Best Pho in Boston

September 24, 2015
by Zagat Staff

Slurp on a bowl of hearty noodle soup at these Vietnamese digs in Boston.

Phở Pasteur
Vietnamese · Chinatown · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.0 · Service 3.5

“Enticing” bowls of “consistently good” soup and noodles plus other “well-prepared” Vietnamese dishes keep fans coming to this “enduring classic” in Chinatown that’s deemed “the real thing” ; perhaps the decor “needs updating” and service can be “inattentive at times” , but it’s earned its local rep as a “quick in-and-out” for “great” “cheap” eats.
Sa Pa
Vietnamese · Downtown · $

This Downtown Vietnamese from the owners of Kingston Station serves a simple menu of banh mi, pho, bowls and small plates in bright digs with red chairs and a wood-paneled counter. With everything under $10, it’s easy to make it a lunchtime habit. P.S. Open weekdays until 3 PM.
Pho Basil
Vietnamese · Fenway/Kenmore · $
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.0

This “tiny” Fenway/Kenmore joint specializing in “large” Vietnamese and Thai plates is “popular for a reason” : the “flavorful and healthy” menu offers an “economical” way to get “your pho fix” ; “long lines” suggest “the secret is out” , but “pleasant service” manages to “turn tables quickly” , and that “counts for a lot.”
Pho House
Thai · $

Replacing the Tamarind House is this updated Porter Square eatery that culls from both Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. Locals file in for inexpensive bowls of pho, pad Thai and stir-fry dishes from the same team behind nearby Pho 'n Rice and Pho Basil.
Noodle Barn
Asian · Jamaica Plain · $

The team behind Pho & I doles out inexpensive Thai-Vietnamese fare at this spare, handsome noodlery in Jamaica Plain spruced up with brick walls, mirrors and comfy banquettes. Offerings range from bowls of pho and banh mi sandwiches to curry pots, fried rice plates and a spicy Fisherman's Fury of shrimp, squid and mussels in Sriracha sauce.
Pho Lemongrass
Vietnamese · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.3

“Eat mo’ pho!” advise fans of the “delicious” soups ladled out of this Brookline Vietnamese joint, which also plates “nice” noodle dishes, seafood combos and other genre staples ( “no surprises” here); the fairly nondescript dining room is “always busy” , again no surprise given the menu’s “good value.”