Warm up to Montréal’s top pho spots

Jason Lee

Jason is a food eater and picture taker. As the blogger behind Shut Up and Eat, he covers everything food, from recipes to reviews. Jason has vowed that he will not stop until he has officially eaten his way across Montréal. It’s a big claim, and it’s one he’s making.

This article was updated on June 10, 2020.

Tonkinese soup, better known as “phở” (pronounced “fuh”), is a beef bone soup that’s simmered for hours mixed with ingredients like ginger, onions, clove and cinnamon. It’s served with noodles, tender slices of beef, brisket and beef and a garnish of fresh bean sprouts, Thai basil and lime juice. It’s like a warm hug on the coldest of days in the form of a bowl of noodle soup.

Montréal is home to some amazing Vietnamese restaurants that specialize in this classic dish. Here is a rundown of some of the best places for pho, no matter which neighbourhood of Montréal you’re in.

Saint-Michel

Nam Quan Restaurant

My noodle soup of choice is dac biet pho, usually listed as the house specialty. It’s served with slices of brisket, rare flank steak, tendon and tripe. If you’re way uptown, the spot you have to hit is Restaurant Nam Quan, one of the best joints in the city.

Restaurant Pho Duy-Anh

Duy-Anh is often overlooked, but its beefy noodle soup is the star that shines. This neighbourhood spot offers pho with a view – a large terrasse in the summer offers a view of the busy Saint-Michel Boulevard.

Ho Guom

This spot features a wide variety of different kinds of pho, from rare beef to seafood, but the pro move is going for its signature specialty, the chicken Tonkinese soup with lemon leaf. Aromatic and flavourful, this soup is perfect if you’re feeling under the weather.

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Uptown - Côte-des-Neiges

Restaurant Nguyen Phi

Restaurant Nguyen Phi is one of my favorites. Nguyen Phi shreds its tripe really fine, adding terrific texture and crunch to each chewy mouthful of noodles. The grilled chicken pho is also fantastic.

Pho Lien

Pho Lien is also a happening soup spot just up the hill. It’s the go-to spot for locals and university students looking for a quick bite that won’t break the bank. Toothsome rice noodles swimming in crystal-clear broth deep in flavour is a testament to its success and popularity.

Pho Restaurant Sen Vang

Seng Vang has a small and concise menu. It’s doing just a handful of dishes and doing them extremely well. The pho is delicious but the restaurant is also known for having the ever popular “bún bò hué”, a soup that’s often only offered on Vietnamese menus on weekends (for the laborious cooking process). Sen Vang offers it daily.

Restaurant Hoai Huong

Known for a variety of specialty dishes like bird’s nest fried noodles, Vietnamese crepe served with chicken, shrimp and fresh herbs as well as beef rolls in vine leaves. But make sure to try their “Hoai Huong soup special”, a noodle soup served with breaded shrimp and pork.

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Mid-town

Restaurant Pho Tay Ho

If a pho craving should strike you in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, Restaurant Pho Tay Ho is where you should go. Thei specialty here is chicken pho. It comes with generous slices of poached chicken in an aromatic chicken bone soup, but there is an option with both chicken and beef in the same bowl.

Pho MYMY

Pho Mymy is Montréal’s own Vietnamese restaurant chain. With multiple locations, its growing popularity is a testament to the quality of its food and consistency. Bú bo Huê is available daily.

Hà Restaurant

In the Plateau, check out Restaurant Hà for a great Southeast Asian-inspired menu. Restaurant Hà celebrates the spirit of Bia Loi, a Vietnamese street corner watering hole that serves quick bites. They don’t necessarily specialize in Tonkinese soup, but they do serve a delectable beef pho—it’s the only type on their menu. The deep broth is accented by aromatic flavours and is served with raw slices of ribeye over thick rice noodles. Location in the Old Port as well.

Cafeden

Den” means “black” in Vietnamese, like “black sheep” – the one that stands out. This chic Vietnamese restaurant located in Little Italy is a popular spot for cocktails and snacks and isn’t your typical noodle shop. The signature pho is Mama Vu’s secret recipe - as is most of the menu offerings.

Pho Rachel

Located in the Plateau, Pho Rachel satiates noodle cravings with copious amounts of rice vermicelli swimming in your choice of chicken, beef, spicy beef and vegetable broths.

Le Bay Cà Phê

A new player in the pho game, Le Bay is a quaint noodle outpost in the heart of Mile End offering traditional dishes like pho, and noodle salads and rice dishes. The classic beef noodle bowl is a surprisingly heavy contender for one of the best in the city. Do not miss.

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Chinatown

Pho Bang New York

Pho Bang New York is your best option in the downtown/Chinatown area. Its soup is richer in earthy spices and highlighted by the generous greenery of basil, scallions and cilantro. The traditional and hearty dac biet hits the spot after a day of walking through Chinatown or the Old Port.

­­­­­Restaurant My Canh

My-Canh offers classic Vietnamese dishes, but it’s its specialty noodles that stand out. A visit here isn’t complete unless you slurp the pork and seafood soup or the delicious “Bún Mam” – rice vermicelli soup with fermented fish.

Pho Bac

One of the oldest Vietnamese restaurants in Chinatown, Pho Bac has been serving up steaming bowls of hot noodle soup for over 15 years! Generous lunch specials are available; they include fresh spring rolls, vermicelli bowls with grilled chicken, pork or beef.

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Southwest

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TRAN Cantine Vietmanienne

The fast-casual cantine offshoot of the popular Plateau Pho Tay Ho serves generous bowls of rare beef pho and its signature “pho ga” – chicken noodle soup. Have the banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) topped with a fried egg.

Le Petit Sao

This restaurant is popular amongst the locals in the Southwest borough of Pointe-Saint-Charles. Owner Lise grew up in the restaurant business and wanted to bring her family background in serving fresh and authentic Vietnamese dishes to the masses. With four locations (including one in Brossard), make sure to check out the grilled meat plates or exotic salads.

Jason Lee

Jason is a food eater and picture taker. As the blogger behind Shut Up and Eat, he covers everything food, from recipes to reviews. Jason has vowed that he will not stop until he has officially eaten his way across Montréal. It’s a big claim, and it’s one he’s making.

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