the savoury, salty, rich broth ease all the week's stresses. Best enjoyed with a Vietnamese drip coffee.
Get yourselves down to Typhoon in Highett for a feast of authentic North Vietnamese street food. We're talking big steaming bowls of pho. They've got chicken, they've got beef, and they've got two different vegetarian options. Try the Pho Rau for a more classic veggo option of white mushrooms, black shiitake mushrooms, bean shoots, choy sum and fried tofu, or branch out and give the Sapa Pho Rau a shot. Roasted vegetable broth with broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, parsnip, carrot and onion.
Ginger & Chives
Ginger & Chives is definitely what you'd call a 'modern' pho bar. Which is another way of saying it's not just a buzzing fluorescent warehouse with mirrors strapped to every wall—they actually got a designer in here. All the food is excellent, and there's a very good pho on the menu. You can either get it with sliced beef, chicken or a combination of both (purists will note the absence of tripe and tendon options). It's probably less authentic than some pho bars around town, more in the Pho Nom sort of mould, but damn if it's not tasty. Highly recommend.
Simply look out for the crowds when trying to spot this one. That and the double walled mirrors (why is that such a constant in these restaurants?). Once you get your table at Pho Hung in Preston, order any Pho on the menu and simply sit back and slurp up that soupy goodness. All you need is a tenner and your appetite. You’ll be wondering why you hadn’t ventured for the best pho on the northside earlier.
If you can’t get enough soup varieties in your life, check out our guide to Melbourne’s best ramen.